Tackling extremists may seem like a great idea, but what do NETCU actually mean by the term ‘domestic extremists’? One might assume it would have to be something pretty major, but rather than simply speculating let’s head over to NETCU’s web site. According to the site’s glossary section, “Domestic extremism is the term used to describe any unlawful or recognisably anti-social act carried out as part of an 'extreme campaign'.” And ‘animal rights extremism’ is “Any unlawful or, if not actually unlawful, recognisably anti-social act, motivated by an intention to disrupt lawful business or to intimidate, perceived by any party involved to be rooted in opposition to the perceived exploitation of animals.” It states “if not actually unlawful” so, lets be clear, it seems that the action does not even need to be unlawful for it to be ‘animal rights extremism’!
Imagine being labelled a ‘domestic extremist’ for simply staging something like a phone or road block. Whatever one’s view on animal rights or direct action, using the term extremism, I hope you will agree, in the context it is used by NETCU is misleading. The main purpose of NETCU does not seem to be concerned with preventing physical violence against people, which they describe as “very rare”. Its’ main work seems to be to simply target campaigners labelling them ‘extremists’.
What ever you think of NETCU’s use of the word ‘extremist’ at least they are unbiased and can be trusted to act fairly, or can they? Well NETCU does state in its FAQ “NETCU is impartial and does not enter debate on the use of animals in research.” However this is followed by the statement “The use of animals in research is lawful in the UK at properly licences premises and operates within one of the world's strictest licensing and regulatory frameworks.” This statement seems a little one sided to say the least. NETCU’s links page seems to evidence bias while the page links to no animal rights or even animal welfare web sites, it links, to pro-animal testing groups. A link to the Coalition for Medical Progress is accompanied with the text “The Coalition for Medical Progress (CMP) is an alliance of organisations that work to explain the benefits of animal research and medical progress.” While the link clearly is providing one side of the story NETCU seems to find it unnecessary to provide the other.
No matter where you stand on animal rights, please take this issue seriously, especially if you are involved with campaigning. This information is directly quoted from NETCU’s own site consider it for yourself. Could it be you next?
NETCU/police representatives are encouraged to reply as individuals to this article by commenting on the indymedia page, if they wish to share their side of the story.
Copyright – The quotes are from the NETCU web site and are copied without authorisation, it is believed this use is ‘fair dealing’ under UK copyright law. No claim to copyright in the quotes is made by myself. The quotes are believed copyright NETCU and the quote relating to The Coalition for Medical Progress (CMP) maybe copyright CMP or NETCU. All original parts of this work may be freely reproduced and used in any way by anyone, except by any police force (foreign or domestic) or any part of governmental intelligence (foreign or domestic).