Feb 2009

FBI Agent: Video Surveillance Used to Track Activist Leafleting

When I first reported on the arrest of four animal rights activists in California under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, few details were available. The only information was the FBI press release (which mainstream media outlets have regurgitated nearly verbatim as news articles). I now have a copy of the criminal complaint written by FBI special agent Linda Shaffer (who specializes in "eco-terrorism"), and it has some more details of the case.

The activists were arrested, in the very first use of this sweeping law, for activity like "chalking defamatory slogans," creating fliers, protesting while wearing masks, and attending a protest where an alleged attempt at forced entry took place. I was hoping that the criminal complaint would reveal something, anything, to justify such serious "terrorism" charges.

Instead, it reveals how scarce anti-terrorism resources are being squandered on surveilling and investigating First Amendment activity. Here are a few highlights...

continue reading at http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/2009/02/25/fbi-surveillance-activist-leafleting/


[GreenIsTheNewRed.com]

It was only a matter of time. Since the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new law labeling animal rights activists as "terrorists," corporations and industry groups have been pushing the federal government to use their new powers. For more than two years, the law has sat on the shelf. The government has finally put it to use.

On February 19th and 20th, the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested four animal rights activists as "terrorists." Details of the arrests and the charges are still coming, but based on my conversations with attorneys and local news articles, this is the most sweeping expansion of the War on Terrorism and the "Green Scare" to date.

As background, a fierce campaign is being waged in California against animal research at the University of California system. There has been a wide range of both legal and illegal tactics. Illegal tactics have included the destruction of UC vans. In August, an incendiary device was left at the home of a UC researcher; no animal rights group has claimed responsibility for this crime, but the university, the FBI and others have recklessly attributed it to activists.

These "terrorism" arrests are not related to that bombing, though. And they're also not related to the destruction of property. These activists–Nathan Pope, Adriana Stumpo, Joseph Buddenberg, and Maryam Khajavi– were arrested for First Amendment activity.

My calls to the FBI for a copy of the indictment have not been returned, and attorneys I've contacted have not viewed it either. However, the FBI's press release notes that the activists are facing four charges, and lists four incidents. They include:

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full story:

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/2009/02/22/aeta-arrests/


[PlanetSave.com]

The Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested four animal rights activists as "terrorists." Details of the arrests and the charges are still coming, but this is the most sweeping expansion of the War on Terrorism and the "Green Scare" to date.

Three of them were linked to the Riverside Avenue home police raided after the attempted home invasion attack of a UC Santa Cruz researcher a year ago. However, in what authorities consider the most egregious of animal rights-related incidents targeting UC scientists during the past year: two August 2008 firebombings at the homes of UCSC biomedical researchers.

These "terrorism" arrests are not related to that bombing, though. And they're also not related to the destruction of property. These activists–Nathan Pope, Adriana Stumpo, Joseph Buddenberg, and Maryam Khajavi– were arrested for First Amendment activity. Lovely! With the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new law labeling animal rights activists as "terrorists," corporations and industry groups have been pushing the federal government to use their new powers. For more than two years, the law has sat on the shelf. The government has finally put it to use.

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full story:

http://planetsave.com/blog/2009/02/23/fbi-arrests-four-animal-rights-activists-claims-terrorism/