Sequani, SOCPA and NETCU, a beautiful relationship or a nasty dictatorship?

So it ends an 18  week trial in Birmingham Crown Court. One activist pleaded guilty at the start the other 6 bravely fought on not only for themselves but for all who believe in the right to question what is wrong and for the animals. Wendy, Rose and Gemma were, quite rightly aquitted. Jo and Pauline split the jury who could not reach a verdict (ie hung) they may be retried. Sean was found guilty, was remanded to Winson Green prison and faces years in prison for no more than peaceful, dignified protest we can assure cynics that he uttered not one swear word, not one threat but just held a basic anti vivisection banner and vocalised his opposition to the violation of all animals human and non-human. We are repulsed and outraged by this disgraceful, contemptible attack on Sean, his family and what is commonly called “democracy”

NETCU always wanted to round up animal rights people and throw away the key. On their website they have made this very clear. Of course to achieve this objective they along with their chums in government and media had to demonise animal rights protestors and at the same time put halo s on the vivisectors.

Of course animal rights folk are a mixed bunch. Some people within the movement are prepared to use civil disobedience, cause property damage, occupy offices, etc but many others who do not wish to be arrested, or may not approve of such tactics have protested legally. Other campaigns contain an equally diverse bunch of individuals. There is always someone brave enough to scale that fence at a nuclear base and always others who play their equally important role holding banners exactly where the police tell them to. Now NETCU’s express desire is to silence AREs (animal rights extremists as some of us are known to them) and within that definition is anyone who attends a demonstration against animal abuse if you are opposed to vivisection you are basically a terrorist. With the government they have tried to get the public to believe that:

1.       All animal research is essential and for medical reasons only.

2.       That animal rights activists all use violence and try to kill people (which means that we are also grossly incompetent  because of the complete absence of dead bodies and missing limbs).

3.       That animal rights activists simply by being opposed to torturing animals in laboratories are opposed to medical research and hypocrites to boot because humans can only live if they take animal tested drugs (preferably every day) and as we are obviously alive we must have a big stash of medication which we administer in secret every day.

Disgracefully it has even been suggested by some commentators (not NETCU or their chums in the government…not yet anyway) that all anti vivisectionists should be denied medical care despite the fact that some of us are nurses and doctors, despite the fact that we have paid our taxes for such care if we need it  and despite the fact that on numerous occasions many of us have required the services of Accident and Emergency, ITU and the morgue following attacks on us by animal abusers and the police.

4.       That  as a result of all this that it is legitimate to make anti vivisection demonstrations illegal under SOCPA as the police were incapable of facilitating peaceful legal protest whilst investigating who was responsible for torching a vivisectors car.

Helpfully Netcu tells us that it “acts as a central support service for business and the academic sector targeted by domestic extremists particularily organisations involved in or with connections to the animal research industry……We provide tactical guidance, security advice and support”, which is very nice of them but just bear in mind that if your business is being run into the ground by criminal gangs you are on your own after all being  physically assaulted in your corner shop is hardly as worrying as someone holding a banner outside and thus the law now gives more protection to the victims of banner holding than it does to battered health care workers and small shop owners.

Our pals at NETCU also say

“in particular animal rights extremists:

Cause real fear, distress, physical injury and put lives at risk

Hinder essential health advances

Damage economic well being, threaten inward investment and jobs.

Undermine a democratic way of life that supports legal activity and the legal process”.

“The government is determined to stand up to terror wherever it strikes”.

No mention of threats, verbal abuse and physical attacks by pro vivisectionists, security and police. No mention of unlawful arrests, the police handing over confidential information on activists to vivisectors or the fact that many scientists believe that testing on animals itself hinders medical advancement. Of course the real reason NETCU and the government are so interested is the economic bit (we could almost be writing about them on every other point). We at NW believe that if something is unethical, hinders progress, causes pain and misery and that we would all be better off without it we really do not care about jobs or economic growth just as we really would not be too bothered about the lamentations of those who lost out when people were freed from the horrors of slavery . Of course we have no problems with in vitro testing, computer models, using volunteer humans etc  as long as such research is not detrimental to anyone’s well being, for example GMOs. To make it a crime to challenge the practice of vivisection as any criticism could in theory cause economic damage is a very dangerous precedent.

And SOCPA will stop

“protests outside homes, harassment and economic damage”.

What constitutes a home is vague, activists protesting against circuses for example have been arrested. A demonstration outside Buckingham palace might well result in arrest.

NETCU and the government are trying to achieve these aims not by arresting those of us within the movement who are prepared to for example rip down fences or liberate beagles because these things have always been illegal and people have if caught been prosecuted. No the aim of SOCPA is to round up everyone else the old lady who hands out leaflets every Saturday, the 16 year old who fundraises for a local and legal campaign by doing a sponsored walk, the mother who stands quietly outside a laboratory. The mother outside the laboratory for example caused economic damage because the laboratory “had” to install another camera (they only have to say that this is the case and provide receipts). An employee could say that being approached by the pensioner with leaflet “harassed” him, he will even be hidden behind a screen in court to make the histrionics and exaggerations and downright lies more believable. The 16 year old by assisting the campaign is obviously part of a conspiracy to cause economic loss and harassment because the campaign simply in its aim to stop the testing of cosmetic  botox on mice at the laboratory could be construed as illegal under SOCPA because any criticism however mild could undermine profits and/or cause a worker to be upset.

UK CONTRACT TESTING LABORATORIES

A large part of democracy has been sacrificed so that large corporations can make a profit without criticism. What is astounding is that whenever vivisection is mentioned it is nearly always referred to as “life saving medical research”. For example Huntingdon Life Sciences are referred to as a medical testing laboratory which is as accurate as calling Tescos a greengrocer, a lie by omission of the facts that Tescos sell lots of other things, HLS do lots of other experiments. This is not the fault of HLS, for all of their many failings they are quite explicit about what they do on their website www.huntingdon.com

We at NW are opposed to all animal testing even if it is to cure cancer or other such serious diseases and we are more than willing to debate with anyone on this for the animals who are experimented on and for those who may suffer as a result of the fact that a mouse is different from a human. By all means use what medication we have now carefully and use the yellow card within the 6 monthly British National Formulary to report side effects, but stop using other species. We also feel that the public is being misled because a lot of experiments on live animals have nothing to do with saving lives. HLS tells us very plainly what they do behind the razorwire probably not for the benefit of animal rights people admittedly, more for their potential customers but for all those who witter on about how HLS saves babies, cures heart disease and rabies please read the following.

HLS test on animals in addition to medicines food additives, food packaging, adhesives and clothes dyes. Experiments are under several headings :

Pharmacueticals now bear in mind no-one ever died from being impotent. Pfizer tormented beagles to test this drug within the UK in their laboratory in Sandwich. Not all medications are for life threatening problems and there is the additional conundrum to consider of the medicalisation of what is normal for example the menopause or a lively child. HLS conducted experiments whereby pigs hearts were transplanted into wild caught baboons with many incidents of neglect and cruelty which were torture for the baboons and would have been very dangerous to human patients without someone exposing HLS and their customer Novartis www.shac.net . Surely human to human transplants are better, just because we cannot get our act together as a nation regarding organ donation why should animals suffer?

Crop Protection Services. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides things to kill slugs, snails and anyone else that gets in the way. All tested on animals. Quite probably passed as safe then leached into our food, air and water. DDT was tested on animals, causes cancer and is now lurking within the body of every single living creature including you and I. Humans have been fed without using pesticides for millions of years. This is not life saving research au contrare it is rubber stamping poisons which are inflicted on  us without our consent.

Chemical.  Ditto. Yes animal rights activists do live in the modern world  (I bet NETCU would really love it if we all lived in a cave in perfect isolation it would make surveillance easier ) and as a result it is impossible to escape animal tested plastics, solvents and chemically things but we would like to just as Tibet campaigners would like to avoid things made in China. Again humans managed to build houses, clean up and paint without animal testing for a very long time no reason why we should not do so again using products we know to be safe. Testing a fridge coolant on a beagle is obscene.

Food. This is where all the food additives come in. Give little Tommy some fluorescent orange sweeties, watch him climb the ceiling, call it ADHD flog some Ritalin via the NHS and places like HLS and their customers are quids in hooray for enterprise! HLS also test Genetically Modified Organisms so we know exactly who to blame when companies such as Monsanto gain a monopoly on world food production and name their price, when there is no choice when all food is contaminated through cross pollination with GMOs. Nutracueticals, health foods, “functional” foods, artificial sweeteners are all tested on animals at HLS. HLS actually state that unless food is tested on animals that there is no way to know that it is “safe”, well we suppose that once their chums in Monsanto have poisoned everything food, air and water that we will commit Russian roulette every time we eat a tomato, or drink a glass of water, a self perpetuating industry…how profitable!

Vetinary. Of course other animals deserve medical care but to make a rat ill and then kill her in order to help another rat is no more moral than what the Nazis did when they experimented on human beings (aided and abetted by companies such as Bayer who now use HLS instead of concentration camps where they once bought the “rabbit girls” for a few marks before torturing these women to death). How many of us who have other animals as family members are really happy knowing that a beagle has died in agony after being purposely infected with ecoli induced  cystitis (specifically promised by HLS), or indeed the staph aureus infection model? This is an atrocity. Study sick animals and help them whilst doing so.  Furthermore there is the added moral dilemma of persuading people that their healthy companion needs medication by some unscrupulous vets. Vetinary medicine for pets is a force for good but also a profit making exercise for some. The pet industry itself is a disgrace. People have for millennia shared their lives with dogs and wild animals too badly injured to return to the wild (hares once hopped around the country home, were much loved and called “puss”). Breeding animals, neglecting them, dumping them all for human wants (not needs) are a reason for restricting all household animals to the abandoned and those with some quality of life who cannot be returned to the wild. At the end of the day we in the animal rights movement would spay and neuter every dog and cat if we could and in 10-15 years we would have to depend on one another for our emotional needs stopping the misery of so many millions of animals. Vets will always be needed but for the wild animals, beached whales, birds with broken wings, abandoned fox cubs etc.

No-one needs to eat meat or dairy products this is a lifestyle choice. Forcibly inducing mastitis on cows (as offered by HLS) is utterly abhorrent. Vivisection for luxury products which harm the environment, cause extreme suffering to animals www.viva.org.uk  and takes food out of the mouths of starving children www.monbiot.com  is hardly “life saving medical research”, is it? But NETCU and the Government no doubt would argue differently and persecute those who challenge this status quo.

Sequani www.sequani.com based in Ledbury are far more coy about what they test vaguely stating that they have “an outstanding reputation in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and product development”, basically they will make a profit out of testing anything for anyone using animals. As human volunteers are often asked to rub face cream on, use toothpaste and anti dandruff shampoo it is pretty obvious that Sequani are not exactly at the cutting edge of compassion or indeed “lifesaving medical research”.

Covance www.covance.com based in Harrogate are yet another contract testing laboratory. Years ago activists breached security and found papers on which workers ridiculed their victims and wrote of abusing them. An undercover investigator in the early 90s (when the current CEO of HLS was in charge) found monkeys abused whilst in stereotaxic devices in addition to being forced to inhale noxious gases. One was so terrified of humans she was named “rape” because she screamed whenever anyone went near her. Nice people so clearly deserving of fawning over by the police!

Safepharm www.safepharmlabs.com based in Derby. This lot go one better than HLS they have videos of the experiments online. One thing that struck me was the fact that the mice were stacked in boxes several to a box with no toys. As someone who has at home and knows how they like to hide and play on their wheels this struck me as unnecessarily cruel. This is not an anti vivisection video and as we all should know by now vivisectionists have a monopoly on the truth, they are not to be questioned (or prison beckons!) so this is how they treat their victims…like things to be stored away when not in use.

Wickham Labs www.wickhamlabs.co.uk  based in Wickham are of the same ilk as the rest. Famously exposed for testing cosmetic botox on mice. Torturing animals just to produce something that reduces wrinkles..perverted! Alas we are not allowed to inform compassionate folk who may wish to boycott this product and live with the wrinkles because it might undermine Wickham’s profits. A conversation with a friend in the pub might go like this.

Sharon, “Oh deary me I’m fed up with all these wrinkles, I want to model myself on Leslie Ash so I’m off to get sorted tomorrow at that clinic with some botox in every orifice”.

Tracey, “You fiend! Did you not know that mice suffer torment for every batch of botox, if you do that I’ll never talk to you again”.

Sharon “Bollocks, that’s awful, no way are those mice going to suffer on my account. Anyway I’ve always thought that Jordan looked more classy than Lesley. I’ll get my boobs done instead and use a scrunchy to pull my hair right back and no-one will notice”.

Enter police Inspector Bird,”You’re both nicked under 145 of SOCPA. Undermining Wickham labs indeed this is an outrage. PC Rushden?”, enter the evil one, “yes master”, “lock them up, beat them up, throw away the key and inform the evil emperor aka superintendant Pearl that we have caught more heretics”, “of course master, shall I inform their holinesses..B…..C…. (can’t mention his name but you know always on telly  MD of HLS )  and N…..E….(best not to mention his name either but has been heard from behind a screen in Birmingham Crown Court telling big fibs also MD of Sequani/Quintilles whatever they call themselves these days Ledbury) as well?”.

In addition Porton Down test weapons on animals and have included soldiers in its roll of innocent victims. It is possible that ex service personnel who choose to stage a protest against Porton Down after being poisoned could fall foul of SOCPA. Indeed the victims of Thalidomide could cause economic damage to an animal research organisation by protest or criticism, or those protesting against phone masts or pesticides. Only workers in a trade dispute with the animal research organisation are protected from prosecution which proves our point as why include such a provision if not targeting peaceful antivivisectionists whose actions would not be unlawful if protesting against anything but an animal testing facility? Too late now for the civil liberties people to wake up people are not only in prison for holding banners but they via their ridiculous sentences been judged as worse than those who have raped or killed.

NETCU do not want to allow ordinary folk to question HLS, Covance, Safepharm, Sequani or any other animal research laboratory. Even to suggest that humans are less than deities and other animals mere objects is dangerous indeed let alone openly vocalise opposition to animals being tortured and murdered  for financial gain. The state went to grotesque lengths to ensure a guilty verdict.

The jury were told that the animal rights movement were so dangerous that they all needed to be bussed in and out of court with a police escort. Not even in cases where gang members have murdered people has this form of coercion been used.

An unprecedented move in Birmingham Crown Court to search everyone going into the court (everyone is searched on entering the court building anyway) and confiscating belongings again heightening the sense that the defendants were dangerous!

Screening witnesses as they gave evidence to make it appear as though the defendants deeds were so terrifying that even the CEO was frightened to show his face. Some Sequani workers have followed and threatened activists, one security guard has thrown protestors into oncoming traffic (he even admitted it in court). These people are quite happy to work for a controversial company who test on animals, regardless of their beliefs they would surely have expected to see protests when they decided to work for Sequani. After all there have been protests in Ledbury for 25 years They are not the victims of rape or violent assault nor are they children, the very worst they suffered was seeing banners and hearing a protest against the company they work for. Using screens was utterly inappropriate and for them, especially the CEO, to hide behind screen demonstrated an utter abscence of integrity. Either they are all spineless or this was a cynical ploy to sway the jury.

Every last police officer and prosecutor in this case is an utter disgrace. The Judge is corrupt and incapable of being fair. All in all this whole affair is a debacle and a clear message to all activists that you serve the same time for causing REAL damage to laboratories as you do for standing outside with a banner and much less chance of getting caught.

Please all those of you who are not involved in animal rights consider this. SOCPA protects “animal research organisations” from any harm whatsoever. Shell test on animals for example, protest against the oppression of the Oogoni tribe, run a website stating your case and you could find yourself at risk of 5 years in prison as Sean now does. The government have provided one loophole, you are safe if your protest concerns an industrial dispute. ALL activists should be very careful.

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2 Responses

  1. This is an excellent summary of the situation as it is today. It is difficult to see how animal rights activists can move forward but as individuals, we must continue to do all we can for the animals – they only have us

  2. i okeze need more of what i saw

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