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:

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Threatens Activism

Jurist, the legal news service, discusses why the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is unconstitutional. Guest commentary by Will Potter.

Read the full article →

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011: A Look at Occupy Wall Street, and the Corporate Backlash Against Protest

In 2011, we saw two clear, sweeping trends regarding protest movements, and the corporate backlash against them. Before we get to that, though, take a look at the 10 most popular stories of 2011: 10) Tim DeChristopher Sentenced — What’s Next for the Environmental Movement? 9) New Lawsuit Challenges the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act as Unconstitutional 8) Supreme Court […]

Read the full article →

New Lawsuit Challenges the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act as Unconstitutional

A new lawsuit challenges the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act as unconstitutional because it has given activists reason to fear that they could be prosecuted as “terrorists” for non-violent civil disobedience, protests, and First Amendment activity. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of 5 longtime animal rights activists. The activists […]

Read the full article →

Exposing the Corporate Campaign to Create “Eco-terrorism” (Video)

While I was on book tour, I stopped by the studio of KEXP in Seattle for “Mind Over Matters.” KEXP created a video of the interview, which focused on the specific tactics that corporations and industry groups have used to create the idea of “eco-terrorism. Thanks to Mike and the folks at KEXP for having […]

Read the full article →

The Birth of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, and the Arrest of the SHAC 7

The latest issue of Bite Back magazine includes an excerpt from my new book. The excerpt takes place on the day of the SHAC 7 arrests, and also looks at the campaigns against Consort Beagle Breeders, Shamrock Farms, and the rise of Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty. You can download the excerpt here (1M, .pdf). But […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Government Lists Environmentalist Prisoners Alongside Neo-Nazis and Anti-Abortion Murderers

The Counter-Terrorism Unit tracks environmental and animal rights prisoners as “domestic terrorists,” alongside dangerous criminals.

Read the full article →

If Sarah Palin Were an Animal Rights Activist, She’d Have Already Been Convicted of “Terrorism”

If animal rights activists are terrorists for running a website listing “targets,” then Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin must be labeled terrorists as well.

Read the full article →

“Jihad, Crips, extreme animal-rights activists, it’s all the same,” Says Homeland Security Official

An appellate court has refused to revisit the SHAC 7 case, and the lead prosecutor has compared animal rights activists to the Crips and Islamic “jihad.”

Read the full article →

When are Militias and Tea Party Members “Terrorists”?

Tea Party groups and right-wing militias have been plotting attacks on Muslims, throwing bricks through lawmakers’ windows, and issuing death threats, yet the mainstream press and the federal government have not labeled these acts “terrorism.” By contrast, the “number one domestic terrorism threat,” according to the FBI, is the animal rights and environmental movements. Here […]

Read the full article →