motivated arrests of 30 animal rights campaigners on May 1st 2007 by ‘over
700’ police officers is the but the latest indication of the extremes
this government will go to try and appease the pharmaceutical giants.
One man had his collar bone broken, dogs were released onto the streets
as doors were smashed in and non violent people handcuffed and locked
in cells, in response to what? Violent attacks on researchers? Firebombings?
Nothing of the sort. Protesting. Simply public protests involving megaphones,
whistles and placards and a stated determination to end vivisection at
Huntingdon Life Sciences.
Today two of those arrested, Greg and Natasha Avery, have been remanded
into custody charged with conspiracy to blackmail ie campaigning to close
the monstrous HLS between 1999 to the point of arrest. Heather James is
still being questioned and will likely be remanded Monday. These are those
central to the campaign. Everyone else bar one has been released mostly
without charge except for those considered most closely associated with
the campaign who are likewise charged with conspiracy to blackmail and
bailed on condition they have no contact with other activists, their friends.
Few if any of those arrested have been asked about any criminal offences
only of their role as campaigners. Nine charged with conspiracy, two with
specific offences of blackmail. www.vpsg.org
Ongoing campaigns by activists against those who use extreme violence
against the weakest and most vulnerable in our society have had a stunning
impact on the once secretive world of those who do animal research and
testing. Endless exposes by activists have shown to the world the terrible
violence inflicted on live animals in the name of profit and a hopeless
search for miracle cures. These are the reasons why the might of the state
is trying to silence vivisection's vocal opponents. A simple independent
inquiry into this whole area of animal testing would solve the many problems
it has given us - the dangerous drugs and poisonous chemicals we're surrounded
by, the millions of tortured souls dying in the secret government sponsored
labs, the paint strippered cars and the public protests that cause those
in industry their 'fear'.
Hundreds of police officers smashing up animal rescue centres, violently
attacking innocent people, confiscating computers and detaining opponents
of vivisection is not what the public want of their police. At a time
when we are said to be under threat from religious fanatics intent on
mass murder, when street crime increases and violent physical attacks
by hunt supporters and others go undetected it seems perverse that such
resources can be made available to mighty industry.
It seems unlikely that silencing public displays of opposition to the
disaster of vivisection will solve any of these problems. But is it what
we want our society to be, where its leaders utilise the police so wholeheartedly
to crush dissent at the whim of corporate concerns? If history is any
indication this is unlikely to be the last we've heard from the protestors.
Huntingdon Life Sciences are $100 million in debt they have no banking
facilities but for the Bank of England and are insured by the UK tax payer.
They are hated by everyone. No matter how many opponents of their vile
business are imprisoned and harassed there are many more who pledge to
close them down. There may well be a few good people locked in prison
cells but there are many who aren't. The end of the story? For HLS all
the indicators are it's very close. www.shac.net
Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement