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Sun Feb 22 2009 (Updated 03/01/09) Activists Arrested for Chalking Sidewalks, Protesting with Bandanas, and Leaflet Distro
Federal Authorities Arrest Four Bay Area Animal Protesters Since the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), a sweeping new law labeling animal rights activists as “terrorists,” corporations and industry groups have been pushing the federal government to use their new powers. On February 19th and 20th, the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested four animal rights activists as “terrorists” in the most sweeping expansion of the War on Terrorism and the “Green Scare” to date.

As background, a campaign is being waged across California against animal research at the University of California system. There has been a wide range of both legal and illegal tactics. Illegal tactics have included the destruction of UC vans. In August, an incendiary device was left at the home of a UC researcher; no animal rights group has claimed responsibility for this crime, but the university, the FBI and others have recklessly attributed it to activists.

These “terrorism” arrests are not related to that bombing, though. And they’re also not related to the destruction of property. These activists–Nathan Pope, Adriana Stumpo, Joseph Buddenberg, and Maryam Khajavi– were arrested for First Amendment activity. According to the FBI’s press release, the activists are facing charges for incidents which include: Protesting outside the home of a UC professor, chalking defamatory comments on public sidewalks, wearing bandanas to hide their faces, and distributing leaflets with contact information for several researchers.

Will Potter, a freelance reporter who focuses on how the War on Terrorism affects civil liberties, states, "At issue here is not the validity or morality of animal research, nor is it the efficacy of controversial tactics. Differences of opinion on those issues no longer matter. What’s at issue is whether the War on Terrorism should be used to target protesters as terrorists."

FBI Arrests 4 Activists as “Terrorists” for Chalking Slogans, Leafleting and Protesting | Federal Authorities Arrest Peaceful Protesters | Coalition to Abolish the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act | Will Potter on the Green Scare | 5 Reasons for Activists to Cover Their Faces at Protests | Update on Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Four | Solidarity with the AETA 4! | Snitch Hunt

Previous Indybay Features: FBI Collects DNA Samples and Issues Grand Jury Subpoena in Santa Cruz || Affidavit Discloses UCPD "Cause" for Raid on Long Haul Infoshop || UCPD and Feds Raid Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley || FBI Agents Visit Individual's Workplace in Oakland || Police Raid House on Riverside Avenue in Santa Cruz, Again || Home, Auto of UC Santa Cruz Researchers Set Ablaze || Police Raid Activist House in Santa Cruz || Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Passes

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