ACT NOW: FEDERAL LEGISLATION LABELS ACTIVISM
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ACT NOW: FEDERAL LEGISLATION LABELS ACTIVISM AS "TERRORISM"
Protect your First Amendment Rights. We must stop The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) for the animals and for ourselves.
Click here to view the proposed bill (PDF)
1. If you have never made a call to your legislator, now is the time to get on the phone. See SAMPLE LETTER: Protect Your Right To Protest for talking points from Kinship Circle.
2. Also, if you donate to one of the large animal advocacy groups that have been silent on this issue, please contact them NOW and urge them to make a strong statement against this bill. Calls are especially needed to those groups that specialize in legislative action.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is currently pending in Congress, and industry groups are doing their best to push it through quickly and with little public scrutiny, Patriot Act style, before Fall recess. Please act now to make sure that the War on Terrorism, and the tragedy of 9/11, isn't used to push a political agenda and silence dissent.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act expands the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/aepa. Supporters say it is meant to stem illegal actions taken against controversial animal enterprises, or any company that does business with an animal enterprise. But the sweeping language in the bill goes much, much further:
AETA labels the tactics of Martin Luther King and Gandhi as "terrorism." It spells out penalties for "an offense involving exclusively a nonviolent physical obstruction of an animal enterprise or a business having a connection to, or relationship with, an animal enterprise, that may result in loss of profits but does not result in bodily injury..." In other words, a terrorism law includes nonviolent civil disobedience.
AETA risks the prosecution of undercover investigators, whistleblowers and other activists as "terrorists." It defines "economic damage" as including "the loss of profits." The extremely vague, overly broad language in the bill puts all activists at risk. Causing loss of profits isn't terrorism. It's effective activism. And even activists that aren't prosecuted under the law will feel the chilling effect of its "terrorist" rhetoric.
AETA isn't needed. Existing laws are already overly broad: the Animal Enterprise Protection Act was used to successfully convict the SHAC 7 this year on "terrorism" charges for running a website. And AETA's penalties for violence aren't needed, because the animal protection movement has never killed a human being. All Americans should be concerned, regardless of how they feel about animal issues. The word terrorism should not be batted around against the enemy of the hour, to push a partisan political agenda. Who will be next?
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact U.S. representatives and urge them to oppose HR 4239.
[It is IMPERATIVE TO BLOCK THE HOUSE VOTE! See next line]
Contact U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose S 3880
[Note: As of the end of September, the Senate has PASSED S 388]
Contact animal advocacy and environmental organizations, which have overwhelmingly remained silent on this legislation, and demand that they help defeat it.
For more in-depth information, visit: http://www.GreenIsTheNewRed.com
To read S. 3880: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.3880:
To read HR 4239: http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.4239:
For more info contact Win Animal Rights at: [email protected]
Call: 646-267-9934 or visit the WAR website: http://war-online.org
SAMPLE LETTER: Protect Your Right To Protest
The Honorable Representative _________________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Senators ______________________________________
The U.S. Senate, U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Representative __________________________________ and
Senators _______________________________________________ :
I am concerned about pending legislation that challenges America's foundation of free speech. As your constituent, I respectfully ask you to oppose the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (H.R. 4239/S. 3880), a bill drafted to shield animal-use corporations from legal protest. If H.R. 4239/S. 3880 is enacted, non-violent objection and civil disobedience, boycotts, and even influential media campaigns would become terrorist activities if linked to "loss of profits" for agribusiness, research laboratories, fur farms, circuses, and other "animal enterprises."
Please do not support H.R. 4239/S. 3880 or any bill that outlaws dissent if it leads to "economic damage." Under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech, free assembly and free expression are labeled terrorists and face significant time behind bars.
Moreover, the subjective phrase "loss of profits" apparently includes overhead to restore lost or damaged property or records, expenses for duplicating suspended or invalidated experiments, etc. Will the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act focus on property crimes alone or criminalize lawful whistleblowers and undercover cruelty investigators as well?
I fail to understand the purpose of this bill. Disciplinary measures already exist for vandalism, trespassing, or other unlawful behavior. The overwhelming majority of animal protection advocates never engage in illegal activity. But even if they did, they should be prosecuted under present laws.
I do not view demonstrations against animal experimentation facilities or distribution of literature outside an animal circus as terrorism any more than I view anti-war or women's health protests as terrorism. Will Congress propose similar Terrorism Acts to cover all areas of opposition?
Exposing animal cruelty may upset business and slow revenue, but it's hardly a form of terrorism. This unconstitutional bill establishes a model for repressive legislation to silence all social justice movements. I sincerely hope you are among those legislators who disagree with this shameful attempt to equate activists with terrorists. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is an insult to the true victims of terrorism.
No animal activist in the U.S. has ever caused grave human injury or death. I am baffled as to why my government representatives believe I need the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to feel safe. In fact, I would feel far more secure if the Department of Homeland Security focused on legitimate domestic security threats. Thank you for your valuable time and consideration in this serious matter.
The calf photo on these pages is from Farm Sanctuary with our thanks.
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