SHAC ATTACK 2002!!
Stephens, Inc. Divests!! or do they? Warren welcomes us back to Little Rock!
SHAC IS BACK: LITTLEROCK 2002
?ACTIVISTS CLAIM VICTORY AS LAB'S LARGEST INVESTOR ANNOUNCES DIVESTMENT; Request Identity of New Financier as Proof?
In a press release published January 8th, Stephens, Inc. announced that it had divested its interest in Huntingdon Life Sciences, the notorious contract testing laboratories (household products and cosmetics, not medical as they so often state). This announcement came 6 days before SHAC(stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty), an animal advocacy organization, was to pay another visit to Little Rock, and let Warren Stephens, CEO, exactly how they and the rest of the Animal Advocacy world feel about him funding the torture death of 500 animals each day. From the october29.org website: ?Warren thought it was over, but he couldn't have been more wrong. Throughout the months of December and January Stephens Inc and their partner, Bank of America, will be visited all over the country by activists. We will end the tour in Little Rock on January 13th and 14th., followed by a national day of action against Stephens Inc. Warren needs to understand- there's no where to run, no where to hide. For more information on the tour, visit www.SHACUSA.net
In a press release from SHAC, spokesperson Pat Monroe stated ?SHAC has run a relentless campaign against Stephens Inc. since the company extended a $33 million loan to HLS in January 2001, saving the lab from bankruptcy after all its major investors, including Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Charles Schwab, quit when they became targets of the same campaign.?
In Stephens?s statement to the press, their spokesperson was adamant about the corporation not being swayed by any pressure that had been put on them from SHAC and various other animal advocacy groups internationally. According to other sources, however, the pressure was an experience of such magnitude as to finally cause Stephens to either truly divest their interest, or run for cover under yet another legal maneuver (i.e. front company, etc.)
"We are certainly pleased with Stephens's announcement," states SHAC spokesperson Pat Monroe. "But we are speculative as to whether the company has actually quit or if it has merely hidden its role from the public eye. We've asked Stephens to prove it has no connection, directly or indirectly, to HLS and reveal the identity of the lab's new backer. Until then, pressure will continue to increase against Stephens
The timing of this announcement is certainly suspect. Purportedly, the City of Little Rock shelled out over a quarter million dollars for the care and protection of its local mogul, Warren Stephens, and his sketchy investment in HLS. Evidently, Stephens needed protection from such notables in the advocacy field as Dr. Rich McClellan, and Chris deRose, founder of Last Chance for Animals, as well as members of the press who were consistently under surveillance. The last SHAC attack was a powerful statement made by animal advocates, but hardly enough to warrant firepower, two riot police to one advocate ratio and abuse of city funds.
The Entire SHAC organization, as well as individual members, has been targeted by Stephens, Inc. legally, naming them in a RICO lawsuit. This legal procedure was originally set up to protect small business from organized crime. There is much controversy regarding RICO suits in any arena due to the lack of real specific current application. The following information was taken from the Legal Information Institute website (link below).
The reference is to the federal RICO laws, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68.
?RICO is concerned less with prison time than with a government "bust out" of the criminal enterprise financial world.
The problem with traditional crime and punishment in the context of criminal enterprises is that the enterprise tends to outlast any one participant, or group of participants. Thus, the main focus of RICO is the monetary penalties and the forfeiture of any and all property or proceeds connected to the criminal enterprise, which is itself only two or more "racketeering acts."
Its goal is to eliminate organized crime by concentrating on illegal monies made from crime through the use of new criminal and civil forfeitures, rather than by the old means of attempting to dismantle the mob by imprisoning gang bosses.
RICO specifically makes unlawful as activities by any person, persons or organization:
1. Using income derived from a pattern of racketeering activity to acquire an interest in an enterprise;
2. Acquiring or maintaining an interest in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity;
3. Conducting the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity; and
4. Conspiring to commit any of those offenses. (18 U.S.C. Section 1962 a-d 1982).?
Ponder that. A small (thoroughly broke, I might add) grass roots organization being sued in biblical proportions by a behemoth (multimillion dollar) corporation under a statute originally set up for exactly their protection. It is a curious twist in legal process, yes? This is where you express your outrage. Here and now.
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