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Oral Arguments Presented on Motion to Overturn the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)
by ~Bradley ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Tuesday Jul 14th, 2009 10:19 AM
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. 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 the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) be struck down as unconstitutional before Judge Ronald Whyte of the United States District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose.

The AETA is being used for the first time since its passage by Congress in 2006 to do exactly what civil rights advocates feared it would do - criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The oral arguments presented on July 13th were not about the allegations as directly applied to the AETA 4, but rather that the whole case should be dismissed now because AETA itself is unconstitutional.
aeta4.jpg
aeta4.jpg

Photo of the AETA 4 courtesy of the AETA 4 Support Committee. From left to right: Nathan Pope, Adriana Stumpo, Maryam Khajavi and Joseph Buddenberg.
U.S.A. v. Buddenberg is a federal prosecution of four animal rights activists in California for conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism. On February 19th and 20th, the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested four animal rights activists as "terrorists." The indictment against the AETA 4 charges them with conduct including protesting in front of the homes of University of California medical researchers in Santa Cruz and Berkeley, chalking the sidewalk, chanting and leafleting, as well as "using the Internet to find information on bio-medical researchers." The Center for Constitutional Rights affirms that these acts are all protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The indictment against the AETA 4 was made possible because of a little known law called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) which is an expansion of a previous law called the "Animal Enterprise Protection Act." Independent journalist Will Potter reports that AETA was steamrolled through Congress with little discussion or debate in November of 2006 by corporations and the politicians that represent them. AETA is aimed at suppressing speech and advocacy by criminalizing First Amendment-protected activities such as protests, boycotts, picketing and whistleblowing. It targets animal rights activists, but includes language so broad and vague it could be used to prosecute a wide range of social movements. Through the AETA, Congress has codified the dangerous misuse of the term "terrorist" to describe animal rights activists, and this has been largely propagated by mainstream media.
"The AETA is so overbroad and vague that picketers protesting labor practices at WalMart who mount a successful boycott could be charged with animal enterprise terrorism because WalMart sells lunch meat," said CCR Cooperating Attorney Matthew Strugar. "And it is impossible to know from the language of the law whether your activities might be covered. The AETA is unconstitutional, and if it remains on the books it will be a genuine threat to free speech."
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change, says AETA is unconstitutional because it criminalizes a broad swath of protected First Amendment activities and is so unclear as to fail to give people notice of whether or not their conduct is lawful. On this basis, CCR and the defense team have asked the Court to strike down the AETA as unconstitutional.



The following are my very rough and incomplete notes of the oral arguments.

The courtroom was packed, and many people were there in support of the AETA 4.

Matthew Strugar of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) argues that AETA is unconstitutional for a number of reasons, not just one.

For example, section (d) (3) (B) [The text of AETA is available as a pdf from GreenIsTheNewRed.com] defines the term 'economic damage' and says it "does not include any lawful economic disruption (including a lawful boycott) that results from lawful public, governmental, or business reaction to the disclosure of information about an animal enterprise;"

CCR argues that this boycott exemption, which was directly influenced by third parties, is vague and unconstitutional.

A comparison is made between the civil rights movement and the animal rights movement. For example, the case NAACP v. CLAIBORNE HARDWARE. [In 1966, a boycott of white merchants in Claiborne County, Miss., was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).]

Under AETA, if a boycott is effective, or not effective, you are penalized.

Kali Grech, attorney for Maryam Khajavi, argues that AETA is aimed at silencing animal rights activists, as evidenced in comments made by Wisconsin Representative James Sensenbrenner.

AETA is aimed at silencing critical speech, which is constitutionally protected. This is a content based restriction. For example, section (a) (1) says, "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise"

Animal rights protests are excluded under this statute. This is illegal under the constitution.

If a business owner threatens a protestor, they can't be charged with AETA, but if a protestor threatens a business owner, they can be charged.

This is a viewpoint based restriction.

Government is clearly restricting one side of the debate.



THE GOVERNMENT'S POSITION ON AETA, as stated by U.S. Attorney Elise Becker

Conduct related, not speech related.

Subsection (2) (A) - not just speech, but conduct. Not just a lawful protest, those are clearly exempt.

Harassment is criminal conduct.

AETA criminalizes what people do, not what they say or believe.

AETA is applied when a person is placed under reasonable fear, there is a pattern of conduct, threats, vandalism, etc...



MORE ARGUMENTS FROM THE DEFENSE TO DISMISS THE CASE; AETA IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

Section (a) (2) (B) uses frivolous and overly broad language: "intentionally places a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to that person, a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115) of that person, or a spouse or intimate partner of that person by a course of conduct involving threats, acts of vandalism, property damage, criminal trespass, harassment, or intimidation"

Terms used are not defined. For example, 'harassment' and 'intimidation' are already covered under the word 'threat'.

Sections (a) (2) (A) and (a) (2) (B) are very similar.



THE COURT DID NOT MAKE ANY DECISION AT THIS TIME.

THE NEXT COURT HEARING WAS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by msfreeh
Tuesday Jul 14th, 2009 12:38 PM
to view a partial list of crimes committed by FBI agents over 1500 pages long see
http://www.forums.signonsandiego.com/showthread.php?t=59139

to view a partial list of FBI agents arrested for pedophilia see
http://www.dallasnews.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3574
by AETA4 support
Tuesday Jul 14th, 2009 4:06 PM
Bradley, thanks for the succinct update. We'll keep folks updated and let you know when the court rules.
by Richard Marx
Tuesday Jul 14th, 2009 7:44 PM
Thanks for posting the link to the CCR petition. People should keep signing it and letting civil libertarian contacts/blogs etc. know about it.

It's outrageous that civil liberties experts warned Congress about the fact that this law could and would be used to suppress free speech activities and criminalize protest and dissent.

The entire Congress is responsible for passing this terrible bill:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Enterprise_Terrorism_Act

So, it's important to remember this as we advocate for its repeal and consider challenging those who voted for it in elections. Those in public office hate nothing more than facing an electoral challenge where they have to defend their support for bills like this or the Patriot Act, or the Iraq invasion authorization and funding bills etc..

Activists have to use all the tools and electoral challenges are useful ones to continue to fight on specific issues in which we are engaged while also putting pressure on government officials to deliver real public services to the people. . .
by Shekina
Tuesday Jul 14th, 2009 11:36 PM
So...free speech is being curbed in order to protect the government's right to conduct brutal testing against sentient species!
All those who desire to uphold the laws of a world beyond this limiting human reality must stand up for our brethren who are being not unfairly targeted so much as scapegoated, martyred, for a cause they are passionate enough to do something about. POSSIBLY. How many of us so-called "animal lovers" can look up from our own lives long enough to recognize the reality of our own passivity? Do we honestly believe that those in uniform who have charged these four individuals with the ever-evolving charge of TREASON, couched in modern-day language but still the same at root, at heart? This government, as represented by the lawyers The murders committed by these so-called intellectuals have effectively been masked, any justifications for the barest hint of threat or aggression being directed at these so-called 'fine, upstanding citizens' of this society are deemed unimportant details in relation to this case. Instead, these AETA 4 are being held up as examples, the 'enemies' of a machine which is steadily incorporating the destruction of every living thing.
Meanwhile these four are labeled "criminals", as though breaking the laws that keep the machinations of this technology-dependent society functioning.
I wonder if those who originally protested the Holocaust in Nazi Germany were slapped with the same terminology--criminal, desperate, freak, wrong, misinformed, stupid, emotional, violent. I wonder if those who spoke up for those who at that point had no voice were called criminals too. Some of those who tried to protest were in fact executed, along with all the rest, or put in the Nazi equivalent of a forced labor camp or concentration camp. Many of these folks were likely labeled with the same terminology which allowed the scientists sufficient distance from their so-called 'test subjects' to allow them to still sleep at night, without nightmares filled with the ghosts of all those whom they have killed uselessly.
Anybody who stands up against any aspect of these forces intentionally aiming at all of our destruction should be heralded as heroes by a society well aware of its own fragile position, its oncoming demise, yet unable to stomach the changes necessary to make in order to save what IS redeemable within ourselves and our art and our culture and our language...to save what we can of US, we must save what we can of what is put into cages, what is trapped behind bars, shoved into bunkers and otherwise made into less than the living, breathing creatures deserving of admiration, support, and mutual encouragement who they are.
When those Jews or queer folks or other so-called enemies of the State who were dying by the hundreds or thousands every day at the hands of German scientists conducting experiments on their living bodies I hope they knew that some folks were willing to fight for them. These people were my ancestors. We only were freed eventually because somebody was willing to say that they had had ENOUGH and refuse to keep silent anymore. It is our voices, our ability to communicate, which over and over again reaffirm our own humanity. It is in using them that we learn how to make ourselves and our voices and our words become strong.
We must use every means we have to protest the most evident examples of the largest mass genocide of herstory--the steady destruction of the habitat and livelihoods of every single species on this planet other than people, and eventually, us too. We must call those who would perpetuate the same cycles of pain which many of us have grown up experiencing to task, hold them up to SOME KIND of justice.
When it becomes illegal simply to accuse somebody of something which THEY HAVE IN FACT DONE--whether that be raping a woman, killing thousands of animals in order to find a cure to a corporate-caused disease like the various cancers likely to be effectively ended when we all quit polluting the general water supply--then we know we have entered the type of police state which could spell the end of democracy as we have been wanting to know it for thousands of years...but could ALSO be a voice speaking to the possibility of the rise of a new kind of ground-up, soft, flexible, womyn-embracing, shared-power society of which we may have only previously dreamed.
I have every hope--but it is folks like these who give me FAITH.
by via CCR
Wednesday Jul 15th, 2009 10:45 AM
Here is a convenient online petition to Congress from the Center for Constitutional Rights, asking for a repeal of the regressive, unconstitutional Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Please sign and spread widely.

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/383/t/4089/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27312
by Fireball
Wednesday Jul 15th, 2009 7:12 PM
The AETA 4 are heroes not only to the animals but also to those who desire to protect their constitutional rights which the courts are continually striking down.

We have lost virtually all our rights thanks to these blatantly evil people who steal elections, or talk about change without giving a plan in their platforms and then play the former office holders' games. And congress is no better 'cause they are in the same bed. And let's not forget the courts who are in the corporations pockets.

The AETA 4 knew the risks they were taking. And yet, they did the right thing, which is really the only law we'll ever need.
by Zachary Runningwolf
( zacharyrunningwolf [at] yahoo.com ) Wednesday Jul 15th, 2009 7:20 PM
Hey Jake and Maryum,
I'm proud of your stance and this is your path way with the community not doing shit. This is shedding light on the subject as the winged ones and the four-legged ones Thank you. I'm sorry I could not get down in support but I was dealing with the Bevatron issue which the community does not even want to save themselves from Nuclear dust. By the way Fuck Hellarity
by AETA is proof, torturers can't handle truth!
Thursday Jul 16th, 2009 12:05 PM
The AETA represents a fear of truthfullness like nothing before. For those corporations that have built their profits based upon the deceptions of animal research and/or factory farming, nothing is more frightening than some activists willing to speak out and tell the truth about their system of lies and false promises..

To silence activists like the "AETA 4" by threats of prison for simply talking shows the weakness of a system standing on it's last horse's leg of lies (they broke the other three legs in research labs to see how animals react to pain!), ready to collapse. The corporate rider sitting atop the one legged horse is propped up by three "false legs" of lies, namely; neccesity, accuracy and humanity..

These are the false claims that animal research is needed to find new cures for human diseases when many of the research trials are in fact for novelty drugs (weight loss, impotency relief, fatigue, etc...) and not actually curing any diseases other than symptom relief. Neither are the animal research tests accurate when applied to humans (see Thalidomide and others), though they are a means to fast tracking any new novel products onto the shelves for consumers. Their claims of humanity are evidenced as lies by the sheer brutality faced by the animals in captivity, poaching trips to the jungle and deprivation of natural freedom by a lifetime behind bars, as if the animals were some sort of criminals that were being punished for the misfortune of being weaker than human poachers and hunters..

Though i have not yet crossed paths with law enforcement for typing out these messages, the threat of prison is real for many others who would speak out and become truthtellers in a more visible manner. The AETA threatens people who are motivated to speak the truth and expose the three legs of deception orchestrated by animal research corporation's public relations firms. This is the final act of cowardice of animal research corporations far too chickenshit to publically debate the issues in a truthfull manner, because their deception is hiding their last leg to stand on..

Exposed false leg of deception #1;

Harvard Scientists Find Master Human Heart Cell
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
By: Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Boston Globe

"Harvard scientists announced today they had discovered a master human heart cell that gives rise to three major types of heart tissue, providing new tools for drug development and an important advance toward the ultimate goal of repairing damaged hearts.

Using human embryonic stem cells, the researchers have unraveled part of the process by which the human heart is built during development -- insights they hope could be used to understand congenital heart disease and create new therapies for cardiovascular disease, the top cause of death in the United States.

"Since these [cells] are entirely human, you can use this system now to study the role of specific genes in human heart disease, and as ways to screen drugs for cardiotoxicity and for therapeutic effect," said Dr. Kenneth R. Chien, director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He is senior author of the paper, published in Nature today.

Drug companies are especially interested in such applications. Using the actual human cells affected by a disease -- instead of mice, dogs, or other stand-ins -- could potentially speed up drug development by giving companies a more accurate template for screening potential drugs. Animal cells and other types of assays have been invaluable for testing and screening drugs, but the new cells could give scientists a chance to see how the human cells they are interested in react to drugs.

Such cells could also prevent companies from spending too much time on a drug that ultimately fails. According to John D. McNeish, executive director of Pfizer Regenerative Medicine, one big concern at pharmaceutical companies is that drugs may have a side effect on the heart that only emerges late in the drug development process. Testing the drug on human heart cells might alert scientists to side effects before they begin administering the drug to patients in clinical trials.

"I think this is in many ways a groundbreaking work," McNeish said, because of both its short and long-term implications. "It is fair to say in the future, stem cell technology could develop highly predictive cell-based assays for cardiotoxicity that could one day replace" the current models, such as using cells from cadaver hearts or animals."
"

article continues @;
http://www.missouricures.com/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5929&news_iv_ctrl=1003


Exposed false leg of deception #2;

"
"I have studied the question of vivisection for thirty-five years and am convinced that experiments on living animals are leading medicine further and further from the real cure of the patient. I know of no instance of animal experiment that has been necessary for the advancement of medical science; still less do I know of any animal experiment that could conceivably be necessary to save human life."
-H. Fergie Woods, M.D.

The most commonly held perception regarding animal experimentation is that it is necessary for the development of vaccines, cures and treatments for human illness. Proponents ask the important question, what will happen to research on AIDS, heart disease, and cancer if animal experimentation is completely stopped? Will the progress in cures and treatments for these types of illnesses also come to a halt?

There is a growing movement of healthcare professionals including doctors, scientists, and educated members of the public who are opposed to non-human animal-based experimentation on specifically medical and scientific grounds. They argue that animal research is based on a false premise, that results obtained through animal experimentation can be applied to the human body.

Animals not only react differently than humans to different drugs, vaccines, and experiments, they also react differently from one another. Ignoring this difference has been and continues to be very costly to human health.

The most famous example of the dangers of animal testing is the Thalidomide tragedy of the 1960s and 1970s. Thalidomide, which came out on the German market late in the 1950s, had previously been safety tested on thousands of animals. It was marketed as a wonderful sedative for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and it supposedly caused no harm to either mother or child. Despite this "safety testing", at least 10,000 children whose mothers had taken Thalidomide were born throughout the world with severe deformities.

Clioquinol is another example of a drug that was safety tested in animals and had a severely negative impact on humans. This drug, manufactured in Japan in the 1970s, was marketed as providing safe relief from diarrhea. Not only did Clioquinol not work in humans, it actually caused diarrhea. As a result of Clioquinol being administered to the public, some 30,000 cases of blindness and/or paralysis and thousands of deaths occurred.

Are these two examples just isolated cases? Even though pharmaceuticals are routinely tested on animals, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 100,000 people every year are killed and more than 2 million are hospitalized as a result of prescription drugs used as prescribed. The British Medical Journal recently reported that 4 out of every 10 patients who take a prescribed drug can expect to suffer severe or noticeable side effects, while numerous clinical observers agree that the incidence of iatrogenesis (medically induced disease) is now so great that approximately 1 in every 10 hospital beds is occupied by a patient who has been made ill by their doctor."

article continues @;
http://whitecoatwelfare.org/aat-text.shtml

Exposed false leg of deception #3;

"We know a tremendous amount about depression and its treatment in young people from astute observation of humans, not monkeys. Cutting-edge advances in technology now allow sophisticated brain imaging. Daniel Amen, MD has done thousands of brainimaging studies allowing in-depth understanding of disorders including depression, addiction, and ADHD.

Children with psychiatric disorders come from a myriad of backgrounds. Neuropsychological processes and interpersonal experiences influence their genetically predisposed individual differences. Consider the rhesus monkey model. The behavior of chronically stressed monkeys kept in completely unnatural, stark labs has no relation to that of their wild monkey counterparts, much less to people. These frightened animals' stress hormones soar, changing their blood chemistry and rendering the corresponding data meaningless."

article found @;
http://www.whitecoatwelfare.org/malgosia.shtml

This shows that there are alternatives to animal research, and the recent studies on human embryonic stem cells in Missouri shows success for researchers of heart disease without any animal testing. The researchers even indicate that human stem cell research would be faster and more accurate than animal testing, so why the delay in conversion? Maybe corporations are fixed in patterns of bad habits like animal testing, and it is more difficult for them to change their research methods than converting and reaping the benefits provided once they make this change?

Whatever their motives, the choice is clear for corporations who engage in animal research. Either adapt to alternative research methods of face the constant barage of animal rights truthtellers who will not stop from exposing the three false legs of deception, threats from AETA laws be damned..


by Fossil
Thursday Jul 16th, 2009 1:09 PM
Personal threats, extortion, and so forth are not protected speech. Scrawling insults on someone's sidewalk is not protected either, norisn trespassing.

It is legitimate to inquire whether "expressive" conduct is meant toconvince and persuade or whether it is backed byimplicit threats of vandalism and violence and intended to intimidate. The record of the "Animal Rights Movement", and the explicit endorsement of murder by spokespeople llike Vlasic and Best puts the burden on activists, as does their habit of masking themselves at supposed demonstrations.

If we were discussing the actions of anti-abortion militants, the left would call for the harshest possible action on the part of law enforcement authorities for tactics like those used by the animal liberationists. The question arises: why has the left adopted the latter cause, with its vacuuous philosophy and its clear distaste for human welfare?
by no comparison with abortion clinic bombers!
Thursday Jul 16th, 2009 5:49 PM
Fossil,

How could you compare somebody writing with sidewalk chalk to an individual who shoots an abortion doctor? Remember, nobody was EVER killed by an animal rights activist!!
by Keep it real
Thursday Jul 16th, 2009 6:39 PM
These 4 individuals are charged with physical assault, and implied death threats. And the same individuals they identified and targeted were attacked several weeks later; one with their house being fire bombed, the other their car.

I'm sick of the p.c. disinformation that they are trying to disseminate and others are lapping up like a dumbed down herd.

READ the specific charges against them! Quit whitewashing the reality. I know the people they are charged with assaulting, so I take it personally.

Want to chalk a sidewalk and hold up a protest sign in front of my house? Go for it.

Want to post death threats, make verbal threats, and firebomb my house? Rot in jail for a good long time.
by NO comparison with abortion clinic bombers!
Friday Jul 17th, 2009 4:50 PM
Questions for "Keep it real";

Not sure that the charges you described are accurate, and even though i won't play devil's advocate by accepting your charges, let's play hypothetical games for a bit and see if you can compare the AETA 4 and animal rights activists in general to individuals that shoot abortion doctors and/or bomb abortion clinics after this quick test of logic;

A death threat is a verbal statement that implies an intent to kill someone whom the threat is directed against. If the threat is not followed up by any physical action, it remains only a threat and the person being threatened remains alive. The law needs to treat this as a threat alone, without any potential for action until an action occurs. If no action occurs, then the law needs to treat it as a threat without action.

When an abortion doctor is threatened and actually physically shoot by the person making the threats, the person being threatened no longer remains alive. The law now needs to treat this as a murder case, including the threat as evidence of intent. however, this is only possible if the threat is followed up by physical action. Sometimes there is no initial threat and the anti-abortion activist uses the element of surprise and murders the abortion doctor without warning. The law needs to treat this as a murder case also.

Do you understand the significant difference here is that the animal rights activist has NOT killed anyone (regardless of what they SAID they were going to do), while the anti-abortion activist HAS indeed killed another human being (regardless of whether they said they were going to or not)??

Another example of empty threats would be me stating that i will jump up into the clouds and lasso an airplane, bringing it and everyone inside crashing to the ground in a fiery ball. However, if the FBI followed up on my death threat against airline passengers and realized that i was not physically capable of performing the above mentioned feat, would they or should they still take this threat seriously? Should i rot in prison for life for threatening to jump into the clouds and lasso an airplane? Am tempted to call the FBI and tell them of my airplane lassoing plans to hear their reaction..

Beyond the sillyness of empty threats of lassoing airplanes, NO animal rights activist has EVER physically ended somebody's life (no matter what they may have threatened to do!), though plenty of anti-abortion protesters have. The ALF and other animal rights groups pledge non-violence against ANY living beings, human, animal or other. Vehicles, houses and other inanimate objects are not subject to this same pledge, though living beings cannot be inside these objects if they are being targeted to ensure that nobody is injured in the process..

Logic is needed when making comparisons, and "keep it real" needs to take their own advice and apply some simple logic tests before making outlandish claims such as comparing animal rights protesters shouting, chalking and leafletting to anti-abortion activists shooting and killing abortion doctors at point blank range..

From recent headlines;

"AP, May 31, 2009 · Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita, Kan., church where he was serving as an usher.

The gunman fled, but a 51-year-old suspect was detained some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said.

Although Stolz refused to release the man's name, Johnson County sheriff's spokesman Tom Erickson identified the detained man as Scott Roeder. He has not been charged in the slaying and was expected to be taken to Wichita for questioning.

There was no immediate word of the motive of Tiller's assailant. But the doctor's violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff.

Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church, Stolz said. Tiller's attorney, Dan Monnat, said Tiller's wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time.

The slaying of the 67-year-old doctor is "an unspeakable tragedy," his widow, four children and 10 grandchildren said in statement. "This is particularly heart-wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace."

The family said its loss "is also a loss for the city of Wichita and women across America. George dedicated his life to providing women with high-quality health care despite frequent threats and violence."

Stolz said all indications were that the gunman acted alone, although authorities were investigating whether he had any connection to anti-abortion groups."

found @;
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104817397

BTW, the ALF is the most extreme example of animal rights protester capabilities, and the AETA 4 in question did not even engage in these tactics. The ALF background is to show that even at our most extreme animal rights activists are NOT KILLERS!!

Some background on ALF;

"The ALF is a loosely associated collection of cells of people who go underground and violate the law on behalf of animals. They break into and enter prison compounds (euphemistically referred to as “research laboratories” and the like) to rescue animals, and they also destroy property in order to prevent further harm done to animals and to weaken exploitation industries economically. Official ALF guidelines are: (1) to liberate animals from places of abuse; (2) to inflict economic damage to industries that profit from animal exploitation; (3) to reveal the horrors and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors, and (4) to take all necessary precautions against harming any human or nonhuman animals. Anyone who follows these guidelines – and who is vegan -- belongs to the ALF.

Despite the incriminations of animal exploitation industries, the state, and the mass media, the ALF is not a terrorist organization; rather they are a counter-terrorist outfit and the newest form of freedom fighters. They are best understood not by comparing them to the Al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein’s republican guard, but instead to the Underground Railroad, the Jewish anti-Nazi resistance fighters, or current peace and justice movements. By providing veterinary care and homes for many of the animals that they liberate (vs. those like mink that they release back from cages into the wild), the ALF models itself after the U.S. Underground Railroad movement that helped fugitive slaves reach Free states and Canada. ALF members pattern themselves after freedom fighters in Nazi Germany who liberated war prisoners and Holocaust victims and destroyed equipment such as gas ovens which the Nazis used to torture and kill their victims. Similarly, the ALF has important similarities with some of the great freedom fighters of the past two centuries, and are akin to contemporary peace and justice movements in their quest to end bloodshed and violence toward life and to bring justice to all species.

There are indeed real terrorists in today’s world, but they are not the ALF. The most violent and dangerous criminals occupy the top positions of U.S. corporate and state office; they are the ones most responsible for the exploitation of people, the massacre of animals, and the rape of the planet."

found @;
http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Best--Support%20ALF.htm

Let's hope that "keep it real" and other FBI agents arresting people for writing on sidewalks are not so busy as to fail to protect the next abortion doctor on another anti-abortion activist's hit list!! The AETA laws are needlessly tying up the time FBI agents would need to capture anti-abortion activists prepared to kill another doctor, and the people who proposed AETA laws should be held responsible for wasting FBI time on chasing sidewalk chalkers while anti-abortion activists plan a future murder of another doctor..

by Keep it Real
Friday Jul 17th, 2009 5:24 PM
Your opening statement that you're "Not sure that the charges you described are accurate" and that you want to discuss this hypothetically merely reinforces my viewpoint that their supporters want to whitewash the case, dumb it down to "they were chalking sidewalks", and try to create sympathy accordingly.

So no thanks, I'll pass on your hypothetical game.

They are really charged with physical assault and making threats. And the people they threatened were shortly thereafter firebombed, with small children in the house. As such, I find your theory that it was "threat alone" implausable.

Do you understand the significant difference between hypothetical actions and actual actions? The difference between charges you are unsure of vs. the very clear and specific charges against these individuals? In both cases, I do.

If you believe the ALF manifesto about not hurting a person nor attacking a house with a human in it, then perhaps you should share that info with the AETA 4, not me.



by Delete trolls
Friday Jul 17th, 2009 6:35 PM
Indybay eds, please delete the above two comments by "Keep it Real." and do what you can to watch the AETA4 threads closer. These types of remarks about firebombs, etc, are slanderous. Thanks.
by wtf
Friday Jul 17th, 2009 8:07 PM
the comment above asking the indybay eds to delete the critical comments by Keep it Real
sounds really fucking sketch.

At most, all the support sites for the AETA 4 just mention "numerous charges" some of which being "chalking, protesting, research, etc".

It seems like only the AETA 4, their lawyer, and those prosecuting know exactly what they're being charged of so it doesn't seem farfetched at all for Keep It Real to say what they said.
by Keep it Real
Friday Jul 17th, 2009 8:49 PM
The Aeta 4 supporters have been vigilent in their concern that any voice of dissent be silenced and scrubbed from Indy. I have had multiple posts scrubbed for disagreeing in this particular set of actions.

There is no confusion on the charge: Verbal threat and intimidation of "We're gonna get you!". Printed threats of "beware we know where you live and where you work". Physical assault of one inhabitant. The residence of one of the AETA 4 arrestees contained a sheet listing the same group of professors who had been threatened in the printed flyer. One of their cars was firebombed shortly thereafter. One of their house, with young children and two parents inside, firebombed that same day.

And to ensure there is no confusion and to respond to the "he's a troll b.s., allow me to clarify that I am NOT stating they were charged in the bombings. They are charged for all of the other items. There have been no charges filed on any suspect for the bombings.

Here is the link showing the charges against. For those who want to claim this didn't happen or that I'm a troll for saying it did, I invite you to read this first:http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-surveillance-activist-leafleting/1096/

Call me a troll AFTER you read that.

Keep it real. Animal rights are awesome. So too are human rights. Follow the ALF mandate and you can still be radical and effective. No harming humans. No harming their cars or homes while they occupy them.

by Poster
Friday Jul 17th, 2009 11:55 PM
Above poster says

"the comment above asking the indybay eds to delete the critical comments by Keep it Real
sounds really fucking sketch.

At most, all the support sites for the AETA 4 just mention "numerous charges" some of which being "chalking, protesting, research, etc".

It seems like only the AETA 4, their lawyer, and those prosecuting know exactly what they're being charged of so it doesn't seem farfetched at all for Keep It Real to say what they said."

We asked that the comments be removed because they are not "critical," they are slander. We have been completely open about the charges these four are facing. One count of conspiracy to violate the AETA, and one count of Animal Enterprise Terrorism. The indictment lays out the specific allegations, which has been posted multiple times, and the charges are chalking, producing leaflets, demonstrating, and chanting, not firebombing or death threats as the slanderous post asserted.

It's not true that "one the four, their lawyer and the prosecutor know" the charges. The indictment has been unsealed and is public.
by Keep it Real
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 8:11 AM
Poster says I'm slandering them by stating that they made death threats, and that their only charges are chanting and chalking and postering? Hmmm...but what if the posters threaten that "we know where you live and we know where you work" and the chants threaten "Were gonna get you"? And what if those threats are accompanied by assault?

From the FBI affidavit by Agent Lisa Shaffer charging the AETA4:


“I am conducting an investigation against Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope, and Adriana Stumpo in four instances involving the use of force, violence, and threats against an animal enterprise.”

On Feb.24, 2008, five to six individuals approached the Santa Cruz home of UCSC Professor number 8, who conducts biomed research. Her husbnad reported to the SCPD that he heard banging on the glass pane of the door. He also heard and saw the door handle being twisted back and forth, and the door being pushed back and forth. He opend the door and yelled and then struggled wit one individual and was hit with a dark, firm object. The individual with the bullhorn then directed everybody to levae. He followed the individuals as they entered a vehicle and fled. During the incident, one of the individuals yelled “we’re gonna get you”.

The car was followed, it belonged to Khajavi. A warrant was served, the car and house searched. The bandanas were found, and they contained DNA matching Stump and Pope.
An envelope and piece of a note paper listing Professer Eight and other UCSC biomed researchers was found in the residence.

On July 29, 2008, flerys were printed with the names and addresses and phone numbers of the same UCSC biomed researchers. The flyers read “Beware we know where you live we know where you work we will never back down until you end your abuse.”.
Video cameras show Pope and Buddenberg distributing those flyers.

These are the charges against the AETA4. Force, violence, and threat.

The AETA 4 are not charged with the firebombings that were done to two of the professors on their flyers just 3 days after the flyers were distributed.
by is still not comparable to murder of Drs.
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 3:51 PM
Here's the text from the website "keep it real" provided us with;

"The activists were arrested, in the very first use of this sweeping law, for activity like “chalking defamatory slogans,” creating fliers, protesting while wearing masks, and attending a protest where an alleged attempt at forced entry took place. I was hoping that the criminal complaint would reveal something, anything, to justify such serious “terrorism” charges."

then;

"The only mention of actual criminal activity in the entire criminal complaint is when Shaffer describes an incident at a protest at the home of “Professor Number Eight.” The professor’s husband says he “heard loud banging on the glass pane on the door” and saw “the door handle being twisted back and forth.” He opened the door, yelled at activists, and struggled with someone, and then he says he was hit with a “dark, firm object.” He recorded a license plate number from a car at the protest and gave it to the police, and police linked the car to one of the defendants.

At the very worst—assuming we believe everything this researcher and the FBI are saying—that is obviously not First Amendment activity. But it’s critical to note that the FBI is not alleging that any of the defendants attempted a forced entry, or that any of the defendants struck this researcher. Read the complaint for yourself. The FBI argues that these activists were present at this protest, and that their presence makes them terrorists.

Let’s think about this guilt-by-association reasoning from another perspective. I was covering an antiwar protest a few years ago, and I was beaten by police while wearing my Congressional press credentials (a lawsuit was later settled out of court). I was attacked by a few cops, but there were many more at the protest. Let’s apply the same FBI logic to my personal experience: if DNA testing could link riot gear to cops who were at that protest, would the government hold all of them responsible for my attack?"

here's the site again;
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-surveillance-activist-leafleting/1096/

It seems that "keep it real" has finally dropped the comparison with anti-abortion activists who actually shot and killed a doctor in broad daylight inside a Wichita church in front of many witnesses and the individual protesting at the animal researcher's house who MAY HAVE banged on the door, twisted the door handle and maybe hit the researcher with some object, based solely on the testimony of the researcher with NO other credible witness present?

Did the animal researcher visit the hospital emergency room for treatment for the possible assault? If not, then what proof is there that it actually happened? Did the police photograph any bruises on the researcher as a result of the alleged assault? If not, is it possible that either a) the assault is a concoction of the researcher who was upset at the unwanted intrusion or b) the alleged assault could have been a brief struggle that the researcher himself initiated with the "door bangers", and the activist response was to simply push the researcher off themselves and back into their house?

Only a kangaroo court would allow comments on indybay from anonymous individuals like "keep it real" to be allowed in testimony as "evidence", as that shows that lack of any actual physical evidence is leading FBI to engage in all sorts of deception to "prove" a case that they cannot do in a legitimate manner. Our justice system has indeed gotten a bit "kangarooish" in their allowing irrelevant testimony based on hearsay to become admitted as actual "evidence", though this only shows the ineffectiveness of the agents to gain any credible evidence, nothing more..

Then we're left with "We know where you live and we're going to get you" as evidence of a death threat? There is nothing other than "going to get you" as an open ended statement, "getting you" could be more sidewalk chalking, bullhorn shouting and other tactics of essentially non-violent disruption. The targeted person would be considered "gotten" once they cave in to the constant pressure and quit their job, or exposed by the activists as unethical scientists and lose their credibility in the community..

Maybe "disturbing of the peace" would be a possible charge for this behavior, though when compared to the fatal shooting of a medical abortion doctor in Wichita, there are many miles between them..

Then there's a related issue of AETA laws taking up time that FBI agents could be using to investigate actual anti-abortion activists who are planning future murders of doctors, child molesters and serial rapists, meth dealers and other organized (or not so well organized) criminal groups that represent a real and verifiable physical threat to other human beings..

It must make the FBI agents feel like the "Keystone Cops" that are just clowning around with sidewalk chalkers and door bangers while murderers, meth dealers and other dangerous people continue their criminal activites with no FBI agents available to stop them!!

Here's one that folks might find some similarities with;

"Fatty's Spooning Day (Silent) - The inimitable pairing of Roscoe "Fatty Arbuckle" and Mabel Normand delights once again. A young married couple (Mabel Normand and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle) decide to take a walk through the park after having an argument caused by the husband's flirtation with the maid. While on their walk, the couple becomes mixed up with another couple in the park. Thinking that the "No Public Spooning" law had been broken, the police become involved and both the young bride and the other woman's husband are arrested and taken to jail."

watch movie @;
http://www.eztakes.com/store/movie/Fatty-Arbuckle-Festival-and-Keystone-Cops-Festival-Movie-Download.jsp

Regardless of how people feel about the FBI in general, would it not be better if their taxpayer supported salary were used for something other than chasing sidewalk chalkers, door bangers and bullhorn shouters??



by Correction to above comment
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 4:11 PM
this statement from above comment;

"Then there's a related issue of AETA laws taking up time that FBI agents could be using to investigate actual anti-abortion activists who are planning future murders of doctors, child molesters and serial rapists, meth dealers and other organized (or not so well organized) criminal groups that represent a real and verifiable physical threat to other human beings.."

for clarification should be rewritten as;

Then there's a related issue of AETA laws taking up time that FBI agents could be using to investigate;

a) anti-abortion activists who are planning future murders of abortion doctors

b) repeat offender child molesters and serial rapists

c) meth, heroin and crack dealers

and

d) any other organized (or not so well organized) violent criminal groups that represent a verifiable physical threat to other human beings.."

Though for the record i'll say that i really wish we didn't need an FBI or police at all to keep people safe, yet there are some violent people with serious issues that communities may need some help dealing with..

This now opens another discussion of why there are so many meth dealers, child molesters, rapists, abortion clinic bombers and other violent people in our society to begin with, though that is for another thread..

How did indigenous peoples handle violent people prior to an organized police force, FBI, CIA, etc... existed?

The fact remains that for a government agency already strapped for resources coming from taxpayer wallets to be dancing around chasing sidewalk chalkers like the Keystone Cops while abortion doctor murderers are roaming free is a travesty of justice in itself..

The overall wasting of FBI time and resources from relevant investigation of serious violent offenses like those mentioned above is something the founders of AETA laws need to be held accountable for..
by "I hear you're looking for Rudolph."
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 4:24 PM
Case in point, this essay review describes the situation of federal budget cuts and misplaced priorities of FBI agents derailed from searching for actual murderers while resources are spent chasing sidewalk chalkers and door bangers..



Volume 7, Number 4, Winter 2001
E-ISSN: 1534-1488 Print ISSN: 1068-8218

DOI: 10.1353/scu.2001.0053

Lewis, Cynthia, 1951-
Whatever Happened to the Search for Eric Rudolph?
Southern Cultures - Volume 7, Number 4, Winter 2001, pp. 6-30

The University of North Carolina Press

"Cynthia Lewis - Whatever Happened to the Search for Eric Rudolph? - Southern Cultures 7:4 Southern Cultures 7.4 (2001) 6-30 Essay

On a June day at the River's End restaurant, part of the large sporting complex that is the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) in western North Carolina, a patron waiting to be seated wore a T-shirt featuring a now familiar joke. An FBI agent sits on a tree stump in the forest, surrounded by books, while a red-nosed reindeer says to him, "I hear you're looking for Rudolph." Despite claims in the area that the search for alleged serial bomber Eric Rudolph is now all but forgotten, such remnants as the T-shirt signify the ongoing search, even as the Southeast Bomb Task Force scaled back in June 2000 from over two hundred agents to a mere dozen. Tensions also linger in the region between natives and strangers, citizenry and government, local and federal law enforcement. Is the FBI inside or outside the reindeer joke? The answer to that question depends entirely upon who is being asked. No sooner is history made than it starts getting reconstructed. The shuttle between truth and memory, fact and fabrication, accounts for the greater part of the narrative tangle about this case -- a thicket of information, false assumptions, and guesswork as dense as the forest where Eric Robert Rudolph may still be hiding. Accused of four bombings-- at the 1996 Olympics, at two...

Project MUSE® - Download/Export CitationMLAAPAChicagoEndnote
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lewis, Cynthia, 1951-. "Whatever Happened to the Search for Eric Rudolph?." Southern Cultures 7.4 (2001): 6-30. Project MUSE. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 18 Jul. 2009 .


find this @;
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_cultures/v007/7.4lewis.html

by Keep it Real
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 4:54 PM
You referenced my first link to support your contention; that was the link to Greenisthenewred; a relatively supportive animal rights website.

You might want to reference the FBI's complaint website to see the actual charges and statements. That's the cite that I found the quotes in my second post. The FBI is absolutely charging them with assault and threat. Not chalking and benign leafleting.

Keep it Safe. Keep it Nonviolent. Keep it Real.
by wtf
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 8:31 PM
If you read the FBI Criminal Complaint...
nothing about charging them for "merely chalking on the sidewalk, picketing, protesting, wearing bandanna's, etc".

It's about the threats, and threat of force and violence to interfere with the UC bio-med studies.

On one level that's what they were trying to do; use intimidation to stop the vivisection which is illegal according to the AETA. (Personally I think the law is bullshit)

But on a second level, some of things they are charged with saying are pretty aggressive and the behavior pattern of constantly protesting outside of the professor's houses is borderline harassment... (which can work ultimately to stop the professors, but is borderline illegal)

what they were doing wasn't in any way protected under the law (as is interpreted today)

here's the pdf link

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/wp-content/Images/aeta_fbi_complaint.pdf

The AETA 4 are so fucked...
by Indybay
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 9:35 PM
Above poster, possibly an FBI agent, says
"If you read the FBI Criminal Complaint...
nothing about charging them for "merely chalking on the sidewalk, picketing, protesting, wearing bandanna's, etc". "

Well, if I trusted the FBI, then I'd have to believe that Fred Hampton and Mark Clark deserved to be shot while they slept and were a threat to national security for running a free breakfast program for kids, or that Bunchy Carter needed to be killed, or Anna Mae-Aquash, or Leonard Peltier jailed for life, Bobby Hutton murdered at 16 years of age, Judi Bari arrested for bombing herself.

I could continue. Point is, the FBI is all lies, all the time.
by wtf
Saturday Jul 18th, 2009 11:00 PM
i'm not saying the fbi is telling the truth.

I'm pointing out the reality. (the obvious)

They're making allegations. It doesn't matter whether they're true or not.

If you consider the history of the FBI it really doesn't matter whether they're telling
the truth or not, but rather what outcome they want.

Really, the point is they got caught, the FBI is on their ass creating documents to try them in court,
and in all likelihood, to some degree, they are fucked.

The actual charges/accusations in the document seem pretty legit and easy to prove/make up/lie about.

Just trying to point out the obvious...
by Terry
Sunday Jul 19th, 2009 9:07 PM
The poster has a point. It is technically inaccurate to say that "they are being charged with chalking the sidewalk, etc" Whoever is continually spouting that is not helping the case of the AETA4 in any way as potential sympathizers might stop supporting them when they see the dishonesty uncovered. Argue the points of the Feds case, but don't try and deceive people on what is in the charges when they are easily found online. If you think the FBI is lying, then fine, that is certainly not unprecedented. But NOBODY is lying when they say that they are being charged with crimes more serious than chalking a sidewalk. That's not the FBI, it's the truth.

by but offer no facts of your own
Sunday Jul 19th, 2009 11:57 PM
Chalking sidewalks and attending residential demonstrations. Those are the accusations. I've read the indictment, read about two dozen media articles. Nothing of substance to this case.
by wtf
Monday Jul 20th, 2009 12:15 AM
you're obviously reading the FBI Criminal Complaint with a clouded vision
The facts are in the pdf link.

Those are the FBI's "accusations"
they need to be proven true.

The case hasn't been fought and won by the AETA 4
so it would be a misrepresentation for them
if someone said they are being charged "just" with
"chalking, picketing, wearing bandanna's, etc".
Technically those are some of the actions they were doing
but those aren't the sole charges.

by don't know why I bother
Monday Jul 20th, 2009 12:39 AM
"chalking, wearing bandanas" is not a charge, its an accusation.
The charges against the AETA4 are two counts of violating the animal enterprise terrorism act (one of which is a conspiracy count). The accusations made by the FBI, in the indictment , are: wearing bandanas, attending home demonstrations, and "researching information on bio-medical researchers." That's a direct quote from the indictment. I don't know where you're getting that they're being accused of something much much much more serious that you refuse to state, because the FBI hasn't accused them of anything, and Joseph Schadler, FBI Spokesman has stated to the press that the "indictment speaks for itself."
by Terrya
Monday Jul 20th, 2009 10:54 AM
Most of the discussion above is based on the affidavits. What should really be discussed is the actual indictment. Nowhere in the indictment do the words "chalk", "sidewalk", or "bandanna" appear.

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/wp-content/Images/aeta4_indictment.pdf

Count ONE:

"The defendants... did intentionally place a person in reasonable fear of death, and serious bodily injury to that person, a member of the immediate family, and a spouse and intimate partner of that person, by a course of conduct involving threats, acts of vandalism, property damage, criminal trespass, harrassment, and intimidation in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 43".

That's the facts.
by Terry
Monday Jul 20th, 2009 10:57 AM
Note: I'm not saying above that they did any of this. By saying "that's the facts", I'm only referring to what they are being charged with. They deserve their day in court and I hope if it turns out that someone stole their car and put the bandannas in their house to frame them, that they are proven innocent.
by Lawyers ain't cheap
Monday Jul 20th, 2009 10:13 PM
Just wondering how the AET4 is paying for their legal defense and how much it is costing? Is there a way to donate towards it?
by AETA4 Support
Tuesday Jul 21st, 2009 12:05 PM
Yes, the AETA4 have thousands upon thousands in legal fees. If you'd like to donate, you can send check or money order to:

The AETA Defense Fund
PO Box 99162
Emeryville, CA 94662

Or you can PayPal donations to support [at] aeta4.org
by AETA4 support
Thursday Aug 6th, 2009 11:25 AM
As of August 6, we're still awaiting Judge Whyte's ruling on the motion to dismiss. We'll keep everyone updated.

http://www.aeta4.org
by Indyposter
Tuesday Sep 8th, 2009 10:06 PM
As of September 8, there is not yet a ruling on the motion to dismiss. The four are due back in court September 14
by delayed
Wednesday Sep 9th, 2009 4:50 PM
The scheduled September 14 AETA4 court appearance has been delayed. We'll let you know when we have a new date, which is tentatively expected to be in October.
by now scheduled
Saturday Sep 12th, 2009 3:06 PM
The next AETA4 court appearance is now scheduled for November 2.