End Criminalization of Animal Rights Activists

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Originally Posted: 26 May 2009

End Criminalization of Animal Rights Activists

From Center for Constitutional Rights

Two things you can do to protect actions that are clearly and traditionally protected by the First Amendment:

(1) Take steps to abolish AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) and

(2) Join the Coalition to Abolish the AETA.


Sign the online petition here

And/Or better yet, contact your Federal Senators and Representatives directly:

Find your U.S. Representative here

Find your U.S. Senators here


Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo (the AETA 4) were indicted for conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism. Charges against the AETA 4 include protesting, chalking the sidewalk, chanting and leafleting –, and the alleged use of “the Internet to find information on bio-medical researchers.” These actions are clearly and traditionally protected by the First Amendment.

The Department of Justice brazenly calls these young activists “terrorists” under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). Passed by Congress near the end of the Bush administration, the AETA aims to suppress speech and advocacy by criminalizing activities protected by the First Amendment, including protests, boycotts, picketing and whistle blowing. The AETA criminalizes a broad swath of protected First Amendment activities – and CCR and the defense team have asked the Court to strike down the AETA as unconstitutional.

The case of the AETA 4 is the first application of this dangerous, Sedition Act like law. It is clear that the law can and will be used both to criminalize lawful protests and to overcharge pretty offenses. It is of critical importance that the case against the AETA 4 be dropped in order to protect our Constitutional right to dissent. Write your senator and representative and demand that they repeal the AETA which will only lead to violations of our Constitutional rights.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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