Response to Times article 18/06/06

Our response to ‘Animal rights militants are paid legal aid’

What a predictably risible and irrelevant article from Gareth Walsh (Animal Rights Militants Paid Legal Fees, June 18th). He highlights extremes which generally have nothing to do with the injunctions that Oxford University seeks to take out on thousands of peaceful, law abiding animal activists: even admitting as much in his reference to Amanda King (“There is no evidence that King was involved” in extremist activity – if so, why mention it?).

It is Oxford University that seeks to suppress the political right of protest, with its enthusiastic efforts to ban democracy – e.g. barring activists from a city in their own country! – and yet we’re to believe that it’s the protesters’ fault for wanting to defend themselves in court against one of the most powerful institutions in the UK which, significantly, happens to also be receiving direct and explicit support from the government itself?

What Walsh doesn’t point out in his appeal to “tax payers paying for this atrocity… ” (such gutter press journalism) is that the British Tax Payer is also underwriting Oxford Uni’s legal fees, and other assorted costs, to the tune of countless millions.

One thing which animal activists would concur with, though, is that it is unacceptable that the victims of the Vioxx drug haven’t had their day in court. Of course, if they had, they would be joined by Oxford University – which was involved in the clinical trials and marketing of Vioxx.

Walsh has nothing to say about this: we’re to assume that the victims of Vioxx should feel aggrieved, bizarrely, more so by animal activists being regarded as innocent until proven guilty than by the institution actually involved in peddling Vioxx remaining unaccountable.

The Times’ unsophisticated propaganda campaign continues unabated.

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