FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2009
Contact: Natalia Shulkin, Earth Warriors are OK!
(EWOK!) Hotline (612) 29-EWOKS (293-9657), firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Grand Jury Resister Scott DeMuth Charged with Conspiracy
Nationwide Support Being Organized for the Seventh Person Indicted Under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
Davenport, IA – This morning, grand jury resister Scott DeMuth was charged with conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism. The indictment accuses him of conspiring with persons unknown to cause economic damage in excess of $10,000. DeMuth has become the seventh person to be indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) of 2006. He is currently being held in the disciplinary block at 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, IA on Tuesday.
“This charge under the AETA is a heinous example of the increasingly repressive tactics that the Federal government has used against people ranging from the Black Panthers to the AETA 4,” said Thomas Addo of Earth Warriors are OK! (EWOK!). “We will continue to support Scott as he resists the government’s attempt to criminalize his political beliefs.”
Bail has not yet been set for DeMuth, although he has an upcoming bond hearing. It is unclear how this indictment affects his current
incarceration. DeMuth and Carrie Feldman were both subpoenaed to appear before the Davenport grand jury on Tuesday; both refused to testify because of their opposition to repressive government tactics such as grand juries. Feldman was also found to be in contempt of court and continues to be held in Washington County Jail. She has not been charged with any crime.
The AETA has been widely criticized as being unconstitutional and broad enough to criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment. For example, Matthew Strugar of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has argued that a consumer boycott, if effective at reducing an animal enterprise’s profits, would be punishable under the AETA as terrorism.
Supporters of DeMuth and Feldman have already mounted a defense campaign and are raising legal funds. They are also working with organizations around the country to raise awareness about grand juries and government repression. Rallies have already occurred from Minneapolis to Dallas, and supporters are planning to call Federal prosecutor Cliff Cronk on Monday to demand that he dismiss the subpoenas and drop the charges against DeMuth.
For more information, visit https://davenportgrandjury.wordpress.com.