Commentary :: Animal rights

"Moving Forward, Finally" - a SERIOUSLY inspirational message from Jake of the SHAC7

Below is a statement Jake wrote after sentencing and before he started his prison sentence. Please make sure to write Jake, and all the SHAC 7! Stay tuned to for a prison update written by Jake!
Jacob Conroy
FCI Victorville Medium I
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 5300
Adelanto, CA 92301

:: MOVING FORWARD, FINALLY (statement by SHAC 7 prisoner Jake Conroy)

On September 12th, 2006, Lauren Gazzola, Kevin Kjonaas, and I were sentenced for our alleged roles in the SHAC 7 case. The judge sentenced me to 48 months. Considering that when I walked through the doors at the beginning of the day the government was recommending 132 – 156 months of imprisonment, I think I made out all right. I still believe that my sentence will either be shortened or thrown out all together upon the hearing of our appeal. But if not, at the end of the day 3 years and 5 months (with good behavior) I will walk out of prison a stronger, well rested, committed person. I am sure of that.

I was overwhelmed at the turnout for our court date. Sitting in my seat at the front, knowing that roughly 100 supporters sat behind me, was a great feeling. It put a smile on my face when a US Marshal opened the door and I could hear the low murmur of another 40 or so supporters out in the hallway. It meant a great deal to me to have my family, partner, friends and supporters there with us, knowing they had traveled from all over the country to be there. It was wonderful, and I thank you. I also found it humorous that sitting behind the government was HLS hacks Mark Bibi and Michael Caulfield (a multinational corporation could only scrape up two employees to come to a sentencing they had longed for and planned, for years?!) who had come to see us be sentenced to what I'm sure they hoped was the maximum. I would imagine they also were hoping to hear us apologize to them and beg for mercy before the court. I am satisfied that they went home disappointed, and from what I understand, knowing that they had a weekend of demonstrations to deal with.

In a way I am looking forward to starting this next chapter of my life – getting some rest, living free from bills and rent, a free gym and rec yard, keeping in touch with friends and family as well as making some new friends, and continuing to fight our case. I am confident I will leave prison, whenever it may happen, a stronger and more dedicated and passionate person than when I arrive.

I am excited to hear from all of you, but ask you please, regardless of what your cause or passion in life is: for every letter you write me, write one to an abuser. For every dollar you send to my commissary fund, send one to an activist organization, and for every visit you pay me in prison, make sure to attend a demonstration. Don't ever lose that passion to make a change.

The government, the big businesses, the animal abusers and Huntingdon Life Sciences wanted to see us locked up for as long as possible in order to send a clear message to all of you – keep your mouth shut and your nose out of our business, otherwise you'll pay the price. They thought that by cutting off what they perceived as the head of this movement that the body would die. By removing 6 people, a webpage, and a symbolic acronym that a worldwide movement would just come to a halt. I want to reiterate their position – we are just 6 people. There was just one web page. It was just one group. But what were reported on that webpage were not the actions of these 6 people – it was YOU. You were the one out there writing an email, holding a sign at a demonstration and spray painting the car. You were dismantling animal abuse one brick at a time. You were breaking down the walls of what was once an impenetrable system of abuse. You are the one still out there fighting. The way I look at it is that the 6 of us are simply taking one for the team. Which I am happy to do as long as you all uphold your end of it – don't ever give up fighting. We as a movement are making strides worldwide that we have never seen before. We must continue the struggle and not back away when we face oppression. Our successes can be best measured by the oppressor's reaction. And they are coming out fighting for their very lives. They know what we want – we have been chanting it in the streets for decades. But now we are putting those words into action. They want to scare you into silence, because they finally see that we are a force to be reckoned with. Let's not let them down.

Keep fighting!


On the SHAC7

"A tiny group of activists is succeeding where Karl Marx, the Baader-Meinhof gang and the Red Brigade failed"
- The Financial Times

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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