Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

This is What Radical Animal Rights Activists Consider Free Speech


A California Appeals Court has rejected an appeal against a lawsuit filed by Chiron Corporation seeking damages and other legal remedies against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, USA (SHAC) for harassment and invasion of privacy, based on supposed first amendment grounds. Here is what the animal liberationists apparently consider "free speech," as described in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"The court said the animal rights group announced in 2003 that Chiron was a target of its campaign against Huntingdon, and posted the names, addresses, home phones and bank account information of Chiron employees on its Web site.

"In May 2003, the court said, someone went to the homes of company chairman Sean Lance and two other executives in the middle of the night, shouted slogans, left screeching alarms in their yards and took other harassing actions, such as smearing animal feces on a house. The visits were repeated and were accompanied by late-night phone calls and e-mails, the court said.

"After two pipe bombs exploded at Chiron's headquarters in August 2003, the court said, the animal rights group posted links to threatening statements by an organization that claimed responsibility. No one was hurt in the explosions, and damage was minor.

In August 2004, after the suit was filed, about 35 demonstrators went to the home of Chiron's chief lawyer, William Green, and smashed several windows. The organization had previously posted a message instructing members to gather for a 'home demonstration' that weekend, the court said."

Free speech my big toenail. Good for the Court of Appeals.


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