The AETA criminalizes ‘First Amendment protected speech and advocacy, including protests, boycotts, picketing, and whistleblowing. Yet, while the law is aimed at stifling animal rights activism, its language is so broad and vague it could be used to prosecute labor activists who organize a successful boycott of Wal-Mart or union members who picket a university cafeteria, because both sell animal products.
By: Susan Bird
November 13, 2017
Follow Susan at @ItsSusanBird
It’s perfectly fine to convict non-violent animal activists under a law intended for “terrorists,” — at least, according to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the convictions of two men who freed minks from a fur farm.
Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson set out one night in August 2013 to do something many of us would view as a good deed — or at least a kind one. They wanted to free thousands of minks held captive on a fur farm in Morris, Illinois. And they actually succeeded.
They released approximately 2,000 minks from their cages, destroyed the minks’ breeding cards — required for sale to furriers — poured caustic substances over two farm vehicles and spray-painted “Liberation is Love” on the wall of a barn. All told, they caused between $120,000 and $200,000 worth of…
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