The Nation

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia upheld a decision that found 26 violent anti-abortion demonstrators had violated federal racketeering laws, a ruling that one lawyer said was precedent-setting. The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals also awarded $110,000 in damages and attorney's fees to the Northeast Women's Center Inc., which accused the protesters of conspiring to prevent abortions at the clinic. The center's lawsuit was the first test of the federal Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in a civil case against abortion demonstrators, said Edmond A. Tiryak, the lawyer who brought the action for the clinic. "From our point of view, this is an important example that will be used nationally," he said.

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