Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Rebrands Constitutionally Protected Behavior as Terrorism

On Monday, June 22, the Center for Constitutional Rights appealed the dismissal of a federal lawsuit that bears my name, Blum v.Holder and challenges the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). Last March, Judge Joseph L. Tauro dismissed the case because, he said, the plaintiffs “have not alleged any specific, actual harm suffered.” But I have been deeply harmed. The AETA explicitly punishes causing an “animal enterprise” to lose profits, and I have spent years living in fear that the more persuasively I tell the truth about the animal suffering that underpins so much of our daily lives, the more likely I am to get thrown in jail.
The ruling by the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts offers one very narrow interpretation of the statute and a hollow promise that the AETA will not be used to prosecute those engaging in first amendment protected speech - but I am not relieved. If the AETA exists only to prosecute activists who engage in criminal activity, as the court claims, then it needn't exist at all. Ample state and federal laws already exist to prosecute those who damage property or engage in harassing or threatening behavior. What did not exist until the AETA was a way to rebrand effective advocacy on behalf of animals as terrorism. The court's ruling allows the AETA's labeling of nonviolent civil disobedience as a terrorist act and punishes those who trespass on factory farms and illegally liberate animals from horrific conditions orders of magnitude more severely than someone who steals or damages property for reasons other than animal rights.
Who are the actual terrorists here?

Truthout | Op-Ed
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Rebrands Constitutionally Protected Behavior as Terrorism
Sarahjane Blum

Torture is "enhanced interrogation." Kidnapping is "rendition." Aggression against a sovereign nation that has not attacked is "pre-emptive defense." Ignoring habeas corpus is "indefinite detention." Whislte blowing is "espionage." Abrogating human and civil rights is "patriotism." Civil disobedience in protest is "terrorism." Dictatorship and empire are "freedom" and "democracy."

Orwellian.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I should ever, lose sight of you
Please find a way to open my eyes again
Fell into a heavy dream, a long time ago
God only knows, the kind of shape it got me in

And precious are the hands
That gathered all of the pieces
And perfect is the love that made me whole again

You are my Oasis of love
In a world of make believe, phantasy
Oasis of love
Draw me nearer

Desert and the darkness
Is where I did abide
But something else was moving me
To find the other side
When I saw the pure love
That pours from your eyes
The gratitude and the ectasy
Were burning me inside

And precious are the tears
That fall in the name of true love
And priceless is the heart whose door is open

You are my Oasis of love
In a world of make believe, phantasy
Oasis of love
Draw me nearer
Oasis of love
In a world of make believe, phantasy
Oasis of love
Draw me nearer

[Kim O'Leary - Oasis]

Dan Kervick said...

Everything that has grown out of GW Bush's filthy and perverse global war on terror is an abomination. It is a metastasizing cancer that is destroying the country.