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Kurtz Supporters Rally on His Behalf as Grand Jury Hears Bio-Terror Case

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – About 100 people gathered in Niagara Square Tuesday morning to protest the federal investigation of a UB art professor. A grand jury was to convene today to consider bio-terrorism charges against Steve Kurtz.

Last month, federal agents and the Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted a massive probe of his Allentown home to examine bio-art marterials. Kurtz said they're used to produce art projects.

Eight colleagues of Kurtz were subpoenaed to testify Tuesday, including Adele Henderson, chair of UB's Art Department.

Members of the Critical Art Ensemble organized the protest to demand an immediate end to the investigation. Kurtz founded the organization. Protestors from several states attended the Buffalo demonstration, including Chicago art teacher Gregg Bordowitz. He says materials used for bio-art projects are harmless.

"The materials that (Kurtz) had are materials that are commonly found in college and high school settings to demonstrate basic biological principles," Bordowitz said. "They're not classified materials."

US assistant attorney William Hochul says the government can not comment any information regarding the investigation. He could not even confirm if a grand jury had convened.