Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BREAKING: FBI Raids Activist House in Utah, Connected to Iowa ALF Investigation

Mar 15th, 2010 by Will Potter Green is the New

FBI agents and law enforcement from multiple agencies have raided a
well-known activist group house in Salt Lake City, Utah, today in
connection with an investigation of Animal Liberation Front crimes in

I just got off the phone with multiple housemates who were there
witnessing the raid, and who were able to read the warrant. Details about
all of this are still emerging, but at this point it is clear that the
warrant was issued by the Southern District of Iowa, and authorizes the
seizure of any books, pamphlets, computers and other materials tied to
“animal enterprise terrorism.” [UPDATE: Here is copy of the warrant.]

Some background: In Minnesota, a graduate student named Scott DeMuth has
been indicted on conspiracy charges under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism
Act. The charges are related to a 2004 raid by the Animal Liberation Front
at the University of Iowa.

Another Minnesota activist, Carrie Feldman, has been jailed for refusing
to testify about her political beliefs and political associations before a
grand jury. Feldman was a teenager at the time of the ALF crime, and says
the grand jury is clearly an attempt to harass and intimidate the activist

So how did the FBI end up in Utah? One of the housemates, Peter Young, is
repeatedly mentioned by name in the warrant. Young was one of the first
people prosecuted for “animal enterprise terrorism” in connection to fur
farm raids in the late 90s. (His co-defendant Justin Samuel is also
mentioned in the warrant). He served two years in prison, and has been
living in Salt Lake City, speaking at colleges, and writing on his
website, Voice of the Voiceless. He is among the most vocal, public
supporters of the ALF and direct action.

Iowa 80 world's largest truck stopThe only connection I can decipher
between Young and the Iowa investigation is this: in an emergency motion
filed against Scott DeMuth, to keep him in jail, the government calls
DeMuth an “anarchist” and “domestic terrorist.” As evidence of this, they
say he is an “associate” of Peter Young. As DeMuth’s faculty advisor has
publicly explained, this is tied to his research as a graduate student.

There are about nine people living at the activist group house in Salt
Lake. At least 15 computers were taken by the FBI, along with boxes of
documents, notebooks, files, and address books. The house is well-known in
the area as a gathering space for animal rights and other activists. No
arrests have been made, and at this point it seems Iowa is being used as a
pretext for a continued campaign of harassment and intimidation.

Among the items taken from the FBI’s terrorism raid: a postcard for Iowa
80, “the world’s largest truck stop.”

I’ll continue to update as this story develops. In the meantime, this is a
good opportunity to plug the National Lawyers Guild hotline,
1-888-NLG-ECOL. Also, please write Carrie Feldman a letter as she
continues to resist the grand jury witch hunt. Carolyn Feldman,
770 Iowa St., Dubuque, IA 52001.

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