Skip to comments.N.J. jury convicts animal rights activists
Posted on 03/02/2006 1:48:47 PM PST by LouAvul
An animal rights group and six members were convicted Thursday of inciting violence against a company that tests drugs and household products on animals.
The group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, maintained its actions were protected under the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech.
The government charged that SHAC waged a five-year campaign of threats, harassment and vandalism against Huntingdon Life Sciences and posted information on the SHAC Web site about the lab's employees and those who do business with Huntingdon.
Many of those targeted saw their homes vandalized, and they and their families received threatening e-mails, faxes and phone calls.
The federal jury deliberated over three days after a three-week trial.
SHAC, based in Philadelphia, and six of its members were charged with animal enterprise terrorism, stalking and other offenses. The charges carry two to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
(Excerpt) Read more at modbee.com ...
The terrorized families can now take the bastards' HOUSES.
Send em to Gitmo with the other terrorists.
YES! YES! YES! Good job jury members! I hope the Judge gives 'em the max.
Good for the jury. I hope the convicts get the maximum penalties.
Yeah, what you said.
Animal rights terrorists aren't likely to have much to take.
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) is an international animal-rights campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), Europe's largest contract animal-testing laboratory, based in Huntingdon and Occold, England, and New Jersey in the United States.
SHAC was started in November 1999 by British animal-rights activists Greg Avery and Heather James, with the aim of closing HLS "within three years" ,
SHAC was launched after PETA retreated from its campaign against the company after being threatened with legal action.  Avery and James had both been involved in previous high-profile campaigns to close facilities they perceived as abusive to animals Consort, which bred beagles for animal-testing purposes, and Hillgrove Farm, which bred cats. Avery told BBC Radio 4: "You don't pick a company unless you can close it down because otherwise you just make those companies stronger. So when they are chosen they are finished." 
On May 26, 2005, the Animal Liberation Front issued a warning that appeared to support SHAC and increase the threat of violence: "A new era has dawned for those who fund the abusers and raise funds for them to murder animals with. You too are on the hit list: you have been warned. If you support or raise funds for any company connected with Huntingdon Life Sciences we will track you down, come for you and destroy your property with fire." 
The SHAC spokespersons are Greg Avery, his second wife, Natasha Avery (nee Dellemagne), and his first wife, Heather James, who allegedly live together rent-free in a cottage provided by a sympathizer.  Together, they publish SHAC reports on their website  and by mail, and provide press information and interviews. As a result of these activities, the three were jailed for six months in December 2001 for conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.  Greg Avery was also jailed for six months in 1998 for affray and for four months in 2000.  He served 14 days for assaulting a policeman in 1998, and previously six months for affray. 
SHAC's modus operandi is direct action, comprising intimidation of HLS, its employees, its employees' families, its business partners, their children's nursery school , their business partners, their insurers, their caterers, and cleaners. Anyone who delivers services to people who do business with HLS even the owners of pubs employees visit, or the companies which deliver their milk in the morning is regarded by SHAC as a legitimate target. The aim is to render the laboratory work as difficult and costly as possible.
SHAC supporters are known to have engaged in harassment; intimidation with death-threat letters and hoax bombs; arson, including the use of fire-bombs; trespass; and vandalism.  The Daily Mail cites as examples a SHAC activist sending 500 letters to the neighbours of a company manager who did business with HLS. The letter warned parents to keep their children away from the man because, it alleged, he had raped the letter writer when she was a child. Police subsequently visited every household in the manager's area to tell his neighbours that the allegations were false. A woman in her 60s who worked for a HLS-related company allegedly had every window in her house smashed twice, both after visits from SHAC supporters during the night, and found an effigy hung outside her home, which read "R.I.P. Mary, Animal Abusing Bitch". 
Brian Cass, the managing director of HLS, sustained serious head injuries when he was attacked outside his home in February 2001 by three men armed with pickaxe handles and CS gas.  Detective Chief Inspector Tom Hobbs of Cambridgeshire police told reporters: "It's only by sheer luck that we are not beginning a murder inquiry."  A neighbor who tried to help Cass was sprayed with CS gas. Dave Blenkinsop, who had also engaged in actions using the name of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), was jailed for three years for the attack.
A few months later, HLS marketing director Andrew Gay was attacked on his doorstep with a chemical spray to his eyes believed to be ammonia which left him temporarily blinded. 
Alleged ties to ALF
The SHAC spokespersons deny any link between their campaign and attacks carried out by activists using the name of the ALF. However, the SHAC website features ALF news, and Kevin Jonas, the president of SHAC USA, who took charge of SHAC UK while the Averys and James were jailed for six months in 2002, has declared his "unequivocal support" for the ALF. Robin Webb, spokesman for the ALF in the UK, has attended and addressed SHAC conferences in the U.S. 
ALF?? No!! What does Willie think?