AETA Challenge~Criminal Charges Filed and Challenged~Terrorists within Our Borders
Lawyer for Activists Who Liberated Mink Challenge Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act Charges
According to the Chicago Tribune, “the lawyer for one of two California animal activists accused of sabotaging an Illinois mink farm and releasing about 2,000 animals into the wild last year said today he plans to challenge the constitutionality of the federal “animal enterprise terrorism” charges the men are facing.” The lawyer, Michael Deutsch, said that AETA “is overbroad and potentially criminalizes free speech rights protected by the First Amendment” and that it “unfairly brands activism as terrorism.” The activists, Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson (aka Kevin Olliff) spray-painted “LIBERATION IS LOVE” in big red letters on the side of a barn after liberating the mink.
Let me get this straight: The “terrorists” are the individuals who free captive animals from intensive confinement and emotional and physical torture, and the “victims” are the people who are terrorizing the animals? I would ask how that is even possible, but then I remind myself that mainstream society found ways to justify the slaughter of native Americans, the enslavement of people who look different and the deprivation of basic human rights to large fractions of society. The AETA must go.
AETA is here to stay as a protection against Animal Rights Extremist/Terrorist Nazi Gestopo-The terrorists within our borders.
AETA has nothing to do with free speech. It’s how to deal with terrorists within our borders!!! You bet it is-What right did he have going in on someone’s property -TRESPASS, and then releasing the mans valuable animals -PROPERTY…PROTECTED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!!! -No mention of the farmers rights here to his property. No mention that graffiti painted on someone’s property is also against the law.
This was breaking and entering with intent for theft of property.
Why don’t we talk about what ‘liberating’ those animals meant to the mink who died in the process or the possible damage to the environment.
GUILTY!!! -Pay the price for having done the deed!!!
Lawyers playing games with taxpayer money to get this guy a lesser sentence-BULLSHIT!!!
Animal Rights Activists Who Freed Minks are Indicted on Federal Terrorism Charges
Two animal rights activists who allegedly released thousands of animals from a mink farm about sixty-five miles southwest of Chicago have been indicted on federal terrorism charges.
Both Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson were indicted by a grand jury in the Northern District of Illinois for allegedly releasing 2,000 minks from captivity on August 14, 2013, and for conspiring to “damage and interfere with the operations of a fox farm in Roanoke, Illinois,” according to the Justice Department.
Media are reporting on the indictments but what is missing from the coverage is the fact that these animal rights activists were charged under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), which means they were not just indicted with “freeing minks”—a violation of private property. They were indicted for allegedly committing an act of terrorism.
Here is the grand jury charge against Lang and Johnson [PDF]:
…defendants herein, conspired with each other, and with others known and unknown
to the Grand Jury, to travel in interstate commerce, and to use and cause to be used a facility of interstate and foreign commerce, for the purpose of damaging and interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise, including Mink Farm A and Fox Farm A, and in connection with that purpose, intentionally damaged and caused the loss of real and personal property (including animals and records) used by an animal enterprise, and real and personal property of a person having a connection to and relationship with an animal enterprise, which offense resulted in economic damage exceeding $10,000, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 43(a) and 43(b)(2)(A)… [emphasis added]
Will Potter, who regularly covers these kinds of stories at his “Green is the New Red” blog, did not miss this fact.
Potter reported that Lang was arrested in Los Angeles and during his bail hearing the government asked for a “$30,000 bond, which is $20,000 above what pre-trial services had recommended.” The prosecutor claimed Lang was a “flight risk” because of his “extreme activism” and said Lang planned to “travel the country for what he calls non-profit work but what the government calls violent disobedience.”
“Lang told me he had planned on beginning a tour this weekend with other volunteers, protesting airlines that transport primate for animal experimentation,” Potter added.
On August 15, 2013, at about 1 AM, as Potter reported for VICE, Lang and Johnson were pulled over by police for having “temporary dealer plates” on the “brand-new green Prius” they were driving. The refused to consent to a search and one officer overheard on the police radio reportedly said that Johnson was on a terrorism watch list.
Police found bolt cutters and and wire cutters. They charged the two with “possession of burglary tools,” a felony. They were not charged with being involved in the fur farm raids at the time, however, FBI agents at a bail hearing for Lang and Johnson made sure prosecutors were aware there were unsolved raids in the region and farms had been targeted.
Johnson was sentenced to 30 months in jail in Illinois. Lang was “freed from state custody after agreeing to a plea deal in November,” according to WLS.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has pursued a lawsuit against the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. A federal district court in Massachusetts dismissed the lawsuit on March 12, 2013. CCR filed an appeal on April 21, 2014.
Ryan Shapiro, an animal rights activist (as well as a Freedom of Information Act activist) who has focused on factory farming issues, described in a piece for Truthout.org how he helped “coordinate an undercover investigation of notoriously cruel foie gras factory farms” in 2003.
“We found ducks crammed inside cages so small they couldn’t stand up, spread their wings, or turn around,” Shapiro wrote. “As an act of civil disobedience, a group of us openly rescued a number of ducks from this abuse. We also made a short documentary film to educate the public about what was being hidden behind the closed doors of these factory farms. The images we captured played a crucial role in sparking national and international campaigns against foie gras and in the successful 2004 ballot initiative to ban the production of foie gras in California.”
Shapiro and a fellow investigator, Sarahjane Blum, who is also a plaintiff in the CCR lawsuit, were convicted of misdemeanor trespass and sentenced to community service. To Shapiro, “This was a reasonable and acceptable price to pay for bringing to light the realities of factory farming.”
But, as he outlined, Congress moved to make it possible for industry to prosecute individuals who engaged in acts of civil resistance as terrorists.
“In 2006, under heavy lobbying from the pharmaceutical, animal agriculture and fur industries, Congress passed [AETA],” Shapiro asserted. “The AETA is designer legislation that targets political dissent directed at any business that uses or sells animals or animal products – or any company ‘connected to’ such ‘animal enterprises.’ Simply hurting the profits of these businesses—by, for example, producing and screening a film that inspires people to boycott foie gras or other animal products—qualifies as a terrorist offense. Indeed, a distressingly high number of my closest friends have been convicted as terrorists for engaging in free speech and civil disobedience advocacy on behalf of animals.”
Rather than risk the possibility that acts like the one taken by Lang and Johnson would lead to bans against the use and selling of animals or animal products, corporations have seriously undermined that possibility by convincing lawmakers to criminalize such nonviolent action as terrorism.
When good people can be arrested and have there property removed and accused of animal cruelty for such stupid things as tartar on teeth or fleas, fined thousands of dollars and all based on opinion with no actual evidence of intentional abuse then it would only seem reasonable that a person committing so many offences against a legitimate business as this farmer had, to consider this as a terrorist crime with the loss and destruction of valuable property!!!
DIsclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned -B
~ by topcatsroar on November 7, 2014.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tags: act of terrorism, AETA, Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act, animal rights, animal rights activists, Animal Rights CRIMINALS, Animal Rights Extremist, Animal Rights Terrorists, California animal activists, Center for Constitutional Rights, Chicago Illonois, conspiracy, factory farm, freedom of speech, freeing minks, fur farm raid, intentional property damage, Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Lang, liberating animals, mink, Radical Animal Rights Agenda, theft of animals, theft of property, Trespass, violent disobedience