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animal rights | human & civil rights

February 6th is coming! Support free speech? Then support the SHAC 7!

Wednesday, May 26th of 2004 marked a quiet turning point in the history of free speech in this country. While most people were still comfortably asleep and the first rays of sunlight were streaming over the horizon, Federal Agents were preparing to arrest people for crimes of terror. All across the country members of Joint Terrorism Task Forces crept across lawns and approached front doors with guns drawn. Before long they had captured their quarry: seven animal rights activists.
I'm fighting for the SHAC 7!
I'm fighting for the SHAC 7!
These activists were not accused of making bombs, burning down buildings, killing people, or even lesser crimes such as trespass. In fact, not one of them is accused of a single physical act. Their charges stem from one thing; speech.

The SHAC 7 (Named after the group they are accused of joining, "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty."), as they have become known, are accused of conspiring to incite others to commit illegal actions by allegedly running a website, writing a newsletter, speaking at events, and publicizing protests. Those following this case call those accusations absurd. The SHAC website did show support for non-violent acts of sabotage in the same manner that children's text books show support for the Boston Tea Party or the Underground Railroad. Speeches made by SHAC 7 defendants did mention acts of electronic civil disobedience, like sending black sheets of paper through fax machines, but never encouraged audience members to use those tactics against specific entities, and even if they had, is that terrorism?

Civil libertarians, attorneys, and activists of all stripes see the SHAC 7 case as an assault on the freedom to speak loudly about controversial topics. It's not hard to come to that conclusion when the prosecutor in the case, Charles McKenna, has said in numerous papers that he is hoping to set the limits of the First Amendment post September 11th.

We can not allow our rights to slip away from us silently and without a fight! After a mistrial in June six of the accused (And the incorporated entity Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) must stand trial again starting on February 6th. THEY WILL NOT STAND ALONE!

From all across the country people will gather outside the Federal Courthouse in Trenton New Jersey to support the SHAC 7 and to reject the notion that legal activism and free speech can be equated with terrorism. Please join us! More information will be available shortly on www.shac7.com along with rideshare info, directions to the courthouse, etc. Start making your plans to attend now. Together we can save free speech!

homepage: homepage: http://www.shac7.com


hell yeah. 26.Dec.2005 17:33

supporter

i will be there to support the shac 7. i already booked a ticket and a hotel room and i hope lots of other west coasters will make the trip as well. i don't think this article even begins to cover all the important issues at play here but no matter what kind of activist you are this case has to be won by shac 7. if they lose the people who run and post on indymedia could be jailed if their posts support illegal direct action or civil disobedience! look into it, it's true.

Let Live: a SHAC7 Benefit 27.Dec.2005 18:49

Food Fight! Vegan Grocery letlive@foodfightgrocery.com

Another way of supporting the SHAC7 folks, if you can't make it out to NJ...

 http://www.myspace.com/let_live

January 20th. Let Live, a silent art auction, raffle, bake sale, fundraiser for the living expenses of the defendants in the SHAC7 trial. Get involved. Save your money, buy some art or whatever, and help make their trial time (probably around 3 months) be less of a painful experience. Food, living expenses, rent... you get the idea.

let live flyer
let live flyer

yea food fight! 27.Dec.2005 19:18

--

wet kisses to all you hard-working people!

Support, and a comment re myspace 28.Dec.2005 08:34

indy fan

Yes, let us all support the SHAC 7. Just a side note, those of you who use myspace need to think very carefully about that. (This is in regard to the above post.) Myspace is a corporate, non-secure place to be posting the kind of things people post there. It's very closely watched by the nazis. Not that indy isn't, but the thing is, people are putting up some very personal and possibly dangerous information on myspace, and it seems naive for people otherwise steeped in security culture. Do you really want the SS to know who you are, who all your friends are, what all your political afiliations are, and etc? Myspace is owned by a corporate entity that has shown itself to be all too willing to cooperate with the nazis. Just a thought.

In a time when anyone who is openly supportive of animal rights or protecting the environment has been labeled a "terrorist," people need to be thoughtful about their own security.

more on myspace 28.Dec.2005 15:28

former computer geek

I agree, please consider using riseup.net or posting anonymousely to Indymedia. I'm sure there are other online options for posting content that are anonymous and secure, I'm just not with the times anymore or even a regular Slashdot reader. Maybe more geeky people have ideas.

Wiretapping 29.Dec.2005 17:59

ftp

I am afraid that this may turn out to be like the Lynne Stewart case, in that the main "evidence" will be hours of wiretapped conversations (perhaps even obtained without warrants?) that are meant to persuade the jury (which will consist of people who are unsympathetic to the AR cause) that the SHAC7 are a raving bunch of blood-thirsting lunatics. So although the defense will correctly focus on the unconstitutionality of the case, it won't matter because the prosecutors will have already seeded the important first impression in the jury's minds.

A good article by David Sugar: America's War on Speech and the SHAC 7 Trial

 http://www.dissidentvoice.org/June05/Sugar0606.htm

Yeah, I know. 29.Dec.2005 21:58

Food Fight! Vegan Grocery

Yeah, I know MySpace and stuff like that sucks. But, honestly, it reaches a lot more people. And our benefit for the SHAC7 is intended to get a lot of attention. We're pretty sure the Feds are aware of us, Food Fight, for our obvious support and fundraising for those folks anyway. So, yeah, I understand what you're saying, but, we're not hiding anything about what we stand for. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. xoxo Chad / Food Fight