Creating a Clean Room

From the zine « Setting Fires With Electrical Timers » by the Earth Liberation Front (may 2001). The full zine can be downloaded at https://warriorup.noblogs.org/files/2017/12/Setting.pdf.

The following precautions may seem extreme, but the technology of DNA matching has pushed us into a whole new era and the full impact has yet to be felt. During the 1990s, crime labs needed a sample that had hundreds of cells to be able to get a DNA print. Researchers have announced success with new techniques that require only a single cell as the sample. This technology will soon be in the crime labs if it’s not already. With this advance, investigators can use a microscopic skin flake instead of needing a whole drop of blood or saliva. And humans are constantly shedding skin flakes.

To set up a clean room, choose a location where your hair and skin flakes are not already floating around. The location should also be free of hairs from a dog, a cat or another animal companion that the government would consider to be “your pet.” Use a friend’s basement or garage (someone who is not politically active). Or rent a motel room. Another option is to set up a tent in the woods. Use a brand new tent and keep someone outside the tent as a lookout. Since there are no electrical outlets in the woods, you’ll need to run the soldering iron off a DC to AC inverter that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Or get a butane-powered soldering iron at Radio Shack. After constructing the timers & igniters, you can return the tent (in a distant city).

Before entering the clean room, cover as much skin as possible. Get long pants and a long-sleeved shirt at a second-hand store. Don’t wear these clothes until you are ready to enter the clean room. Dispose of them after you have finished constructing the timers & igniters. A disposable painter’s suit is another option ($6 US at Home Depot). Get a hat that completely covers your hair or wear a shower cap. Hairnets do not work. Wearing a surgeon’s mask is a good idea and is especially important for men with beards or mustaches. A ski mask is an alternative, but you will get hot. Don’t use polypropylene ski masks because they tend to be so thin that hairs poke right through them.

Keep gloves on whenever you are in the same room as the timers and igniters. Even experienced activists have been known to absentmindedly touch a component without gloves when watching someone else work or when returning from a rest break. Both cloth and latex gloves will develop holes over time, especially when sharp edges or tape are involved. These holes may not be noticed immediately! Use two layers of latex gloves for better protection. Or wear a single layer of latex gloves over top of tightly fitting cloth gloves. Remember not to scratch your head or rub your face when wearing gloves.

Keep components in their packaging until needed. When bringing a lamp or anything else from your house to the clean room, first dust it off. Dust is composed of skin flakes and fibers from carpets and clothing. Don’t absentmindedly tear electrical tape with your teeth – use scissors to cut it. Strip wire carefully to keep small pieces of insulation from flying across the room and getting lost. Store completed timers and igniters in Ziploc bags or new Tupperware containers.

Kitchen Talk: Although the instructions may seem lengthy, nothing on the following pages is beyond the talent of any activist. Just follow the step by step directions. We guarantee that you’ll find these dishes delightful to cook up and lots of fun to serve to animal abusers throughout your neighborhood.