The ALF wing of the animal rights movement always wants it both ways. They want to be able to coerce, intimidate, threaten, bomb, vandalize, scare children, terrorize families, trespass, and commit other acts of bullying–and they presume themselves to be walking in the shoes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Ludicrous, I know.
Now, when ALF-style attacks on medical researchers in the UC system necessitated a protective law to try and control the fanatics, they whine that they are being oppressed. From a press release put out by the Animal Rights Liberation Front Press Office:
In separate anonymous communiqués received today by the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, three underground attacks on animal researchers were claimed in reaction to the passing of AB 2296 and a police raid on a bookstore in Santa Cruz. AB 2296, a bill signed into law a week ago, is aimed not at illegal actions but at legal, above-ground activism, restricting free speech regarding California academic vivisectors. The fact that it is highly unconstitutional seems to have come back to bite those in Sacramento. Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger , who has built his career and hero status by killing his enemy, blowing things up and making imminent, violent threats in his movies has, by signing this bill into law, become known as the “Terminator” of free speech.
Oh yes, such a draconian infringement!
Let’s take a look at the law, shall we? There are two major provisions. One prevents the publication of home addresses and personal information with the intent that others engage in criminal actions:
422.4.(a) Any person who publishes information describing or depicting an academic researcher or his or her immediate family member, or the location or locations where an academic researcher or an immediate family member of an academic researcher may be found,with the intent that another person imminently use the information to commit a crime involving violence or a threat of violence against an academic researcher or his or her immediate family member, and the information is likely to produce the imminent commission of such a crime, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both a fine and imprisonment.
Gee, I wonder why such a law would be necessary. Recall recently that anonymous terrorists published the addresses of two UC Santa Cruz researchers in pamphlets left in coffee houses. A few days later, the house of one was fire bombed–with terrified children having to escape down a ladder from the smoke filled house, and the car of another was bombed.
Here’s the second key provision:
602.12. (a) Any person who enters the residential real property of an academic researcher for the purpose of chilling, preventing the exercise of, or interfering with the researcher’s academic freedom is guilty of trespass, a misdemeanor.
Entering someone’s property isn’t speech in anybody’s book–except fanatics who care less about law, decency, respect for divergent views, tolerance, and comity.