For Shame!: AETA Passes the House

November 14th, 2006 6:23 pm by mad mags

As I mentioned earlier, AETA passed the House yesterday afternoon; out of the House and the Senate, the only Congressperson who voted against it was Dennis Kucinich.

As described by Dr. Alex Hershaft (FARM’s President/Founder and co-founder of the Equal Justice Alliance), the voting process was nefarious, to say the least:

Today (11/13/06), a dozen of us from Equal Justice Alliance, FARM, League of Humane Voters, and Compassion Over Killing spent five hours visiting Congressional offices and urging them to vote against AETA, which had been scheduled over the weekend for a sudden vote at 6:30 pm. We were carrying suporting statements from the National Lawyers Guild, the New York City Bar Association, and the Natural Resources Defense Council cannot ebooks. At each office, we were told that the mail and calls were running overwhelmingly in our favor.

Around 3pm, one of the legislative aides said that the bill was just being debated on the House floor. He gave me a pass, and I rushed to the Capitol across the street. I was astonished to see only about six House members present. House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner spoke in favor of AETA, quoting Jerry Vlasak’s and other’s past extreme statements. Dennis Kucinich joined in abhorring violence, but noted that the bill infringed on civil liberties of people conducting civil disobedience or undercover investigations schriftartenen und installieren. Sensenbrenner invoked lack of opposition from the ACLU. Then the chair called for a voice vote, and Kucinich cast the only no vote. It was all over in 15 minutes.

After the vote, I rode the elevator with Sensenbrenner and chief AETA sponsor Petri. I told them I was there to lobby against their bill. Sensenbrenner replied “don’t blame me; I was just managing the bill for this guy,” pointing to Petri, who smiled sheepishly praxissoftware kostenlos downloaden. The whole thing was absolutely surreal.

We played the game by their rules, we generated an overwhelming outpouring of opposition to the bill on short notice, and they kicked us in the face through underhanded maneuvers. Then they wonder why people lose faith in the system and take the law into their own hands. Today, Congress brought shame on itself by turning animal activists into “terrorists.”

Apparently, it wasn’t enough for our legislators to ignore their non-corporate constituents and wipe their arses with the Constitution, but they couldn’t even do so in an open debate. They fast-tracked the bill and then voted on it hours before scheduled, with only six Reps. present. Wonderful. It certainly takes the joy out of last week’s victories millimeterpapier downloaden.

Though I fully expected the House to vote in favor of AETA – particularly in light of the Senate’s unanimous satisfaction with it – I’m still disappointed with the sheer number of Reps. who kowtowed to Big Business, and did so in an underhanded manner, to boot. Even more so, however, I am shocked and appalled by the ACLU.

Yesterday, I reported that the ACLU was one of the 160+ organizations that opposed AETA. However, I was (sorely) mistaken. I based my comment on an ACLU letter dated 3/6/06 and addressed to Congress, “ACLU Letter to Congress Urging Opposition to the Animal Enterprise Act, S facebook downloaden kostenlos deutsch. 1926 and H.R. 4239,” in which the ACLU explicitly voice their opposition to AETA. Yet, they rescinded their opposition after some minor changes were made – changes which fail to protect the First Amendment rights of animal advocates working within the confines of the law.

I have long been a supporter of the ACLU, and this stunning lack of spine from America’s largest champion of First Amendment rights is a bitter pill indeed. Of all the outrages surrounding AETA, this is perhaps the hardest for me to swallow. The lack of ethics, morals, and fairness (not to mention respect for the Constitution) among our politicians is nothing new spotify musik über mobile daten herunterladen. But the ACLU? For Chrissakes, I expect better from them.

It’s especially egregious that an organization which defends Fred Phelps’ First Amendment right to picket the funerals of American heroes – defaming our fallen soldiers and taunting their families with such delightful ditties as

First to fight
For the fags
Now they’re coming home in bags
And the army goes marching to hell.

Proud of all of your sin
No more battles you will win
And the army goes marching to hell.

Now it’s IEDs
The army’s on its knees
Count off the body parts all gone — Two! Three! — and where e’er they go
The dying soldiers show
The army keeps marching to hell.

with such glee – declines to defend peaceful, well-intentioned animal rights/welfare activists herunterladen.

Well, shame on the ACLU! The current graphics on their main page boast, “Demanding Truth and Accountability” and “Stop the Abuse of Power: Demand Answers, Restore Justice, End Abuses; It’s time to restore lost liberties.” So, here’s an idea: contact the ACLU and demand to know why they wouldn’t stand up for the civil liberties of animal rights advocates. Obviously, AETA was of little consequence to the ACLU. Yet, it opens the door for our elected sheeple to target other activists, organization, and movements. Whether you work towards a woman’s right to choose, against discrimination based on sexual orientation, or for equal opportunities for all, AETA concerns you.

And it most certainly concerns the ACLU, whose self-described mission is to protect every American citizens’ Constitutional rights:

* Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

* Your right to equal protection under the law – equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

* Your right to due process – fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

* Your right to privacy – freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

So shoot them a politely outraged letter, or better yet, give ’em a call.

You can find brief talking points at, and a more detailed breakdown of the legislation and its many problems at

Mailing address:

American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Online Feedback form:

Contact information for members/membership help. (Cancel your membership or tell them that you won’t join/support the ACLU as long as they discriminate against animal rights advocates.)

E-mail: membership [at]

Phone: (212) 549-2585

Contact information for local affiliate offices:

State-by-state list here:

If you can find additional contact information, please let me know, or leave it in the comments.

* Action alerts from org’s working against AETA to follow. *



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5 Responses to “For Shame!: AETA Passes the House”

  1. » Blog Archive » The ACLU, On Notice Says:

    […] After doing some more digging re: the ACLU’s position on AETA, I’m now convinced enough that they screwed us to do the previously unthinkable: put them On Notice.     And – if they don’t watch their sorry arses – they may soon be Dead To Me. Assuming I can find a Dead To Me generator. […]

  2. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » Book Review: Strategic Action for Animals by Melanie Joy (2008) Says:

    […] Joy seems worried about the (very real) possibility that the actions of a few radical animal advocates will invite our opposition to mar the animal liberation movement as a whole with the scare-mongering “terrorist” slur. And yes, this is happening, with alarming frequency (AETA, anyone?). But I see this scare-mongering as inevitable, a desperate move by animal exploiters to undercut our message, which is finding an increasingly receptive popular (dare I say mainstream?) audience. It’s “inevitable” because, no matter what we do (or don’t do), our opposition will try to label us “terrorists”. ALF and ELF are only the beginning: anyone who attends a vegan potluck, runs a successful website, or donates their time or money to the SPCA is a terrorist in their eyes. Nor do they make any distinction between the “Citizen” and “Reformer” welfare-esque groups and the hard-core animal rights “Rebel” groups: all are violent, radical terrorist groups out to destroy the American Way of Life ™. […]

  3. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » The ACLU, On Notice Says:

    […] After doing some more digging re: the ACLU’s position on AETA, I’m now convinced enough that they screwed us to do the previously unthinkable: put them On Notice. […]

  4. Smite Me! [.net] » Blog Archive » I never thought I’d say this, but shame on the ACLU! Says:

    […] The following is crossposted from It’s another rant about AETA, this time in relation to the ACLU, which inexplicable withdrew its opposition to AETA and allowed it to fly through the Senate and House unchallenged. Keep reading for more (and apologies in advance for some of the initial overlap with my last post.) […]

  5. » Blog Archive » Book Review: Strategic Action for Animals by Melanie Joy (2008) Says:

    […] scare-mongering “terrorist” slur. And yes, this is happening, with alarming frequency (AETA, anyone?). But I see this scare-mongering as inevitable, a desperate move by animal exploiters to […]

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