Animal abuse continues and therefore the animal rights movement carries on regardless of oppression. For those who wish to conduct their activities within lawful boundaries it is essential to have a good understanding of laws which might apply to protest or lobbying. Ignorance of a law, no matter how petty or unfair that law may be, will be no defence in court.
FREEBEAGLES www.freebeagles.org is a website which clearly explains relevant legislation and lists solicitors. It is recommended that all activists study both civil and criminal law to obtain a basic understanding of both. If you are arrested it is not a good idea to answer any questions the police will ask other than your name and address (otherwise they may not release you).You can either remain silent through interview or say “no comment” throughout. Make sure that other activists are aware of their rights however unlikely it may be that they will be arrested or harassed by the police.
Remember, the police often break the law themselves sometimes wilfully and sometimes because they do not understand it. You can sue the police and/or complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission www.ipcc.gov.uk when they misbehave, it is certainly an avenue worthy of enquiry via your legal team. Prosecuting the police is empowering and helps to prevent police violence and harassment in future thus protecting other activists.
Protect yourself and others against injury and burn-out look up www.actionmedics.org.uk to prepare for first aid at demonstrations and www.activist-trauma.net which gives excellent advice on avoiding post traumatic stress and other potential mental health problems. Look after one another.
Support animal rights prisoners look up www.vpsg.org for up to date information.
Support the right to protest and human rights look up www.freedomtoprotest.org.uk.
Complain about biased policing and media to the relevant authorities, support campaigns, refer to our links page. Write to the press, get involved in radio phone-ins, lobby your MP (House of Commons, SW1OAA www.parliament.uk) and just keep on fighting.