Tuesday, November 14, 2006

House Passes Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (HR 4239): Now Heads For Bush: Bill Aimed and Destroying Free Speech Right Likely To Become Law

This is a sad day for not only activists, but for all Americans. They don’t believe it now, but even far right wingers should be afraid. This was a direct move to further take away free speech rights. In time this will be shown. Funny how that now the right has become the party of the growth of government and the destruction of rights.

This article gives a good summation of the bill.

Article:

House OKs Bill Aimed at Animal Activists

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2006/11/13/AR2006111300999.html

The Associated Press
Monday, November 13, 2006; 7:15 PM

WASHINGTON -- Animal rights advocates who threaten scientists conducting animal research or companies funding or affiliated with it could be fined and imprisoned under a bill the House passed Monday and sent to President Bush.

Current federal law makes it illegal for activists to damage animal research organizations, farms, zoos, pet stores and other similar operations.

The legislation extends those prohibitions to interfering with third-party organizations such as insurance companies, law firms and investment houses that do business with so-called animal enterprises. Supporters said the bill is aimed at protecting people and companies from animal rights terrorists.

Violators could be sentenced up to a year in jail for economic damages of less than $10,000, and up to five years in prison if a threat produced a "reasonable fear" of bodily harm. Prison sentences of up to 10 years could result if someone is actually injured.

Although the bill specifically condones peaceful animal rights protests, critics said it comes close to infringing on advocates' constitutional rights.

"I am not for anyone abusing their ... rights by damaging another person's property or person," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. "But I am for protecting the First Amendment and not creating a special class of violations for a specific type of protest."

The bill passed the House on a voice vote. The Senate passed it in September.

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