[San Diego CityBEAT]
Danae Kelley still isn't sure why she spent four days in jail last
month. On Aug. 18, the 23-year-old joined a dozen animal-rights
activists in picketing the La Jolla home of billionaire-philanthropist
Ernest Rady. Rady, Kelley said, is on the board of directors of
Wachovia Bank; Wachovia invests in a company called Huntingdon Life
Sciences (HLS), and the group wanted to let Rady--and, by default, his
neighbors--know that Huntingdon, which runs animal-testing labs
throughout the world, does terrible things to its test subjects. The
goal was to get Rady to convince Wachovia to divest itself of
Huntingdon stock. Kelley said she didn't know that Rady and his wife
had been the victims of a home-invasion robbery in February. If she'd
known, she would have called off the protest, she said.
While tactics of some protest groups (mostly in Europe) against
Huntingdon employees and investors can be extreme--slashed tires,
death threats and significant intimidation--Kelley insists that no one
did anything in La Jolla beyond chanting and leafleting, and they were
in front of Rady's house for only 10 to 15 minutes.
"We're all pretty respectful," she said.
Picketing a residence is a misdemeanor under San Diego's municipal
code, said San Diego Police Lt. Brian Ahern. But, Ahern explained,
Rady would have had to file a complaint (he didn't), or the police
would have had to witness the protest (they didn't).
Compared with two years ago, Kelley's August jail stint was brief. In
summer 2005, Kelley and two other activists were jailed for several
weeks after they refused to testify to a grand jury about a talk given
by environmentalist Rod Coronado in Hillcrest on Aug. 1, 2003.
Coronado's talk happened the same day an early-morning arson fire in
University City burned down a condo building that was under
construction. A sign left at the site attributed the fire to the
eco-saboteur movement Earth Liberation Front. Coronado, once an
unofficial ELF spokesperson, was at home in Arizona when the fire
happened and didn't know about it until reporters swarmed him before
Kelley sees her arrest as part of a larger movement by law enforcement
to silence activists. While she was being handcuffed, she heard
Hudgins say, "We're making an example out of her."
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