Monday 20 September 2010

Mary Bale Charged with Animal Cruelty

A bit of moderately good news is the 'cat bin woman' Mary Bale has now been charged with animal cruelty. Bale has been charged with causing “unnecessary suffering to a cat” as well as “of not providing the animal with a suitable environment” - you don't say!

The investigation has been carried out by a charity, the RSPCA, because clearly it is not the police's job to investigate crime. No, clearly it is a non-profit charity that is funded by donations job to investigate crimes – wouldn't want to divert tax money from defending our corporate masters, would we now?

Hell, as far as the police are concerned throwing a cat in the bin isn't even against the law! As a police spokesperson put it at the time “we have not arrested the woman because she has not committed a criminal offence.” But then again neither is it a criminal offence for man to hit a woman with a baton or kill a newspaper seller when it comes to the cops, so no wonder they are so confused about the law. Poor things!

Anyway, now all that is left is for some Magistrate or Judge to dish out some insignificant slap on the wrist and  everyone will be happy, right?! Don't you just love our justice system?

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Has UK Animal Rights Lost It's Edge?

Speaking after the second wave of guilty pleas from the SHAC trials DCI Andy Robbins, of Kent Police state “Since this investigation began in 2007, there has been a sustained reduction in criminal activity linked to animal rights extremism.”

Does the DCI have a point? Has state repression effectively crushed much of the militant edge that effectively complimented the lawful protests conducted by the vast majority of us in the movement? 

I have always been a lawful activist but appreciate the work of the underground. The effectiveness of lawful activity is often directly linked to the actions of more militant forces. Something I think some of my aboveground colleagues often forget.    

While it is certainly true that since the 2007 shake up things have improved and gradually got back to 'business as usual' within the community, it would be dishonest to over look the lasting effects the trials have had. The UK animal rights movement was very much shaken by the arrests and repressive sentences and there is no getting away from that.

To some extent the police repression has worked. Rather than simply fuelling the fires of resistance as has been the case in the past, the police have succeeded in crushing some of the spirit of militancy within the UK scene.

Peaceful activists are bullied by police at demonstrations and face repeated arrests. This is not an attack on 'unlawful activists' and it's time for us moderates to realise that! The police are not combating the 'extremists' they are combating all of us. The conditions are right for militancy.

My more experienced, older friends, tell me that the UK movement goes in waves. The UK animal rights movement has always been versatile and rebellious but how far will the police be allowed to push the movement before the next wave of rebellion begins?