Friday, March 03, 2006


The SHAC 7 are animal rights activists indicted under the controversial Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The Act punishes anyone who "physically disrupts" an animal enterprise. The charges stem from these activists' alleged participation in an international campaign to close the notorious product testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences.

At heart, points out writer Pete Spina, this was a free speech fight. The specifics of the indictment stated that the seven were alleged to have run a website that reported on protests aimed at pressuring investors, stockbrokers and customers of the animal experimentation facility Huntington Life Sciences to divest from the facility. The indictment alleged the seven conspired to encourage the disruption of commerce at HLS.

Spina wrote, "The government’s interpretation of the AEP Act seeks to define as domestic terrorism any such third party action that has the effect of limiting commerce, whether criminal in method or not and no matter how peaceful, encompassing a variety of tactics such as civil disobedience, demonstrations and divestment campaigns."

The SHAC 7 are Kevin Jonas, Lauren Gazzola, Jacob Conroy, Darius Fullmer, John McGee, Andrew Stepanian, and Joshua Harper.

The following release is from the web site SHAC 7

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Today the jury in the SHAC 7 case returned a guilty
verdict on all counts as to all defendants. Five of
the six individual defendants were ordered into
custody with a possibility of bail pending sentencing
in the next few days. Sentencing has been set for June
6th. Some of the defendants face a maximum of 23
years, although it is expected all defendants will
receive sentences less than 10 years.

While it is sad to see yet another blow to our civil
liberties and another attack on the animal rights
movement, we still have a battle ahead of us. The
defendants will be appealing these convictions, and
needs in regards to support for the defendants will be
emerging over the next several days. The conviction is
just another example of our eroding civil liberties in
this country and a battle to be fought in the higher

The six are being held at Monmouth County Jail and the
judge has agreed to order that the jail provide
vegetarian meals. At this time, no calls to the jail
are needed and visiting spots are being reserved for
family and close friends of the defendants.

The tremendous outpouring of support from the activist
community has helped carry the defendants through this
difficult trial and will undoubtedly help them through
the struggle ahead.

Anyone who knows the campaign to close Huntingdon Life
Sciences knows that it is much bigger than these six
defendants and that it will undoubtedly carry on.

The defendants at this time implore the activist
community to not publicly comment on the case, to keep
their frustration with the outcome in check, and to
remember that the scrutiny on them and actions
perceived to be on their behalf can do nothing but
hurt them at this point.

Please stay tuned for announcements on how you can
support those in prison and upcoming court dates.

Trial Follow-up, Friday, March 3, 2006:

As it stands, most of the five defendants in custody will be released pending sentencing on June 6th (at which time they will be remanded into
custody for lengthy prison sentences).

However, it looks likely that Joshua Harper and Kevin Kjonaas could be in for longer trying to work out a release. Please write them now and often! Remember all mail is read by jail authorities and anything said to them could be brought up at sentencing.

Here is a list of contact information:

Kevin Kjonaas
Monmouth County Correctional Institution
1 Waterworks Road
Freehold, NJ 07728

Joshua Harper
Monmouth County Correctional Institution
1 Waterworks Road
Freehold, NJ 07728

Jacob Conroy will likely be in custody through
Tuesday, so if you live in
the Northeast, feel free to write him at the same address.

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