Saturday, June 27, 2009

Animal Rights Activist Jailed at Secretive US Prison on Democracy Now!

Andrew Stepanian was jailed in a secretive US prison known as a Communication Management Unit (CMU) after being sentenced to three years under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), a recent post-9/11 act criticized by everyone from the ACLU to animal welfare and animal rights groups for its inclusion and criminalizing through broad strokes of legitimate civil disobedience.

On Thursday, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviewed Stepanian about his imprisonment, and discussed his case--along with the serious concerns regarding the existence of CMUs and the enforcement of the AETA--with Stepanian's lawyer, as well as with Will Potter who runs the Green Is The New Red blog. Incidentally, Potter's blog is a must-read for anyone in the environmentalism or animal rights movements. It focuses on the real-life repercussions of the Green Scare, comparing the US government's focus on environmentalist and animal rights activists to the Communist witch hunts of the 40s and 50s.

A transcript of the interview and discussion can be found here.

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