We have not commented thus far because anything we have to say has already been covered on Indymedia and Fitwatch, we have no comment other than sending the utmost love and respect to those caught up in this and who first outed PC Kennedy.
However as George Monbiot has commented in the Guardian today that the animal rights movement has planned “plenty of violence” this cannot go unchallenged. To our knowledge actual violence from animal rights activists is limited to the Brian Cass incident in January 2001 and perhaps another couple of unclear and isolated examples. We are uncertain of all the facts and decline to comment because of this. However to state that the animal rights movement is “violent” is utter nonsense. The normal fare of the animal rights activist are peaceful if vocal demonstrations, leafleting etc until recently lock ons, occupations, liberations etc all done without violence were dealt with as minor offences, now they are “conspiracy to blackmail” but does that make such actions violent? Why is it considered perfectly acceptable to occupy a power station (and we at NW fully support such actions) but “violent” and imprisonable under 145/146 SOCPA for 5 years to do the same action at a laboratory?
George Monbiot swallows hook, line and sinker the State’s line that it is acceptable that the animal rights movement should be spied on and oppressed but not any other movement. Maybe, just maybe if there had been a bit more analysis and questioning of the draconian and extreme policing of the AR movement, other movements would not be facing the exact same threat. Is this civil liberties for all George or are we going to have a special clause (as in SOCPA) that everyone has the right to protest unless they care about the liberation of sentient beings and the cessation of violence against them?
Furthermore why no condemnation of violence against animal rights activists? We are punched, kicked, threatened with monotonous regularity. In some cases activists have been lucky to escape with their lives after being hospitalised, four people have been killed. Why is that OK George? Are we somehow of less worth when we are protesting against a lab’ than when we are protesting against climate change?
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