Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

Project Censored honors Will Potter's investigative journalism covering the AETA.

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) sweepingly targets a wide range of political activity as “terrorism” if done in the name of animal rights. The greatest danger of this legislation, though, is the chilling effect it has had on law-abiding activists. Corporations and the politicians who represent them are using that word, “terrorism,” to make everyday people speak up for what they believe.

The AETA was passed in 2006, with just six members of Congress in the room, just hours after lawmakers and celebrities were on hand to break ground for the new memorial honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The law is so vague and broad that the non-violent tactics of MLK could be prosecuted as “terrorism.”

The bill expanded the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, the law used to convict the SHAC 7 of “animal enterprise terrorism” just months earlier.

How the AETA Works:

History of the AETA:

How the AETA Passed Congress:

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Arrests

Here are some recent articles about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act:

Minnesota Bill Targets Anyone Who Exposes an “Image or Sound” of Animal Suffering at Factory Farms, Puppy Mills

New legislation proposed in Minnesota attempts to crack down on activists who have exposed repeated animal welfare violations. Among its provisions, the bill targets anyone who documents an “image or sound” of animal suffering in a sweeping list of “animal facilities,” including factory farms, animal experimentation labs, and puppy mills. But House File No. 1369 […]

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Coming this April from City Lights Books…

This project has consumed so much of my life, for so long, that writing this “official announcement” is ridiculously hard. So I’ll leave it at this: Next month, City Lights Books will release Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege… Special thanks to Casey, Denis, Hal, and Matthew […]

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Supreme Court Will Not Hear SHAC 7 Case

The Supreme Court announced today that it will not review the case of the SHAC 7, a landmark First Amendment case in which a group of animal rights activists were convicted as “terrorists” for running a controversial website. The campaign of the SHAC 7 didn’t involve anthrax, pipe bombs, or a plot to hijack an […]

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International Documentary Challenges “Eco-terrorist” Label (Video)

Arte TV recently aired a fantastic new film that examines the persecution of environmental activists as “eco-terrorists.”

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“Free Speech As Terrorism” Event at Georgetown Law School

I’ll be speaking at Georgetown Law School on Thursday, November 4 at 6pm. Other speakers include Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and Odette Wilkins of the Equal Justice Alliance. I’ll be talking about how the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is part of a broader, coordinated campaign to chill free speech in the name of national security and fighting “terrorism.”

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“Don’t ask, ‘How can I not be labeled a terrorist?’ Ask, ‘How can I be a threat?’”

Video of Will Potter’s plenary session lecture at the 2010 national animal rights conference in Washington, DC. It focuses on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, secretive political prisons called Communications Management Units, and how we must respond.

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BREAKING: AETA 4 Case Dismissed, But Re-Indictment Possible

A U.S. District Court has thrown out the indictment of four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, because the government did not clearly explain what, exactly, the protesters did.

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Attorney Matthew Strugar Explains the AETA 4 Case (Video)

Here’s a great, short video explaining the case of the AETA 4, who are activists charged under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for protesting, chanting, and distributing fliers.

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FBI Harasses Sociology Professor Who Has Spoken Against Labeling His Student a “Terrorist”

David Pellow, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, has been outspoken against the government’s attempts to label his student, Scott DeMuth, a terrorist. Recently the FBI came knocking at his door.

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Bill to Revoke “Terrorists’” Citizenship is Like Those From Darker Periods of U.S. History

Americans accused of being involved with terrorist organizations, even if they have never been convicted of a crime, could have their citizenship revoked and could be deported under the Terrorist Expatriation Act.

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