[Ppnews] Important Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Update

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat May 23 10:38:46 EDT 2009

Civil Liberties Defense Center

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Dear Supporter:

Yesterday, the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), Center for 
Constitutional Rights (CCR)  and other civil rights attorneys moved 
to dismiss the U.S. government's indictment of Joseph Buddenberg, 
Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo (the AETA 4), four 
animal rights activists who are charged  for the first time with 
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 has brazenly called these activists 
"terrorists" under the auspices of a little known law called the 
Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA ). Passed by Congress towards 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 
whistleblowing. Though the AETA targets animal rights activists, its 
language is so broad and vague that it could easily be used to 
prosecute labor activists who might engage in peaceful activities 
such as picketing or organizing a successful boycott of a giant 
corporate supermarket that exploits its workers.  The AETA 
criminalizes a broad swath of protected First Amendment activities -- 
and CLDC and the defense team have asked the Court to strike down the 
AETA as unconstitutional.  Furthermore, there are already dozens of 
state and federal laws that could be used to prosecute criminal acts 
engaged in by animal rights activists; the addition of this federal 
crime of terrorism is thus clearly intended to chill the 
constitutional rights of citizens who advocate a particular political belief.

The case of the AETA 4 is the first use of the AETA since being 
signed into law -- it is clear that the law can and will be used 
against lawful activists. It is of critical importance that the case 
against the AETA 4 be dropped in order to protect our Constitutional 
right to dissent.

Take action today in solidarity with the AETA 4 by doing the following:

1.     Call the Department of Justice at (202) 514-1057 and ask 
Assistant Attorney General David Kris to stop using counter-terrorism 
resources to criminalize animal rights activism.

2.     Write your 
and representative and demand that they repeal the AETA, as it will 
only lead to violations of our Constitutional rights; and abundant 
laws already exist to prosecute criminal acts. and,

Join the Coalition to Abolish the AETA  and work with us to protect 
everyone's Constitutional right to dissent.

Stand with us today and call for justice for the AETA 4.


Contact Information
"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of
all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily
defeat us."
--Justice William O.Douglas

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good
conscience to remain silent."
--Thomas Jefferson

The Civil Liberties Defense Center
Lauren Regan
Executive Director
259 East 5th Avenue, Suite 300 A
Eugene, Oregon 97401
541.687.9180 phone
541.686.2137 fax
Email: lregan at cldc.org

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Our website is 

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