“No feet over the line!”
An open letter to all police officers involved in the policing of SHAC's Operation Liberation protest on 26th September 2009.
Yesterday protesters from around the country came together to take part in Operation Liberation, a protest organized by SHAC as part of a campaign to close down Highgate Farm who breed rabbits and ferrets for animal testing.
The police on the day did not let the protesters go down to the farm and the protest was a static demo away from both the farm and the village. You used an unmanned drone to observe the demo as well as lines of cops and police vans all around us. While it has been argued in the past that drones would be used to limit police numbers the number of police was huge. You drew a line on the path and wouldn't let anyone past it. One officer even moved people back whose shoes were slightly over the line another pushed someone back without even asking the protester to move!
The police seem intent on provoking another Newchurch by preventing effective peaceful protest and building up anger by antagonising the national animal rights movement. If you want to show people that keeping to cooperative protest is a good idea, putting them at the end of a lane away from their target and being totally inflexible isn't a great way of going about it!
I know there are some police trying to avoid another Newchurch. However it seems you have been manipulated by a particularly extreme element in your ranks that needs to provoke the movement to keep its funding. NETCU and similar units seem to be in a very bad way in terms of resources and in this recession they need to manipulate you to keep the funds flowing away from your local policing priorities and to line the pockets of there cosy little number. They don't want to see the movement cooperating with you because that will make them unnecessary.
Many of you may already be angry that money has in the past been wasted on such units. Do you really want funds to be taken from you and used to sent a car of two or more specialist officers from faraway to a small peaceful protest that could easily be dealt with by your beat bobby (or PCSO) in two minutes flat?
You have probably been told that the animal rights movement has been frozen by the SHAC trials, this is not the case. The movement is getting up, shaking itself down and deciding it's direction. Where are you going to push it towards?
See you on the streets,
This does not necessarily represent the views of everyone at Animal Rights Cambridge. Animal Rights Cambridge has no leaders.