Widener Law program examines federal anti-terrorism law and the rights of animal advocates
Public Relations - Published: April 2, 2012
WilkensOdetteLargeThe ramifications of a federal anti-terrorism law that animal advocates have decried as an attack on free speech rights will be the focus of an upcoming talk at Widener Law.

The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund on the school’s Wilmington, Del. campus will host guest speaker Odette Wilkens, executive director of the Equal Justice Alliance, on Wednesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. Wilkens will speak in room 119 of the Main Law Building at 4601 Concord Pike.

Her talk will focus on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which labels any action that a person might do to interfere with an animal enterprise – such as a business that uses animals or animal products like research labs, grocery or clothing stores – as potential acts of terrorism. Animal advocates maintain these kinds of activities could include website postings, peaceful vigils, nonviolent civil disobedience, undercover investigations and whistleblowing – and that these kinds of activities are protected under the First Amendment.

President George W. Bush signed the act into law in November 2006.

Equal Justice Alliance, which Wilkens represents, is a coalition of social justice groups seeking to repeal the law.

Pennsylvania and Delaware attorneys who attend the program will be eligible for 1.5 continuing legal education credits. The registration fee for those attending for credits is $20. The program is free to students and the general public.