CCR Condemns Terrorism Indictment for Activists Freeing Mink from Fur Farms

July 11, 2014 – Today, in response to the indictments of animal rights activists Tyler Lang and Kevin Olliff on federal terrorism charges for allegedly releasing 2,000 mink and foxes from fur farms, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We are outraged that these two activists have been indicted as terrorists under an unconstitutional law, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, for allegedly saving thousands of lives. Saving animals from being skinned and killed for their fur may be against the law, but by labeling this kind of action “terrorism” the government is setting a dangerous precedent for future prosecutions of activists engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience.  The Fur Commission USA is one of the many groups that lobbied for the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. This case will have precisely the kind of chilling effect the law is meant to have on animal rights activists, and it is part of a dangerous trend that includes the proliferation of Ag Gag laws and other unconstitutional restrictions on activism.
CCR’s case, Blum v. Holder, which challenged the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech, was dismissed earlier this year by a federal judge who ruled the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case because the government had not used the law against them. Plaintiffs argued their advocacy work has been chilled due to fear of being prosecuted as a terrorist under the AETA. The court did not rule on the constitutionality of the law.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


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July 11, 2014