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A fun day demo'ing at the Oxford animal lab

anonymous | 03.12.2004 12:59 | Animal Liberation | Repression | Oxford

Police bias at the Oxford animal lab protests and how everyone is a protestor.

A quick report from a fun demo at the new animal labs
site on South Parks Road.

As many will know there is an injunction limiting
protest against Oxford University in general. In the
terms of this injunction anyone served by the
injunction is covered by it, whether they are
protesting or not.

At last Thursday’s demo the process servers served the
injunction on a student chatting to protestors and
were made to look stupid. This is a serious issue, as
the University claims everyone in the university is on
their side and so should be considered “protected
persons” whom protestors are not to ‘harass’ by
informing them of the issues.

On Saturday, protestors in the centre of town were
illegally moved from place to place under the terms of
the injunction, as the police deliberately
misinterpreted it.

Today, we got our own back. Attempts to video the
serving of injunctions were blocked by other
protestors to the chagrin of the process servers who
threw the injunctions on the ground. Other protestors
not letting the paper go to waste, served the
injunctions on students and other passer-bys. This
means these people are now officially ‘protestors’
precisely because they have been served (crazy but

This upset the process servers who took them off the
passer-bys and gave them back to us - though by the
end of the day all copies we’d received had been
passed on to people they couldn’t recover them from.
Bit of a knotty problem for the University as their
injunction now covers their own people- and a mockery
of the whole injunction.

By this stage the police were getting involved (over
reaching their powers to interfere in a civil matter)
and tried to seize the injunction off of one passer-by
– only they were not having any of it and snatched it
back from the copper, telling him where to get lost.

Having lost on that one, the next tactic by the
process-servers, acting for a University which is very
keen on repeating how much they are in favour of
freedom of protest and free speech, was to approach
one student who had been debating the issue of animal
testing with some protestors for a length of time that
she was only allowed to speak to us for 10-15min!
Something they had no right to do and we think was
designed more to provoke us than anything else.

It seems to us that the university is very frightened
that the people they claim to be representing in court
actually find out what is being done in their name, or
learning about why people oppose the new labs.

It was a fun and eventful day, with the
process-servers were made to look fools, so the police
had to get in on the act and also get the chance to
look stupid. When a group of demonstrators went to
have a coffee, a plain-clothes cop joined them at the
next table and started taking notes of people
discussing the habits of their dogs and cats.

He was quickly clocked for what he was, but talking
into his collar trying to look innocuous was a total
giveaway, along with the rather obvious ‘furtive’
looks he kept giving us. He soon got very hot under
the collar when he realised that the entire group
openly stared at him, calling him out for what he was.
More training needed mate.

These demos take place every Thursday, 1pm -5pm at South Parks Road in Oxford. Come along and join in - everyone welcome.

For more information on the campaign check out Speak Campaigns at