The oral arguments
in the SHAC 7 appeal were heard January 6, 2009. It will be many months
before a decision is handed down in the case, but this marks yet another
milestone in the case. Both the defense side and the government side made
arguments, with the judges asking questions of both sides. The judges
seemed to be very interested in hearing more about the First Amendment
implications of the case as well as the Animal Enterprise Protection Act.
As soon as we know anything, we will let you all know!
Andy Stepanian was released from prison on December 18, 2008. He was sent to a halfway house in New York and will be able to return home in the coming months.
Josh Harper and Jake Conroy's birthdays are both coming up soon! Josh's birthday is January 31st. Jake's is February 3rd. They would love to receive cards, letters, photos (no polaroids), and notes.
Jake has specifically asked for people to send photobooth pictures. If you don't have a photobooth nearby, you can always make your own photobooth strips!
If you are interested
in sending a book or magazine subscription to Jake or Josh, please contact
their support people to find out what they currently want:
Please put the subject line "Josh's Birthday" or "Jake's Birthday", as we get a ton of junk mail at these addresses and we don't want to overlook your message.
JACOB CONROY, # 93501-011
JOSHUA HARPER # 29429-086
Kevin's birthday is coming up on October 31st. Please take a few minutes to send him a birthday greeting!
KEVIN KJONAAS # 93502-011
to be released from Prison on September 29th--attend his release party!
We are having a volleyball game/ Vegan Potluck BBQ at Veterans Park in Hamilton, NJ, Saturday September 29th starting at 1pm.
Everyone is welcome!
This is not just a 'vegan' thing but the foodwill be vegan thanks to all
of you bringing an item! Rain or Shine we are on!!! :)
The meet up area of
the park is in the back near the volleyball courts. There is plenty of
parking and the park it is beautiful! If you don’t know Darius this
is a great time to meet him and welcome him back to the real world with
some good food and competitive volleyball!
For more info contact
Andy Stepanian'sBirthday Coming Up August 8th
Josh Harper was finally released from "the hole" today, after being held there for nearly 100 days. He is happy to be out and able to enjoy the simple pleasure of walking around outside. Make sure to drop him a line!
There is a new writing from Andy Stepanian here. Check it out.
No word on the appeal yet--but we expect to have a timeline any day now. It's definitely in progress and, unfortunately, takes time.
Josh Harper is still in the "Hole" and Jake Conroy's prison is back on lockdown. Each of the SHAC 7 have expressed their gratitude for those who have written and sent books--please keep writing!
RIGHTS 2007 CONFERENCE
Jake Conroy's prison is finally off lockdown--thanks to those who wrote and made the two weeks locked in his cell easier! Although this is good news, Josh Harper is still in the hole, and Lauren and Andy have had their phone privileges suspended, so they all really need to hear from you! Keep in mind that if you have written and not heard back, it's likely because they are all limited on the number of stamps they can buy and it takes a while to get back to everyone. But the mail they receive is very much appreciated! So please, keep writing!
Lauren Gazzola and Andrew Stepanian have been barred from using the phone for 6 months. This drastically reduces their ability to communicate with both their support committees and their family and loves one as stamps are limited. Losing their phone "privileges," means that their only means of hearing what's happening outside the prison walls is via mail. Please write, send photos (no polaroids), etc.
Also, some bad news for Jake & Josh as well.
Jake Conroy's prison
is on lockdown (meaning he can't leave his cell 24
Prison is bad enough, but the hole means being locked into a cell all day long, losing a lot (if not all) of your possessions (including letters he'd recently received, and a dispatch and response letters he'd just written), down to one 15-min. phone call per week, and losing access to what few vegan options he'd had.
All the SHAC 7 really need your support to help them get thorough these hard times. Please take a few minutes to write all of them.
PRISON ON 24 HOUR LOCKDOWN
Letters are particularly important to Jake right now, as they are his only connection to the outside world. Please write Jake and all the prisoners now!
NEW BLOG BY LAUREN GAZZOLA
Lauren's latest blog from prison is an excellent editorial on fearlessness and staying strong as an activist in the face of repression. check it out!
Also...All of the SHAC 7 prisoners are getting the word out in their own way, and an article by Lauren was recently published in Jane Magazine! We'll have it available online soon, but Lauren did a great job getting the word out about the case and the animals at HLS!
Josh's birthday is coming up on January 31st--he'd love to receive cards, letters, and photos!
Jake's birthday is Saturday, February 3rd. He's asked for friends, family, and supporters to send him pictures (especially photobooth pictures!), myspace printouts, and anything else he might find entertaining or funny. If you don't know where a photobooth is near you, find out here.
Spending holidays and birthdays behind bars is difficult, but cards, pictures, notes, and other birthday greetings make those days special! Please take a few minutes to track down a photobooth, or snap some photos of yourself and other interesting things, and send them in a card or letter. If you want them to wait to open their birthday mail until their actual birthday, just write "don't open until birthday" on the back of the envelope.
Send Josh's birthday mail to:
We will be posting
other prisoner's birthdays as those dates approach.
It sounds like the SHAC 7 Days of Xmas letter writing was a great success--they all received a lot of cards and letters around the holiday.
As of now, we have been able to talk to everyone--Lauren, Jake, Kevin, Andy, Darius, and Josh, and all of them are doing alright. They have all expressed their appreciation for the letters and notes of support they have been receiving and look forward to cards and letters from more new friends, as well as reports of activism!
Jake Conroy just put out his first statement from prison. You can read it here.
For each of them, getting enough food has been an issue, as the prison does not accomodate a vegan diet. However, they have been able to supplement their diet by buying food from the prison commissary, which they are able to do with donations from the support fund.
It's been 9 months
since the SHAC 7 were found guilty in New Jersey, and
Please take a few
minutes to write them, even if you don't know them. A
Please write often
and think about organizing a prisoner letter writing
JACOB CONROY, # 93501-011
DARIUS FULMER # 26397-050
LAUREN GAZZOLA #
KEVIN KJONAAS # 93502-011
At the end of the
day, even short messages help to remind prisoners of the
are permitted to receive a very small variety of items
Please write the defendants
in prison! They would love to hear from you
All mail is opened
and read by prison officials.
Also, please consider
donating to the SHAC 7 Support Fund. All donated
Donations can also
be made online using paypal at www.SHAC7.com.
Andy Stepanian started his sentence in early October and the remaining defendants will start their sentences on November 16th. If you haven't written Andy yet, please do. (And if you've written before--write again!) and get your pens and paper ready because soon you will have six more pen pals to write.
Also, it ain't easy being vegan in prison. The prison does not supply a vegan diet, so each of the prisoners need funds every month to buy food to supplement their diet and to purchase stamps, paper, and other necessities. Please consider donating to the support fund so we can keep their commissary accounts full!
We will be posting addresses for everyone once they are available.
In the meantime, keep writing Andy, getting the word out, and taking action for the animals inside HLS! The SHAC 7 are going to prison for speaking out for the animals--we need to be supporting them and doing our part to stop HLS!
We have received word that Andy is eating fairly well and receiving our letters.
It is important that we continue to write and show support during this difficult time.
please remember that all mail is read by the authorities, must have a complete name and return address, and cannot be decorated with stickers, gel pens, etc.
Andrew Lloyd Stepanian
Please check back for more information as it comes in.
Donate to the support fund to help pay for Andy's and the other SHAC 7 defendant's commissary funds!
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Remember that all
prison mail is read by the authorities, so think before you write. Mail
to prison facilities must always include a return address and the full
name of the sender. For now, stick to simple cards and letters without
stickers, gel-pens, or a lot of decoration.
While Andy is at the MDC, he will not be able to receive visits from anyone except family members. A mailing address and a breakdown of what types of mail will be permitted to be sent to Andy will be available within the next day or two. Please check back often to get the information and get to writing Andy. He has expressed that receiving support letters is very important to him. Remember, letters are a prisoner's only line to the outside, so get writing and we'll be sending out an address shortly!
Over the coming weeks and months, Andy's co-defendants, Kevin Kjonaas, Lauren Gazzola, Jake Conroy, Josh Harper, and Darius Fulmer will also be starting their prison sentences. Information and addresses will be made available as soon as we have them.
Thanks for your continued support--now get to writing Andy a letter!
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HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF: AN ACCOUNT OF THE SHAC 7 SENTENCING
by Will Potter
Many people have emailed me to ask why I still haven’t posted a recap of the SHAC 7 sentencing, and I don’t know what to say. That’s the problem. Every time I have sat down to write about last week’s sentencing of the SHAC 7, I’ve failed. I’ve become paralyzed. I’ve tried dumping all my thoughts onto the page and not worrying about form or content or style, but I can’t. I simply do not know what to say.
I still don’t, and that terrifies me. The terrorist rhetoric, the roundups, the blacklists: I’ve reported on all of this and the main problem I’ve faced has been time, not a lack of words. But sitting in Trenton, N.J., watching the spectacle take place, watching the six 20-something defendants in their thrift-store court clothes comfort their mothers while standing tall, shoulders back, for their friends… it broke me.
As I sat in the overflowing courtroom, sandwiched between a New Jersey activist and a mustached local reporter, I felt like I was watching history. I don’t mean that in the Red Scare kind of analogy that I often use in my work, although that is clearly applicable. I mean that a surreal feeling struck me. In 10, 20, 50 years, young people will look at this trial, just as we look at past eras of repression, and wonder: “How did you let this happen?”
How did we let this happen?
ANDREW STEPANIAN AND DARIUS FULLMER SENTENCED
Today was the last
day of sentencing in the SHAC 7 case with Andrew
Stepanian and Darius Fullmer being sentenced.
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JOSH HARPER SENTENCED TO 36 MONTHS
Today, on the second day of sentencing for the SHAC 7, Joshua Harper received 36 months.
After a presentation by Josh's attorney, Josh made a brief statement to the court, setting out how he found compassion for animals, the connections between violence against people and violence against animals, and his continued support for direct action.
The prosecution urged for a lengthy prison sentence, which the court rejected, instead sentencing Josh to 36 months in prison, a share in the $1,000,001 restitution to HLS, 3 years supervised release, and $200 in special assessments. Like the other defendants, Josh has 30 days to turn himself in and will remain on house arrest in the interim.
Please remember to attend sentencing for Darius Fullmer and Andrew Stepanian on Tuesday, September 19th, at 9:15 am. It will be at the federal courthouse in Trenton at 400 East State Street on the 4th Floor.
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SENTENCING UPDATE. KEVIN, LAUREN, AND JAKE SENTENCED. SENTENCING DATES FOR JOSH HARPER, ANDREW STEPANIAN AND DARIUS FULLMER.
Please note: Only 4 of the defendants were sentenced today, as the court ran out of time today. Josh Harper will be sentenced tomorrow, September 13th, at 9 am. Please come out and support Josh!
Andrew Stepanian and Darius Fullmer will be sentenced next Tuesday, September 19th. Please mark you calendars and plan on being at the federal courthouse in Trenton next Tuesday at 9:15 am.
Today was the first day of sentencing for the SHAC 7 defendants. It was both an inspiring and a disappointing day. Inspiring to see a courtroom packed full of activists who had travelled from all corners of the country overflowing into the lobby--a powerful reminder that despite attempts by the government, activists will not be intimidated.
It was also a disappointing day, as the government dealt yet another blow to activists everywhere. Once again, the government reminded activists that speaking out too loud and being too effective won't be tolerated in post-9/11 America.
The organization SHAC USA was sentenced first, which is ultimately a symbolic act by the court, as the entity SHAC USA does not really exist. The court then moved on to the individual defendants.
After a tirade of inflammatory rhetoric by the prosecutor, impassioned speeches by the defense, and commentary by the court, the court handed down the following sentences:
In addition, the court ordered the (penniless) defendants to pay $1,000,001 in restitution. Each defendant was also given 3 years of supervised release upon release from prison, with conditions that they not violate any laws and will be subjected to computer monitoring by the government.
While the sentences are unjust, just as this entire case has been, there is some victory in that most of the defendants received significantly less prison time than prescribed by the federal sentencing guidelines. More importantly, they received sentences that were nearly half of what the prosecution urged.
Unfortunately, the court had a scheduling conflict, so there was not enough time to sentence all of the defendants today. As a result, Joshua Harper was scheduled for sentence tomorrow, September 13th, at 9 am, and Darius Fullmer and Andrew Stepanian were scheduled for September 19th.
The sentences will be appealed, but in the mean time, sharpen those pencils and get ready to write! As soon as the defendants start their prison sentences, addresses will be available online--stay tuned to SHAC7.com.
A big thank you to all those who came out for sentencing--we hope to see you tomorrow and on the 19th!
The three who were sentenced today were ordered to turn themselves in to their designated prison or to the U.S. Marshall (if no prison has yet been assigned) in 30 days to start their prison sentences.
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SENTENCING SET FOR SEPTEMBER 12TH-FLYERS AVAILABLE
On September 12th, the SHAC 7 are set to be sentenced in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey. The government has recommended up to 13 years in prison for some of the defendants--simply for speaking out for animals inside Huntingdon Life Sciences.
Please make every effort to attend court on September 12th--the defendants need your support and it is important to pack the courtroom with supporters! Please dress appropriately for court, bring an ID (it is required to enter the courthouse) and remember that cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the courtroom (leave them in your car or at home).
12th, 10 a.m.
Download the new sentencing flyer here and help spread the word!
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June 13, 2006
In the meantime, please remember you can always write the defendants--Jake Conroy, Darius Fulmer, Lauren Gazzola, Josh Harper, Kevin Kjonaas, and Andy Stepanian--while they are on house arrest. Information on how to send them a note is here.
And don't forget the fundraising efforts are continuing to pay the mounting legal fees for appeal. There are some upcoming benefits listed here in Brooklyn, NY; San Francisco, CA, and Denver, CA.
And the long anticipated
"SHAC Packs" are now available through Herbivore Clothing! The
packs include a great SHAC 7/Legalize Animal Rights Shirt (printed on
American Apparel/sweatshop free shirts!), 2 buttons, a sticker, and 10
postcards. Help get the word out, get some great animal rights stuff,
AND support the SHAC 7. Buy it here:
Your continued support for the SHAC 7 and your actions on behalf of the animals means a lot to the Jake, Lauren, Andy, Josh, Darius, and Kevin as they await sentencing. Keep it up!
For the Animals,
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March 2, 2006
While it is sad to
see yet another blow to our civil liberties and another attack on the
animal rights movement, we still have a battle ahead of us. The defendants
will be appealing these convictions, and needs in regards to support for
the defendants will be emerging over the next several days. The conviction
is just another example of our eroding civil liberties in
The six are being held at Monmouth County Jail and the judge has agreed to order that the jail provide vegetarian meals. At this time, no calls to the jail are needed and visiting spots are being reserved for family and close friends of the defendants.
The tremendous outpouring of support from the activist community has helped carry the defendants through this difficult trial and will undoubtedly help them through the struggle ahead.
Anyone who knows the campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences knows that it is much bigger than these six defendants and that it will undoubtedly carry on.
The defendants at this time implore the activist community to not publicly comment on the case, to keep their frustration with the outcome in check, and to remember that the scrutiny on them and actions perceived to be on their behalf can do nothing but hurt them at this point.
Please stay tuned
for announcements on how you can support those in prison and upcoming