Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Animal Activism as Terrorism

It's always made me mad that the people that decided to NOT GET BIN LADEN instead of attacking Iraq have branded Animal Activists as somehow one of the greatest threats to humanity. Jennifer at Animalblawg has a thought provoking piece about the erosion of civil liberties against animal activists. Even if you don't agree with some of the tactics, remember that these people want to torture and waterboard people they label as "terrorists". Worst. President. Ever.

Law students gathered to hear Will Potter, an award-winning journalist and creator of, a blog that tracks and analyzes the governmental and corporate responses to animal rights and environmental activism.

At the lunch, Potter discussed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a federal law signed into law in November 2006 that labels many crimes as “terrorism” when they are undertaken with a specific viewpoint—the pro-environment or pro-animal viewpoints. While even the activists that many people would label as “extremists,” such as the Environmental Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, do not act violently against people, these activists have been labeled “terrorists.”

Before the passage of the AETA, the actions of the ELF, the ALF, and others accused of anti-industry crimes, were already illegal and carried strong penalties under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992. However, 2006’s AETA is extraordinary because it pins the “terrorist” label to environmental and animal activists who engage in illegal activities.

The addition of this “terrorist” label is one result of the “Green Scare,” says Potter. The Green Scare, according to Potter, is a three-pronged attempt to instill fear and hatred in the public against the environmental and animal rights positions. Using the courts, legislation, and, most importantly, an extensive public relations campaign, the government and industrial groups are attempting to discredit the environmental and animal rights viewpoints.

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