The February 2007 edition of Jane magazine includes a "true tale" piece by SHAC animal rights activist Lauren Gazzola, headed "I'm in prison for being a terrorist -- and I literally wouldn't hurt a fly." (p 62)
Lauren writes about the day the FBI arrived at her house and cuffed and arrested her and two roommates. She explains that she was arrested under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (actually at the time it was the Animal Enterprise Protection Act but it has since been upgraded) "which punishes people who 'physically disrupt' places like fur farms and animal-testing labs." She explains, "But we weren't accused of doing anything violent... the charges... stemmed from our allegedly running a Web site that reported protest activity against one of the world's largest animal testing labs , Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)."
As background to the campaign Lauren writes, "In 1997, an undercover documentarian got a job at HLS and recorded the staff punching puppies in the face and dissecting a conscious monkey."
About the SHAC campaign tactics she writes, "There is no denying that some of the things people did in the name of the campaign were illegal. What's crazy, though, is that when I stood in the courtroom pleading not guilty, neither I nor any of my friends had been charged with participating in window smashing, tire slashing or paint throwing. We were on trial for writing about it."
She writes, "By the time you read this, I will have served two of the 52 months I am sentenced to in federal prison."
Her final line is, "They can jail the activist but they cannot jail the activism."
Pick up Jane magazine to read the whole piece. It is important that Jane gets plenty of positive feedback for running a piece by an animal rights activist, and Lauren's piece provides a great opportunity to include a line about animal testing. Jane takes letters at
The letters they print tend to be short -- just a few lines.
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor.
I send thanks to Teresa D'amico for making sure we saw this piece.