FBI Admits Utah Grand Jury May Lead to ALF “Sympathy Attacks”

by Will Potter on March 16, 2009

in Activism & Activists' Response,Terrorism Court Cases

Jordan Halliday, photo by Deseret News.

Jordan Halliday, photo by Deseret News.

An animal rights activist in Utah, Jordan Halliday, has been jailed for refusing to testify about his political beliefs and associations before a grand jury. [Here’s some background on the Utah grand jury]. In response, the FBI is going into Orwellian overdrive. Here are two ways the public statements by the FBI and prosecutors about this “animal rights terrorism” case just don’t add up:

  • Feds says Halliday is “making a mockery of the rule of law” as they use a draconian, secret court. Halliday was found in contempt of court for refusing to testify before a grand jury, a secret proceeding where witnesses are not allowed to have attorneys present. His attorney asserted Halliday’s First Amendment right to free association, and suggested that the government has used illegal surveillance tactics. It is the FBI and prosecutors, not Halliday, who are making a mockery of the law.
  • Feds say they’re preventing crime, and admit they’re inspiring crime. Two animal rights activists were arrested as “terrorists” for allegedly raiding fur farms, and the Feds says this grand jury will bring additional criminals to justice. Yet the FBI is already warning of “sympathy attacks” by groups like the Animal Liberation Front. In other words, the FBI acknowledges that going after lawful, above-ground activists, and jailing them for refusing to participate in political witch hunts, will actually inspire more illegal activity. If FBI agents know that targeting above-ground activists leads to underground crimes, yet they continue to do so, it shows that the real target isn’t the ALF: it’s First Amendment activity.

When Halliday’s attorney was asked if jail time will change his decision to not cooperate, he replied: “I understand it’s not going to change anything. He’s adamant about his position.”

Write him:

Jordan Halliday #324013
c/o Salt Lake County Metro Jail
3415 S. 900 W.
Salt Lake City, UT 84119

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