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Center Column Archives
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.
On Friday, September 11th, activists demonstrated in front of the Staples office supplies store in on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa. Staples was targeted because they have been documented using unmarked vans to deliver office supplies to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). In recent years, HLS have been infiltrated and exposed multiple times for animal cruelty, including workers punching beagle puppies in the face. Their goal was "to show Staples that if you deal with HLS, you deal with us."
Mark Hawthorne writes:
Animal Place, an education center and sanctuary for farmed animals, is pleased to announce that in addition to our new location in Grass Valley, we will retain our current property in Vacaville, California.... Animal Place will keep our 60-acre location, transforming it into Rescue Ranch.... The Ranch will be dedicated to finding loving homes for easily adoptable animals, such as chickens, sheep, and goats.
On July 17, 2009, People for Animal Liberation demonstrated in front of the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Healdsburg, California. Demonstrators held signs and banners with a variety of slogans. Street theater included one activist climbing into a guinea pig cage, from which they were pulled out of the cage and murdered.
On July 13th, defense attorneys for Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo (the AETA 4) presented oral arguments on their motion to strike down the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). The AETA 4 are being represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), and other well-respected civil rights attorneys, including Tony Serra. The defense demanded that AETA be struck down as unconstitutional before Judge Ronald Whyte of the United States District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose.