Animal rights, anti-vivisection, live exports, intensive farming.
The Mark Kennedy case has thrown the world of police and private spying on activists into the spotlight. One of the many revelations about Kennedy is that he can be linked to private spying company Global Open. Kennedy worked as a consultant for them and set up his own company, Tokra, using the address of Global Open director Heather Millgate.
Nottingham Indymedia can reveal that a second spy linked to Global Open, Paul Mercer, was actively involved with environmental and animal rights campaigns in Nottingham, including Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (NAIL). Mercer was involved in groups in Nottingham in the period 2002-2007.
Mercer was publicly exposed for his role in spying on anti-arms trade campaigners, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) in 2007. His contract for the operation was finalised through Global Open.
Links: Spies on video - Martin Hogbin and Paul Mercer | Corporate spy was active in Nottingham | The 'censored' Mark Kennedy article | Mark Kennedy, Global Open Ltd and E.ON | BAE admits paying agents to investigate CAAT | NAIL Public Debate 12/4/06
Previous Features: Undercover police officer back in the spotlight | Mark Kennedy/Stone exposed as undercover | Three undercover political Police unmasked as infiltrators into UK Anarchist, Anti-Fascist and Climate Justice movements | Cop Infiltrators: PC Mark Kennedy AKA "Mark (Flash) Stone", "Lyn Watson", "Mark (Marco) Jacobs" and PC Jim Boyling, "Jim Sutton"
The six defendants in the second SHAC trial were hammered with vicious sentences this week. The harshest sentence was the six years handed down to 53 year old Sarah Whitehead. Sentences for the other defendants Tom Harris. Nicole Vosper, Jason Mullan, Nicola Tapping and Alfie Fitzpatrick ranged from a two year suspended sentence for the youngest, Alfie, to three and a half years for Nicole Vosper. All the defendants also copped lengthy ASBOs, which will prevent them from any further participation in animal rights activism.
On the Newswire:
"Not only do we have to fight criminal operations and cruelty to animals on the high seas but also take responsibility and direct action to help those who are imprisoned in concrete pools, doomed to entertain us."
Palawas, Nando, Kite and Rocko. Those are the given names to four bottlenose dolphins who are currently performing at the dolphinarium in Münster, Germany. Built in 1974 as part of the local zoo, the dolphinarium remains one of the last three of its kind in Germany. From the original nine facilities keeping dolphins in captivity, only Nürnberg, Duisburg and Münster are still blocking and ignoring concerns of animal welfare groups, conservationists, politicians and the public.
Protests continue against the construction of an animal lab at the University of Leicester. Activists have targetted various companies involved in the construction, including Willmott Dixon. On Monday June 7, activists held a protest outside the WD's headquarters in Coleshill, Birmingham. One campaigner chained himself to a bench and began a 3 day hunger strike.
The campaign was established following the university's announcement that it was going to be building a new animal lab on Lancaster Place. Whilst the university claims that "vital" research will be carried out at the facility, campaigners content that the new lab "is squandering money away from potentially life-saving research which is accurate and does not involve abusing animals."
On the newswire: Activist completes 3 day hunger strike outside WD office | Activist begins hunger strike protest at Willmott Dixon | Hunger striker to protest WD Coleshill | Pressure continued on Willmott Dixon in Coleshill
Previous feature: Proposed Leicester animal lab attracts protests
On June 5-6, the Sumac Centre hosted the "first ever Vegan Beer Festival". Vegans and vegetarians are wary of real ales as they often use isinglass, derived from the swim bladders of fish, to make it less cloudy. This inspired a number of local vegans to organise the real ale festival as a way of demonstrating that there is an alternative.
The Saturday was a gloriously warm day and the event was well attended, with the alcohol flowing within minutes of the official opening at 12 noon. There were a range of beers available to try, along with several ciders and perrys. Interest was so great that the beer ran out on Saturday.
Animal rights activists dropped banners and protested on the roof of the construction site of a new animal lab in Leicester on Monday. Banners were also hung on other University of Leicester buildings.
The National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA) claim that 101 animals already die in the university's labs each day and that the proposed £15m facility will add to this. The university claims that only rodents will be used at the new facility, but NAVA say they believe that dogs will be used as well.
NAVA was rapidly formed following the university's announcement that it was going to be building a new animal lab on Lancaster Place. Whilst the university claims that "vital" research will be carried out at the facility, NAVA say that the new lab "is squandering money away from potentially life-saving research which is accurate and does not involve abusing animals."
Newswire: Activists Scale Leicester Animal Lab in Rooftop Protest | Action Alert #1 - Stop the Leicester Animal Lab | Location of the Leicester Animal Lab Building Site | New animal lab at Leicester; New nationwide campaign to start
Since the notorious Great British Circus pitched up in Nottingham last Tuesday, there have been daily demonstrations by animal rights protesters outside. The protesters are angry that the circus uses animals for the "medieval" entertainment of punters with scant regard for their welfare. The circus uses tigers, zebras, camels and horses kept in "woefully small" cages for most of their lives.
Forcing animals to perform in travelling circuses, which is condemned by the RSPCA as "very harmful", may soon become illegal. Animal circuses are already banned on most council land across the country because of the cruelty and a recent Bristol university study into circus animal welfare came to damning conclusions.
On Sunday, 30 activists came to the demonstration at the circus' current venue, the Japanese Water Gardens in Toton, and other successful demonstrations were held last week. The activists are calling for concerned people to demonstrate the circus at its next venue in Leicester, when it arrives on Tue 27th.
Update: Following news of the ban on wild animals in circuses, Nottingham Animal Rights will be celebrating with cake and champagne at the Japanese Water Gardens, 2pm on Sunday.
Previous feature: Nottingham Animal Rights get active
Over the past seven days, animal rights activists have hit the streets and campuses nationwide, calling for an end to animal experimentation in universities as part of the Week of Action Against University Vivisection organised by SAEAB.
Banged up Sea Shepherd campaigner Pete Bethune is facing a long prison sentence after boarding a Japanese whaling ship during protests in the Southern Ocean in February. Operation Waltzing Matilda was the most successful Sea Shepherd campaign yet against illegal Japanese whaling (see SchNEWS 713), but it wasn't without a cost for Sea Shepherd after their £2 million boat the Ady Gil was rammed and sunk by a whaler on January 6th.www.seashepherd.org
It has been a busy start to 2010 for Nottingham hunt saboteurs who have been sabbing in collaboration with sabs from Sheffield and Leeds. Hunts across the Midlands and North of England have been sabbed, in some cases for the first time in several years. The Lunesdale hunt on the Cumbria/North Yorkshire border, for instance, hasn't been sabbed in more than 20 years.
In spite of the legal ban on hunting with hounds coming into force in 2005, most hunts continue as they did before. The police, used to protecting hunts and repressing saboteurs, have changed little in their approach. Hunt saboteurs use direct action to save the lives of hunted animals.
It isn't just foxes which have been saved. Sabs have also intervened to stop ferreters and hare coursers. Now the hunt season is over until August/September, local sabs are considering sabbing some mink hunters in the summer and willl be working to protect badgers from baiting in South Yorkshire, and from culling further afield, from May.