Animal Protection > ALF Foes

Remember Our Rights
By Ingrid Newkirk

If you are active in the peace, animal rights or environmental movements, you’ve probably seen the heavy hand of government descend to stifle protest, an all-American activity if ever there was one. If you are not involved in any "political" actions (e.g., efforts to get KFC to stop scalding chickens alive in the defeathering vats or to stop old growth logging or to end the war in Iraq), you may not realize how quickly and how deeply our liberties are being eroded in this country. The disappearance of our rights and the advent of strong-arm tactics are occurring as surely as the polar ice shelf is melting into the sea. America is fast becoming the new Old Russia.
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Key PETA staffers are met at the plane on our return from every trip abroad and taken into a back room so that everything can be searched while we miss our flight connections. Eighty percent of our staff taking a group trip to Los Angeles to help with our gala in September were searched along with their luggage. One ATF agent said, "I’ve never seen anything like this before" as the lines backed up because, apparently, when a lot of us leave our home town at once, this raises a red flag at Homeland Security, the department that stole the money to fix New Orleans’ flood barriers. Our interns have been stopped on the highway and fingerprinted, much to their confusion. And local police have photographed our headquarters from all angles "to send the photographs to Washington." They have also followed us to peaceful demonstrations and taken video footage of our volunteers holding up placards.

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