Things We Are Not Allowed To Show You, Part 1 (Various Dates And Locations)
Since it’s very inception the United States has fought hard to take away, or manage into pointlessness, the rights “guaranteed” in the constitution and bill of rights. For proof one needs look no further than the first amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” A thinking person could instantly rattle off any number of laws (and extra-legal government activity) that make nonsense of these words, particularly as they apply to free speech, the press, and the right of people to peaceably assemble!
Take for example 18 U.S.C. 842(p), the federal law concerning the distribution of texts involving explosives. Advocacy of armed action and violent revolution, even when intended to incite (but not likely to do so) is allegedly protected by the first amendment, but this law makes certain texts and websites illegal if the material therein is provided with knowledge or intent that the information will be used to commit a federal crime. Sounds reasonable right? Well, first one must consider the idea of intent, how it is proven, and how a person’s politics might be used to prejudice a jury against them. Second, one must consider that the Patriot Act provides considerable sentencing modifiers to any activity the government deems to be terrorism- even speech. The threat of twenty or more years behind bars could sway someone to self-censor (or plea to a lesser charge, even when they are innocent) when their “intent” could easily be misrepresented by a prosecutor.
Conflict Gypsy exists to archive rare and relevant publications of interest to militant animal and earth liberationists. Controversy is integral to the texts and images that we preserve and discuss, and in an ideal world we would be able to share all of the materials available to us. But, as it stands, we do have to worry about the dozens and dozens of state and federal laws that restrict free expression and sharing of ideas. Here is a small sampling of some of the covers of various publications that have at one time or another been distributed in radical non-human protection movements. We wish that we could share them in full and apologize to our readers that we do not live in a country where such liberty is afforded us.