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Horsham march in tussle over freedom to protest

Watcher | 31.10.2009 11:39 | SHAC | Animal Liberation | Repression | South Coast

Yesterday in the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Sweeney ruled against an application which sought to ban all face masks, animal costumes, "blood" splattered coats, and any banners that used the words "murder", "torture", "kills" & "abuses" on an animal rights demonstration. The application was brought by the pharmaceutical giant Novartis in response to a demonstration being held today by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty in Horsham town centre. If the case had gone ahead it would have set a very significant precedent.

Novartis, represented by Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, had argued the demonstration incited criminal activity through "subtle" means. He was however unable to explain this took place and his arguments repeated failed to gain ground with the Judge. He also relied heavily on Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which gives the right to privacy in the home and workplace. Mr Lawson-Cruttenden was arguing that this right should curtail the Article 10 and 11 rights on freedom of assembly and procession.

The hearing was originally scheduled for October 20th, when it was agreed there would be an injunction under the Protection From Harassment Act put in place. However, Mr Justice Sweeney ordered Novartis to provide supporting evidence for the new changes they wanted made, including getting police statements, with the case to be heard on Wednesday, 28th.

Though specifically asked by the judge, Mr Lawson-Cruttenden could not provide any case law to support his arguments as significant issues were being raised on how far a publicly advertised demonstration could be controlled by the civil courts, along with other issues. The judge gave his decision on Friday morning, refusing Novartis their application in a long judgement.

The Defendants, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, were represented by Dr. Max Gastone, a lay representative, who said, "Novartis were seeking to control the ''atmosphere'' on a protest", which would have been a very draconian ruling if it had been granted. Even the police were wary about how what Novartis sought could have been enforced. However, it was also apparent that the real aims of the court case were two fold. One to get the precedent of these bans in place. The second was that Novartis are very touchy about having their name dragged exposed in public for their involvement in animal testing, and over the deaths associated with some of their products such as Prexige."

Harriet O'Shea, a protestor at Novartis in Horsham, said, "It is a great relief to hear that this has not been banned. They are trying to make a mockery of legal protest. Why should I not be allowed to wear a beagle costume or a blood splattered lab-coat to make my point visually. Is that not very important in a free society. They may not like it, but the whole point is that Britain is supposed to be a free democracy, though Novartis do not seem to have realised that."



Happy ending

01.11.2009 18:08

Activists held a march to protest against experiments on animals.

People dressed up as animals or lab workers gathered for the protest in Horsham. Protestors waved placards and banners as they set off from Horsham Park and made their way to the Novartis research centre in Wimblehurst Road before heading back to the park.

Police said the march passed off without incident and there were no arrests.

Around 70 people took part.



Hide the following 7 comments

TLC has lost the plot!

31.10.2009 15:13

I seriously thought he could sink no lower after the attempted EDO injunction, and from what I've heard of the SHAC ones.

However, trying to ban people saying that an animal testing lab torture animals? Banning costumed demo's? TLC has lost it! If this had succeded it would have been the beginning of the end of all protest in the UK.

Concerned / relieved

Surprise Surprise

31.10.2009 16:04

Surprise Surprise TLC loses again!

TLC has lost the hunting industry and Cuntryside Alliance £100,000 so far this year and cost Novartis god knows how much. TLC is probably having a greater financial affect on animal abusers than any 1 individual ALFer.

We love a little bit of TLC

a little bit of TLC

Economic sabotage!

31.10.2009 19:04

GSK's injunction has this far cost them in excess of £3,000,000! So it seems fair to assume that Novartis' will also be around this figure (possibly even more if you take into account the number of times they have taken their ridiculous petty complaints before the courts).

When you compare this to the £1,000,000 the ARM cost Novartis with the 2007 Savlon hoax, it seems the above poster may be onto something - Is TLC part of the MFAH? He certainly knows how to carry out a successful economic sabotage campaign!

Tim Lawspn Crettindon

Hard work paid off

31.10.2009 21:03

Well done with the legal representation Max, all the hard work paid off.
Plus, it sounds like the Judge was in no mood for TLCs bullshit.


cheques signed

01.11.2009 01:12

"Ol' tim" maybe should attend court masked up in future.

- Homepage:

Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden is screwing over his clients too

01.11.2009 21:05

Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden
Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden

Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden is screwing over the companies he claims to represent, as well as activists.

He gets paid whatever, so it is in his interest to encourage his clients to spend silly money on ludicrous court cases that have no chance of succeeding. But then some of his clients (pharmaceutical companies) have bottomless purses so they can afford to harass opposition in this way.

The hunt scum that use TLC are just being ripped off by him. He is a cynical bastard and I wouldn't be surprised if he fits the clinical definition of a sociopathic personality.

Here is a picture of him, does anyone else have any others?:


why would we need

02.11.2009 00:35

any more photos of him? Surely the one is enough.