By [email protected] &
Terrorism is a subject I don't take lightly. As a
resident of New York City, I had a close look at the horror of September
11th, and I continue to live in the outcome of this attack, including
the fear that terrorism still looms over the safety of my family. I
welcome measures that minimize risk, but when lawmakers use this fear to
promote their own agenda, the results don't deter terrorism, they
interfere with democracy.
One such measure is the legislative initiative in New
York which seeks to re-classify animal advocacy as a terrorist activity.
Originally created by the U.S. Sportmans Alliance, S2996 discriminates
against activists who photograph or in other ways document the condition
of animals in any animal enterprise. It also labels as terrorists,
advocates who support organizations which rely on this investigation on
behalf of animals. For an online summary, check S02996
Supporters of this bill point to a handful of incidents
against research labs to claim it is warranted to label all animal
activists as domestic terrorists. They also claim it will not effect
conscientious whistle blowers, nor the citizen's right of dissent.
However the language of the bill is so loosely worded, it leaves room to
squelch conscientious awareness and in turn, dissent. Meanwhile,
supporters conveniently ignore that undercover disclosure is essential
to protect vulnerable populations.
Some of us may remember Willoughbrook, an institution
which neglected and abused mentally challenged children. These young
victims were unable to speak for themselves and yet the supervisory
oversight was completely inept in monitoring and correcting the
facility. Unlike animals, however, the children had relatives who
quietly disclosed the conditions. Eventually, their plight reached the
media, which was a turning point in the quality of care. It's up to us
to be the "relatives" and to bring the plight of animals to concerned
advocates, for unless we do, they will remain victims of animal
A similar initiative was presented in Texas (HB433) but
it died on May 29th in the House Committee on Defense Affairs and
State-Federal Relations with no action taken prior to adjournment. I
would have expected the same in New York but I'm concerned the fear of
terrorism here will prompt further consideration. Unfortunately, the
bill has passed the Consumer Protection Committee and its sponsors have
"Starred" it on the legislative calendar while they may be readying for
No action can be taken until the sponsors remove the
"Star". This allows us the chance to contact Senator Joseph L. Bruno,
Senate Majority Leader, to voice opposition (see email address below).
I very strongly object to labeling my concern for
animals as terrorism; to any limitation of my civil rights; and to
discrimination against the group I support in conscience. Equating us
with terrorism also trivializes the real horror of September 11th.
For the sake of animals and our own right to advocate
for them, I urge you to send your opposition to S2996 in an email to the
Honorable Senator Joseph L. Bruno.
For more information, please refer to these other
websites who are actively opposing the above measure, which seems to be
"planned" for other states as well:
Welcome to SORT.org - Saving Our Resources Today!
This bill that was introduced in the New York State
Assembly that could penalize animal rights advocates by labeling us as
terrorists has now been introduced in the State Senate. Please take a
moment to contact your Senator as well as the Senate leadership to urge
them not to support S2996.
Friends of Animals Press Releases
Although such construing of this legislation would be
clearly unconstitutional, Friends of Animals opposes the proposed law
because of its potential chilling effect on perfectly legal
contributions to national politics. Friends of Animals notes that
criminal and civil laws already exist which address the acts of concern
to the sponsors of this bill.
From: The Humane Society of the United States
NY A. 4884 & S. 2996 Equating Animal Protection with Terrorism
Criminalizes legitimate political and social protests,
demonstrations, and debate by animal or environmental advocates.
Prohibits anyone from donating money to an animal or
environmental organization engaging in these activities.
Criminalizes the investigative practice of photographing
and videotaping an animal or environmental facility.
Creates a state-run website on which people advocating
against animal and environmental exploitation would be identified,
photographed, and stigmatized as terrorists, much as states do with sex
offenders and child molesters.
Then we have these thought provoking essays:
"Have you ever signed a petition in support of an
environmental or animal-rights issue? Do you belong to the Sierra Club,
the Natural Resources Defense Council, or Greenpeace? Have you publicly
protested some environmental or animal rights outrage? If legislation
crafted and promoted by the ultra-conservative American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC) becomes law, these fundamental rights of
American citizenship could become illegal."
From the article titled: Environmentalists=Terrorists,
The New Math
TOMPAINE.com - Environmentalists = Terrorists
"If you've ever given money to an environmental
organization, if you support the movement's agenda, then you're probably
part of a grand conspiracy that's degrading life in America. Worse yet,
you might even be a terrorist, or at least an accomplice. At least
that's what Nick Nichols seems to think."
From the article titled: The Fringe: You Too Might Be A
TOMPAINE.com - The Fringe: You Too Might Be A Terrorist!
"In the eyes of the government and some conservative
watchdog groups--Mommy is potential terrorist material. Please don’t
tell my family. They’ll be very upset. Yet even under oath, I’m sure
they would profess: “Yes, she can mouth-off. No, she is not a threat to
From the article titled: "Mommy's a What?"
Kinship Circle | Columns & Articles
New York is the second state to introduce a bill that
will help prosecute animal rights terrorists. The proposal is based on a
model bill created by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.
You can find out more about this organization and their
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance - (Formerly WLFA)
Go on to No More
Homeless Pets Workshop
Return to 15 June 2003 Issue
Return to Newsletters
** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this
not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the
copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright