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U.S. | Animal Liberation

House to Vote on "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act" - 9/29/06
by In Defense of Animals
Thursday Sep 28th, 2006 2:27 PM
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is a bill that, if passed, could make it a crime to cause any business classified as an "animal enterprise" (e.g., factory farms, fur farms, vivisection labs, rodeos and circuses) to suffer a profit loss -- even if the company's financial decline is caused by peaceful protests.
URGENT - House to Vote on "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act" TOMORROW - FRIDAY

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is a bill that, if passed, could make it a crime to cause any business classified as an "animal enterprise" (e.g., factory farms, fur farms, vivisection labs, rodeos and circuses) to suffer a profit loss -- even if the company's financial decline is caused by peaceful protests.

Outlawing non-violent activist tactics that don't physically hurt anyone and defining them as "terrorism" is a completely unacceptable violation of our constitutionally-granted First Amendment rights to freedom of speech as Americans. We must take action NOW to defend our right to protest cruelty against animals -- before it is too late!

Industry groups are pushing AETA through quickly and with little public scrutiny (fast-tracking it like they did the Patriot Act:
first through the House of Representatives, then through the
Senate) before the current Congressional session ends. In fact, the House is scheduled to vote on this bill (HR 4239) TOMORROW, Friday, September 29th!

What You Can Do:

We need to flood the lines with calls in opposition to AETA now!
This is the most important call yet because it affects our ability to help ALL animals!

Call your Representative and Senators TODAY and urge them to protect our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech by opposing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

Representative Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
2371 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0001
(202) 225-4965

Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001
(202) 224-3841

Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001
(202) 224-3553

Alternatively, or if the above information is incorrect, get your elected officials' phone numbers by visiting http://ga0.org/indefenseofanimals/leg-lookup/search.tcl).

Call Senators Inhofe & Feinstein, co-sponsors of S 3880 (the AETA bill in the Senate), and express your opposition to this bill.

- Senator Diane Feinstein: (202) 224-3841

- Senator James Inhofe: (202) 224-4721

Urge the ACLU to take action on this issue (http://www.aclu.org/contact/general/index.html).

Details & Talking Points:

AETA labels the non-violent tactics of Martin Luther King and Gandhi as "terrorism." It spells out penalties for "an offense involving exclusively a nonviolent physical obstruction of an animal enterprise or a business having a connection to, or relationship with, an animal enterprise, that may result in loss of profits but does not result in bodily injury?." In other words, any act that causes a loss of profits to animal-exploiting industries (like a reduction in meat
consumption) can be treated as "terrorism."

Under AETA, undercover investigators, whistle-blowers and other activists would be prosecuted as "terrorists." It defines "economic damage" as including "the loss of profits." The extremely vague and broad sweeping language puts all animal advocates at risk. Causing exploitive corporations to lose profits is NOT terrorism -- it's effective activism, and we as Americans have a Constitutional right to protest. Even activists that are not prosecuted under the law will be affected by the extreme rhetoric.

AETA is unnecessary. There are already laws to protect industries against illegal actions, regardless of who commits the acts. Instead, the government should focus on catching real terrorists. For instance, the CIA has officially shut down the unit searching for Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda mastermind responsible for murdering nearly 3,000 human beings on September 11th, 2001. Yet the U.S. government is now targeting its own citizens, most aggressively peaceful animal rights activists who haven't harmed a single person.

All Americans should be concerned about this gross infringement on the first amendment. The term terrorism should not be used against peaceful social justice advocacy. Who will be next?

For more in-depth information about AETA, visit http://www.GreenIsTheNewRed.com

Read HR 4239 (http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.4239)

Read S. 3880 (http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.3880)