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Old February 8, 2006, 10:44 PM   #1
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NOT a Hypothetical situation

TRENTON, N.J. - The first hint of trouble showed up on Carol Auletta's voice mail when she returned to work at Huntingdon Life Sciences after a two-week summer vacation in 2002.
"We know where you live," she recalled hearing. "They gave my address and my phone number and implied that I was in trouble."
Auletta is a senior scientist at Huntingdon, the Franklin Township, Somerset County, laboratory that tests drugs and consumer products on animals to determine if they are safe for humans. The firm has been targeted for the past five years by an animal rights group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, or SHAC.
The group and six of its members are on trial in federal court on charges of domestic terrorism for allegedly inciting others to attack Huntingdon, its workers and those of companies that did business with the company.
SHAC denies influencing anyone, and says its activities against the company are free speech protected by the First Amendment.
In testimony Wednesday, Auletta told of being targeted at her Montgomery Township home as well as in downtown Princeton by activists who screamed at her through bullhorns, told neighbors she is a mentally ill killer of animals, and derided as a "hideous monster" and a "grotesque beast" in SHAC's online postings that published her home address, phone number and photograph.
The protests at her home happened on Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas 2002, as well as Memorial Day and July 4 the following year, disrupting the holiday for her entire neighborhood, she testified.
"I got a lot of letters from people calling me names and making veiled threats," she said. "I got a letter from a convict in Iowa who said he couldn't come out but he had friends who would come and get me."
Auletta said the campaign against her and the company has ruined her life.
"We have a bat by the door; my husband wanted to buy a gun," she testified. "If a car seems to be following me, I'll pull off and take a different route. I'm paranoid. Basically, these people have taken all the joy out of my life."
A former Huntingdon scientist, Henning Jonassen, testified that he was watching TV with his wife on April 2, 2001, when he heard a scraping noise outside their home in Somerville. Thinking it was a neighbor pulling a garbage can to the curb, he ignored it.
"Within seconds, all the windows came in. It sounded like a shotgun," he testified. "All the windows were blasted through. It was a horrific sight. We got down amid the glass behind the couch and called 911."
The scraping noise he heard outside was the sound of people turning his wife's car over and piling it atop his.
Both incidents were recounted soon afterward on the SHAC Web site as anonymous postings from "New Jersey activists."
Under cross-examination by defense lawyers, Auletta said none of the protests at her house violated the terms of a court order restricting the nature and scope of pickets at Huntingdon workers' homes.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, prosecutors cited a long list of postings on the group's Web site, which urged supporters to take action against Huntingdon and its employees. But some of the postings also cautioned that the group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, does not encourage illegal actions and cannot control the actions of others.
Whether the postings were sufficiently provocative to cause people to commit crimes is at the heart of the case. The Philadelphia-based animal welfare group and six of its members are charged with animal enterprise terrorism, conspiracy and interstate stalking, as part of a plan to drive Huntingdon Life Sciences out of business. The group acknowledges it wants Huntingdon shut down, but denies committing any crimes or encouraging anyone else to do so.
"All this week we will release the unpublished, personal information of HLS scum," read one typical posting from 2002. "Do with it what you may, so long as it's constant."
Another posting listed the "Top 20 Terror Tactics" compiled by an animal testing industry group in England that have been used against its members, including throwing cleaning fluid in their eyes and threatening to kill them or their children.
"Go figure - THEIR side provides the information - we just help spread their propaganda," SHAC wrote. "Now don't go getting any funny ideas!"
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed- unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." - James Madison
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Old February 9, 2006, 10:30 AM   #2
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This is what can happen when you use your freedom of speech to issue "fighting words". You can easily end up in a fight that's out of control which, hopefully, the activist website will lose.
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Old February 9, 2006, 10:33 AM   #3
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Good thing they had a bat. Probably saved their lives.
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Old February 9, 2006, 11:24 AM   #4
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This is what happens when abuse of "rights" occurs by activist groups. If they choose to target the company itself with protests that is fine. If they intrude upon my rights, land, serenity and peace of mind, then they are trodding on dangerous waters. This is the time when you want to become good friends with your neighbors and the local police. Buy a good strong 12 gauge and heavy caliber handgun. The bigger the better in this case because more than likely if you pull it, it will be for intimidation and might have to be used. This is beyond just protesting, this is bullying and must be met with strong measures. They are now intruding on your rights by denying you the "pursuit of liberty" when you are on your own time doing your own thing. If they want to bring a lawsuit etc, they are welcome to, because that is legal. Intimidation and destruction of property are not.
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Old February 10, 2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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Barr: Exactly. That's some of the most sensible advice I've seen here.

You hit it directly on the head. It's the exact same tactics as the newly-emerging phenomena of "gang-stalking".

Just like you said. Get yourself adequately armed and let everyone you know what's going on; police, civil court, neighbors, family, friends.

Protesting is ok by me. But this cannot be allowed to stand, and if the authorities are properly involved, it will not.
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Old February 10, 2006, 11:31 AM   #6
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It strikes me that a good defense in this case is a video camera. A shotgun won't get someone locked in jail as fast as video of them breaking the law.
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Old February 10, 2006, 12:38 PM   #7
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Yes! I'm involved in something slightly similar, so I'm smacking myself for not adding video monitoring to what I just posted.

I have fixed cameras to a VCR and a camcorder.

The shotgun's only for when things get truly out of hand.
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Old February 10, 2006, 01:59 PM   #8
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I just thought of this.

From somebody who's been there...the VERY SECOND you hear the words, or their like, "i/we know where you live", you need to:

1 - make a police report - harassment, threats. push the matter.
2 - find out if you have standing to get a restraining order and, if so, DO IT.
3 - IMMEDIATELY report ANY further threats, trespassing, or property damage, no matter how small, to the police.

DO NOT EVER wait around to "see how it goes". Anybody issuing such a threat is either dangerously insane or a dangerous criminal.
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Old February 10, 2006, 03:04 PM   #9
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The one thing I'd do is get a restraining order based upon the "we know where you live" comments that is signed by a judge and which contains the words:

"...must stay 200 yards away and must retreat to that distance immdiately and without hesitation even if in a public place and even if doing so will result in loss or abandonment of monetary or physical property. Failure to retreat will be cause for arrest on the basis of immediate fear of impending death or injury on the part of the person requesting this order."

At that point I'd carry a loaded 12 guage whenever I left my house and if protesters failed to rapidly move when I walked down the street, someone would go to the morgue. Maybe a lot of someones.

It is not free speech when you harass someone to the point that their life is in danger and then brag about it.
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Old February 10, 2006, 03:59 PM   #10
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Probably wouldn't hurt to publish the names, addresses and phone numbers of the activists in return.
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Old February 10, 2006, 04:09 PM   #11
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Rob P:

Here's a word I rarely say....AMEN !
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