WASHINGTON - A federal courthouse in Boston and a ranch in
California's San Joaquin Valley present competing faces of the animal
One side is peaceful. The other, decidedly, is not. Both can feel the
weight of the law and the sting of being called a terrorist.
Meeropol, who's with the New York-based Center for Constitutional
is representing Minneapolis resident Sarahjane Blum and four
activists in the lawsuit, filed Dec. 15. It argues that the 2006
Enterprise Terrorism Act violates the First Amendment rights of
want to protest how animals are treated.
Blum, for one, founded GourmetCruelty.com, whose advocacy efforts
helped persuade the California legislature in 2004 to ban traditional
foie gras production. The ban, which blocks the force-feeding of ducks
"for the purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond normal size,"
effect in July.
Farm groups insist that animal-rights groups must
help find the perpetrators.
"If they sit by silently while animal rightists attack law-abiding
businesses, they are passively endorsing domestic terrorism," Paul
Wenger, the president of the California Farm Bureau Federation, said
week in a statement.