This didn’t get much attention late last week, but it’s a noteworthy verdict in the fight against violent left-wing extremism. Via AP:
Six animal-rights supporters face up to seven years in prison after being convicted of using a Web site to incite threats, harassment and vandalism against a company that tests drugs and household products on animals.
A jury returned its verdict against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and six of its members on Thursday after three days of deliberations.
Federal Judge Anne E. Thompson ordered five of them held without bail until a sentencing hearing on June 7. The defendants, all in their late 20s or early 30s, face three to seven years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
The government charged that SHAC waged a five-year campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences, posting on its Web site information about the lab’s employees and those who do business with Huntingdon. The information included their home phone numbers, addresses and where their children attended school.
Many of those people saw their homes vandalized, and they and their families received threatening e-mails, faxes and phone calls.
SHAC, based in Philadelphia, maintained its actions were protected under the First Amendment…
…Many of the targets of the harassment testified that they started looking over their shoulders when walking or driving, changed their phone numbers or even moved. Some kept their children from playing outdoors, and several bought guns.
Sally Dillenback broke into tears as she recounted an anonymous e-mail that threatened to cut open her son and fill him with poison “the way Huntingdon does with the animals.”
Marian Harlos testified she got late-night calls in which someone asked: “Are you scared? Do you think the puppies should be scared?”
She said masked protesters parked down the street from her house, videotaping her comings and goings. They barged into her office, screaming and tossing leaflets, and others ruined the rear door with glue and animal stickers, she said.
Another animal rights extremist outfit is going after New York:
ANIMAL rights activists targeting Oxford University are taking their campaign to America, where extremists were last week convicted of inciting terrorism.
Protesters will single out clubs and restaurants hosting reunion events arranged by the Oxford Alumni Association of New York. It is the first time that Speak, a group opposed to the construction of a £20 million research facility at the university, has taken its protest abroad…
…Last week the American branch of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), which aims to close down Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) in Cambridgeshire, was convicted, along with six of its members, of inciting violence and harassment against the staff and families of HLS and their clients. Now Speak is mobilising support in the US. On its website, it encourages activists to contact venues in New York to persuade them to cancel bookings for alumni dinners next month. It says: “Let’s not forget: the reason these events take place is in order to raise money for the university. Some of this money will then undoubtedly find its way to those who are torturing and abusing animals.”
A Speak spokesman said: “We’re pretty confident our friends in New York will come to our assistance. There will be a number of people at various venues, educating them about exactly what goes on in vivisection laboratories.”
Work on the Oxford laboratory was suspended for 16 months after the previous contractors pulled out after threats from extremists. It resumed in December last year, amid high security. Speak has since adopted new tactics, including targeting groups with only tenuous connections to the university.
Shac is still operating in America. A posting on its British website boasts about the harassment of Bank of America executives at their homes in New York. Of one, it said: “His doormen were so happy . . . they called the police and cowered inside trying to protect the door from protesters. Chants rang out letting everyone know how his company funds people who use puppies as punching bags and mail their removed bloody hearts to their girlfriends for Valentine ’s Day.”
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise: ELF chronology