The most effective way to keep American citizens silent and under control is through fear. The “spiral of silence theory” describes the process by which one opinion becomes dominant as those who perceive their opinion to be in the minority do not speak up because they fear isolation from society, or in this case, being prosecuted as a terrorist.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is hoping to accomplish just that by making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on corporate-controlled farms producing the bulk of US meat, eggs and dairy products.
The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, was written by lawyers for the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, which is funded by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That in itself should send red flags through the earth’s atmosphere…
An article written by Will Potter for Green Is The New Red states, “The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has kept files on activists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and recommended prosecuting them as terrorists, according to a new document uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act.
This new information comes as the Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as unconstitutional because its vague wording has had a chilling effect on political activism. This document adds to the evidence demonstrating that the AETA goes far beyond property destruction, as its supporters claim.
The 2003 FBI file details the work of several animal rights activists who used undercover investigation to document repeated animal welfare violations. The FBI special agent who authored the report said they “illegally entered buildings owned by [redacted] Farm and videotaped conditions of animals.”
Rosa Parks became a leading figure in the Black Civil Rights Movement in America, but she was not an intellectual, a radical or a preacher. She was a woman who worked as a seamstress. She said she acted as a private citizen that was ‘tired of giving in’.
The main issue with civil disobedience is that it is breaking the law. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and many other intellectuals put into action the theory that it is people’s duty to resist unfair laws.
Because something is a law it does not make it just. Brave people who take action against unjust laws and unjust situations, are the real guardians of democracy.
Sometimes the only way the will of the people will be heard by a government is through protest. Most recently this has been the case in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. For too long the people complained, but their protests fell on deaf ears. Many were imprisoned and tortured for their comments. Eventually, enough was enough and mass protests ensued.
And what is the true meaning of the word democracy? It comes from ‘demos’ meaning People and ‘cracy’ meaning Rule.
Theodora Filis is an environmental journalist based in New York City Her blog The Gaia Reports is found here.