Anti-HLS - RED ALERT!
Only two days from today SHAC's attorney will go before Judge Mahon in New Jersey requesting that he lift the 50 person minimum injunction placed on protests at HLS for December 1st. Get your letters into the below newspapers and put some media pressure on the judge!
Press Release follows:
The Home News Tribune
35 Kennedy Blvd
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
T: 732 246 5500
F: 732 565 7208
News Tips: wwww.thnt.com/services/newstips.html
The Star Ledger
'Letters to the Editor"
1 Star-Ledger Plaza
Newark, NJ 07102-1200
Somerset Country News Bureau
T: 908 429 9925
F: 908 685 1037
For Immediate Release September 25, 2002 Attention: News Desk
Contact: SHAC/732.545.7560 or William Strazza, Esq./ 908.688.8005
Activists Demand Judge Uphold First Amendment (Somerset County, NJ) New Jersey activists are calling upon the Honorable Judge Roger Mahon to remain impartial and uphold the First Amendment in a ruling scheduled for Friday, September 27th, 2002, in the Somerset County Superior Court.
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) has protested for two years against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), one of the world's largest and most notorious product-testing laboratories. In response HLS has sought, and received, a court order placing restrictions on protests at its facility in East Millstone, NJ. Among other limitations, the court order allows only fifty people to demonstrate at a time, ostensibly because of traffic safety concerns. The only person to testify on behalf of HLS at the hearing was a traffic safety officer.
SHAC's lawyer, William Strazza, Esq., has submitted a request to Judge Mahon that the order be lifted for three hours on Sunday, December 1 to allow SHAC to hold a protest for HLS's fiftieth birthday that is expected to draw hundreds of people from around the country. SHAC plans to address traffic safety issues by arranging for the non-residential road to be closed off for the duration of the protest three hours on a Sunday. HLS has filed a counterclaim in an effort to prevent Mahon from ruling in SHAC's favor.
"A Judge is obligated to uphold our Constitutional liberties," states SHAC representative Aaron Smith. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech not 'freedom of speech in groups of fifty or less.'" Smith continues, "HLS's attempt to sway Mahon flies in the face of the lab's claims of respect for the rights of protesters, and renders its claim of traffic safety concerns even more transparent. Instead, it demonstrates that HLS has no more regard for human rights or civil liberties than it does for the right of animals."
The December 1 protests are part of a three-day weekend of action beginning Saturday, November 30th. Protests will occur at HLS's facilities in both New Jersey and England. Thousands are expected to participate worldwide in protest of the approximate ninety billion animals HLS has killed since 1952.
Animal rights activists committed to closing HLS after five undercover investigations revealed workers punching beagle puppies in the face, dissecting a live monkey, and falsifying scientific documents and procedures for animal welfare. Since its inception in England in 1999, the campaign has gone global with activity in fifteen different countries and every major city across the U.S. HLS has gone from a $100 million company to one worth only 10 million. It has been kicked off the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and has been forced through two refinancings. The lab currently holds $87 million debt, scheduled to be repaid in 2006.
========================= Sample Letter to Editor: =========================
Below is a sample Letter To The Editor. However, we *strongly* advise that you write one of your own as the paper may be less motivated to print a form letter they've received hundreds of times. Be sure to keep the number of words in check for the paper's requirements (500 for the Star Ledger; "brief" for the Home News Tribune). Also, the request the inclusion of your full name, address, and daytime phone number. Lastly, it is suggested that you email or fax the letters, as the judge will be ruling on Friday, and snail mail is unlikely to deliver in time.
To The Editor,
For over two years Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) has protested against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) in East Millstone, NJ. HLS has sought, and received, a court order limiting SHAC's protest activity at its facility, including limiting the number of protesters allowed to fifty.
SHAC is planning a protest for HLS's fiftieth birthday on Sunday, December 1st. SHAC's lawyer has submitted a request to Judge Mahon, of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Somerset County, that the injunction be lifted to allow the expected approximately 500 protesters in front of HLS.
In response HLS has filed a counterclaim, stating that it is exceedingly difficult for the police to control a crowd of 500, and also, that the lab has up to forty employees working on Sundays and that they will be disturbed by the protesters.
Since when are protesters required to limit their activities because the police cannot 'control' them? (Not to mention that officers have effectively 'controlled' much larger groups of protesters in the past.) Similarly, what does HLS think about freedom of speech when it urges the very courts that are supposed to protect it to stifle it because its employees will be *disturbed*!
The First Amendment guarantees us the right to protest, not the right to protest in groups of 50 or less, and not the right to protest as long as no one is annoyed by it. The injunction itself is blatantly Unconstitutional; if Judge Mahon does not lift it according to SHAC's request, he will further resign freedom of speech to the dustbin, and demonstrate that, rather than being an impartial guarantor of our Constitutional Rights, HLS and its corporate clout have Mohon in their pockets.
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