Response to Janet Street-Porter’s article 25/08/05

Our response to Janet Street-Porter article in The Independent ‘Animal rights activists are simply thugs’

Janet Street Porter’s utterly ridiculous diatribe against the campaign to close down Darley Oaks guinea pig farm (not hamsters Janet) asks whether animal rights people ignore humans in need. Well I am a midwife so my work is helping people, I also worked in Romania in 1991 for 6 months, I have done human rights work, welfare work and when I have witnessed violent crime or an accident I have assisted the victims, I am no angel but I do believe that all of us should do our bit for our community and one another.

Unlike Janet who just writes rubbish and promotes herself in so called “celebrity” reality shows animal rights people work in community projects, the NHS, with the homeless, we nurse, we teach children, and campaign on many issues which involve bettering conditions for the human animal. Sorry if this does not fit with the regurgitated stereotype but we have lots of off duty nurses on demonstrations, scientists, doctors, housewives, social workers, conservationists, concert pianists, in fact people from all walks of life.

We are also in the frontline protecting human rights in the UK and it is deplorable that anyone could even consider a 77 square mile exclusion zone which would make it a criminal offence for ANY protestor (i.e anyone was served with the injunction whether or not they were a peaceful protestor, passer by etc)to enter it.

Clearly Janet thinks that it is alright for someone who attends a totally legal demonstration to be permanently excluded from an entire area for the rest of their lives whether or not they live in that area, have relatives or friends there or simply want to pass through on a journey from A to B. The precedent set could then be applied to human rights activists, those protesting against the war or indeed anything at all.

Only someone who has absolutely no regard at all for democracy could support such measures which is why the High Court did not grant such draconian restraints. Furthermore someone with no criminal record or even any suspicion of having committed an offence would face more restrictions on their movements than a convicted paedophile, rapist, murderer or terrorist so anyone who supports this state of affairs can hardly be taken seriously.

Clearly when protestors were smashed over the head with iron bars, driven at, captured and beaten by the police, taunted by workers, sent death threats and dead animals in the post these were peaceful actions according to Janet. Illegal arrests (which the police have had to pay compensation for), the harassment of one elderly protestor who has cancer and was assaulted and arrested without reason and bullying by the police and thugs employed by the Halls have backfired.

These people are not innocent victims, they have made money out of killing countless innocent victims firstly for the fur trade then for vivisection, they have used physical violence risking the lives of protestors, they have attempted to stop any criticism of their appalling crimes and they deserve no sympathy whatsoever, I do however hope that they find peace and enjoy the rest of their lives without abusing animals. The closure of Darley Oaks is a victory for humanity, justice, decency and democracy albeit symbolic when one considers the extent of animal abuse including of course human victims.

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