back to article Organised crime law crushes animal rights duo

Four and a half years in jail for “conspiring to interfere with contractual obligations”. That was the sentence handed down to animal rights activist, Sean Kirtley, on Friday, in what is claimed to be the first contested trial under the Serious and Organised Crime Act 2005 (SOCA). Kirtley was found guilty of co-ordinating the …

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  1. Neil Hoskins

    "Political Activism"?

    The activities of those tossers and their like transcended "political activism" years ago. Passing laws to protect their victims was long overdue.

  2. Silas
    Coat

    Doesn't work both ways

    I see from the Protection from Harassment act that,

    <paste>

    12 National security, etc

    (1) If the Secretary of State certifies that in his opinion anything done by a specified person on a specified occasion related to—

    (a) national security,

    (b) the economic well-being of the United Kingdom, or

    (c) the prevention or detection of serious crime,

    and was done on behalf of the Crown, the certificate is conclusive evidence that this Act does not apply to any conduct of that person on that occasion.

    </paste>

    So the Government (or one of their agencies) can harass you as much as they like, claim it's a national security issue, and there's not a single thing anyone can do about it.

    Yet if I, as a private citizen, send Gordon Brown repeated requests to resign, then I can be arrested and jailed for up to 5 years?

    Nice.

    The one with my spare t-shirt in the pocket please, I'm attempting to fly from Heathrow.

  3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Flame

    First they came for the

    paedophiles. but as I don't find pre-pubescent children attractive I didn't say anything.

    Then they came for the animal rights protesters, but as I didn't like they way they dug up bodies and intimidated people I didn't say anything.

    Then they came for the <insert latest boogie-man to erode your civil liberties here> and I realised that I'm a stupid fucking moron who's apathy has led to the greatest loss of civil rights since the Nazi Party came into power, closely followed by Stalinist Russia.

    So now I sit in my barricaded home, daren't use the internet and I'm frightened to say boo to a goose in case it stabs me and then flies a remote control plane into my head.

    I don't have any friends left who haven't fled the country, and someone is whispering in my ear..."don't forget to turn out the lights".

    So, what nickname does this new fascist regime have?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they're doing the right thing.

    "A much larger question is why the Government feels the need to legislate so specifically in respect of animal rights activists."

    I'm hoping that their reason for this is that everybody hates bunny fascists. I'd totally vote for a party that included hating bunny fascists on their manifesto.

  5. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Fine lines...?

    > There is a very fine line between legitimate political protest, and intimidation.

    There is also a very fine line between protecting people and repression.

    Unfortunately this Government stepped over that line a *long* time ago and now thinks it can do what the hell it likes.

    I'd shout "nonsense" but I'm worried I might get arrested as a terrorist...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I think Blair did

    IMHO people stay on the right side of the law, when the gap between innocent and criminal is huge.

    Innocent<------------------------------------->Criminal

    The difference is so large they would never jump that gap. What I think Blair did was to close that gap right down by making crimes to fix borderline problems with borderline evidence.

    Innocent<--->criminal

    Now the difference is much smaller, you can be prosecuted for having your bin lid slightly agar, or worse, for things you say. So you don't feel the need to stay the right side of the law anymore. "well if I'm already a criminal, I may as well carry a knife..." attitude.

    Then along came Gordon Brown and we hoped for a change in direction, but no, he just put a bunch of Blairites in power. Jacqui Smith swapped things around completely, making ordinary things done by ordinary people into criminal acts without any measurable benefit. e.g. she admits to smoking pot then criminalized it... Now you can be innocent of crimes and still prosecuted as a criminal.

    Criminal>--<Innocent

    Things that are considered normal (e.g. protesting 'Scientology=Cult', photographing buildings) are now good or bad depending on the whim of the officer enforcing it. Of course this has brought out a special kind of 'personality problem' in some officers that has caused resentment in the public. A whole new breed of jobsworths has been attracted to become plastic-police.

    That in turn led to police being despised. Now the gap is between the people and the police and as the UK law undermines the position of innocent people that gap will only widen.

    Police<------------------------>public

    I'm going to self sensor myself at this point and use vague words. I choose to hide behind AC status. Even then that is not enough, since RIPA lets officers obtain the IP address and communications details of ACs on a whim.

    IMHO, there will be a time and place where Jacqui Smith's and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will come to regret what they did and we'll look back on this period as shameful undermining of individual rights.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Jihadi Rabbit huggers

    I wonder if they'll get Tofu in Gaol?

    It will come as no surprise that a law enacted for one reason has been used to silence dissent.

    Anyone remember when the Criminal Justice Act came into force and all these nice middle england old ladies got arrested under the act for trying to stop trucks filled with livestock?

    I, for one, welcome our Nu-Nazi-Labour police-state overlords.

    (coat, 'cos I am off out of this shithole with my shiny EU passport)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A difficult problem

    Animal rights activists have always presented something of a problem to the police. On the one hand, people have the right to protest and attempt to have their political way. OTOH, quite often this is taken to harassing levels by a hard core of nutcases (used in its most technical sense, of course).

    Fox hunt protesters used guerilla tactics to disrupt hunts, and at least had the tacit approval of the majority. But when protesters feel they are getting the brush off from organisations, they don't stop at letter writing or pressure groups. This is where the trouble begins - with an imaginative group of protesters going about digging up peoples dead relatives, annoying suppliers and disrupting business, how do the police usually respond? "Too difficult to prove under current laws". How does the government respond? "Ah! I have a draft bill around here somewhere...".

    I know the Register takes the position that the government is replacing leadership with taxation and legislation, but would they rather that animal rights protesters were prosecuted under anti terrorism legislation? Because that is the less palatable alternative.

  9. Pete James

    Pathetic

    Normally I read The Reg and nod in full agreement with the scribes thoughts and notes.

    Not this time. Actually, I'm pretty annoyed.

    The work of so-called animal rights bodies ranges from disturbing to disgraceful. To harrass or intimidate anyone pursuing legal employment simply cannot be allowed. It's nothing more than social terrorism, and to the individual is particularly damaging on both a mental as well as physical level.

    I really didn't see the point you were trying to make about harrassment either, apart from it being damned weak. The article conveniently omitted to mention that the method of communication used by such groups is not exactly walk up and politely engage in a conversation. Discussion about the ethics of an industry is one thing. Unfortunately such groups are not interested in discussion and haven't for some years.

    This article just illustrates a rampant bias towards liberal views for the sake of it. Perhaps the writer didn't stop to consider that pressure groups such as animal rights are themselves hardly liberal in considering other people's views? Maybe it would also be a good idea for the writer to go and work for a while at HLS or Sequani - or a supplier to them - and discover the sort of lengths such pressure groups will go to. I was on the end of this first hand in Yoxall for just a brief moment and it's really not nice, even to someone pretty thick skinned like me.

    I'm guessing that the article was trying to show that current legislation to curb the menace of extreme pressure groups is rubbish. Well it is - but you made a right it, especially with the final sentence. Pure sixth-form bilge in all it's acne-infested teenager glory.

    John Ozimek, your missive missed making any good points by a country mile. 1/10, and that's generous.

  10. duncan wood

    Not very Complicated

    If you've ever lived or worked next to somewhere disliked by the animal rights lobby then it could be a very broad line & it's still obvious which side of it a significant minority of them are on.

  11. Steve
    Flame

    So very, very wrong

    This cannot, in any way, be described as justice.

    You can get more jailtime for writing letters asking companies to stop supplying a vivisection lab than you can for kicking a man into a coma in the street.

  12. Mr Smin

    especially loved by lawmakers

    there's a history of awkward interpretations of the law - before the Computer Misuse Act, someone got done for 'criminal damage' on the basis that they had altered the position (status?) of some particles of a hard drive (in the course of unauthorised access). sorry I don't have the full details.

  13. Dr. Mouse Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Like I expected...

    One more law that moves us closer to a dictatorship.

    Could it be argued that a political party writing to voters to encourage them to vote for them is harrassing them? I say it could, by laws such as these. Therefore the opposition immediately becomes a criminal, and is jailed. So who do we vote for? Is there a democratic choice left....

    I know we aint quite there yet, but a pattern is emerging. 1984 here we come!

    Black 'Copter coz I can see one, they are coming for me!

    YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALI... **BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG** AAAAARGH!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It's simple...

    ... when you read the witness statements of the complainants against SHAC and the like - many of these complainants being ordinary people trying to earn an honest living, who have suffered vandalism, persecution, and physical threats to them and their families - you realise that the campaign to try to shut their employers down falls entirely into the definition of "terrorism", and should be treated as such.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "So was this an appropriate use of police time and resources? Is SOCA the right way to proceed?"

    Animal rights protestors are on the whole okay, but they do have a hardline that do things like digging up bodies, killing researchers and the like. Banning animal rights protests is the wrong way to go, but these people were [alledgedly] committing organised criminal acts. So they should be punished.

    Gotta say, though, that any group that puts the wellbeing of others first is going to use the wellbeing of others as an excuse to do things they'd otherwise have no support for. Like taxing the hell out of us "for the good of the poor" or "to level the playing field".

    You ask me, their punishment should be a solid deprogramming session, then a quick run through uni so they can work as a labtech at the places they were intimidating. Or retrained as a nurse to look after those they hurt.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Law goes further down the drain

    Although I agree that the animal rights activists should be jailed, though I would classify them as terrorists, I'm not too sure about the direction this is taking the law.

    Whats to stop the powers that be slightly re-interpreting the rules (as they are wont to do) and making it a criminal act (in the same tortious manner as ASBOs) to make any protest. Pro-life campaigners could be hit as they try and persude women not to have abortions. Christian evanglists could be caught if they turn up at someone's door more than once. People on strike could be jailed if they say more than a pleasant hello to strike breakers.

    Where has common sense gone as the goverment try and legislate every single minute action that we might take.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good

    The Animal Rights lot are generally ill-informed scumbags with screwed up moral compasses anyway.

  18. Shabble

    Thin end of wedge

    The government's tactics are quite clear; take something most of the population (and by extension MPs) don't like, (eg, paedophilia, terrorism, animal rights extremists) and set new far-reaching legal principles under the banner of controlling these 'dangerous' people.

    Once the MPs who vote for these laws have been won over (and I think this is more about persuading MPs than the population, as MPs are currently the weak link in defending human rights) then the laws can be broadened out to include any activity Brown thinks is harmful to society.

    We're seeing this now with the lengthening of the imprisonment without trial period for terrorist suspects. Government 'wins over' enough MPs by saying that the law will only be used in 'extreme situations' and hey presto - a law that allows the government to put anyone it doesn't like in prison for a month and half without any real evidence.

  19. Evil Graham

    I agree with Neil

    Whilst there are many alarming examples of the right to free speech and protest being eroded, I can't see that this is one of them.

    Sequani wasn't breaking the law, so however much you might disagree with them they need to be protected from headcases like this.

    You can use the "sledgehammer and nut" tagline, but this kind of stalking and generally obsessive behaviour can really get out of hand, as it apparently did for that poor girl who was stabbed in a lift London a couple of days ago. I only wish the law had been a bit more pro-active in that case.

    I can't help feeling that extreme behaviour on the part of animal rights protesters has elicited a proportionally extreme reaction from society. It was inevitable.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    They have only themselves to blame

    It was the animal rights activists who overstepped the mark with their ever more unacceptable bullying and intimidation so called 'protests' that created the need for this oppressive legislation. Now we are all likely to suffer under nu-labour's thought police. Throw away the key and let them rot so far as I am concerned.

  21. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    I had this terrible dream last night

    that I was moderating the comments on the Daily Mail website.

    I woke up sweating.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    There's always someone to screw up the system

    We all whinge about having our liberties taken away but, as mentioned above, is anyone really against locking up pedos? How about the muppets that think it is perfectly ok to terrorise people because their husband/dad/cousin works at an animal research lab?

    The only reason the government keeps banging in these new laws is because certain dickhead sections of society keep thinking up new ways to screw things up. If they turned there talent for creative thinking into something other than lowering the bar on depravity then think what humanity could achieve.

    I'm now off to shower as I can't believe I have had to stick up for the government.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another poitn of view

    Let me say that I'm not an animal rights activist and don't agree with most of what they say. On the other hand I believe that a lot of them have thought about their positions and have genuinely held beliefs. To call them "fundamentalists" or any other name isn't an argument against them it's just name calling.

    Put yourselves in their position, if you earnestly believe that experimenting on animals is equivalent or close to murder and torture what would you do? Or more to the point what wouldn't you do?

    If we chuck them in jail too readily we'll just make them fight harder, if we let them get away with things like planting bombs, well............

    Yes, we shouldn't allow ourselves to be dictated to by the moral opinions of a minority, but they're not such a minority and once upon a time people who believed in rights for women were a minority.

    As I say I don't agree with them for the most part but this is just going to make things worse.

  24. Rab S
    Alert

    Pretty much with everybody else here

    Its not like the nutter protestors have not brought this down on themselves. They have caused damage, and have more than one sucide layed at their door as well due to their intimidation tactics.

    While yes I do find the Law worrying on this one, I would not piss on one of the extrme protestors if they were on fire, unless i pissed petrol.

  25. David

    @Pete James

    "The work of so-called animal rights bodies ranges from disturbing to disgraceful."

    Really? Where on this scale does the RSPCA fall then?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SHAC deserve it

    I take it nobody remembers in the late 90s when some of their number decided carbombs were the way to take peaceful protest?

    Anonymous because I don't want to be blown up by bunnylovers.

  27. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Pete James

    There's a difference between people who are for animal rights and those who are for animal welfare, generally.

  28. John Imrie

    Overthrow the Government.

    Does the title make me a terrorist.

    What if I write 'Overthrow the Government' again.

    And whilst I agree that there are things Animal Rights campaigners do that are obnoxious and disgusting, calling them Terrorists is not the answer.

    We all ready had harassment and anti stalking laws so why do we need a new one just to protect animal labs.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Don't believe the short title

    The short title of an act of Parliament isn't supposed to tell you everything that a several-hundred page act was supposed to cover. There is a long title for that, if you care.

    The Serious and Organised Crime Act wasn't just about setting up the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and associated powers - it was also about making various organised crimes easier to prosecute, and one of those sets of crimes was the anti-scientist-animal-rights-mobs, many of whom were clearly very nasty, intimidating and certainly not peaceful protestors. That's what the law was passed for, and that's what it was used for.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    No sympathy

    While some protestors are undoubtedly normal, if un-educated people, those that go around blowing up buildings, stealing dead bodies etc are simply terrorists - they should probably just have been sent to Gitmo.

    Anyway, Serious - Yes.

    Organised - Yes

    Criminal - Yes

    'Nuff said.

  31. ImaGnuber

    No fine line here

    "It is alleged that managers at Sequani were followed home and verbally abused outside their homes."

    "There is a very fine line between legitimate political protest, and intimidation."

    Where is the fine line here? Protesters following someone to their target's home is intimidation pure and simple. The protestors are saying "We'll harrass you AND your family if you don't do what we want you to do."

  32. Mark

    14 million quid's worth of "wrong"?

    Heck, it would be a lot cheaper to have the company pay for competent guards.

    Though the acts of some extreme animal rights protesters are wrong, aren't we all told from a very young age that two wrongs do not make a right?

  33. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Don't believe the short title

    Yep, and they slipped in a couple of other things about making it illegal to protest within a mile of Parliament without seven days' notice. It was used for that too.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    ref "Law goes further down the drain "

    it would be a good thinbg to use this against fundy nuts and the pro lifers. I would hate for the UK to be like the USA.

    The insane bunny huggers all need locking up.

  35. greg
    Flame

    @Rab S

    Well said man! I lol'ed at the pissing petrol :D

  36. James Summerson
    Flame

    @Sarah Bee & David

    I think you're overcompensating, a little, Ms Bee & Mr David.

    Pete James was calling into question "so-called animal rights bodies" that use actions against humans that they castigate as abhorrent against animals, not those organisations that are for animal welfare. There *is* a difference and I'm sure this is clear from Mr James' post.

    And while I'm on a sticky wicket, Ms Bee, because it seems that many El Reg readers have no sympathy for such extremist nutters there's no need to sarcastically dub us 'Daily Mail' readers.

    This discussion jumped the shark near the top of the page when Godwin's Law should have been invoked after the third post.

  37. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee &amp; David

    It's less the content, more the rhetoric.

    Anyway, show me where I dubbed anyone a Daily Mail reader. I was just relating my disturbing dream, wasn't I?

  38. Pete James

    @David

    Sarah Bee replied before - and way better - than me David. On that point though where do you think the Save The Guinea Pigs organisation should be placed? This was the bunch active in Yoxall by the way.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re:"Political Activism"?

    @ Neil Hoskins

    "The activities of those tossers and their like transcended "political activism" years ago. Passing laws to protect their victims was long overdue."

    Hang on, are you saying that there wasn't already a whole heap of legislation covering intimidation,criminal damage, assault, murder, possession of explosives, desecration of graves etc etc ad nauseum?

    When they "transcended" political activism they became criminals. We do not need to criminalise political activism in order to prosecute those who "transcended 'political activism' years ago"!

  40. ImaGnuber

    Considering...

    Considering the general level of paranoia displayed in the Reg comments sections I'm surprised no one has accused the extreme animal rights activists of being in the pay of some evil government department as provocateurs whose purpose is to gain support for repressive laws. C'mon folks, you're falling down on the job here.

    And could someone please formulate some law re the increasing use of the 'first they came for the...' schtick?

  41. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Considering...

    Gnuber's Law? I think you can have that one.

  42. Spleen

    @ImaGnuber

    "And could someone please formulate some law re the increasing use of the 'first they came for the...' schtick?"

    Gnuber's Law: The first poster to quote Pastor Niemoller will be entirely right in doing so.

    How's that? It's held as far as I've seen. If you were thinking of Godwin's Law, that works the opposite because 'you're a Nazi' is simple enough to be used by thickos, whereas hearing and remembering Niemoller's poem - simple as it is - requires a modicum of intelligence.

    Personally, I would like the poem to go:

    "First they came for the animal rights activists, and I pointed and laughed, because it's still the first line of the poem, and I have two more to go before it becomes too late for me.

    Then they came for the religious extremists, and I did not speak up. Cutting it a bit fine, but I think I'll pass on this one.

    Then they came for people who liked lolita animé, and I swallowed my taste and stood up in the nick of time."

    Shame it doesn't work that way.

  43. Scott
    Black Helicopters

    Dead Meat

    i have to agree with the comments raised here i'm one of those people that medical testing has saved and have lived a full extra 20 years thanks to medical testing...

    But yes the laws NuLabour are bring out every day are becoming more and more repressive and vague, my crystal ball says that to hold all these political prisoners(?) then all the real crims will be running the streets not reading US Goverment documents or wearing transformer T-shirts.

    Just remember bing drinking gives you liver failure by 60 so no pension. That sounds like a whirly bird outside i'm off.

  44. Steve

    Out of interest...

    How many of you have the slightest idea what's been going on with this case and how many just saw the words "animal rights activists" and started thinking about dug up corpses?

    Bear in mind that under this law writing to Staples saying "Please stop supplying Sequani because they carry out vivisection" is a criminal act of harassment if you do it twice.

    "The work of so-called animal rights bodies ranges from disturbing to disgraceful. To harrass or intimidate anyone pursuing legal employment simply cannot be allowed. It's nothing more than social terrorism, "

    This is the line of thought that bitched about the suffragettes endangering the King's horse and disrupting a good race.

  45. Kanhef
    Go

    Gnuber's Law

    I like it. Award of a tinfoil hat to anyone who causes it to be invoked.

  46. Rab S
    Flame

    @their defenders

    Oh yeah its all harmless protesting, absoulty no targeting of people to make their life a living hell...Hell the last paragrah asks them to go and screw up school open days...

    "Dr Sue Hughes is a senior scientist at Sequani animal testing labs. When she has not been busy maiming and killing animals at her place of work, one of her past voluntary activities has included being involved with Riding for the Disabled, quite ironic really when you consider how many times she will have deliberately caused individual animals to 'become disabled'.

    One of her pastimes is skiing paid for with the blood money that she earns torturing, maiming and murdering animals. Dr Sue Hughes is also on the council for a Worcester school for Girls, now, we think it is bang out of order to have a sick vivisector sitting in council within an establishment that is supposed to be guiding children in the right direction in life. Many parents would not be too happy to know that such a monster is helping to carve their kids futures.

    Below are the details of how to get in touch and protest to the school in question and get this sicko kicked from the school council for the benefit of those innocent children who would be horrified to watch this woman at 'work'.

    Whenever the Alice Ottley school is having an open day or a school event open to parents activists will be there to expose the horror of vivisection and to air the skeletons in Alice Ottleys closet ... "

    Save the animals, test on these utter fuckwited wastes of gentic material...

    From the front page of the website linked to in the article (the one with handy tips on how not to get cought)...

  47. Paul Fisher
    Happy

    Mr

    The Insane bunny huggers all need locking up

    Well said man! I lol'ed at the pissing petrol :D

    If we were all like the above we would still be living in the dark ages where animals were considered to be mere automatoms who just responded to external stimuli and were worthy of no protection from people like you.

    Sometimes I read the Register and our very own Five Live radio program here in the uk and I wonder whether the percentage of psychopaths in the population really is only 1 in 250.

    I wonder if you ever gave a thought to anything else sentient but yourself and perhaps your immediate family and whether you are actually capable of putting yourself in another's position.

    Get the fuck rid of this controlling, legislation mad Government

  48. Mycho Silver badge

    Gnuber's Law?

    Isn't 'first they came for the...' implicitly covered by Godwin's Law? I mean the original doesn't say they on the first line, it specifies the SS.

  49. Mark

    Re: No sympathy

    "Anyway, Serious - Yes.

    Organised - Yes

    Criminal - Yes"

    Problem is, vivisection is not a light topic, so it has to be serious by default.

    If you're disorganised, nothing changes, so it does have to be orgamised.

    Criminal, well, merely being serious and organised can cause a criminal action.

    None of which mean the actions are SeriousOrganisedCrime. The three are one thing. Not separate attributes.

  50. Pete James

    @Steve

    Steve, two things slightly awry with your post:

    Firstly, and somwhat ironically, you didn't read the article either. If you had, you wouldn't have wrongly the definition of harrassment - which is NOT to write to someone twice. Have another go and see if you can spot your error.

    Secondly, and I could well be wrong, but I don't remember Emily Pankhurst and co sending letterbombs, hurling abuse at families and threatening to maim relatives. So comparing what was a forward-thinking campaign for emancipation with deliberation attempts at violent coercion doesn't have the 4 legs you'll need for the horse.

  51. Rab S
    Flame

    @ Paul Fisher

    Why yes I am quite capible of putting myself in others position...like the poor people this type of fuckwit tries to mess with?

    Oh but since they on the other side of this debate they probably don't count...

    Tell you what I will respect the AR/ALF when all members of them will stop using any and all products that are made/tested with the actions they find so objectiable...sound fair?

    Like I also said this Law is not welcomed by me.

    You have no idea how I deal with animials so try and not make yourself look even more stupid ok? But hey since you are perhaps one of the psychopathic fluffy bunny huggers (you know the ones that put their opinions higher than selected other people, no what was the defination of being a psychopath again?) you are just as fuckwitted as they are...

  52. ImaGnuber

    @Mycho

    "Isn't 'first they came for the...' implicitly covered by Godwin's Law?"

    That had been my feeling until I realised that it seemed to be used to get past the Godwin filter.

    If there was going to be a Gnuber's Law* perhaps it could be used to call anyone on their attempt to slip past Godwin's Law?

    *ego-cringe - any other name would do as well.

    Also, I'd hate to see the original text trivialised through overuse by the tin-foil hatted anti-gov brigade.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He just called for a boycott

    He just asked people to contact these companies to boycott this vivisection company.

    Whether you agree or disagree with Vivisection, do you agree that consumers/citizens should be allowed to boycott? Do you agree that people should be able to call for boycotts?

    Some of those people may have gone further than contacting the companies, but they're separate people and he doesn't control them.

    There is nothing so special about vivisection companies that elevates them, so this law will get extended to cover non animal labs.

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

  55. fishman

    Punishment

    These "animal rights" creeps (and their relatives) should not be allowed to use any medicine or medical treatment that used animal testing in their development.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    when are they coming for

    All you vicious killers out there that support the murder of innocent wheat, maize, soy, and cotton just to feed and clothe yourselves.. SHAME

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Suffragette terror?

    Mr James writes:

    "...I could well be wrong, but I don't remember Emily Pankhurst and co sending letterbombs, hurling abuse at families and threatening to maim relatives".

    Well, no. Unless you had recently celebrated your hundredth birthday, chances are you would not remember.

    But whilst Emily Pankhurst may not have been directly involved in such activities, our history of the "suffragists" has largely airbrushed out the more unpleasant details. Certainly, SOME individuals were involved in attacks on prominent individuals, attacks on property and - allegedly - fire-bombing.

    One particular incident laid at the door of campaigners resulted in a major fire and loss to human life.

    I have to say I was pretty innocent of this stuff until I had to do some background research on the struggle for women's rights. Basically, they weren't all sugar and spice.

    Like most political movements that develop an activist wing, there those who were relatively respectable, and those that weren't. And when it came to the public view, there were incidents they probably were responsible for, as well as incidents just laid at their door. Plus a load of stuff where we will never know the truth.

    As for popularity...if you'd taken a poll circa 1910, you might well have found that the general public viewed them much as they view animal right's activists today.

    Honest.

  58. Tonto Popaduopolos

    @Steve

    These individuals and their ilk are bad people. Animal rights extremists are exactly that - extremists. These letters are usually sent to the recipients home address not the business premises. The recipients can feel 'violated' , harrassed and threatened even by a letter, that on the surface appears harmless. These letters can often lead on to an incendiary device under a car to add to the menace. Rant on Steve, about a subject you seem to know nothing about.

  59. Chris C

    Outraged

    I know from the comments on animal-rights-related articles that most people reading The Reg are completely over-the-top in their outcry and hatred of animal-rights activists. So I probably already have my answer, but I'll ask anyway...

    Am I the only one outraged by these stupid laws? Why is it that we feel the need to create laws to specifically "protect" one group of people when laws are *ALREADY* in place to protect them?

    According to the article, in order to be found guilty under SOCA section 145, you must *ALREADY* be guilty of a crime. So if what you did was already a crime, why do we need another law against it? It's like the idiotic "hate crime" laws. We already have laws against murder, assault, etc. So why do we create additional laws against those very same acts if the victims are specific groups of people? Are we trying to say that those groups of people deserve more protection than people not in those groups? Are we saying that it's somehow "worse" to beat up a homosexual than a heterosexual, or that it's "worse" for a white person to murder a black person instead of another white person? Silly me, I thought it was the actions we were trying to protect people from. I hate bigotry and xenophobia, and I wish we could eliminate it; I wish everyone could just live and let live, agree to disagree. But once we start creating laws which criminalize thoughts, we have lost all sense of freedom and are rapidly approaching 1984.

    If a "third party" is persuaded to break a contract, they are the only one to blame. If I'm driving, and a girl slides her hand up my thigh and says "Drive fast, speed turns me on", and I then proceed to accelerate beyond the posted speed limit, does that mean she is guilty for being a party to my "conspiracy" to speed?

    We don't need more laws. We need to enforce the laws we have, and we need to use common sense. Unfortunately, I think common sense died a long time ago.

  60. James
    Stop

    @Neil Hoskins

    The first comment said it all.

    I know the guinea pig farm involved in the controversy and I also know the church where the inexcusable crime of digging up a deceased relative took place. What on earth were they thinking?? I am personally an atheist but what the fuck? Could they seriously not realise that doing this would majorley hurt their cause?

    Once I heard on the radio an activist saying that if they were trapped in a burning building and were only able to save one thing (out of a dog or a human) they would choose the dog... pretty much sums a lot of these people up.

    You can be damned sure that if it was the dog in the activists place, it would save neither.

  61. Name

    There is a very fine line between .....

    There is a very fine line between government and totalitarian pigswill.

    STOP VOTING FOR THESE IDIOTS.

  62. Mark

    @Tonto Popaduopolos

    Re: "Violated". I don't have a TV and therefore have no license.

    However, I get these threatening letters (one was a photo of a court summons on a doormat) from the TVLA telling me to get a license or go to jail.

    I fell violated.

    So when's the plot squad going to take them down?

  63. Fragula The Furry
    Thumb Down

    The mind of the beholder.

    How long is it before we have someone charged with "suspician of intent to conspire with intent"?

  64. Mycho Silver badge

    @Gnuber

    Very well, I propose we call it Gnuber's Addendum to Godwin's Law, or GAG for short.

  65. John Angelico
    Joke

    SOCA? Well named

    Serious Organised Crime Act.

    Down Under we use "soccer" (yes it is bad English, being derived from "Association Football" --> Assoc. etc) to label the "world game" since we already have two codes called football (three if you count Union and League in Rugby) which are played by men with leather balls.

    Since my perceptions of the games run to semi-organised warfare, I would say this is a most aptly abbreviated piece of Parliamentary output.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris C

    You're getting dangerously close to suggesting that the police should do their jobs; there's a law against that you know.

  67. TeeCee Gold badge
    Dead Vulture

    Re: "Another poitn"

    ".....if you earnestly believe that experimenting on animals is equivalent or close to murder and torture what would you do?"

    Easy one: Voluntarily section myself as I'd have gone completely barking.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    Threats of legal action aren't threatening behaviour.

    I think it's on the basis that if you feel threatened then you've done it, if you haven't then you should welcome your chance in court to get stitched up for something you haven't done.

    Taking photo's through your letter box might be a problem for them though.

  69. Tonto Popaduopolos
    Stop

    @ Mark

    You FELL violated. How far did you fall. Knob.

  70. Ben
    Flame

    So...........

    when are DEFRA gonna have their day in court then , me and my fellow thousands of slaughtered livestock want an answer now .......... if the uncontrolled release of disease into the environment and its ACCEPTED consequences doesn't carry a STIFF custodial sentence for those PROVEN GUILTY then this sentence for protest against the abuse of animals to develop the latest tech in anti wrinkle cream for the ladies is CRIMINAL! F*ck you! anybody would think that the Law is actually there to "PROTECT" something or someone .........i wonder what it can be? Some of the posts in this thread indicate that electrode lobotomization has been an utter success , were gonna need an ARK to survive the drool ............

    D isease

    E mission

    F *cks

    R ural

    A griculture

  71. Mark

    @JonB

    Hang on, how can you tell me how I feel?

    That's the problem with these "if you feel threatened" laws. They just don't work.

    Case in point. Pub. Landlord about 6'4 (and full of muscle) locked a mate of mine in because he wouldn't start a fight so the landlord could beat him up without getting to jail. I should note: friend is normal build and about 5'8. Told the police he "felt threatened".

    a) 6'4 vs 5'8???

    b) if he's frightened, why lock himself in the room with the person he is scared of?

    So don't you tell me what I feel.

  72. Tonto Popaduopolos

    @ Mark 16.26

    Mark,

    I'm sensing you're getting annoyed. Your last post makes no sense and you're careering off the point.

    Let's say you work as a taxi or delivery driver. Your work takes you to Huntingdon Life Sciences, picking up and delivering on a regular basis. If you were to receive a letter from the ALF or similar on your doormat, you would think 'how did they get my address?'

    The letters may start off asking you to cease all trading with HLS. You have read in the papers that these things can escalate so you start paying more attention in your daily routine. You then notice someone hanging around outside your address. More letters arrive with, lets say, a photo of you and your vehicle and some words that you find threatening. You still continue to visit HLS because you have to earn a crust.

    Damage to your own and your partner's vehicles ensue followed by more letters to you and your partner etc.

    Then one night your vehicle catches fire next to your house. You lose everything.

    I'm not saying that this would happen in every case of 'letters' but similar has. If you have any contact with HSL and their ilk you would be wise to check your vehicle every time you get in it and watch your back.

    That is why these people need stopping by the authorities using whatever legislation fits the bill.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Answer to the larger question

    "A much larger question is why the Government feels the need to legislate so specifically in respect of animal rights activists."

    Because the animal rights extremists are an actual threat to safety rather than hypothetical terrorists.

    "Asking politely" to contact suppliers in their book = phoning in bomb threats and sending powder through the post.

    Whether you support their cause or not - and funnily enough, I do - their tactics and fanaticism makes your average suicide bomber look like a wavering dilettante.

    Anonymous, because I speak from experience.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Harrasment

    "When she has not been busy maiming and killing animals at her place of work, one of her past voluntary activities has included being involved with Riding for the Disabled, quite ironic really when you consider how many times she will have deliberately caused individual animals to 'become disabled'.

    "....One of her pastimes is skiing paid for with the blood money that she earns torturing, maiming and murdering animals. Dr Sue Hughes is also on the council for a Worcester school for Girls, now, we think it is bang out of order to have a sick vivisector sitting in council within an establishment that is supposed to be guiding children in the right direction in life. Many parents would not be too happy to know that such a monster is helping to carve their kids futures. ..."

    So calling someone a murder and a monster then publishing there places of work is ok is it? Would you like to be on the end of this?

    Wonder how many "nice" emails she gets, if that is there tone on a website, what do you think they send from random hotmail accounts.

    There is a line between legitimate protest and harrasmentsand having met many animal activists, trust me, many of them have a very blinkered view of right and wrong.

    All those wearing organic hemp shoes who don't wash and grow their own food feel free to protest. Those that use oil based products, eat imported food, wear leather clothes, you are all evil as you all murder the planet and it's little creatures!

    I wonder if they found a cure for cancer, AIDS, Alzhiemers using these techniques, would they turn it down if they or their kids were dying. Would they really?

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    graverobbing

    To quote the article:

    Animal rights activists are no strangers to extreme direct action. The recent theft of a body in order to put pressure on the owners of a guinea pig farm is witness to that.

    Are these people accused of doing this? Then why is it mentioned? Perhaps you could have said of the police "this is the same British police who shot an innocent Brazillan electrical in the face".

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Oooh.

    @ Chris C.....

    <quote>

    If I'm driving, and a girl slides her hand up my thigh and says "Drive fast, speed turns me on", and I then proceed to accelerate beyond the posted speed limit, does that mean she is guilty for being a party to my "conspiracy" to speed?

    </quote>

    No.... it means she's a slut and up for anything. That would make you a lucky man, me and thousands of other dirty old buggers jealous.

    You wouldn't happen to have her number would you? Or would ringing her a couple of times be classed as harrasment? Especially if she was a bunny-girl.....

    Mines the black plastic mac.....

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