“Personally, I’ll NEVER give up the fight!” – An animal activist’s account of current repression on the streets

Anonymous wrote May 20th 2007

I am preparing for yet another court appearance. Within the last year the police have began attacking anyone involved in animal rights (particularly anti- vivisection).

I first found myself involved in this persecution due to attending what was always a peaceful SPEAK protest in London on 27th Sept 2006.

It was a dreadful day, with the police behaving more like playground bullies (sexist ones at that!).

What ever we did we were apparently wrong… we were lined up against railings, so we weren’t blocking the pavement at all, it made no difference at all. I even tried to leave the ‘protest’ to find some public loos, but was told I could not leave for any reason and I’d be arrested if I did!!

We were constantly told we would not be allowed to demonstrate as we were ‘blocking the highway’, we were determined to continue to try!

Here is a statement from a friend of mine, brutally treated by NETCU:

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I turned up at the EROS Statue in Piccadilly for the SPEAK demo on Saturday the 27th September 2006. It was around 12.30 pm and already there were more police there than in previous demonstrations and a lot of Policeman were present whom I’d never seen before.

We walked down towards a Vodaphone shop which was nearby to protest about money they had given to Oxford University. Within seconds of us getting our banners out, the mood from the police changed and they became very confrontational.

They asked us to move on even though I felt we were being quite orderly and had carried out similar demonstrations without trouble many times before. The Police then started to shove us about, shouting at us that we had to move on. We were ordered to put away our banners and were pushed into a small circle in front of some shoppers who were staring in disbelief.

They were asking the police why we couldn’t protest and why they were being so threatening. However, there was no dialogue between us and the Police, they just seemed intent on stopping us from protesting. We put our banners into a bag and went to our next destination. Throughout this time we were flanked by Police Officers.

We arrived ten minutes later at Park Place, SW1 where we have protested before. We stood singly pushed up against the railings at the edge of the pavement all holding a placard. We started to shout “Stop the Oxford Animal lab” and then without notice the police lined up in front of us.

We were again asked to move on. I asked my fellow protestors what was happening but nobody seemed to know. Then a Policeman number 1332, came charging towards me and told me to move because I was obstructing the pavement. I asked him how I was doing that when I’d made sure that I was completely against the railings, but he didn’t answer me. Instead he repeated the same phrase, “move or I’ll arrest you for obstructing the pavement”.

Once again I asked him how I was doing that when I’d made sure that I was completely against the railings and that there was plenty of room for pedestrians to pass. Then the Police Officer who was obviously in charge shouted, that he’d had enough of this and he wanted us moved on.

With that Officer 1332 physically pulled me away from the pavement and pushed me into the road. I turned around just in time to see the same officer do the same thing to the lady who was next to me. Worried for her safety I grabbed the front of his bullet proof vest and shouted at him to stop. I actually said “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” With that he screamed at me that he was now arresting me.

The PC then took my arm and pulled it back with some kind of twisting motion that was extremely painful and left me screaming out in pain. I was then surrounded by lot’s of police officers and was pushed to the ground with my face in the tarmac. I was still in a great deal of pain and was still screaming. Ignoring my pain, he proceeded to handcuff me.

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I wasn’t arrested but my arm was grabbed by both hands of a burly policeman, I actually thought he would break it! I was then thrown into the road & when I got myself up I realised what had happened to my friend (statement above).

I tried to get close to help/comfort her, but a lot of policemen had closed around her. What upset me most of all was the fact that ALL the cops that day were MALE & the majority of us were FEMALE! A very upsetting day for all involved!

On 2nd October 2006 with some free time I had, I decided to help on a stall in Oxford Street, London for SPEAK Campaigns. All seemed to go really well, it was good weather and we had quite a lot of interest in the information we had, some put a few coins on the table too (we didn’t have a collection box!)

We had been there a couple of hours when out of nowhere came 3 aggressive policemen, who proceeded to rip all the laminated posters of vivisected animals off the stall. We shouted at them, asking what they were doing, they continued what they were doing and took ALL our leaflets & some coins off the table… they took everything bar the actual pasting table!

Apparently we were blocking the highway, so why did they not take the table or even ask us to pack it away?!

The court case was on 26th April & we were all found guilty, even though the prosecution evidence was ridiculous, as was the prosecutor! You may be surprised to hear… the police LIED & got away with it!!!?

Next court appearance is on 22nd May 2007, me & a friend set up a pasting table with anti-vivisection leaflets & petitions for Day of Action for Primates. This was organised by Animal Aid & was happening nationally.

Out of nearly 40 stalls around the country, our stall in High Barnet was halted by the police, who demanded we pack it away or they would confiscate the lot! Apparently the police had been watching us for 2 hours, I’ve asked for ‘Advance Disclosure’ but as yet have received nothing!

I happened to attend the ‘Business as Usual’ SHAC protest on Friday (18th May). While outside NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), with the usual SHAC placards I was approached by a policeman who asked me to put my placard down as apparently a ‘passer-by had complained. I refused, as did 2 other protestors! We were threatened with arrest, this went on for around 15/20 mins, but amazingly that as far as it went… threats! I refuse to be intimidated!

This is the democracy we are now living in… whatever we do, if we want to ‘stay out of trouble’ with the ‘law’ it’s not a good idea to be an anti-vivisectionist or have anything to do with that way of thinking!!!

Personally, I’ll NEVER give up the fight!

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