Jake Conroy is a long-time activist, designer, and writer based in San Francisco, CA, USA. He has been involved in a wide range of activism since 1995. His passion for positive change led him to volunteer with and organize various campaigns on local, regional, national, and international levels with great success.
After graduating from art school in 1996, he became an active member and director for the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN). He participated in various acts of civil disobedience, hundreds of protests, and countless educational outreach events, working with NARN to turn Seattle into one of the most animal-friendly cities in the country. Jake aided in the closing of one of the last remaining fur salons in Seattle, as well as removing fur from Federated`s Bon Marche.
As co-founder and Vice President of Ocean Defense International (ODI), Jake led the first ever disruption of a whale hunt in US coastal waters. By piloting various vessels and directly putting themselves between the hunted and hunter, Jake and ODI reduced the anticipated kill of 20 Pacific Gray whales down to one.
Recognizing the need for strong grassroots campaigning, Jake helped build the foundation of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA, one of the most successful grassroots animal rights campaigns in history. As an organizer and designer, Jake brought a new look and creative feel to grassroots campaigns through professional newsletters, brochures, web design and merchandise.
Due to the overwhelming success of the campaign against one of the biggest lobbying industries in the US, the federal government prosecuted Jake and his co-defendants, known as the SHAC 7, as domestic terrorists. After a highly publicized case, the SHAC 7 were found guilty on all charges, including the controversial Animal Enterprise Protection Act (now called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) and sentenced to a variety of prison terms and a $1,000,001 restitution fine. Jake was sentenced to 48 months, which he served in 2 prisons in southern California.
His dedication to change is almost matched for his desire to make it look good. Over the last decade, Jake has honed his skills in the fine arts, print and web design in order to better convey messages to the general public in an exciting, appealing and educational way.
Currently Jake works for an international environmental organization that uses direct action and pressure campaigns to help enact responsible corporate policies. He can also be found speaking at universities around the US, and working on the projects he cofounded, Bite Back Magazine and the blog Plant Based on a Budget.
From Activist to Terrorist
Lessons learned: Looking back to move forward