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News ::
Suppression of First Amendment Rights! (english)
21 Nov 2002
Modified: 01 Dec 2002
12 animal rights activsts were indicted in Boston for speaking out against the slaughter of innocent animals inside of HLS during peaceul protests.
Boston Attorney General Seeks to Make Freedom of Speech a Crime
Activists and civil rights advocates nationwide are crying "fascism” at Boston Attorney General Tom Reilly and Assistant Attorney General Philip J. McGovern for procuring 43 indictments against 12 animal rights activists.

The indictments allege that threats and acts of attempted extortion were made during public protests against the insurance company Marsh Inc. in Boston. However, in over 7 months of protests, at which police and private security guards were present, no arrests have been made at any demonstration to date.

Now, more than 2 1/2 months since the last set of Marsh protests, the Attorney General is claiming crimes were committed at those same protests that continued for 7 months without incident.

"If these alleged 'crimes" were so felonious, in fact if the Attorney General has any case at all, why were there zero arrests, zero citations, and zero police confrontations when the police were standing 5 feet away from the protesters?" asks activist Steve Schure. "Clearly the police didn't feel the protesters actions were illegal, private security didn't feel they were illegal - in fact the grand jury didn't even feel the protesters were doing anything illegal for 2 1/2 months." [The prosecution reportedly requested more time to conduct its investigation, as numerous earlier grand jury hearings did not produce the desired result.]

The indictments do not even alleged any physical action - civil disobedience, vandalism, etc. - other than participation in public, vocal demonstrations, an action supposedly protected by the First Amendment of a Constitution the Attorney Generals are pledged to uphold and protect. Additionally, some of the indicted activists are believed never to have attended a protest against Marsh anywhere in the country; some of them are believed never to have attended a protest in Boston regarding any issue.

Rather, the indictments seem to underscore a pattern of repression and harassment activists have experienced in the Boston area. Marsh, in Boston and other cities, has also sued many of the indicted individuals, among them those rumored to have never protested in Boston or against Marsh. Some have been called for depositions in as many as 5 cities and grilled for up to 7 hours with extremely invasive questions, including family details and their whereabouts. Marsh has demanded activists produce an outrageous list of discovery materials, including 'any computer you've used in the past year.'

Some of the indicted activists have even had their apartment searched and trashed by "authorities" under the USA PATRIOT Act. Computers, TV's, documents and other items were confiscated. No receipt was left.

Schure goes on, "These indictments are clearly attempts by a frustrated corporate and political elite to scare activists into silence. Luckily, we are driven by injustice and will only fight harder as we come up against more of it. These charges are bogus, as will be shown in court. And the defendants will fight back with every offensive and defensive legal means possible, despite the Attorney General's championing the fight obliterating American civil liberties. In the end, the indicted individuals will be shown to uphold the law and civil rights - by exercising them - ten times over the Attorney General."

Marsh is the insurance broker for Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a product-testing laboratory with a long history of animal brutality, and unsafe and inaccurate testing. The protests were part of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty campaign, an international effort to close HLS that has decimated the company's value by over 90% since it began in 1999.
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Human Left Activists (english)
21 Nov 2002
Good. The short sighted, closed minded bigots talk too much anyways.....
eat shit (english)
22 Nov 2002
Hey not your puppy, fuck off and die.
Indictment text? (english)
22 Nov 2002
It would be nice if there were some quotes of the text of the indicments, i.e. what's the charge? "threats and acts of extortion" are categories. (A charge of "assault" could stem from me yelling in your face for example.)

Ideally, the full contents of the indictments -- as well as eye-witness testimpony -- are required to take sides on this issue.
The Second Amendment (english)
25 Nov 2002
Preserve the right to arm bears - and visa versa.
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But........... (english)
26 Nov 2002
......But what if animal testing was being used for AIDS research ????????
short and sweet (english)
27 Nov 2002
reguardless of what animal testing is for it is immoral and unreliable. there are alternatives.
animal testing is scientific fraud (english)
01 Dec 2002
A:Billions of dollars have been spent trying to inflict AIDS on animals over the last twenty years, and these efforts have been entirely futile. Though researchers have succeeded in infecting chimpanzees with HIV, none has progressed to AIDS. Given this inability to produce an adequate animal model, it is foolish to assume that animal experimentation will lead us to therapies and cures for this terrible disease. Some in the AIDS community, with lives hanging in the balance, have come to this conclusion and engage in political protests against animal experimentation. Even scientists who have supported the chimpanzee model now vehemently criticize its lack of scientific merit:

The chimpanzee model doesn't get a lot of support in the scientific community.

I just don't see much coming out of the chimp work that has convinced us that that is a particularly useful model... [an animal model] that takes 12 to 14 years to develop doesn't sound to me to be ideal.

Investing AIDS research dollars in lab animal science is wasteful and keeps AIDS patients ill. Anyway, animals are not our only test-beds for development of AIDS therapies and a vaccine. As many as 34 million humans are infected with HIV worldwide. Blood cells from these unfortunate people serve as our most illuminating research material.

In vitro research on human blood cells, not animal experimentation, revealed the following idiosyncrasies. HIV's efficiency in humans relies on very specific and minuscule aspects of human white blood cells called helper T-cells. These cells have portals on their surface called receptors. These receptors work in tandem with precise proteins to invite HIV into the white blood cell where the virus then reproduces. Receptors can be very species-specific and sometimes vary even within species, which explains why chimpanzees and even some people whose helper T-cells are exposed to HIV never progress to AIDS.

HIV-infected humans who do not progress to AIDS offer very good insights into possible ways of countermanding the disease. Their identity is epidemiologically derived, and in vitro research has isolated the human gene believed responsible for their immunity. The sequencing of the HIV genome was also accomplished via in vitro research. The animal experimentation community claims that AZT and other anti-AIDS medications were developed as a result of animal experiments. However, a look at the history of these drugs' development proves the contrary. All this human data has reliably informed the development of HIV medications and the effort to produce a vaccine.

AIDS kills at the cellular level in humans, and that is where it needs to be studied. According to one scientist, we will only know which animal model is useful after "we understand the pathogenesis of AIDS, and when we have the vaccines and therapies to prevent it." Why would we need the animal model if we already have the cure?
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