At a Glance
Matthew Strugar, as cooperating counsel
Kevin Olliff is an animal rights activist who was arrested April 18, 2009 on three year-old protest charges and, soon after, had 10 felony counts added to his charges: multiple counts of: stalking, conspiracy, conspiracy to stalk, and threatening of a public servant. The case arose out of the long-running campaign against primate research in the University of California system, and all charges stemmed from Olliff’s speech and expressive activity—namely, chants at residential pickets. The case was similar to other Green Scare cases, such as the SHAC 7 case and the AETA 4 prosecution, in that it targeted above-ground activists in an attempt to hold them responsible for underground, illegal activity by unidentified activists.
The indictment accused Olliff of associating with the underground Animal Liberation Front (ALF), which the State labeled a “gang” in the indictment. The ALF took credit acts of vandalism against vivisectors in the course of efforts to end primate research at California universities. The indictment against Olliff alleged these acts were carried out by unnamed coconspirators and that Olliff’s speech constituted overt acts in furtherance of that activity. It did not allege that Olliff participated in or planned illegal activity himself.