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News Index > Sortable Oct-Nov 2006 > November 2006
LA Activists vs. POM Juice Co.


This week, seven activists in Los Angeles had their homes raided in connection with a campaign against the POM Wonderful juice company, makers of POM pomegranate juice and Figi water. POM has funded $10 million in research into the health effects of its juice, including conducting numerous studies on animals which included inducing erectile disfunction and depriving newborn mice of oxygen to the brain.

The raids are yet another transparent attempt by the government to stifle free speech at the request of large corporations (POM is based in Santa Monica, CA, the town whose police carried out the raids) - and another sign of just how scared these animal-abusing companies are of being picketed, protested, and exposed for what they do. POM executives have stated in court filings that they have left their homes for up to a week at a time for fear of being demonstrated against, and the LA Times recently covered the campaign and mentioned POM's cruel torture of animals.

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This is on www.greenisthenewre d.com In yet another odd twist in this Green Scare, POM Wonderful, the juice company, is using the scare tactics of the New McCarthyists to go after one of its core consumer bases: the vegan, natural foods set.

POM filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week, saying that a looming threat posed by illegal activism calls for banning activists from protesting and posting information about the company on their websites.

If you’re totally confused right now, just wait, it gets more bizarre. Here’s some background first: POM has built its juice empire by touting the health benefits of pomegranate juice on its website and in the press. Activists are pissed because they say the company spends millions on animal research to showcase the health benefits of juice, all the while branding itself as a caring, natural foods company.

Animal testing for juice? Activists say POM’s animal tests include lowering the brain oxygen levels in newborn mice to cause them brain injuries and ‘forcing their mothers to drink water mixed with pomegranate concentrate,’" according to Jessica Garrison at The Los Angeles Times.

It looks like POM isn’t the first juice company to come under fire for this. Welch’s and Ocean Spray have both already caved to activist pressure. But POM doesn’t want to follow suit: In their court papers, company officials say they believe the protesters are affiliated with the Animal Liberation Front, which the FBI has said is a domestic terror threat. And the company is fighting back, asking a judge to fine activists $1,000 if they post personal information about POM employees on websites. Company officials also want a judge to order activists not to picket or demonstrate outside the homes of the juice company’s employees. As POM admits, though, no employees have experienced any violence as part of this campaigning. At worst, employees have seen legal protests at their homes, which can you can read more about on L.A. Indymedia.

And even if property destruction or threats had taken place, the activists responsible for those crimes should be prosecuted independently: POM can’t simply try to paint ALL protests of their business practices as illegal. It doesn’t matter if POM "believes" activists are affiliated with the underground Animal Liberation Front, because that’s not grounds for taking away basic First Amendment rights. POM clearly wants to silence activists that expose their business practices, and is willing to go to great lengths– including this "eco-terrorist" scare-mongering– to do it. It shows the danger of all this "eco-terrorist" rhetoric: it sets a precedent for anyone to use green baiting to silence dissent, even a juice company targeting health-conscious vegan consumers. - -----

Support my friend Daniel McGowan! — http://www.supportd aniel.org/

Que se vayan tod@s! — http://autonomista. org/

Get out of town!— http://counterrecru itmentguide. org/

An injury to one is an injury to all! — http://www.iww. org/

December 7th Day of Solidarity with Green Scare Indictees—ORGANIZE AN EVENT IN YOUR TOWN!—
http://greenscare. org/1206call. html

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