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98 Animal Rights Activists Arrested for Protesting 'Torturous Practices' at Duck Slaughterhouse
By Jake Johnson
More than 600 animal rights activists descended on a massive duck slaughterhouse in California on Monday to protest rampant animal cruelty at the facility and demand accountability for those profiting off such "torturous" mistreatment.
As over a dozen activists with the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) chained themselves together at the entrance of the Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma — which slaughters a million ducks annually — others entered the facility and came out with severely injured or dead birds, providing evidence that the slaughterhouse is engaged in cruel and unlawful practices.
According to DxE, activists "removed 32 ducklings and rushed them to emergency veterinary treatment. They will then be transported to farm animal sanctuaries for lifelong care."
In total, 98 activists were reportedly arrested at the demonstration, which was quickly surrounded by baton-wielding riot police.
"Many of the arrestees locked their necks to the slaughterhouse shackles, gate, and other machinery," DxE said in a press release.
Former assistant U.S. attorney Bonnie Klapper, who reviewed undercover footage and veterinarian reports on the Reichardt Duck Farm, said in a statement that conditions at the slaughterhouse "are not normal, accepted industry practice."
"When law enforcement has become aware of the existence of animal cruelty, its response has not been to address [it]," Klapper said. "To the contrary, the response has been to hunt down and arrest the rescuers and even attempt to return the injured, sick, dying animals to the agricultural facility."
Glenn Greenwald, an animal rights advocate and co-founder of The Intercept, echoed this point on Twitter while applauding the bravery of those taking direct action to stop "factory farm atrocities."
"The real criminality is the systemic torture and slaughter of billions of animals in the cruelest, filthiest, most sadistic conditions," Greenwald tweeted, sharing videos of the DxE activists during their demonstration on Monday. "It breaks multiple laws. But the police protect the corporate criminals, and instead arrest those saving lives."
The real criminality is the systemic torture and slaughter of billions of animals in the cruelest, filthiest, most sadistic conditions. It breaks multiple laws. But the police protect the corporate criminals, & instead arrest those saving lives pic.twitter.com/sB2nyp1Z3H— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 3, 2019
Wayne Hsiung, a former law professor and co-founder of DxE, said in a statement that his group is "merely asking the elected officials in Sonoma County to enforce the law — including against animal abusing corporations."
"The government is protecting powerful corporate interests," said Hsiung, "even where those companies are engaged in unlawful, fraudulent, and torturous practices."
Investigation Exposes Animal Abuse at U.S. Supplier to World's Largest Meat Company: new undercover video shot at a JBS pork supplier based in Kentucky, exposes alleged "malicious and systemic abuse of mother pigs and piglets."https://t.co/s6R9AepN5l— Tony Eliseuson (@tonyeliseuson) September 15, 2018
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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By Johnny Wood
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By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.