Megan Lewis, one of the founders of the Texas Establishment for Animal Rights, is trying to have one of her parole conditions thrown out on the grounds that it unconstitutionally inhibits her right to free speech.
Lewis was arrested on November 27, 1998 and charged with a misdemeanor for blocking a passageway while taking part in a protest at a Nieman Marcus store. Lewis was convicted and sentenced to serve 10 days in jail and a 24-month probation.
As part of the conditions of her probation, Judge Ralph Taite ordered that Lewis may not participate in any animal rights protest for the duration of her probationary period. Lewis had been sentenced the year before to 1 day in jail after another arrest at an animal rights protest.
Lewis appealed her conviction to the 5th District Court of Appeals which upheld the judge-imposed restriction on her protesting activities, ruling that judges have wide discretion to impose reasonable rules to protect a community and attempt to rehabilitate an offender.
Gag order. Mark Hughes, The Dallas Observer Online, August 23, 2001.
Rally will be held today for anti-fur activist who will be jailed. Rick Lannoye, Dallas Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Press Release, August 9, 2001.
The Texas Establishment for Animal Rights is quickly establishing
itself as the nuttiest of the nuttiest when it comes to AR groups. On
March 13 and 14 it will protest a Civil War reenactment held on a farm
in Texas. Are animals going to be killed or tortured? Nope, according
to a TEAR press release the problem is that “hundreds of men dressed
in civil war regalia, along with horses, cannons, rifles and mortars
will descend on the farm scaring the petting zoo animals, the farm animals,
the migratory waterfowl and birds.”
The Texas Establishment for Animal Rights created quite a stir a couple weeks ago when it uncovered
a dastardly crime against animals taking place at a school in Lewisville,
Texas. It seems that the school system has for several years sponsored
a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in which students donate money
on behalf of a teacher. The teacher receiving the largest donations has
to kiss a pig brought in for the occasion (according to one resident,
last year the lucky winner got to kiss a pig at the halftime of a football
game with over 5,000 people in attendance).
TEAR was outraged at this
horror. Among another claims made in an email release by the group (titled
“Pig Tormented At High School”) “they [the school] are
teaching the kids that animals are somehow inferior to people and that
it is a punishment to have to kiss one.”
Although some of the activists
claimed pressure on the school was mounting to stop the pig kissing contest,
in fact it went forward and according to school officials I talked to
via email, at no point did anyone contemplating canceling the pig kissing.
Special mention goes to
an administrator at Delay who purportedly told the school’s principle,
“Maybe we should just roast the pig and see how they like that.”
Urgent help…pig contest. Texas Establishment for Animal Rights, Press Release, January 26, 1999.
Urgent help…pig contest–correction. Texas Establishment for Animal Rights, Press Release, January 27, 1999.
Response on Kissing the Pig Contest. Bill Jones, E-mail communication, January 28, 1999.