The annual Friday-after-Thanksgiving protest of the fur industry, led by In Defense of Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was held in San Francisco's Union Square on November 26th. Similar demonstrations were held in Portland and other cities across the U.S. and the world. Event organizers called for demonstrators to, "Come and raise your voice for the voiceless 50 million fur bearing animals that are brutally slaughtered each year for their fur."
Dylan Powell of The Vegan Police recently interviewed Joseph Buddenberg of AETA 4, four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Although the case was dismissed in July, it is not over. A federal magistrate signed a warrant in August ordering Joseph to provide a DNA sample to the FBI. In the interview, Joseph discusses the AETA 4 case and its implications for activists.
The U.S. District Court in San Jose has thrown out the indictment of four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, because the government did not clearly explain what, exactly, the protesters did. The case is not over, however. The government can still re-indict the defendants with an amended bill of particulars that clearly outlines their alleged actions.
For the first time in years, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds is considering having a rodeo. The proposed rodeo will include roping young calves running at full speed and slamming them to the ground, using pain-inflicting flank straps to force horses and bulls to buck, and other methods of inducing fear, stress, and pain to force animals to perform — all in the name of entertainment.
On January 26th, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley ruled that the Animal Liberation Front is not a "gang." The government had tried to find two animal rights protestors guilty of being "gang members." Judge Wesley stated that the prosecution's expert Lt. Butte had "misled the grand jury. The ALF does not meet the legal requirements to be considered a gang. Their primary goal is to save animals, not commit crimes." That charge was dismissed though other charges remain.
On October 13th, two Minneapolis, MN activists were subpoenaed to appear before an Iowa Grand Jury, ostensibly investigating a November 2004 Animal Liberation Front raid of a University of Iowa psychology department animal laboratory. Twice they refused to testify and were then ordered jailed for contempt by a federal district judge on November 17th. On November 19th, Scott DeMuth was additionally charged with conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism in Davenport, Iowa federal court.
Putting a spotlight on some of the biggest movers and shakers of the vegetarian world, Bay Area residents and visitors celebrated World Vegetarian Day with a weekend-long festival on October 4 and 5. The 10th annual World Veg Festival featured cooking demos, free samples, and international vegetarian delights to pique every appetite. Entertainment included the Red Panda Acrobats and a sing-along of tunes in defense of animals.