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Stop UKCMRI [Camden Bio Hazard] Lab meeting at Camden Town Hall update.

Stop Camden Bio Hazard and Animal Lab [Mandy Ford] | 19.02.2010 03:23 | SOCPA | Animal Liberation | Bio-technology | Social Struggles | South Coast | World

There are plans to build a high level [3+] virus containment facility and animal testing lab in Camden on a council house estate in Camden, alongside St Pancras International behind the British Library. This week residents met with councillors at Camden Town Hall as a follow up to the meeting at St Mary & St Pancras Primary School meeting. Read the notes below regarding this meeting.

Residents at the meeting were in the majority against the lab. One resident was for the lab plans but wants the lab to be smaller than is planned.

Most of the residents have said that safety is an overwhelming concern. While it is true that there are other labs nearby that have not had [publicly reported] virus leaks and have not been protested against by AR activists, these are not situated close to an International train station as is Brill Place. The lab will be situated feet away from the station.

Residents are worried that the security is to be out contracted to a private security firm which could mean that the security staff might be poorly paid and open to bribery, infiltration by terrorists etc.

The problems that occurred with Pirbright are a major concern. Foot & Mouth disease escaped, devastating the countryside and the countryside small farmers. This was as a result of poor maintenance. [Pirbright will not be rebuilt or repaired as planned due to a lack of funds]. While the building would be still new at St Pancras this "should not happen" but the building will age as Pirbright did. Such a virus leak in central London would be catastrophic and have implications across Europe.

The site has already been hit by bombers and remains a target.

Residents have said that in the event of virus leaks or attack there is not much space in the surrounding area for evacuation. The lab's loading bay will be feet away from the Monica Shaw estate which is mainly sheltered housing.

Animal rights activists are also a worry for residents. One resident meeting attendee has said that she is close personal friend of one of the board of the Wellcome Trust and that he in turn is close to David Cameron...and that the lab will go ahead regardless of who is Prime Minister. She also said that she has [quote] "...seen on Indymedia that Animal rights people know about the lab, believe me they know, I've seen them on Indymedia and there is no way I want these people, these people are, well these people, no way no way no way, that's why I don't want the lab built here, they know, these people, they know, but the lab should be built but not here, they can't come here, these people the lab the activists any of them." which shows just how worried people are about the lab plan the problems it presents and how that it is and will be affecting residents.
[This woman also heckled Camden Councillor Roger Robinson telling him to "shut up, shut up, shut up" before being asked to remain quiet by Candy Udwin].

Other residents have expressed concerns about animal rights activists campaigning. Unfortunately this is leading to people in Camden being stereotyped...Camden is known for it's dreadlocked hippy community many of whom are now labelled as " potential AR terrorists" because of their appearance which could lead to police harrassment of innocent people throughout Camden. A dreadlocked resident was asked at the meeting if she is an "AR" activist because of her hair..she isn't and this might not seem important to some but this is important as it can lead to problems in Camden with it's two million "hippy" tourists coming every year to visit the famous markets and bars in Camden Town.

Animal rights activist violence against people working in or for the labs [or being linked in some way] is a genuine worry for residents as is recruitment of school children, teenagers and students into AR groups by activists.

Housing is another concern. There are council houses being knocked down and they are not being replaced in a borough with 20,000 people on a housing waiting list.

Some of the residents are divided as to how to proceed with the campaign leading to a couple of walkouts at the meeting but this will happen with all or any campaigns and we remain united in fighting this as residents.

There is another residents meeting planned for a few weeks time.

The lab website is at :

Stop Camden Bio Hazard and Animal Lab [Mandy Ford]