Sheep farmer threatens animal rights activists

On 2nd August 2006 a demonstration was held at the Three counties showground, Malvern, Worcestershire against live export apologists the National Sheep Association.

Activists were outnumbered by police 3-4 to1 but it has to be said West Mercia police were relatively well behaved despite being a little too enthusiastic in following activists going to the lav’ and filming everything, (we just pity the poor sod who has to actually watch it all).

At 11.00ish activists were standing calmly holding banners and some leaflets were given out to those entering the show ground. The police stood by helping to add to the visual impact of the demonstration. This was too much for one farmer who stormed over demanding to know if any of us had “proper jobs” to which we replied “yes thankyou, have you?”. He started ranting that he was a sheep farmer (I am not sure whether this constitutes a “proper job” or not) and then threatened to beat everyone up. The video camera went on and he can clearly be heard saying, “Think I’m fucking too old for you? If you think I’m too old fucking try me”, directed at the male activists. We assume that this was not an amorous proposal because he then hit the camera.

The police stood by until the person with the camera insisted that they apprehended him. An Inspector caught up with him and “had words” warning him about his conduct, he was then allowed to leave.

I am not necessarily saying that the sheep farmer should have been arrested but when activists in the same area have had doors broken down in dawn raids, have been publicly described as “extremists” by police and held for 12 hours or more just for holding banners (3 months on they still have not charged one of the now 16 activists arrested under the operation with anything) this seems to show yet more police bias. If this sheep farmer was an animal rights protestor he would be facing a serious charge and may even have been remanded in custody, people are now in prison for far less.

A few weeks ago an activist was detained because police found his T shirt offensive, others have been arrested because they have stepped onto a footpath, or asked police for their numbers, clearly such actions are so “harassing, alarming and distressing” that they require arrest. Walking up to someone, threatening to beat them up and then hitting someone is a bit naughty but does not warrant arrest. The message from West Mercia is clear, violence is acceptable, peaceful protest is not.

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