At last! Schnews has written a brilliant article on how NETCU et al have been trolling on the internet. This has been going on for years and is most notable on certain anti animal rights websites which target and smear activists as well as Indymedia. The police have put up posts and comments which:
pretend to be from named activists in an attempt to discredit
threatening (we have highlighted at least one of these on a previous post)
give out names, addresses, private emails and phone numbers of activists
are vindictive and hateful
The fact that the individual police officers concerned are paid to disrupt campaigning in this way is an absolute disgrace. The sheer vitriol that comes out of many of these snide attempts to demoralise is proof that the political police units are not there to “protect” anything other than corporate profits and their own very lucrative little positions. They hate activists but at the same time depend on us for their swanky vehicles and luxury accomodation (according to Mark Kennedy in the Mail on Sunday this weekend). They do their best to exaggerate the danger and rake in the cash from the taxpayer whilst facing no real risks.
Must be nice having to do nothing more than make up crap for Indymedia, blogs and of course facebook we presume AND get an enhanced salary.
Right now as the Earth burns and billions of animals die in agony all the police in NDET, NPIOU, FIT, NETCU, Rumble, Achilles and other anti activist operations want to do is keep the torture, the murder, the violation, the sacrilege going and they are prepared to wreck the lives of anyone who stands up against their freinds in the multinationals, the hunts and the labs. They are nothing more than the lackeys of those who rip animals apart, who destroy the forests and who make a profit over crucifying any man woman or child who interferes with making hard cash. This is nothing to do with the law every single officer and civilian worker involved with these police units could have chosen to have done something else, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE LOWLIFE is the enemy of every decent person and has decided to do what they can to induce a police state. Recognise them as the enemy and above all FIGHT BACK. More to follow….much more..
At last! Schnews has written a brilliant article on how NETCU et al have been trolling on the internet. This has been going on for years and is most notable on certain anti animal rights websites which target and smear activists as well as Indymedia. The police have put up posts and comments which:
We have read some absolute crap over the years but Andrew Malone’s “investigation” into “A terrorist called Mumsy” has to win some sort of prize!
Andrew regurgitating a NETCU press release is not an investigation dearie and for those who read this give Andrew and DCI Andy Robbins any credibility consider the following facts;
Sarah has been in prison for years now but according to Andrew she has only been in for a week!
How exactly can a prisoner be forced to wear leather shoes? First Andrew says Sarah is forced to wear leather, then he says she is living a vegan life of Riley. Did you make this up in the pub Andrew or what?
Sarah had nothing to do with digging up Gladys Hammond.
If SHAC were a “ruthless IRA-style gang” where are all the bodies and limping people who have been knee-capped, those who have been tarred and feathered? (we at NW fully acknowledge that atrocities were committed by the UVF and British soldiers and police as well during the Troubles). Stop exaggerating Andrew, we know it makes a better headline but really show some respect to those who have suffered both in Ireland and on the UK mainland especially as we approach Rememberance Sunday.
What extensive training at “safe houses” on how to avoid police surveillance?
And it goes on and on and on 2 entire pages worth.
Solidarity with Sarah and the other activists who have been painted as her mere stooges.
Filed under: Animal Rights, Anti Terror Laws, Arrests, Civil Liberties, Convictions, Corruption, Freedom of Speech, Huntingdon Life Sciences, Justice??, NETCU, News Articles, Police State, SHAC, Vivisection, WTF? | Leave a Comment »
Seen at the G20 bank protests on April 1st and 2nd.
Please use the comments if you can ID this officer who was taking notes about the march. Reference (COP1)
Use the comments if you can further ID this Super Reference (COP2)
Seen at the G20 bank protests on April 1st and 2nd.
Further ID needed please use comments to help us ID this officer Reference (COP3)
I’m fed up with the histrionics, the exaggerations and the lies about SHAC and so this is my contribution to counter them.
I write as someone who was involved with SHAC in the beginning in 1999 until now (although I only attend very few demonstrations). I have been heavily involved in the campaign in the past and have been convicted of quite a few offences and feel that I am fairly well placed to challenge some of the regurgitated nonsense spewed out by the press which might assist other activists as well as share my personal experiences of the police, the legal system and HLS.
I would never have believed that back in 1999 when Hillgrove closed that our civil liberties would become so eroded. Back then, August 1999, articles were published in the national press congratulating the campaign as the RSPCA moved in and re-homed every single cat. Tactics now , of course, are VERY different and much more restrained as new laws made demonstrations outside a “home” practically illegal, in fact demonstrating against vivisection at all is a gamble as to its legality with the 4 ½ year prison sentence dealt out to Sean Kirtley under SOCPA who had done absolutely nothing which broke the law. Anti vivisection demonstrations in the last 2 or 3 years have not included home demonstrations, or running into offices, or blockades even though all of these are non violent forms of protest used by many other campaigners over decades, for example the Suffragettes would march en masse to the homes of their detractors oft bearing flaming torches (in fact some of them burnt down the Home Secretary’s new house and indeed the Oxford boat house in fact there is a picture of JRR Tolkien looking at the scorched remains). Not once was any individual harmed by SHAC, for the record the incident in which the CEO of HLS was wounded was actually publicly condemned by SHAC .Why then the state was so keen to crush SHAC with unprecedented cooperation between police forces was not because SHAC is a “terrorist” organisation but because SHAC have forced not just HLS but the entire foul industry to the very brink of survival in the UK.
So what is in the papers and on telly? A round up shows the following accusations:
A 7 year campaign of terror!
A car with “evil scum” written on it.
Some individuals were branded paedophiles.
Gladys Hammond case gets brought up yet again
“Vicious” phone calls
Nasty things being sent in the post for example used condoms and sanitary towels.
Threats to infect with HIV
Walking into offices wearing masks, talking to workers etc.
Talking about how nasty vivisectors are in the “privacy” of their own homes as well as feelings of hatred and retribution .
Not handing in petitions to the government.
That Greg is the leader of the ALF
And in the Sunday Times the best of the lot (28/12/2008) “trying to kill” people!!!!
That seems to be about it and from another perspective not one “victim” was actually harmed by any animal rights activist let alone the defendants (except the HLS CEO). So let us look at each accusation in turn.
A 7 year campaign of terror!
Three of the convicted defendants had nothing to do with the campaign in the early years, they were still at school and had never heard of SHAC or HLS, only The Times bothered to point this out. The radio and TV news actually stated that the defendants themselves were directly responsible for everything done against HLS. The grave of Gladys was shown on national TV as though the defendants were in some way responsible even though nearly half of them were not involved then. A message to us all no doubt which should be worded, “If you become part of an effective campaign you are not only responsible for the actions of persons unknown now but for the actions of those who broke the law before you even heard of said campaign, we can’t catch those responsible so you can pay with your liberty instead”.
Personally I think that if I pour paint stripper on someone’s car (not that I would you understand, this is hypothetical) that I should be the person who is arrested and taken to court not the person who made the leaflet through which I learnt something that incensed me so much I broke the law. Even less should someone who joins a campaign 3 years later be made to pay for my actions which took place when they were a child.
SHAC has always been and remains a legal campaign (even the Times says so) which highlights the atrocities carried out at HLS. Years ago The News of the World had a campaign against paedophiles and printed addresses and the inevitable happened, Should the editor be prosecuted? Should The leaders of the Countryside Alliance face 14 years each in prison because some pro hunt activists threatened to poison the water supply and some did go slow protests on the M25? Should Plane Stupid be rounded up and incarcerated for the entirety of their youth because they effectively said, “continue cheap haul flights and we
will disrupt them”?
A car with “evil scum” written on it.
Not nice for the owner and illegal but hardly crime of the century. Thousands of people face this sort of thing every day and in fact get their cars burnt out on rough estates. Funny enough the police are not too interested unless the “victim” is involved in vivisection. I am not aware that ANY of the defendants are in any way responsible for this act.
Some individuals were branded paedophiles
Vivisection is all about poisoning, burning, mutilating and other forms of torturing of innocent victims. I don’t like calling animal abusers paedophiles, most of them are not what they do is often as bad and often worse but false accusations in my humble opinion undermine the value of animals as sentient beings and cause mistrust as well as sympathy being generated for the accused. Others will no doubt disagree. A child rapist will of course serve far less time in prison than an animal rights activist showing the real values of our warped society.
Gladys Hammond case gets brought up yet again
None of the defendants had anything whatsoever to do with this. In fact no activist has admitted to, been found guilty of or has been charged with disinterring Mrs Hammonds earthly remains. A huge question mark remains over whether it was animal rights activists or a state perpetuated hoax. For the sake of argument let us say that it was animal rights activists who did this ghastly deed, horrible yes but no living creature was harmed. In fact BAA intend to desecrate 3 entire graveyards if the Heathrow expansion goes ahead. What of the sacred relics of indigenous peoples which include their dead which languish in museums? Do BAA workers and museum curators deserve to go to prison? I will just say my own personal view is that whilst I view a dead body as an empty shell one of the hallmarks of decency is to show respect for that empty shell which includes the corpses of abused guinea pigs strewn over Darley Oaks farm. I remember once in the Lake District coming across a lamb literally splattered across the road. The ewe was hysterical and it was only when I stopped the traffic and retrieved the bits of body together and placed them at her feet that her pitiful lamentations stopped, meanwhile my companion who was a meat eater was throwing up. However grotesque this act may appear it is nowhere near the depths those who experiment on animals go to when they mutilate the bodies of the living. I repeat NONE OF THE DEFENDANTS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS. Showing the grave in connection with this unrelated case was obviously meant to intimate that SHAC and indeed all animal rights campaigners dig up corpses.
“Vicious” phonecalls/Nasty things being sent in the post
Let me make this perfectly clear. Whilst I am sure that some activists did send junk mail, nasty things and make nasty phone calls do people seriously think that this was a one way street? Vivisectors and their sympathisers would often ring up threatening to torture animals, threatening to kill us, threatening all sorts of stuff. Once when I collected the Newchurch Campaign post the post office workers and I were subjected to the liquefied corpse of a mouse which stank the place out as indeed was Evesham police station where I took the little corpse and the jiffy bag it came in to have the crime recorded. Was I a sobbing wreck? No not really and I did not expect the police to spend £3.5 million investigating the offence which was just as well because they were saving their pennies for stopping peaceful protest at Sequani. On the 26th June 2003 the following came to my house; some leather bags, flowery dresses bizarrely addressed to Brian Cass, some jeans and some books and this is not uncommon. In fact sending leather knowingly to a vegan is morally the same as sending pork sausages to devout Muslims so please let us not even pretend that HLS workers are the divine paragons of innocence the media portray them as. I get lots of junk mail wittily addressed to Miss B. Hugger and lots of other amusing stuff. I have been sent pizzas that I have not ordered. I am not bothered it comes with the territory even though I have not done likewise to anyone else. I would suggest that someone who spends their days poisoning innocent creatures should stop whinging and also take this sort of thing in their stride, the wimps! Of course the police SHOULD be impartial on this matter, if 7 people are facing 14 years in prison because others sent nasty things in the post and making phone calls then should not those on the opposing side be prosecuted too? The media are aware of the fact that vivisectors and hunters threaten and harass animal rights people but always choose to omit that part of the tale which I find a bit sinister. Is it really any suprise in this climate that some activists lose all faith in legal campaigning and the courts? Talking of “nasty things” HLS and all their little fiends (sorry…friends!) love sending bits of paper to me usually attached to process servers with shades who peer into the house and last year Fidelity International sent 2 of their hired thugs not only to serve some nonsense on me but to go up straight to the window and photograph me. I can live with it but if I were to do the same to a Fidelity employee I would be imprisoned for a very long time. When did it become acceptable for private corporations to blatantly attempt to intimidate protestors at home?
Threats to infect with HIV
This is not pleasant but is clearly an empty threat. Even if a sanitary towel were infused with HIV infected blood the virus would well long dead within minutes let alone days during which it winds its way through the post. In fact some public loos pose more of a threat due to overflowing sani bins. Hepatitus is much more of a concern. What annoys me is the slack journalism that exaggerates the myth of HIV being something you get through the ether as opposed to unprotected sex or sharing needles with an infected person. Now even if someone actually deliberately infected a victim with HIV I think it is unlikely they would go to prison for up to 14 years. Very serious injuries inflicted with the utmost cruelty rarely receive even a third of this and we are talking about threats here, made not by the defendants but by other people.
Now on the news on 23rd December 2008 a bloke called Alistair Nisbet was gloating quite a bit no doubt because he was the senior prosecutor in this case. In November 2007 he made lots of threats which were as it turned out to be empty. There were many raids on 1st May2007 which included lots of people on the peripheries of this legal campaign, lots of computers were taken including mine. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act Alistair demanded our PGP keys under pain of 2 years in prison, the fact that many of us did not use PGP or in some cases not even know how to turn on a computer or even have a computer mattered not to Alistair who basically “tried it on” in order to divide and scare people into giving him information. It did not work especially after Indymedia, the Register and the BBC all reported on the matter and lots of people were horrified by the prospect of the state blackmailing people into handing over personal files but it shows how the CPS are quite capable of playing dirty. A word of advice, often the CPS and the police are bluffing this was a prime example.
Walking into offices, talking to workers
Some papers put something about “breaking into“ offices. This is not what happens in the time honoured tradition of occupying offices and shops a tactic which MANY campaigns used not just SHAC. Nowadays there is something called Aggravated Trespass to take into account it used to only apply to “interfering with a legal activity” outside nut now applies inside too, however it is not illegal to occupy offices but can be if the right person tells you to leave and you do not. Back in the days when they could use reasonable force to move you and that was that I used to do this all the time often sitting down at board meetings, conference calls etc before being kicked out by security or the police(often literally, some of the bruises were quite spectacular!), on occasion workers and indeed managers would engage in conversation about vivisection, leaflets would be handed out. It paid to be polite and to try and be humorous, after all many workers had not heard about HLS and when they did they were outraged that the company they worked for was involved with such cruelty. On TV people in skull masks could be seen mulling around whilst one “victim” looks rather bemused, at least it made their working day a bit more exciting. Do those people deserve to spend up to14 years in prison for walking into an office, making a bit of noise, handing out leaflets and going outside again? To those who think they do get a grip!
Of course this is not pleasant for those at the receiving end but surely if Joe Bloggs reads a leaflet about how Pfizer abused African children in grotesque experiments in the 21st century in which many of them were murdered and he is incensed but with that information he has choices;
1. Hide from the information, “this can’t be true, surely SOMEONE would have done SOMETHING”.
2. He can lobby his MP and write to newspapers and donate to charity
3. He can demonstrate legally and peacefully, hand out leaflets and maybe be civilly disobedient by blocking the gates at Pfizer’s HQ in Sandwich, Kent.
4. He can read the letter sent back by his MP (who happens to have just got a nice payout from Pfizer’s lobbyists) and look in vain for his letter in the paper, he can go to a demonstration and maybe face years in prison or he can decide that the only way to have any impact on this heartless corporation is to target those who make the decisions where it really hurts. He is a good person he does not wish to hurt them physically but he does want them to stop committing atrocities and so he torches cars belonging to executives, in a way which does not cause harm to any living thing of course. If he is caught, and he has been careful no criminal record, no presence on demonstrations, he may even face less time in prison than the person involved in producing the leaflet! Leafleting and peaceful protest have now become more dangerous to liberty than firebombing. Severe sentences mean that if someone is prepared to go to such lengths that they will try and make their risks worthwhile.
If the police cannot catch Joe Bloggs is that really the fault of the campaign which produced the leaflet? Should “the organisers” serve a sentence in his stead? Should anything (including newspaper reports and programmes such as Dispatches which reported on Pfizer’s disgusting crimes in Africa) which causes a multinational to be detested be forthwith abolished or should not a decent society put the executives responsible in the dock and charge them with genocide?
A very nasty case of intimidation from the police occurred when I was attacked by PC Manton. A woman came to my aid as I lay on the tarmac splattered in blood. She was none too happy with me or SHAC but as a decent person tried to make me comfortable and then came forward to the police to testify against Manton who had left me with life threatening injuries. I bumped into her long after the trial and she told me that since she became a prosecution witness the police would stop her car 3 times a week, there were death threats at home and when she spoke to the senior investigating officer he told her that he could not protect her and that it might be best if she did not testify at all. Now that’s what I call blackmail! This was a person who did not care for the animal rights movement but was brave enough to do her civic duty and who was terrorised for doing so. During the trial some of the jury looked petrified no wonder they found him not guilty if that is how the police were operating at that time. To my knowledge NEVER has any witness or juror been threatened by animal rights activists.
Talking about how nasty vivisectors are
It is said in The Times that Heather said to Dan “referring to those who worked inside HLS, “I could kill every last one of them and I wouldn’t think anything of it””. SO WHAT! This was a private conversation at home between 2 adults now if Heather had in fact killed every single last employee of HLS I can understand how this might be relevant but are we now as a population to be judged on everything we say in private? How many times has the phrase “I’m gonna bloody kill …..(insert your own nemesis here)” even when talking about loved ones been used?. Now for those who think it is acceptable to use this as evidence imagine you are on trial and someone has cherry picked the best quotes from 2 years of your private life to show you in your worst possible light. You are letting off steam about the bastard who cut you up at the roundabout, the traffic warden, the idiot who short-changed you, you interfering mother in law , Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, ALL politicians, ad infinitum it hardly makes you a terrorist. On the other hand maybe it does now you have been warned! Not even a saint, not even Ghandi would look good. Sorry if I am making a false accusation here but I bet in the privacy of their own homes and police stations our enemies even say they would like to kill us I would not expect them to go to prison for it in fact it is their private conversation they can say what they like, I don’t care. Heather did not kill, try to kill or threaten to kill anyone, she had what should have been a private conversation and if that is the worst that they could come up with after bugging an activist house for 2 years then really the defendants have been far more restrained than most of the population. Jeremy Clarkson in the SundayTimes (28/12/2008) writing about sales assistants says “do not sell my details to anyone in India or I will come round in the middle of the night and burn your shop down”, is he a “terrorist” too? This is of course Jeremy being funny not in his own home but in a national paper, do we want him locked away for up to 14 years? (on the other hand……).
Anyway HLS workers and shareholders when they socialise what do they have to say about us? Well we don’t have our own private police force with a blank cheque who can do 24 hour surveillance, use task forces of 700 bullies to smash down doors and drag our opposition off but we do have some stuff from the pro HLS triple iii bulletin board to share with you all, here are a small sample of quotes, note the misogyny:
From “terrified vomiting beagle”, “I wish someone would just slaughter these toerags”.
From “smirking rabbit”, “Perhaps myself and Bozz could spit roast her while the others punch her repeatedly in the face. By the time they’ve finished beating her, I’ll pull up my kecks and peak over her shoulder for any sign of improvement”.
From “Lord Dave” “elephant whore”
“it is easier to monitor any activist if they live near an Army base (don’t ask “why” it just is)”.
Now we have SHAC WATCH to continue from where triple iii left off and they like to publish the names and addresses of activists, even though on at least one occasion only the police had that address. Animal rights activists have published the names and addresses of vivisectors but then those responsible went to prison for it. What are the chances of those involved with SHAC WATCH being prosecuted?
With such an uneven playing field is it really any surprise that the law is broken and held in such contempt?
Not handing in petitions to the government
The Times accuse SHAC of not handing in petitions. Petitions have been handed in. What happens is that when a substantial amount of signatures are collected I think 250,000 were handed in at some stage probably a lot more(as opposed to the pro vivisection “people’s petition” being online with only 20,000 signatures) they are then handed in. I am not surprised that the police found lots of boxes of petitions, people queued to sign them and they would have been handed in to the government at an opportune moment. As the police have taken them all off somewhere it is rather difficult for anyone to hand them in!
Greg is the leader of the ALF.
No he is not. No one leads the ALF. The ALF is a banner under which activists willing to break the law but who do not wish to harm any living being operate. If you decide to liberate a dog from a farm where s/he is tethered you are an ALF activist (if you want to be and are at least vegetarian) for the duration of the action of mercy. The ALF has no membership, no leaders, no followers. Sorry NETCU but some people are able to operate without being given orders unlike police officers and journalists!
SHAC are trying to kill people.
This is from Will Self writing in the Sunday Times magazine. It is absolute crap. Now if SHAC really did try to kill people everyone should be laughing at the ineptitude of said activists, no dead bodies at all. SHAC have not even tried to threaten to kill ANYONE let alone actually done the deed.
Which leads us onto the subject of violence.
Michelle Rokke got a job at HLS New Jersey USA in 1996. She filmed a small primate being eviscerated whilst still conscious, log on to http://www.shac.net and watch as the knife slices into the sternum and the victim flinches in agony, this is obscene violence which not one of the HLS workers will ever face. Michelle met a primate called James an inquisitive little soul who she befriended, gradually instead of greeting her at the cage door he slunk down in absolute terror poisoned to death so that we can have yet another chemical cleaner to poison ourselves with. 500 animals are murdered at HLS every day as opposed to feeling a bit upset because someone has sent something yucky in the post, this is an atrocity.
“Ah but they are only animals” no doubt some of you will be saying as indeed was the reaction of our chum CPS sumpremo Alistair Nisbet who implied in his CPS press release that HLS only does medical research . We utterly renounce this. As animal rights activists we believe that we are all animals the name itself derives from the Greek meaning “being with a soul”. There is something called the theory of evolution, we all came from single cell organisms and developed into complex beings capable of thought, feelings, relationships and suffering. To actually believe that we are the pinnacle of evolution is pathetic look at Palestine and Israel, look at people trafficking, the use of torture and the death penalty by many states, the fact that the slave trade is still alive and well, the subjugation of women, the continued extermination of the very eco system on which we depend for our very existence and come back and tell me that our species is anything but a killer ape with delusions of grandeur whose numbers have reached plaque proportions! No doubt by now someone is dusting down the old humans only have rights because they have responsibility argument so just one question, what responsibilities did the mother of baby P have? Accepting that we just another animal may be our only chance of survival as we might then stop ourselves behaving like spoilt brats. A little humility would do us no harm at all.
Some may argue that God put us in charge and that we are somehow divine which I find odd for any scientist especially as we have made such a mess of things but many of us believe in God and Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, Hindus and atheists have attended SHAC demos.
We also believe that HLS workers are animals like the rest of us therefore they have rights too which is why the violence they inflict on others has never been visited on them and never will be. I have talked quite a few HLS employees over the years and would not wish harm on any of them after all whilst doing a stall in Diss I was told by a man that his daughter worked at HLS and one day she secreted out a box full of rats, other employees (now EX employees) have shown great courage by exposing the cruelty inflicted at HLS. Many more have left the company not because of SHAC or the ALF but because they have found themselves sickened by the abuse. As in slaughterhouses those who cannot quickly kill off part of their soul and become desensitised leave traumatised by the experience and the turnover is great.
No doubt some people reading this only care about human beings and so I would like to tell you about “Belate” which is a pesticide sprayed on crops in the UK which caused 42 children to be born without eyes. It was made by DuPont a customer of HLS and if not actually tested at HLS would most probably have been tested at another contract testing laboratory Covance, Safepharm, Sequani, Wickham labs etc. HLS according to their own website are not diligently working through the night curing cancer they are paid to test things on animals which are then sold making a profit for their customers. This includes artificial sweeteners and additives, household cleaners, paint, industrial chemicals, agro chemicals genetically modified organisms, plastics, anything and everything that might come into contact with humans. Testing a pesticide on a few fish and mice does not however mean that because they did not keel over and die that it is safe to be sprayed all over the place for the next 50 years until the birth defects and increase in cancer rates are proven and it is banned with those responsible either dead or retired. HLS also test veterinary products on animals which involves inducing cystitis in dogs, dosing them, killing them and dissecting them and of course it involves getting maximum profit from factory farmed animals linking up with the meat industry. Dairy cows are deliberately infected with mastitis at HLS hardly life saving research especially as milk products are luxuries not necessities.
When it comes to violence even the Animal Rights Militia are but amateurs compared to HLS. In fact if we look right back from 1999 until now over 8 years I think that out of everything that has happened on both sides I win on suffering the worst violence inflicted as a result of the conflict and of all the media outlets there are only the Hunts Post reported on this in any real depth , no one is interested in reporting police/vivisector perpetuated violence and the omission has led to a rather skewed public perception of these matters. We blocked the A1 with tripods and a police officer broke my femur in several places and smashed up my face by dismantling it with me being 20 feet up in the air. I lost a litre of blood and could have died as a result of his assault. His colleagues did arrest him and eventually charge him with GBH but only did so because the assault was so public and caused such outrage. Their revenge was swift from the arrest and remand in custody of my companion, the raids which took place 2 weeks later, to the harassment and threats only stopped when my lawyer taught them some manners, I have already mentioned how one witness was persecuted. Many activists have been assaulted, unlawfully arrested, threatened, imprisoned, watched, spied on and terrorised. Many of us regard this as part of the price we pay for being activists but others who have never and would never do anything illegal and limit their activities to getting petitions signed and writing polite letters in a so-called democracy are subjected to utterly inappropriate levels of repression. I would urge anyone subjected to police bullying to make a huge fuss about it, believe you me they want people to be frightened of them but they do not like complaints (bad for promotion and figures) or being sued.
Finally a message to all activists even activists who do not believe that this in any way applies to them and are pro vivisection. This is a precedent, the CPS and the police and their overlords in the multinationals have discovered something which will silence anyone who runs any effective campaign against the crimes multinationals are so famous for e.g. selling weapons to despots, making torture equipment, backing genocidal regimes, poisoning the water, air and soil, experimenting on children in poorer countries, killing babies by misleading populations about formula milk and so forth. Some people will go to prison for much longer than if they had beaten someone half to death or raped a child, others will no doubt follow. Read Alistair’s press release at the following link, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/190_08.html and think about how this methodology could be used against other campaigns the state wants to get rid of. All grass roots activists need to think about security arrangements and worst case scenarios very carefully. I would not even put it past the powers that be to go after the larger well established campaigning groups at some stage such as the Tory party (oh!.. they already have).
A huge part of our defence is not to give in to this repression, SHAC demos continue. Even if you do not agree with SHAC this is a matter of liberty so feel free to look deeper than the national press and ask some questions about proportionality and the increasing attack on civil liberties.
Interestingly the NETCU website is down for some sort of updating but we will respond when they put up what will no doubt be a big biased piece against SHAC.
The general consensus of the demonstration was that it was a complete success. People have been campaigning against the laboratory now called Sequani for decades and 200 souls braved the rain to denounce vivisection, to show solidarity with Sean Kirtley and to make it clear to the police and their masters in Whitehall that we will not allow them to stop protest unchallenged. For those not already aware West Mercia spent millions suppressing ANY protest at Sequani and attempted to imprison not just Sean but his 5 co-defendants who were acquitted, (Dave accepted a plea bargain). We are under no illusions that if the 6 had either pleaded guilty or been found guilty that the next 5 defendants would have been imprisoned if possible as well. It would then have been open season on anyone protesting against vivisection (including those who choose to focus on scientific arguments eg EFMA), closely followed by any other protesters who upset those in power. Bear in mind the Secretary of State can apply SOCPA 145 and 146 to ANY demonstration, there need not be a debate in Parliament. We are under no illusions that once the police have come up with a good plan of action (it may take some time.) they may try once more to shut us up in this locality with dawn raids and silly charges.
The “carnival” began some people meeting on the grass verge, others walking around the back fields, others refusing to stand where they were told. Fitwatchers (many thanks) blocked cameras and the vast majority of activists refused to be served with what were found out later to be section 14 notices. This meant that officers resorted to chasing people (even passers by) with bits of paper. In addition to playing tag they even stopped the train at the station detaining all passengers to serve the notices prior to people getting off the train according to the Ledbury reporter.
Those on the verge opposite the station reached a consensus that it would be a good idea to turn left towards the labs and a dash was made down the Bromyard road. The police responded (albeit slowly) and blocked the activists, arrested a couple of people and hit others. After a short while a large group ran towards the back fields via the road out of Ledbury. Others decided to go on the police approved march, only the police had changed their minds! They blocked our way into Ledbury and so activists went on to join the others down the road. A footpath was made good use of but unfortunately only 20 activists made it through with 2 evidence gatherers who were pleading for backup. The 20 made it through Ledbury to Sequani Clinical where they do human trials testing shampoo, face creams etc which have been animal tested. A decision was made after a quick demo there to go back and on returning to the Homeend all activists joined up for a big lively demo’ through Ledbury (the police had decided to let us march after all). To the best of our knowledge this is the largest march in Ledbury for a least a decade. On the Ledbury Portal (a local website) a local can be heard saying that they never see a police officer in the town when they are needed. Roads were blocked for most of the day by police.
West Mercia police, government, Netcu and the FIT teams had it clearly demonstrated to them that if they persecute us that we are not afraid to fight back. Indeed, considering that prior to 2006 demonstrations rarely went into double figures the promises made to Sequani by operation Tornado about getting rid of us all have been shattered.
The Hereford Journal reported that to actually police the demo’ West Mercia persuaded Hereford United football team to play on the Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon. This is regrettable for the football fans ordinary folk who may have had their enjoyment of the game curtailed possibly to cause resentment against us. However Hereford united are sponsored by Cargill a really nasty company who kill millions of chickens for McDonalds, force GMOs into the marketplace, destroy rainforests, etc, etc, none of us were too upset for them, they were also visited by activists who had an impromptu picnic outside the abattoir thus disrupting a shift change.
According to the police “the purpose of the assembly is part of an ongoing campaign to intimidate staff working at Sequani with an intention to force closure”. WRONG, the purpose of campaigning against that hell hole is to stop animals being tortured to death, to stop corporations medicalising normal human conditions, to stop pollutants being forced on us, to stop people dying from poorly tested medications for example Zyban, Baycol and because we defend the right of the ordinary person to question the corporations and government. We do not care if Sequani does scientific research on medications and other essential products without torturing and killing as long as they abuse no-one so we do not necessarily want to shut them down. Our aim is to stop their violence against others for a profit, not to intimidate workers. In fact we want to remain approachable so that workers if they so wish to have the means by which to expose cruelty and any illegal practices. If anyone is intimidated by a few banners and leaflets in what is supposedly a democracy then that is pitiful. A bit like one of us saying that we feel “intimidated” by a Countryside Alliance stall in Worcester, or a McDonalds advert and expecting the police to spend 2 % of their entire years budget investigating the complaint!
Thanks to all those who came to Ledbury to show solidarity especially to those who are usually embroiled with other very important campaigns.
We will be having a demonstration at Sequani at Halloween 16.00 onwards for all who want to come. We will do some food this time. Wear costumes, bring your own banners regarding SOCPA if you want to. We will be able to provide some accommodation just ring us. As the next day is November 1st we will be doing something then as well in the area.
We love the editor(s) over at Shac Watch so much that we thought we might do a little follow up on the previous Shac Watch, Really, No Really article.
So… they have been busy haven’t they, sadly things have descended into a tangled mess of half facts and ill researched information with some supposedly “personal details” of activists all of which is held together by a sharp new design (apparently our wheatgrass comments hit a nerve…)
What do we know about the Shac Watch authors then…
1. They aren’t police, if they are they are the must be the worst most ill informed community support officers ever.
With all of the research (googling really) that has gone into some of the information on SW it is obvious that there are some glaring omissions which would have been known by any officer actively policing animal rights protests.
2. They are in contact with people who work in the vivisection industry, specifically the Medical Research Council.
So when the report went out about activists being held at MRC Harwell how did they know the name of one of the activists? It wasn’t published anywhere and the security at MRC Harwell were on an information lock down as we found out after posing as a freelance journalist.
3. They fulfil characteristics of a new extremist organisation
Taken from Wikipedia’s Purported characteristics of extremism:
- A tendency to Character assassination
- Name calling and labelling
- The making of irresponsible, sweeping generalizations
- The failure to give adequate proof of assertions made
- Advocacy of double standards
- A tendency to view opponents and critics as essentially evil
- Advocating some degree of censorship and/or repression of their opponents and critics
- Identifying themselves by reference to whom their enemies are
- Widely use slogans, buzzwords and “thought-terminating clichés”
- Claim some kind of moral or other superiority over others
- A tendency to believe that it is justified to do bad things in the service of a supposedly “good” cause
- An emphasis on emotional response, as opposed to reasoning and logical analysis
- Hypersensitivity and “vigilance”
- An inability to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty
- The personalization of hostility
- A tendency to assume that the system is defective if one is defeated
How long before they don balaclavas and are bricking our windows I wonder?
4. Sadly they are not the protectors of freedom.
I mean, we have no problem with them publishing contact information of activists which is already publicly available on the internet, but editing peoples comments on the Shac Watch site is clearly a pathetic attempt to stifle free speech. It shows a sad disregard for debate and even more sadly they cant take sarcasm as they have deleted a few of our comments in the past rather than respond in kind, it would seem they simply didn’t have the intelligence to respond to most posts even with so much time on their hands.
In closing then, we are thinking… Oxford Student? Too stupid to be a professor (we hope!) Maybe the egg throwing idiot? Or maybe a security guard for a lab or breeder. An “Oxford observer”, This could all even be the work of a real life vivisector as we know now it is easy to make the false assumption that those who partake in animal research are at all intelligent, some are clearly off their rockers.
Who knows? If you do know why not drop us a line though… it would be a reet laff to find out!
warn [at] riseup.net or ring us on 01452 539673
A message to Shac Watch from WARN…
We are assuming that the ‘G’ key was broken when you did the WARN is dead article as you clearly had lost your main research tool. We are just glad you care about us so much! We expected a better standard of research from you! P.S. When will we get a copy of the Shac Watch Manifesto / Credo? are we allowed to beat humans up if we join your terror cell?
Our hypothetical campaign situation resulting in a civil liberties cluster-fuck happy reading…
Vivisector: I am a vivisector at ToxiKill Ltd.
Protester: I am a campaigner that thinks that ToxiKill Ltd does pointless and dangerous experiments on animals which cost human lives as well as animals I am going to protest outside the lab.
Police Evidence Team: Note new campaign started against ToxiKill Ltd – three campaigners ID currently unknown.
Vivisector (to police): Someone is outside our business holding a placard with a picture of a dog that has been killed in animal experiments, even though this is something I routinely see at work, I don’t like being reminded of my unethical job and I feel slightly uneasy.
Police (to Protesters): Someone has told us you have been “anti social” by displaying a banner which depicts animals which have died as a result of vivisection. Using Section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002 I am asking you for your names addresses and date of birth (although I don’t have any power to ask for DOB I will tell you that you could be arrested if you don’t give it).
Police Evidence Team: Campaigners identified.
Campaign continues for four months with police presence at every demonstration including evidence gatherers.
Protester (to other protesters): Here’s an idea, why don’t we protest against the companies supply ToxiKill Ltd with lab cages?
Other Protester: That’s an excellent idea, why don’t we do some demos against the people who supply them with animals as well?
Police Evidence Team: Campaign tactics have changed suppliers of ToxiKill now being campaigned against tactics peaceful although suppliers say they feel distressed by the protests and they feel that the profits are down since the campaigning started.
Protester (via Megaphone to Arrowlight Biosciences limited): We are here to stay, Arrowlight until you drop ToxiKill we will be here every day!
Police Evidence Team: Blackmail noted.
Protesters then trespass onto Arrowlight property which is a civil offence not a criminal matter unless they are asked to leave then if they refuse it is a criminal matter of aggravated trespass.
Bob (Arrowlight) 999 call: It is Bob here from Arrowlight, protesters are outside our doors which a banner and shouting we feel scared even though there are three of them and they seem calm and two hundred staff members!
Police (arrive at Arrowlight): Under section 14 of the Public Order act I am moving your protest over the road which is roughly 200 metres from the entrance of Arrowlight outside some other place. Making your protest ineffective.
The demonstrations continue for 4 months some protesters are recorded swearing at a van delivering beagle puppies to ToxiKill, police don’t take action but document the swearing.
Meanwhile, Operation LibertyHoover is started.
Police take statements from staff and ask if people would be willing to testify in court if needed. Many staff members agree as they are told it could stop the protests all together. They don’t really care for the right to protest they just want the protests to stop.
Police called to Arrowlight after protests knock on the windows and shout “puppy killers” and “how do you sleep at night animal abusers”. Even though this is a possible section 5 public order offence the police are told not take any action to stop the protest.
One month passes…
The three protesters are raided, their companion animals are let onto the streets and one activist is pushed down the stairs whilst handcuffed behind his back. All computer equipment, campaign materials, clothing, cars and phones are taken the houses are stripped bare.
They are held for twenty hours and questioned by CID and various other officers they are shown emails which they have sent calling for others to protest and told about phone records that show a clear leader in the eyes of the police.
Questions like “who updates the website” and “who is the leader” are asked. “Someone must be organising these demonstrations! Who is the leader?” The police focus on one protester who has been something of a liaison with the press and also seems to (according to phone records) phone other members of the campaign more than others have phoned him.
Police continue to look for a hierarchy even though it is just a couple of individuals who care about animals and have a common goal of stopping vivisection. There is no leader, people are told about times and dates of demonstrations if they wish to attend they are welcome to. The police make the person who turns up on all the demos and makes more phone calls the leader.
They are all charged with Section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act for “Conspiracy to interfere with contractual relationships so as to harm animal research organisation”.
The bail conditions disallow them to attend any animal rights events, speak with other activists and they are given a curfew where they are to be at home between 1900 and 0700. One activist suffers from depression waiting for the trial to start after being disallowed to speak with their friends they find the bail conditions unbearable.
The trial starts a year later, all three plead not guilty, the jury are told about certain security precautions as the trial might make them a target for animal rights extremists. The jury fear for their safety and they start the trial with the mindset that the defendants are dangerous individuals. Extra security is added in the court room to heighten this fear and people giving evidence give it behind a screen as not to be seen by anyone else in the court room.
Witness (ToxiKill worker): I felt intimidated by the protesters I didn’t like the way they said I killed puppies. I found it hard to work at times thinking about having to drive past them again.
Police evidence is shown and a person who isn’t even a defendant swearing at a white van is aired for the first time. Also video footage of protesters knocking on windows is shown, this footage also doesn’t include any of the defendants knocking on the window.
The trial is dragged out for four months, two of the three are found guilty and one is given a 14 month suspended sentence. Although the jury don’t know this, they assume that people wouldn’t face years in prison for so little.
The others are sentenced to four years.
Four years in prison, for:
- One person who wasn’t even a defendant swearing on a demonstration (harassment)
- Other people who weren’t defendants knocking on a window. (harassment)
- Statements from workers saying they found it difficult to work with the protesters outside. (harassment)
- Statements from witnesses who said they were intimidated although the protesters were outside a high security laboratory site with five security on the gate. (harassment)
- Telling your friends that there is a demonstration on Tuesday (conspiracy)
- Telling a supplier you would continue to protest until they stopped doing what they were legally allowed to do (blackmail).
Previous to SOCPA these offences were a section 5 of the public order act and were about as serious as swearing in the street at anyone.
SOCPA takes tiny offences such as Section 5 and then for use against animal rights protesters makes them into huge crimes for which activists can face years in prison.
People can ignore the facts and keep saying it’s only because they are animal rights that they get raided all the time, and you can live in denial that it will never happen to your movement. These laws make a mockery of the freedom to protest and should be recognised for how much they destroy our civil liberties regardless of the movement.
First they came for the animal rights protesters.
I was not an animal rights protester:
Then they came for <insert your movement here>
Then there was no-one left to speak out for me.
Disclaimer: The names of companies, individuals are fictitious and are not intended to resemble any real person or business.
NETCU have stopped promoting pro-vivisection groups and multinationals on their links page.
Whilst we are glad that they are no longer so utterly blatant about their enthusiasm for ingratiating themselves with animal torturers we also remain utterly bemused by the fact that it has taken so long for supposedly impartial so-called professionals to do the decent thing and confine their depraved views to the darker recesses of their souls.
Linking to the Research Defence Society an organisation which even promotes cosmetic testing and the “people’s petition” which called for support for vivisection was utterly corrupt and inappropriate for a police website.
The link to “Victims of Animal Rights Extremism” remains intact however but it is pretty dull, boring and hysterical it still demonstrates bias though.
A peaceful demonstration started at around midday 25th August 2007 against travel agent *Thomas Cook opposite Gloucestershire Animal Action’s information stall.
After a few moments a female staff member came out and told the lone activist who was handing out leaflets to members of the public “It is illegal to protest outside here, move away or I will have you arrested.” She then retreated back into the shop.
Staff inside the shop were holding an A4 sheet of paper which activists suspect is a list of police directions regarding protest as this has been seen before being produced by staff at Thomas Cook outlets around the country during peaceful demonstrations.
Shortly afterwards police community support officers (PCSOs) were on site informing us that we needed a permit from the local council to hand out leaflets to which we responded; “Only if we are selling something or touting for business which we aren’t, do we need a permit: This excludes religious or political leafleting”.
A PCSO then asked for the activist’s details. The activist refused as he had not broken the law or been anti-social once during the protest.
“It doesn’t matter,” she (PCSO 9118) said. “Are you refusing to give your details then.” The activist replied: “Yes, I only need to give them if I have been anti-social and I haven’t”, To which PCSO 9118 stated “OK, you will be arrested then” and called for back up.
Ten minutes later a male officer, PC 1931 and Sergeant 1958 arrived at the scene and entered the travel agents after asking if anyone had been inside to which the activist responded: “No, you have been watching on CCTV so you know that”.
Moments later the Sergeant calls in the PC, exits and proceeds to inform the activist that he is being arrested under Section 5 of the public order act.
The activist then sat down on the floor and went limp. Handcuffs are then placed on the activist, who is asked by the PC: “Are you going to resist?” The activist replied “No.” (Passive resistance is not resisting arrest; you are fully within your rights to go limp when officers try to arrest you).
The male PC twisted the cuffs causing a cut on the wrists of the activist and considerable bruising after veins were broken.
The officers then called for back up as it is apparent they will not be able to lift an 18+ stone man into a police car by themselves, even if they are resulting to assault to get him in the car.
Minute’s later two male police officers tried and failed to lift the activist. Another officer in his wisdom decided to pinch the inside of the activists arm leaving an 11cm bruise (which has been documented by a police doctor – if you are injured by an officer during arrest always ask for a doctor at the station. It is your legal right to be seen by one).
The activist was finally pushed into the car with a crowd of around 100 people shouting at officers for stopping peaceful protest and not doing real police work.
Gloucestershire isn’t becoming a Police state it already is.
*Thomas Cook are being asked to boycott the holiday island of Mauritius because of the trade in wild caught macaque monkeys on the island destined to be tortured in vivisection labs around the world.
Cross(ly) examining the dodgy legal world of protest exclusion injunctionsSchNEWS Article from
“The whole point of the injunctions is to use the veneer of combating extremism to crackdown on legitimate protest. These injunctions have no impact on those committed to illegal courses of action, they’re a way of cracking down on the most effective protest movement in the UK” – Dr Max Gastone
Last week the mainstream press and civil liberties organisations took a belated interest in the human rights abuses conducted under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA). An injunction under the act has been used on environmental protestors in Oxfordshire trying to stop the dumping of toxic ash into Radley Lakes (see SchNEWS 573 and http://www.saveradleylakes.org.uk). It not only bans peaceful protest at the site, but also stops anybody from filming within a mile. When the censure hit press photographer Adrian Arbib, ordered to stop filming by masked security guards, and Channel 4 News couldn’t show footage, the implications for freedom of speech finally seemed to register among the Guardianistas.
Ironically, last week was also show-down time for the flagship injunction against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC see SchNEWS 411). This was the first injunction served on protestors under the PHA, setting the tone for the twenty odd which have followed. After four years of legal wrangling, largely caused by Huntingdon Life Sciences’ (HLS) legal team (Judge Holland wryly commented that the 36 ringbinders of evidence presented was “excessive by, say, about 30″ – one of the more vicious aspects of the PHA injunctions has been their use to load costs on to unrepresented defendants by wasting court time). HLS did however secure an order against SHAC, and anybody ‘acting in concert’ with them (at an estimated cost of over a million quid). The order maintains an exclusion zone around the Cambridgeshire HQ. But activist lay attorney-at-law Dr Max Gastone fought a valiant rearguard action by appearing as an unpaid representative for all the unnamed protestors affected by the injunction. Crucially HLS failed to prevent the use of amplified sound during demos (the biggest sticking point for them) and SHAC now have the right to hold a national demo every three months inside the exclusion zone.
Despite this, the injunction still stands; a crucial plank in UK Plc’s attack on civil liberties and the right to demonstrate. Injunction-wielding lawyer Timothy Lawson Cruttenden, or TLC as he probably doesn’t call himself (see SchNEWS 509), is the man behind the exclusion zones surrounding vivisection labs and arms factories. He’s made his living from introducing what amounts to PFI martial law around some of Babylon’s more noxious manifestations, pleading over twenty injunctions, banging up activists and attempting to seize their homes along the way. By twisting the Protection from Harassment Act, originally presented as protecting vulnerable people from stalkers (and which he helped draft by the way; now there’s an eye for an opportunity), into a charter for corporate repression he’s made a tidy pile.
Not content with having written the law, TLC’s legal chicanery has become notorious. Stunts include: being warned for re-writing judgements in his favour to secure disclosure from the police; amending particulars of claim (i.e. allegations made against individuals) days before going to court and deluging the court with irrelevant material. This might just be incompetence but it has the knock-on effect of upping the costs of the action meaning that anyone contesting the injunction runs the risk of bankruptcy. Judges have even forced him at times to employ barristers to sort out his messes!
CAUGHT IN THE NETCU
Although supposedly a private lawyer working on behalf of private companies, TLC has had access to swathes of information supposedly restricted for police use. He gets a surprising number of people’s names and addresses, mobile phone numbers and previous convictions. At least one activist’s personal directory stolen from his home has ended up in TLC’s possession. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising as he works hand in glove with the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordinating Unit (NETCU).
NETCU is the bastard child of such renowned organisations as the Animal Rights National Index (ARNI), the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and Special Branch. They make few bones about their status as political police. Their job is effectively to ensure that protest stays safely ineffective. As their website says, “We support the business and academic sectors, providing a centralised source of information, advice, guidance and liaison on strategies to withstand domestic extremist attacks.” Domestic extremism as defined by NETCU means any from of protest outside the law. And as was shown with last week’s lengthy prison sentences handed out to Mark and Suzanne Taylor and Teresa Portwine for office occupations and demos (see SchNEWS 580), when it comes to protesting against animal abuse in UK labs there’s precious little left that isn’t against the law.
Where TLC ends and NETCU begins isn’t all that clear – with TLC revealing in one court case that he helps draft the head of NETCU’s public statements in a classic Neo-Labour public-private partnership.
Busy Tim also finds time to be a director of Inquire, an organisation dedicated to surveillance and tracing of individuals for corporate clients.
But unfortunately for TLC and NETCU things are slowly becoming unstuck: the collapse of the injunction at EDO MBM (SchNEWS 531), amid revelations of the unorthodox attitude to legal disclosure, was followed by the utter failure of the injunction by Harrod’s to prevent anti-fur protests. More recently, an attempt to bang up the principal spokesmen of the SPEAK campaign, Mel Broughton and Robert Cogswell (campaigning to prevent the building of a university primate research lab), under contempt of court charges failed. It was this which led to Oxford Uni realising that the stress of it all was perhaps getting a bit much for our hapless hero and wisely decided to engage the services of a different firm.
But TLC remains as devious as ever and, still working for lucrative clients Huntingdon Life Sciences, also recently attempted to seize the property of Donald Curry. Donald had been one of those originally named on the first injunction who didn’t enter a defence. Like Lynn Sawyer (see SchNEWS 471) this meant the vivisection company were able to get a costs order against him. Unlike with Lynn however, the costs order was never enforced… until Donald got sent to prison. Only then did TLC pounce with an attempt to seize his house, force its sale and leave his wife and three kids homeless.
Despite the difficulties of organising legal support for a category A prisoners, self-taught animal rights lawyers (legal beagles?) sprang into action and were able to prove that TLC’s handling of the service of the injunction was so flawed that not only was the costs order against Donald’s house dropped but the whole injunction against him was set aside! The sticking point in Donald’s case, as ever, was accurate disclosure of TLCs relationship with the police – something he is charmingly coy about. No wonder his clients are leaving in droves.
But other, perhaps more competent, firms are now stepping into the breach and SchNEWS reckons we haven’t seen the back of the Harassment Act by a long way…