Two Fur Protesters Found Guilty of "disorderly conduct" for protesting outside fur shop in busy downtown area - Sentencing and Solidarity Rally this Wednesday, July 14th.
In a case involving the First Amendment and free speech, anti-fur trade protesters Isaac Peter and Michael Lawson were found guilty last week by a Hennepin County jury. The charges were "disorderly conduct," a misdemeanor under MN law. The incident occurred on March 4 2010 when officers arrested Isaac and Michael after alleging that they were creating an annoyance by shouting a political message on a public sidewalk in a busy and regularly noisy area of the city.
UPDATE: DeMuth's trial postponed
Back at the end of February, Twin Cities Daily Planet writer Sheila Regan successfully won a motion to unseal secret court documents in the Iowa investigation into a 2004 Iowa City ALF action. The release of one of those documents last week - an affidavit supporting the search of Minneapolis activist Scott DeMuth's computer - reveals the flimsiness of the case and some of the methods used by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in their investigation.
U.S. Attorney Clifford R. Cronk III is using his office’s investigation of a 2004 animal rights-related break-in at the University of Iowa to harass and punish targets whom he claims identify as anarchists, a political ideology dating back to the early 19th Century. To date, neither his superiors in the Department of Justice, nor the federal courts, have done anything to curtail his abuse of power. In behavior reminiscent of the darkest days of the McCarthy witch hunts, Cronk argues in court documents that anarchists are domestic terrorists who should be locked up for posing a threat to civil society based on nothing but the prosecutor’s unfounded political bias.
Thursday morning, Minneapolis grand jury resister Scott DeMuth was charged with conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism in Davenport, Iowa federal court. He is currently being held in the disciplinary block at the Muscatine County Jail after he was found to be in civil contempt of court for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury that convened in Davenport on Tuesday. Because the civil contempt charge was later dropped, on Friday he attended a hearing to decide on his possible release on unsecured bond; a final decision has not yet been made by the court.
The federal government's Green Scare campaign took another depressing turn Tuesday morning as a federal district judge in Iowa ordered the detainment of Twin Cities activists Scott DeMuth and Carrie Feldman at a contempt hearing. As previously reported, DeMuth and Feldman were subpoenaed to a grand jury in Davenport, Iowa, compelling them to testify regarding a animal rights-related vandalism incident at the University of Iowa.