The SHAC 7 were convicted on “animal enterprise terrorism” charges for campaigning to shut down a notorious animal testing lab, Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Huntingdon Life Sciences has labs in New Jersey and England, and five undercover investigations have shown workers punching beagle puppies in the face, dissecting live monkeys and falsifying scientific data. Activists with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, an international organization, set out to close the lab using tactics similar to the anti-apartheid movement: they pressured business associated with the lab to sever ties, in what the government has called “tertiary targeting.”

The “terrorist” campaign of the SHAC 7 didn’t involve anthrax, pipe bombs, or a plot to hijack an airplane. They ran a website. On that website, they posted news about the campaign — legal actions like protests and illegal actions like stealing animals from labs — and unabashedly supported all of it. Since the federal government has largely been unable catch groups like the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front, prosecutors went after lawful activists in the spotlight. (For a detailed look at the case: “The World Takes? How corporations and politicians turned animal rights activists into terrorists.”)

The SHAC 7 is a landmark First Amendment case that will test how far the government can push “terrorism” rhetoric in order to pursue a political agenda and silence speech.. The case was heard before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and it is now pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The activists were convicted under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The law has since been expanded into the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

Here are some recent articles about the SHAC 7:

Connecting the RNC 8 “Terrorism” Case to the Green Scare

When I was in Minneapolis, I sat down with a few local Indymedia journalists and Friends of the RNC 8 to talk about the connections between the RNC 8 case (above-ground community organizers facing terrorism charges for organizing mass protests against the Republican National Convention) and the broader Green Scare. “The government has been starting […]

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Government Says Protesting Republicans is Terrorism, but Bombing the Oklahoma City Building Isn’t (Audio)

I interviewed with Lydia Howell at KFAI 90.3 FM in the Twin Cities about the RNC 8, the Green Scare, and who is–and isn’t–being labeled “terrorists.” I’m heading out to Minneapolis tomorrow for a few speaking events, one at the law school on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and one on the Green Scare more […]

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Herbivore Magazine Article on the SHAC 7: “The World Takes? How corporations and politicians turned animal rights activists into terrorists”

[This was published by Herbivore Magazine in one of their mini-books a while back. I realized I hadn’t posted it here, and it’s not available anywhere else online. Hope you enjoy it.] "The World Takes? How corporations and politicians turned animal rights activists into terrorists," Herbivore, Volume 13, 26-48. By WILL POTTER On some days […]

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Recap of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty “Terrorism” Appeal in Philadelphia

When the animal rights group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) posted news of both legal and illegal conduct on its website, and publicly supported a variety of tactics in the movement to shut down the notorious animal testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences, they were acting as “generals” in a campaign of “terrorism,” the U.S. government […]

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Internal Industry Documents Show Plans for Labeling Activists as “Eco-Terrorists” (Part 1)

It has been two years since the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new law that wraps up non-violent civil disobedience and hurting corporate profits as “terrorism.” The law marked a radical expansion of the “War on Terrorism,” and the most ambitious campaign yet by industry groups, corporations, and the politicians that […]

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Full-page New York Times Ad Calls Humane Society “Terrorists”

A full-page ad in today’s The New York Times accuses the Humane Society of “helping an animal rights terrorism group.” The ad was bought by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a front group that represents the fast food, meat and dairy industries. You might remember CCF from when they attacked Mothers Against Drunk Driving […]

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U.S. State Department Warns Corporations: “Never confront the protesters…most of them know what their rights are”

A PowerPoint presentation, leaked from a division of the State Department, reveals that the government is briefing corporations about animal rights activists and offering “countermeasures” to protect corporate profits. For years, the government has relentlessly pushed to label animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists” and domestic terrorists. The FBI even labels these groups the […]

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Statement from Josh Harper of the SHAC 7

Josh Harper wrote this letter to the attendees of the Let Live conference in Portland, OR. Harper is one of the SHAC 7, and is currently in prison on “animal enterprise terrorism” charges. I read this at the opening session of the conference. Dear friends, Let me just start by expressing how happy I am […]

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SHAC Terrorism Case… As a Comedy?

So the SHAC 7 are in prison, as “terrorists,” for running a controversial animal rights website. Defense attorneys are appealing, and it could be a landmark First Amendment case. But apparently civil liberties are SO not entertaining… instead, according to the Hollywood Reporter, it’s fodder for a comedy: Lionsgate has acquired worldwide rights to “Stop […]

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It’s Not Over: An Update to the “Green Scare”

It’s Not Over: An Update to the “Green Scare” April 29, 2008 By Will Potter As the trial of Briana Waters wound down in March, as jurors deliberated her innocence or guilt, and as the press largely ignored her “eco-terrorism” case in lieu of Obama-Clinton-Anybody-But-Bush mania, it seemed, just for a moment, like one chapter […]

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