Animal Protection > ALF Foes
Animal-Rights Activists Like Me Aren't Terrorists

[Bell Gardens Sun - opinion]

I was three weeks away from taking the Law School Admissions Test in
2004 when I was arrested and charged with domestic terrorism.

I hadn�t hurt anyone or vandalized any property. In fact, the
indictment didn�t allege that I�d committed any independent crime at
all, only that I�d �conspired� to publish a website that advocated and
reported on protest activity against a notorious animal testing lab in
New Jersey.

In March of 2006, I was convicted of �animal enterprise terrorism,�
sentenced to 52 months in prison, and ordered to pay $1 million in
restitution to the lab for increased security, management time spent
dealing with protests, and legal fees incurred obtaining injunctions
against me and other protesters.

Incidentally, I�d been planning to focus on free speech when I got to
law school.

Needless to say, now that I�ve finished serving my sentence at the
federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, I�m more than a little wary of
continuing my activism, as I fear that my speech may once again be
deemed terrorism.

That�s why, as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the Center for
Constitutional Rights in Massachusetts on December 15, I�ve asked a
federal court to strike down the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
(AETA) as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. This law
punishes anyone who causes the loss of property or profits to a
business or institution that sells animals or animal products, or to
any business �connected to� an animal enterprise.

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