UK Stop Sequani Animal Testing Feature Archive
The Final Nail In The SOCPA Coffin?
In May 2008, following an 18-week trial costing over £4.5 million, the operator of a website criticising animal testing, Sean Kirtley, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for allegedly organising legal protests. He was found guilty under Section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) for "interfering with the contractual relationships of a laboratory" by campaigning against Sequani Limited and its business associates. He was released this month after his appeal was successful.
Solidarity direct action included a Carnival Against Vivisection in September against Sequani and anonymous ALF activists painting a city centre, walls and bridges, liberating hundreds of chickens, redecorating a fur shop, vandalising a hunter's car and sabotaging vending machines (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5).
Newswire: A letter from Sean Kirtley to Gagged! | "Free Sean" | GSK and Mars vending machines sabotaged | Sean Kirtley's Appeal Launched | ALF Chickin' Nickin' For Sean | Law-lord ruling to free Sean Kirtley? NETCU on the run | Felix Says "Free Sean Kirtley" | Sollidarity actions for Sean Kirtley | Serious Implications for Freedom of Speech as Activist Jailed for 4.5 years | NETCU and Judge Ross crucify civil liberties | Support Freedom of Speech - Support Sean! | Sequani Trial Update - One Remanded - Three not guilty so far... | Jury out to decide the fate of the Sequani Six (longest AR trial in history) | How to be a seriously organised animal rights criminal - Section 145 SOCPA. | The Sequani Six say thanks for the support
Previous feature: Police repression at Sequani demo | World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley | Carnival Against Vivisection | Sequani Besieged by Surprise Action
Firstly, police threatened an activist with arrest for using the term "puppy killers", saying it's offensive. Next they were trying to obtain details from lawful protesters, which angered them when they were refused. The demo was so succesful with such a good atmosphere that passers by started to pap their horns, this was met with blue lights by the police who followed them, issuing £30 fines to the motorists.
Previous features: World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley | Carnival Against Vivisection | Sequani Besieged by Surprise Action | Indymedia UK Stop Sequani topic page
On Saturday 25th April, over two thousand anti-vivisectionists marched through London to mark World Day for Animals in Laboratories as part of a Week of Action. The day is an internationally recognised, UN sanctioned event for reflection and remembrance of the countless millions of animals that suffer and die in vivisection laboratories around the world each year in the name of science.
The march was organised to call for an end to vivisection both in the UK and elsewhere, in response to Labour's abandoned pre-election promise for an official inquiry into animal experimentation. It has been over 15 years since the anti-vivisection movement marched in London to mark World Day, successfully uniting, mobilising and attracting new activists to the movement. Campaigners in attendance included Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), SPEAK Campaigns, Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT), prisoner support groups, as well as Animal Liberation Front (ALF) supporters and green anarchists.
On December 23rd, 4 out of 5 activists on trial at Winchester Crown Court were found guilty of 'conspiracy to blackmail' Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) after a 3 and a half month long trial. The world's media, prompted by police press officers, were quick to condemn Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), providing examples of harassment against the employees of HLS, their customers, suppliers and investors.
Direct action against the company, not linked to those convicted, such as arson attacks, hoax bombs, letters alleging paedophilia, and threats were pointed to as evidence of the defendants' extremism. Police spokesmen and the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), the branch of the police set up to dismantle the animal rights movement and other expressions of the public's dissent, hailed the convictions as a victory. What was not examined in the media was the worrying development of the repressive use of the law which lead to the conviction of the four defendants.
The trial is the second large animal rights conspiracy trial this year following the imprisonment of Sean Kirtley, an activist involved with Stop Sequani Animal Torture (SSAT). Sean was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for updating a website with news about a legal, nonviolent campaign to close down Sequani laboratories in Ledbury. Despite the Sequani and SHAC investigations leading to convictions, both campaigns against the vivisection labs are continuing undeterred.
Newswire: Strategic Importance of HLS in the broader anticapitalist fight | SHAC Do Christmas & Solidarity Demos | Corporate Watch on SHAC Trial - State Repression of Anti-Corporate Dissent | Campaigning against cruelty is now punishable by up to 14 years in prison! | SHAC campaign against HLS continues despite the convictions says the Guardian | SHAC v HLS
Previous featuers: Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley | Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares | SHAC Prepares For National March & Rally | Victory for animal rights campaigners | Activist Imprisoned for Shouting | Fisher Scientific Embarrassed Over Links with HLS | SHAC World Day for Lab Animals | Asahi Glass Protesters Harassed by Police | "March Against the Murderers"
On Saturday 6th September two hundred activists made it to Ledbury, Herefordshire, for the Carnival Against Vivisection in solidarity with political prisoner Sean Kirtley. The day of action was called by various groups in resistance to the imprisoning of peaceful campaigners under SOCPA legislation, and as a stand for the animals suffering inside vivisection laboratories.
Protesters met on the grass verge, where the police held them allowing a maximum of 15 at a time to demonstrate outside Sequani labs. Shortly after campaigners made a spontaneous break for the labs, with police responding by blocking the bridge to push back the crowd, creating minor scuffles. Multiple attempts were also made to access the labs using various pre-planned routes, meeting police each time, some of which had dogs. Protesters then regrouped at the grass verge to march the original route around town.
Related links: Free Sean Kirtley | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | Antispeciesist Action | Animal Liberation Front | Bite Back | NETCU Watch | FIT watch | Western Animal Rights Network | Indymedia UK Stop Sequani topic page
In solidarity with Sean Kirtley, who was imprisoned by the state for supposedly organising legal demonstrations against Sequani's vivisection laboratories, activists will be making a stand for the animals with a march and rally against Sequani labs on September 6th in Ledbury, Herefordshire.
Since campaigning against vivisection labs has been criminalised under Section 145 of the SOCPA legislation, such as operating a website critical of a company like Sean did, the event has been organised without organisers and is not an authorised event.
Hereford Police have already shown concern for the day of action by contacting NETCU Watch and are appealing for organisers to identify themselves, in the hope of finding somebody responsible. Despite this, the call for mass action has been promoted by various groups including Antispe Britain, West Midlands ALF, Stop Sequani Animal Testing, SHAC, and the Western Animal Rights Network.
Details: About | March, Maps + Important Police Information | Routes | Programme/Newsletter | Antispeciesist Action Press Release | Poster Translations | Hereford Police | Police want the organisers | Transport | Other Targets in Herefordshire! | SEQUANI Site plan with building information | Promo video | Webpage for the Carnival
Sequani newswire: Sean Kirtley Moved Prison | The tormented and the witness: Inside Sequani Limited EXCLUSIVE REPORT! | ALF Support The Carnival | why come to the carnival | GSK and Mars vending machines sabotaged | Sean Kirtley's Appeal Launched | Independent: Judge who sentenced animal rights activist was fan of blood sports | AR Protesters Illegal Arrest at Arromight Hereford [Videos: 1 | 2] | Activist arrested for writing in the ground | ALF Chickin' Nickin' For Sean | Sequani Trial Talk | Law-lord ruling to free Sean Kirtley? NETCU on the run | Felix Says "Free Sean Kirtley" | Solidarity actions for Sean Kirtley | Serious Implications for Freedom of Speech as Activist Jailed for 4.5 years | NETCU and Judge Ross crucify civil liberties | Response to state crackdown on peaceful protest | Support Freedom of Speech - Support Sean!
As the world day for laboratory animals march in Dover was effectively rendered pointless by the police and council in Dover leading to the march being postponed, animal activists from all over the Midlands decided to hold their own unadvertised 'Day of Action for the Animals'.
The Stop Sequani Animal Testing campaign, including activists from West Midlands Animal Action and Save the Newchurch Guinea pigs amongst others held a surprise demo at Sequani animal testing labs in Ledbury followed by Gateway to Hell campaign demos in Worcester.