"Domestic terrorist" is a term that
is unbelievably being hurled at any organization or individual
engaged in animal or environmental protection. Beyond using
the media to spout this view, certain special interests that
exploit animals and the environment have managed to persuade
legislators to co-sponsor a "Domestic Terrorism" bill.
A careful look at the language reveals an attempt to prevent
any change in the society. It would cause all but the most
conservative groups (most of which simply support the status
quo while they siphon off funds with glossy promotional literature)
to cease operating. How low can these killers sink? Don’t bother
to answer that, we know.
On a TV program following our last publication,
the author was accused by a hunter of being a "terrorist" and
operating a "terrorist organization." – Hello? – They’re
the ones with firearms and other "WE-MAD"! My term
for WEAPONS OF MASS ANIMAL DESTRUCTION.
I like the acronym WE-MAD because it works for both the hunter
and the anti-hunter. "We-Mad" is the hunters’ state
of mind, and it’s also the anti-hunters’ reaction to hunting
(although my mother used to say, "don’t say ‘mad’ say ‘angry.’"
I waited for the commercial break to tell
the hunter that I was sure that what he had said was actionable.
He seemed concerned. "Say that on the air," the moderator
jumped up and down. He was hoping to further liven the already
Due to budget cuts at the station, the program
has been playing ad nauseam for months. More and more
people tell me they’ve seen the program. "So, what did
you think?" I ask. They all say my opposition looked like
a buffoon and bully. Nevertheless, his accusations felt
ominous to me. It was my first inkling that this was the
new tack of the anti anti-animal protection movement. It was
not a spontaneous, off the cuff remark; it was far too rehearsed
and laden with statistics.
"You burn down buildings, send threatening
messages to people, cause millions in property damage," he
"Wait a minute," the moderator chimed
in, " -- are you saying that Anne has done all that? Are
you saying that Wildlife Watch has done that?"
He backpedaled. "No, maybe not her group in particular,
but groups like hers have." At first I thought it was
a simple reaction to our aired video and appeal to reason to
stop hunting in the wake of 9-11. "Why on earth," we
asked on air, "should the government allow armed people
near the gas pipelines, nuclear power plants, and large electrical
power grids that flow through forested areas?" We weren’t
accusing hunters of being terrorists (though there’s no doubt
that they are just that to wildlife), we were saying that the real
terrorists could easily blend in with hunters during hunting
season and do tremendous damage to the power infrastructure
of the country. By banning hunting, any armed individual or
group lurking about in the woods would be suspect.
DARE YOU CALL OUR NOBLE WORK “TERRORISM”
Retired School Administrator; Activist
My hunch that his attack was not spontaneous
was confirmed when we discovered NYS Bills S. 2996 and A 4884.
The bill is insidiously written in that it
combines actions that range from the most physically extreme
to the most physically harmless and throws them into the same
basket. It would deprive most organizations from being able
to fulfill their missions and be responsible to their members.
It would also turn the members into supporters of a terrorist
organization! Like it?
Here are excerpts from the bill:
"ANIMAL OR ECOLOGICAL TERRORIST ORGANIZATION" MEANS
ANY ASSOCIATION, ORGANIZATION, ENTITY, COALITION, OR COMBINATION
OF TWO OR MORE PERSONS WITH THE PRIMARY OR INCIDENTAL PURPOSE
OF SUPPORTING ANY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ACTIVITY THROUGH INTIMIDATION,
COERCION, FEAR, OR OTHER MEANS THAT IS INTENDED TO OBSTRUCT,
IMPEDE OR DETER ANY PERSON FROM PARTICIPATING IN A LAWFUL ANIMAL
ACTIVITY, ANIMAL FACILITY, RESEARCH FACILITY, OR THE LAWFUL
ACTIVITY OF MINING, FORESTING, HARVESTING, GATHERING OR PROCESSING
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialist
Clearly that would criminalize talking to
individuals, or writing a newsletter such as this one.
ENTERING AN ANIMAL OR RESEARCH FACILITY TO
TAKE PICTURES BY PHOTOGRAPH, VIDEO CAMERA, OR OTHER MEANS WITH
THE INTENT TO COMMIT CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES OR DEFAME THE FACILITY
OR ITS OWNER
Retired Graphic Designer and Grandmother; Activist
If the result of merely airing or publishing
an individual’s words or behavior results in their defamation,
then something must be wrong with the words or behavior and
the law that allows it. Many organizations rely on exposure;
we certainly do. It’s exposure that will influence the opinion
of the public.
Account Coordinator; Activist
IN OR SUPPORTING ANIMAL OR ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM TO INCLUDE
SOLICITING, COLLECTING OR PROVIDING ANY PERSON WITH MATERIAL,
FINANCIAL SUPPORT OR OTHER RESOURCES SUCH AS LODGING, TRAINING,
SAFE HOUSES, FALSE DOCUMENTATION OR IDENTIFICATION, COMMUNICATIONS,
EQUIPMENT OR TRANSPORTATION THAT WILL BE USED IN WHOLE
OR IN PART, TO ENCOURAGE, PLAN, PREPARE, CARRY OUT, PUBLICIZE,
PROMOTE OR AID AN ACT OF ANIMAL OR ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM,
THE CONCEALMENT OF, OR AN ESCAPE FROM, AN ACT OF ANIMAL
OR ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM.
Secretary, Hospital Union; Activist
This is a direct threat to members of organizations
that would publish or expose words or behavior of those this
bill is designed to protect. It is in direct conflict with
the mission of any advocacy and activist organization.
THERE IS HEREBY CREATED THE REGISTRY OF
ANIMAL AND ECOLOGICAL TERRORISTS. A PERSON WHO IS CONVICTED
OF OR PLEADS GUILTY TO AN ACT THAT VIOLATES SUBDIVISION
FOUR OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE REGISTERED WITH THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL ON A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
THE REGISTRY SHALL CONTAIN THE NAME, A CURRENT RESIDENCE
ADDRESS, A RECENT PHOTOGRAPH AND SIGNATURE OF THE OFFENDER.
THE OFFENDER IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL REGARDING ANY CHANGE IN NAME OR RESIDENCE
ADDRESS WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF MAKING THE CHANGE. THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL SHALL CREATE A WEBSITE CONTAINING THE INFORMATION
Daddy and Artist; Activist
FORTH IN THIS SUBDIVISION FOR EACH PERSON
WHO IS CONVICTED OR PLEADS GUILTY TO SUCH A VIOLATION. INFORMATION
REGARDING AN OFFENDER SHALL REMAIN ON THE WEBSITE FOR NO LESS
THAN THREE YEARS AT WHICH TIME THE REGISTRANT MAY APPLY TO
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR REMOVAL AFTER A HEARING ON THE APPLICATION
"Other means" in addition to "intimidation,
coercion, and fear," could be education, talking, showing
a video, etc. The person who is being talked to or educated
could claim that it is intimidation.
"Deter" is another word that is
too general. If someone is deterred, it could be because they
have a change of heart or mind following education. This would
make it illegal to change someone’s heart or mind. If someone
talks someone out of chopping off his dog’s head, and chopping
off a dog’s head is legal, the person who deterred the action
has now committed a criminal offense, if this becomes law.
If this bill becomes law, it would protect
someone from being defamed who is engaging in a horrendous
Many of us know that activists who have been
arrested have an array of charges against them. That allows
for bargaining, dropping this for that. Often they just want
the fine! So anyone who pleads guilty to any ridiculous charge
would now be placed in a registry.
University Professor; Activist
The special interests that are behind this
bill should be charged with attempting to harass and defame
animal and environmental protectors and from attempting to
keep them from fulfilling their mission.
The Bill attempts to equate animal and environment
protectors with the terrorists of 9-11.
The bill is so broad that it would basically
prevent even the most conservative environmental or animal
protection groups from operating.
It would frighten anyone from donating to
animal or environmental organizations that expose what the
abusers are doing.
It would also prevent journalists or anti-cruelty
law enforcers from doing inquiries or investigations.
In our case, for example, it would criminalize
our patrolling hunted property with a video camera. It would
criminalize our exposes of what the government is doing to
wildlife, and it would criminalize our educational efforts. It
is really an attempt to prevent public education.
Medical Writer, Editor; Activist
There are other laws in existence that deal
with destroyed property or harassment. The domestic terrorism
bill is an obvious ruse to suppress public education that
could bring about change. Hopefully it will be nipped in the
Is it surprising that the US Sportsman’s Alliance is in back
[Anne Muller was interviewed on 4/23 on WBAI radio (NYC) regarding
this Bill. Many progressive organizations are concerned. If
this passes, special interests will target other movements.
It must be defeated. Please see "What We’ve Been Up To" in