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Josh Harper on Domestic Terror arrests of 7 activists.

The FBI made a co-ordinated sweep across the country a few weeks ago to arrest 7 activists involved in a legal campaign against multi-nationals involved with Huntingdon Life Sciences, a CRO who tests, petro-chemicals, GMO's, weapons, and such life saving medications as Viagra on animals. Here is one of the indicted activists take on the arrests.
FBI arrests 7 HLS campaign volunteers.
By Josh Harper

At 6:40 am on Wednesday, May 26th I received a phone call. The FBI had just arrested 3 members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) in Pinole, CA. They entered the house with guns drawn as Federal Air Marshals hovered outside in helicopters. Reports had come in that long-time activist Andy Stepanian had been arrested at his home earlier that morning, and rumors were already spreading that others had been apprehended. I was warned by my friend on the other end of the line that I may be next.

Twenty minutes later there was a knock at my door. Members of the FBI's domestic terrorism squad and the Office of Homeland Security were outside of my apartment. I was told that I was being arrested on an indictment out of New Jersey for Conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. (AETA) All told, the FBI made seven arrests that morning, sweeping activists out of their homes in four states. While some of those indicted, including myself, only face one count in the indictment, others face up to five felony charges.

These arrests did not occur because animal liberation volunteers had gone from legal campaigning to terrorizing the general public. In fact, the indictment alleges very few illegal activities, and those it does are not attributed to any of the arrested activists. Most of what is mentioned in the indictment is legal protesting, people calling companies to complain about animal abuse, e-mails being sent to HLS collaborators, etc. Even a conservative legal analyst from Fox News has expressed that she finds the indictment to be "reaching." So, why were we arrested? Supposedly, the Federal Government feels that by reporting news from the campaign on a website, philosophically supporting direct action, and attending and organizing legal demonstrations we were in actuality conspiring to make other people break the law. Legal activities such as letter writing were also part of an illegal campaign, because the government proclaims that we conspired to have the volume of these letters interfere with interstate commerce. Sounds absurd? It gets worse. One part of the indictment actually makes mention of a "Top 20 Terror Tactics" post on the SHAC website. What the prosecutors failed to mention is that SHAC did not write the document, but re-posted it from a pro-vivisection website who had written it to rally support against SHAC. In other words, people are facing jail times and millions of dollars in fines for placing our oppositions writings on the SHAC webpage.

The political motivation of these indictments should be clear. SHAC and other groups participating in the campaign against HLS have successfully interfered with the profiteering of powerful people for nearly 5 years. These rich and powerful people are now using their connected and influential friends (Including Republican Senator Orin Hatch, who hopes to expand the AETA) in order to retaliate against us, and worse, to send a message to anyone else who would dare stand in the way of speciesism. Let us send them a message in return by fighting these charges, supporting those arrested, and continuing to build an educated, unrelenting, and militant movement against animal slavery.

On Behalf of the SHAC 7, (Darius Fulmer, John McGee, Jake Conroy, Lauren Gazzola, Andy Stepanian, Kevin Jonas, and myself,) let me be the first to say that there will be no surrender! Victory to the animals, and to all of those fighting on their behalf. Please join the campaign against HLS, and consider contributing to the defense of those facing felonies.

homepage: homepage: http://www.nocompromise.org


Interesting 09.Jun.2004 00:52

Interested

When I googled Josh Harper Defense the vast majority of results were anti-animal links. The Nocompromise site news hasn't been updated since 10/03. Is this google filtering or are the antis just better at getting their message out?

re:interested 09.Jun.2004 11:32

www.insidehls.com

The reason that so many links about Josh are on anti-websites is two-fold. Number one, he gives them something to be concerned about. Number two, those on our side of the issue far too often stray from anything controversial.

Up to date news on millitant animal rights can be found at www.arkangelweb.org and www.directaction.info, as well as www.shacamerica.net

Josh Harper is one of my HERO'S !!!!!!! :) 09.Jun.2004 13:48

beaglepup

YYYEEEAAA for Josh!!!!! I am so happy that you will be fighting this crap that the feds are giving you. You are one of my hero's because you never let ANYTHING stop you from fighting animal abuse and expoitation. Thank you SO MUCH for working SO HARD to stop animal abuse. WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

Coming soon... 09.Jun.2004 16:12

SHAC supporter

Coming soon on this very topic is www.shac7.com which will document the case, have updates, and give ways to support these poor kids who were indicted on domestic terror charges.