BORDC on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

November 16th, 2006 11:35 pm by Kelly Garbato

The following is an excerpt from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee’s November 2006 newsletter. I’d never heard of the BORDC until a commenter on GreenIsTheNewRed.com pointed it out (so thanks, commenter Sheila!). My understanding was that the next step was for AETA to go to Bush’s desk for signing (something that’s probably futile to protest – Bush doesn’t exactly *heart* civil liberties), but according to this alert, the “suspension calendar,” which includes AETA, still has to be voted on by the House. So please take a moment to write your rep and ask that s/he vote against the “suspension calendar” – and explain why.

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

On November 13, the House passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as part of a list of “non-controversial” bills that will be voted up or down in one bundle. The bill is considered a threat to activists, because it expands the definition of terrorist, and could impinge on First Amendment activities. Heidi Boghosian, director of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), said the bill “sets a dangerous precedent for going after people based on the content of their speech.” NLG President Marjorie Cohn said, “The AETA could lead to the prosecution of undercover investigators, whistle-blowers and other activists as ‘terrorists.’” The Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill in September so if the House votes “aye” on its “suspension calendar,” the AETA will become law.

What you can do: Contact your Congressional representative at 202-224-3121 and ask that she or he vote no on the “suspension calendar”—which is the bundle of bills which will be presented to the House of Representatives for an up or down vote. Tell your representative the “suspension calendar” contains a toxic bill which interferes with First Amendment rights.

Kinship Circle also sent out another email regarding AETA today, this one dealing with common questions/myths. One concerns the ACLU’s support/opposition of the bill; KC’s conclusion is that the ACLU did oppose it. Given what I’ve read – both on GreenIsTheNewRed.com and from the ACLU itself – it still looks to me as though the ACLU rescinded their opposition to AETA somewhere between March and October of 2006. In other words, they screwed us. But I’ll refrain from posting the Kinship Circle alert and my comments until I hear more. As a longtime ACLU supporter, I so desperately want to be wrong.

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3 Responses to “BORDC on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)”

  1. easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » Farm Sanctuary: Additional Actions Against AETA & More Says:

    […] * Contact the BORDC and thank them for opposing AETA (and defending our First Amendment freedoms) when the ACLU would not. More on the BORDC here and here. […]

  2. liberanimal Says:

    Barack Obama
    Support from Environmental Leaders
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/envirossupport/

    AETA – the Erosion of Freedom of Speech
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/camillemarino/gG59cL

    Solicitud para abolir Ley (AETA) contra la libertad de expresión proanimal
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/angelaexposito/gG59tX

    John McCain

    Spread The Word (blogspot)
    http://www.johnmccain.com/ActionCenter/BlogInteract/BlogInteract.aspx

    Senator McCain’s Environmental Stewardship Coalition.
    http://environmentalstewardship.johnmccain.com/Site.aspx

  3. Kelly Says:

    I’m confused. Are you campaigning for Obama or McCain here?

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