Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


SHAC 7
October 3, 2006 5:11 PM   Subscribe

The first member of SHAC 7, an animal rights group convicted for their organizational role in a campaign against animal research at Huntingdon Life Sciences (previously discussed here and here), began his three-year prison sentence today. Meanwhile, Horowitz and Malkin are still at large.
posted by homunculus (38 comments total)

 
Good thing too. These people haven't merely been "letting puppies loose" as some of those links suggest - they have been literally terrorizing people who work for HLS, and their families, and their friends. They are criminals, and in my opinion, scum.

I myself have been targetted by some of the anti-HLS protesters in England, despite the fact that I have nothing to do with HLS and worked at the time as a UNIX sysadmin for a bank. Simple mistaken identity, but that didn't matter to those puritanical cretins, and it doesn't much matter to my kids who still have nightmares about the night they came to our house.

Don't be fooled that this is just about nice people helping the "cute wittle wanimals"; this is about a bunch of idealistic and highly motivated, but frankly unbalanced and frankly not terribly smart people who cannot tolerate other people holding different beliefs to theirs; to the extent that they will actually attack them in various ways.
posted by thparkth at 5:24 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


This guy got three years in prison for doing what anti-abortion activisits do all the time? Hmm.
posted by black bile at 5:25 PM on October 3, 2006


frankly unbalanced and frankly not terribly smart people who cannot tolerate other people holding different beliefs to theirs

I agree, but that could apply to Malkin, Horowitz and a lot of 'pro-lifers' too.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on October 3, 2006


rather reporting on and ecouraging others to engage in legal demonstrations and supporting the ideology of direct action.

Isn't this the same principle that shut down Tom Metzger and WAR? If law is to be efective it has to applied across the ideological board.
posted by jonmc at 5:30 PM on October 3, 2006


I don't deny that Horowitz should probably be in jail for his actions, or at least facing community service. But, nobody that the right wing has targeted has been firebombed. No body who is two degrees separated from the people the right wing has targeted has been firebombed. No one has been beaten.

The way these guys operate reminds me of Keyser Soze. "He kills their parents and their parent's friends. He kills people they own money too. He burns down their businesses." (Quote may be slightly off due to the years since I watched that movie)

Personally, I think that the people who posted the names of the OB/GYN doctors who performed abortions and then were shot should be in jail, just like these people.

But just because Horowitz and Coulter should be in jail doesn't mean that these assholes should be freed. I'm glad to see them in jail and I hope it means that people who deal with people who deal with Huntinton Life Sciences are now safe to go about their lives.
posted by Hactar at 5:49 PM on October 3, 2006


Sending e-mails threatening people's families, and encouraging other radical activists to visit their homes by publishing their adresses etc. to websites frequented by fist-waving, chanting fanatics SHOULD get you some time
to think.
posted by longsleeves at 5:53 PM on October 3, 2006


they have been literally terrorizing people who work for HLS, and their families, and their friends.

And in the UK, to punish you for breeding guinea pigs they'll desecrate your mother-in-law's grave and steal her bones. Lovely bunch, the animal rights activists.
posted by jack_mo at 5:54 PM on October 3, 2006


And in the UK, to punish you for breeding guinea pigs they'll desecrate your mother-in-law's grave and steal her bones. Lovely bunch, the animal rights activists.

I sometimes get the feeling that activists of that stripe are more about impressing eschother with how outlandish and 'hardcore,' they can be rather than any cause they claim to espouse, since they seem to be doing anything in their power to alienate people (including potential sympathizers) which is the opposite of effective advertising.
posted by jonmc at 5:57 PM on October 3, 2006


Well, when Malkin and others list phone numbers and so forth, the listed people typically get death threats, but Malkin herself usually disavows any threats. It's odd though, she obviously only posts the email and so forth of people in order to harass them.

But there is no call to action to kill or harm these people, and that's not happening. Someone ought to sue her, though.
posted by delmoi at 5:58 PM on October 3, 2006


Finally! Somebody's finally saying what I've been screaming for years! Malkin and Horowitz absolutely, positively need to be sent to jail.

Now...what's all this about people's addresses on web sites?
posted by PlusDistance at 5:58 PM on October 3, 2006


But, nobody that the right wing has targeted has been firebombed. No body who is two degrees separated from the people the right wing has targeted has been firebombed. No one has been beaten.

Nobody?

Ever hear of abortion clinics?

If your referring only to the people Malkin and Horowitz targeted, then what you mean to say is nobody has firebombed them YET.
posted by tkchrist at 5:59 PM on October 3, 2006


Wait, I'm confused. The animal rights folks broke a law (which BTW, since we love assigning blame so much, was passed under a Democrat-controlled White House, House of Reps, and Senate). Horowitz and Malkin didn't.

And you're honestly wondering why the lawbreakers went to jail while the ones who didn't break the law didn't go to jail? So what would Ms. Huffington's resolution be? That if the lawbreakers have to go to jail, the ones who didn't break the law should go, too? Or that the ones who broke the law should be free, and the ones who didn't break the law should go to jail?

If law is to be efective it has to applied across the ideological board.

Not true. It must be applied across the specific board the law addresses. If it was meant to cover the entire "ideological board," it would have been written that way. It wasn't.
posted by CodeBaloo at 6:00 PM on October 3, 2006


CodeBaloo: I'm not a lawyer, but the point I was trying to make is that we can't just aim laws (any law) at our ideological enemies but also at those we might symapthize with, otherwise it's meaningless.
posted by jonmc at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2006


Does anyone have a link to coverage of this case that attempts some balanced neutrality? Everything linked in the FPP is horribly slanted one way or the other (and the legal analysis is either for shit or nonexistent).

I'm reminded of the Nuremberg Files case, in which the people posting addresses etc. were of the pro-life persuasion. I think that was handled entirely by civil litigation, though....
posted by mr_roboto at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2006


JonMC: Yeah, I agree, that'd be the case in an ideal world. When we think of laws, though, we think of statutes that restrict some thing or other. And those, I'm guessing based on human nature, always have and always will always be written with the ideological opposition in mind.

My point was that this particular law, it appears, was written to protect a specific type of enterprise. It could have been written such that it would be illegal to disrupt operations of or cause damage to any enterprise, which would open a huge can o' worms. If it were written that way, then the argument that Horowitz and Malkin should go to jail would make sense. But it wasn't. Which makes the position the FPP'er and Huffington seem to hold so ridiculous that it serves only to reinforce the opposition's view that "they" can't argue with facts, so they simply resort to arguing with volume and emotion.
posted by CodeBaloo at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2006


those puritanical cretins

Yep. People who employ radical tactics to fight against a company that beats dogs for sport and staples monkeys to tables to facilitate the force-feeding of Drano are puritanical cretins.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2006


CodeBaloo, that's "Eskow," not "Huffington," and I have to agree that (while I also would love to see Malkin, Horowitz and Coulter jailed) his comparison is pretty disingenuous.

SHAC wasn't just about posting people's addresses. They had (have?) coordinated "Home Demos" where they would routinely bring large groups of people out to take over part of a block where some target's house was, assailing family members, shouting threats, playing interminable sounds and shining harsh lights into the living room of that target family and all their neighbors. They've sullied the whole movement with their quasi-violent (and in some cases, apparently, violent) shenanigans.

Let me stress that I'm in complete agreement with SHAC's ultimate goals, but directly opposed to their methods, which I find to be vile as well as short-sighted.

Although the initiatives by the US government to classify all animal activists as "terrorists" is ludicrous on its face, SHAC has willfully blurred this distinction, made such Bush administration nonsense seem almost credible, and drowned out those of us trying to get the message out that veganism is not about coercion but ahimsa.
posted by soyjoy at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


She, you may recall, published the names email addresses of some UC Santa Cruz students because she didn't like their politics.

yes, and where did michelle malkin get those names and e-mail addresses?

from a flyer the students were handing out publically ... was it nice of her to do that? ... no ... is she an idiot? ... yes

last time i checked, it's not illegal to be a mean idiot in this country
posted by pyramid termite at 7:44 PM on October 3, 2006


whats frightening about this is the way in which the law was applied to the specific defendants. they have been charged as "terrorists" for being the faces of the anti-HLS movement and because they are organizers involved in a campaign to damage the business of a company. this logic can be applied to something as formerly innocent as posting negative reviews of product, that in turn hurts sales.

i don't agree with the methods that have been used by a lot of the SHAC people, but the way the law is being used here really has nothing to do with specific tactics and all to do with the fact that it has been working to effectivly hurt the business of HLS and cost them money.

(full disclosure: i'm vegan and think HLS is a horrible company that does some horrible things, and i'm friends with Andy and think hes a great guy and wish he wasn't going to jail)
posted by teishu at 8:29 PM on October 3, 2006


CodeBaloo: And you're honestly wondering why the lawbreakers went to jail while the ones who didn't break the law didn't go to jail? So what would Ms. Huffington's resolution be? That if the lawbreakers have to go to jail, the ones who didn't break the law should go, too? Or that the ones who broke the law should be free, and the ones who didn't break the law should go to jail?

Ms. Huffington didn't write the piece. The author was asking a rhetorical question in order to make a point about our society's inconsistent standards, namely that some right-wing pundits make a career out of the same behavior that got these activists convicted. He's not saying the law wasn't applied correctly, he's saying that the law is basically unfair.
posted by homunculus at 8:29 PM on October 3, 2006


I certainly support animal research for medical purposes. I disagree respectfully with SHAC's philosophical position, but I have no respect for the tactics so many of these 'activists' use. But like Eskow, I'm uncomfortable with the ease with which they were labelled as 'terrorists' to make their convictions easier and punishments more severe. It seems to be part of a pattern which is only going to become more extreme.
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on October 3, 2006


I bet in a hundred years, animal rights activists will be looked upon as abolitionists of the mid 1800s are looked upon today. People will look back in horror at the way their recent anscestors treated animals, with the matter-of-factness of the cruelty adding to the shock.

Radical groups like SHAC, even if today seen as violent and criminal, will be the John Browns of tomorrow. Yet even though I know the more enlightened of the future will look back at me in disgust, I continue to eat meat.
posted by iconjack at 9:43 PM on October 3, 2006


"I bet in a hundred years, animal rights activists will be looked upon as abolitionists of the mid 1800s are looked upon today. People will look back in horror at the way their recent anscestors treated animals, with the matter-of-factness of the cruelty adding to the shock."
Do you have an underground railroad stop for chickens in your root cellar? Are you teaching them how to read, down there?
posted by longsleeves at 10:37 PM on October 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


Here's a curious development in another 'eco-terrorism' case which was discussed in a previous thread, this one concerning ELF. Daniel McGowan is facing life imprisonment if convicted on arson and conspiracy charges, though no one was harmed during the crimes (of which he maintains his innocence.) Interestingly, it seems the NSA may have been keeping him under surveillance. I wonder if they had a warrant.
posted by homunculus at 2:01 AM on October 4, 2006


Do you have an underground railroad stop for chickens in your root cellar?

no, i let them hide in my refrigerator

Are you teaching them how to read, down there?

does it count if they know the difference between kc masterpiece and ketchup?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:28 AM on October 4, 2006


I bet in a hundred years, animal rights activists will be looked upon as abolitionists of the mid 1800s are looked upon today. People will look back in horror at the way their recent anscestors treated animals, with the matter-of-factness of the cruelty adding to the shock.

Radical groups like SHAC, even if today seen as violent and criminal, will be the John Browns of tomorrow. Yet even though I know the more enlightened of the future will look back at me in disgust, I continue to eat meat.


Andy Rooney says (last week) "Most of us think of vegetarians as nuts and I'm not a vegetarian but I wouldn't be surprised if we came to a time in 50 or 100 years when civilized people everywhere refused to eat animals. I could be one of them."

full transcript
posted by Bonzai at 5:44 AM on October 4, 2006


Although the initiatives by the US government to classify all animal activists as "terrorists" is ludicrous on its face, SHAC has willfully blurred this distinction, made such Bush administration nonsense seem almost credible, and drowned out those of us trying to get the message out that veganism is not about coercion but ahimsa.

dingdingding!we have a winner!

/not a vegan, never will be, but it's nice to hear an activist of any stripe talking sense instead of posturing like an adolescent
posted by jonmc at 6:07 AM on October 4, 2006




Even if there comes a time when science doesn't require animal experimentation (a time in the extremely far off future, given that right now we can't even successfully model all the activities of a single cell, let alone an animal), the people of the future would never have gotten there without the experimentation of the present.

You simply don't have medical science without animal experimentation: there's not a single advance that doesn't rely upon it, either directly or indirectly.

Of course, the same people who oppose GM food tend to be animal rights activists-- even though presumably, through GM you might be able to make "meat without murder" by creating the parts of the animals you want to eat, but not a brain.
posted by Maias at 8:45 AM on October 4, 2006


w00t!
posted by alby at 9:42 AM on October 4, 2006


Some of them, but some of the people who are worried about GM seem to be mainly concerned about its safety.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2006


I bet in a hundred years, animal rights activists will be looked upon as abolitionists of the mid 1800s are looked upon today.

For crying out loud, they're animals. Not humans. The equation of human and animal rights is what really gets my goat about the animal rights movement, it being the root of the idea that attacking humans to save animals is legitimate.

You simply don't have medical science without animal experimentation: there's not a single advance that doesn't rely upon it, either directly or indirectly.

Quite. See the Research Defense Society for more details. (Also, Pro-Test is worth a look for anyone in the UK who would rather see human lives saved than animal.)
posted by jack_mo at 10:15 AM on October 4, 2006


"I bet in a hundred years, animal rights activists will be looked upon as abolitionists of the mid 1800s are looked upon today."

Or perhaps they will be looked upon as bored,white,affulent,privilege laden whack jobs that thought they were making a difference but were really just having a self righteous circle-jerk. My money's on the latter.
posted by MikeMc at 10:23 AM on October 4, 2006


For crying out loud, they're animals. Not humans. The equation of human and animal rights is what really gets my goat about the animal rights movement, it being the root of the idea that attacking humans to save animals is legitimate.

Go back and read what mainstream people were saying in the 1800s about black slaves. I think you'll find the sentiment quite close to your own (substitute niggers for animals). Even Lincoln made the argument that blacks were not as equal as whites.
posted by iconjack at 1:40 PM on October 4, 2006


WTF? The reason people said those things about black folks is because they were trying to say that black folks were animals! You can't logically use that as a point of comparison because the two subjects were being intentionally conflated.

If you want to compare animal treatment and slavery, you should point out the cruelty of treatment and indifference to suffering.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:49 PM on October 4, 2006


And speaking of warrantless surveillance: Court allows government to keep surveillance for now.
posted by homunculus at 4:03 PM on October 4, 2006


Meanwhile, Pajamas Media, Instapundit Facilitate Outing Of Foley Victim
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on October 5, 2006


Go back and read what mainstream people were saying in the 1800s about black slaves. I think you'll find the sentiment quite close to your own (substitute niggers for animals). Even Lincoln made the argument that blacks were not as equal as whites.

That's just plain idiotic, not to mention offensive. Black and white people are equal. Animals and people are not. That's not a cultural attitude subject to change over time, it's demonstrably true - unless you can show me a chicken that's written a sonnet, a vole that's published in a reputable medical journals, or a bee with significant new insights into quantuum mechanics. (Which is not to say that we should be deliberately cruel to animals, of course, just that I can't see how animals can have rights in the same sense that humans should have, with the possible exception of the cleverest apes.)
posted by jack_mo at 7:19 AM on October 9, 2006


Once you let the cleverest apes in, what do you do about the nearly-as-clever apes?
posted by soyjoy at 1:42 PM on October 9, 2006


« Older So this horse walks into a bar ......  |  MappyHour... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments