The garrotting of commonsense and democracy continues

Three activists have just been sent to prison for a total of 7 years and nine months.

Mark Taylor got 4 years, Suzanne Taylor, 2½ years, and Teresa Portwine received 15 months under SOCPA.

Their “crime” was to demonstrate against companies associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences (left) and from what I can see this amounted to at the very worst an office occupation something many of us have done before leaving the premises and handing out leaflets.

Activists occupied Shell garages after the murder of Ken Saro Wiwa, environmentalists, human rights and peace activists have also used this tactic but merely because the premises were associated with vivisection a crime is deemed to have been committed. Methinks that it will not be too long before this disgusting attack on liberty extends to activists protesting about other matters!

Predictably the press have commended the incarceration of 3 decent people and Mr Justice Goldring commented that people have the right to work unhindered. The Trade and Industry Secretary Mr Alistair Darling’s diatribe against the 3 included something about HLS workers doing “life saving medical research”. What fascinates me is the fact that the government, police and courts cannot actually be bothered to protect people who actually do save lives – those who work in the NHS.

Panorama recently reported that 1 health worker is assaulted EVERY 7 minutes (as opposed to being “harassed” or mildly annoyed). A nurse interviewed was attacked with a needle leaving her with permanent nerve damage, the CPS decided that it was not in the public interest to prosecute. A doctor was kicked in the head and his assailant was given a suspended sentence and a £500 fine. Clearly Mr Darling believes that people who torture animals to test a new food colouring are much more important than people who actually save lives.

NHS workers are almost expected to be routinely verbally abused, punched and kicked as do many public workers none of whom have the right to “work unhindered”. What an interesting set of priorities?

Strange thing is if we invent a hypothetical scenario with a person who works within the NHS and also does animal experiments who finds that his laboratory has protestors outside the entrance he will get more police protection by saying he feels harassed than if he is beaten to a pulp whilst he walks the hospital corridors.

The icing on the cake of this disgraceful sentencing and brown nosing with the multinationals is the sentence on the same day of a low-life called Steven Chapman.

He was peeing up the side of a supermarket when 78 year old Benjamin Kerr, an Alzeimers sufferer, remonstrated with him. Chapman probably bored of abusing animals at the livestock market where he worked attacked Mr Kerr leaving him on the ground. This scum then stole alcohol stepping over Mr Kerr on his way out. Mr Kerr shortly died from the injuries inflicted.

Apparently killing someone is of far less import than potentially upsetting a companies profit Chapman got 2 years in prison half that of Mark Taylor. This is the sort of society the government has created. It is OK to kill but not to protest!

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