SHAC 7 Defendants Sentenced This Week

 
SHAC7/a> [permalink] Trenton, NJ—The SHAC 7, who were convicted in March of 2006 under the contentious Federal Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 of engaging in conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism, labeled “domestic terrorists”, and “allegedly operat[ed] a website that reported on protests against the investors, stockholders, and customers” of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), were in court on September 12th and 13th for sentencing.

The Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty or SHAC campaign is an international effort to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences, Europe's largest contract research organization (CRO), which has gained international notoriety for its animal cruelty and bad science. HLS tests products by forcing animals to inhale or ingest excessive amounts of chemicals, sweeteners, designer drugs, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The CRO, with labs in New Jeresy and London, kills approximately 500 animals every day including rodents, cats, dogs, primates, and rabbits.

Part of the SHAC campaign involves a divestment strategy to eliminate support for HLS, which has been successful enough to drive the lab 80 million dollars into debt, run its share price into the ground, get it kicked off both the New York and London stock exchanges and convinced hundreds of institutions around the world to sever their relationships with the lab.

Throughout their trial, the defendants maintained their actions constituted free speech and that their 1st Amendment rights had been violated by the US government. Because of the convictions, the State now has legal precedence to go after any activist or organization that is effective in their actions and speech for social justice causes.

The seven defendants—SHAC USA Inc., Kevin Kjonaas, Lauren Gazzola, Jake Conroy, Josh Harper, Andy Stepanian, and Darius Fulmer—4 of which received sentences ranging from 3 to 6 years on the first and second days of sentencing with the last two defendants listed above to be sentenced next week, were greeted to a packed courtroom of some150 activists from around the country with another 50 or so waiting outside at the Trenton Federal Courthouse.

All seven defendants were ordered to pay joint restitution to the “victim,” HLS, in the amount of $1,000,001.00, among other stipulations such as self-surrendering to the appropriate authorities within 30 days.

Read the full article here.

Things you can do:
Attend the sentencing next Tuesday in Trenton, NJ.
When: September 19th, 9 a.m.
Where: Trenton Federal Courthouse, 400 East State St., Trenton, New Jersey
Judge Anne Thompson's courtroom (4th floor)
Transportation: There is free parking a few blocks away and a paid lot one block away. The courthouse is transit accessible. Take New Jersey Transit, Septa, or Amtrak trains to the Trenton station. Courthouse is 2 blocks away.

Also check out the SHAC 7 support site for further information and mailing addresses while incarcerated.

homepage:: http://rochester.indymedia.org/

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