LAST RITES FOR NEWCHURCH GUINEA PIG FARM
The mass-moronic media spun this day into a victory for
intimidation but we know this is a victory for compassion, for unceasing
activism against all odds and lends hope to the countless animals
that continue to die at the hands of the animal abuse industries.
Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs.
This week Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, which bred
guinea pigs for vivisection, announced they would be closing at
the end of the year. The campaign to close the farm began in 1999
with the liberation of 600 guinea pigs being bred for scientific
research. The video footage and photos taken at the
time of the appalling conditions in the farm kick-started six years
This success for the animal rights movement was achieved in the
face of large scale police intimidation and harassment. It builds
on similar triumphs at Consort, Hillgrove, Shamrock and Regal Rabbits
and breaks the deadlock between the government and the animal rights
movement. Will Huntingdon Life Sciences be the next to go under?
Momentum in the movement had perhaps slowed as a result of the states
bottomless well of support for the animal abusing industries. The
mainstream media conspired to paint a simplistic picture of animal
rights terrorism. Fanatical balaclavaed bunny-huggers who will stop
at nothing versus a poor small farmer who only wanted to help children
with leukaemia. In fact at the beginning of the campaign the farm
was turning over £1 million a year selling pathogen-free guinea
pigs for as much as £20 each.
The Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs Campaign bore the brunt of a
centralised government strategy of intimidation. The policing operation
has cost at least £2,225,000 ie over eight grand a week! Staffordshire
Police created the bizarrely named Environmental Protest Unit
specifically to target campaigners. This unit pioneered the use
of ASBOs against protestors, trying to ban those convicted of minor
offences from the whole of Staffordshire.
Full use of all the new public order legislation was made against
activists and hundreds of arrests and many raids on activists
houses followed. Two or more people could be an illegal assembly
under these new laws, and it was made illegal to demonstrate outside
the homes of employees. Staffordshire filth also helped bring in
an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The
injunction was brought by solicitor Timothy Lawson Cruttenden. TLC
(as we like to call him) is a pioneer in the dark arts of eroding
the right to protest by twisting laws designed to protect women
from stalkers. His name has become familiar to campaigners as he
has based his career on smashing protest animal rights, GM
and anti-arms trade. He boasts on his website We are the market
leader in obtaining ground-breaking injunctions on behalf of individuals
and corporations who have been the subject of harassment by direct
action protest groups.
The injunction meant that police could harass and arrest virtually
anyone present at the protests. Peaceful campaigning was made virtually
illegal. In addition, the farm hired private security to assault
protesters, with one of the owners telling a Swedish newspaper,
If I could only shoot about thirty of them it would probably
be calm. If I could kill a hundred of them, I would be guaranteed
to get rid of the problem. The cops around had no problem
with all this.
With peaceful campaigning outlawed, the campaigners were left with
a choice of giving up and leaving the animals to their suffering
or taking the struggle underground. Illegal actions against the
farm and its suppliers multiplied and it is in this context that
the socalled animal rights terrorism occurred.
Media attention has focussed almost exclusively on the campaign
of intimidation waged against the owners of the farm. And in particular
the desecration of a womans grave. Save the Newchurch Guinea
Pigs refused to condone this action and no link to the campaign
has been proved. Despite numerous arrests no-one has been charged
for the grave robbery. Every attempt has been made to blacken the
animal rights movement with the tag of irrational terrorism, as
the corporate media line up to march in time with the pharmaceutical
What seems to get lost in the media storm is why activists want
the farm shut down in the first place. Mainstream media present
vivisection as a totally polarised debate: science on one side and
sentimentality on the other. They push the absolutist line that
animal rights activists are against the exploitation of any animals
for human needs, full stop. So far this has enabled the pharmaceutical
and life sciences industry to present itself as pro-human
and pro-health. So it never gets mentioned that the vast majority
of experiments conducted at Huntingdon Life Sciences are for the
benefit of agri-chemical companies. Over three million animals are
experimented on and killed each year in the UK. The number of lethal
experiments continues to rise year on year as does the number of
experiments conducted on primates. A huge growth area in experiments
involves Genetic Modification patented life forms. The majority
of procedures have nothing to do with life-enhancing
In contrast with their anti-science label, animal rights
groups have long demanded a full public inquiry into the medical
benefits of vivisection. Animal testing creates misleading results
which serve as a smoke screen for pharmaceutical companies when
their latest batch of dodgy snake-oil turns out to have even worse
side effects than the last lot. Evidence suggests that animal experiments
are of little use in protecting human health. Tobacco companies
until recently used the results of vivisection to prove
that smoking didnt cause cancer, delaying acknowledgment of
the link for years.
Take the painkiller Vioxx which passed animal tests with flying
colours; in humans it massively increased the risk of heart attacks.
Those who have suffered from taking Vioxx accuse the drug company
Merck of putting profits before patients lives. Drug reactions
are so common that they are the fourth most common cause of preventable
death in the UK. A common industry trick is to perform tests in
a variety of species and simply discard the unfavourable results.
Vivisection is a notoriously secretive affair and for good reason.
Whenever the animal rights movement has successfully raided or infiltrated
labs they have uncovered not just appalling and often senseless
cruelty but incompetence which renders any claims to be practicing
science meaningless. Last year a survey of 500 GPs showed that over
80% mistrust animal experiments, and would welcome an independent
scientific inquiry into the effectiveness of animal testing.
Given such strong state backing for vivisection youd think
that the government would have proof of how it benefits medical
research. Last year Caroline Flint from the Home Office, which issues
the animal abuse licenses admitted that The Home Office has
not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy
of animal experiments. Lets get this straight
they issue licences for lethal experiments, but they dont
know whether they do any good or not? Brilliant!
Let the debate be won between open minds, not a retreat into
the culture of unreason - Blair speaking about the campaign
against HLS in 2002.
OK Tony, why not hold a Royal Commission on the use of animals
in scientific experiments? Thats what Neo-Labour promised
before the election in 1997, so what happened to it? The animal
abuse industry hides behind the police and the government because
they know that if the full extent of its activities was ever publicised
the public outcry could only swell the ranks of the animal rights
In fact the use of animal experiments to develop drugs for humans
is so deeply flawed that even the scientific director of HLS says
the accuracy of using animals to predict effects in humans is a
mere 5-25%! With so many problems with vivisection isnt it
time there was an open debate about it? The anti-vivisection campaigners
would welcome this debate, but its an issue the drug companies
and government want to shy away from because its an argument
theyre afraid of losing so instead they criminalise
those fighting for compassion.
Science is of course not the question money is. The City
established a £10m fighting fund last year to combat animal
rights extremism. The recent anti-protest laws are as a result
of its lobbying. Vivisection is being protected because Britains
leading economic role in the Life Sciences (looked after
by Lord Sainsbury - the governments unelected science supreme
who has more pies than fingers) must be supported at all costs.
GM got kicked out of the country thanks to dedicated activists and
the establishment is scared that vivisection, although more firmly
entrenched, might be next.
* To celebrate that Newchurch guinea pig farm is closed, Save Newchurch
Guinea Pigs will still hold their national demo on the Anniversary
of the Liberation of 600 Guinea Pigs at noon, Saturday 3rd September
in Burton on Trent. www.liberation-now.org
* The campaign against vivisectors Huntingdon Life Sciences continues.
CRAP ASBO OF THE WEEK
For being a foetus
A Staffordshire boy has been threatened with an Anti-Social
Behaviour Order - and he hasnt even been born yet. Julie Brown,
from Burton-on-Trent, was told her son had annoyed neighbours driving
around on his motor scooter. She has already named her baby Dominic,
but he is not due until September - and she has the hospital scan
to prove it.
Julie said I was angry because nobody came and checked and
the letter was sent despite the fact we dont have a son yet,
let alone one who causes trouble riding around on a scooter.
A council spokesman said: The letter appears to be an unfortunate
mistake and we will be sending a written apology to the couple.
Assault With Battery
Shocking news for Taser International, the US company who make
every crowd-controllers friend, the Taser stun-gun (In
use with British Police since 2004). Despite the American Civil
Liberties Union and Amnesty separately reporting more than 120 deaths
in the US and Canada related to the weapon since 2001, the company
has insulated itself from any criticism and continued to market
it as safe and humane.
Well, now its not just bleeding heart liberals and hippies in resistance
cops in four US states have filed suits against the manufacturers
claiming they were injured by the guns in training. Theyre
accusing the company of misleading law enforcers about the capacity
of the weapon to inflict injuries. (Were still stunned
that they thought being temporarily paralysed with a 50,000-volt
jolt wouldnt hurt!). Wed guess you could feel the electricity
in the room as vice president Steve Tuttle, looking amped-up, announced
the company planned to aggressively fight all of the
One firearms consultant, quoted in the Associated Press 12 August
2003, explains the appeal of Tasers to sadist police worldwide:
It is the most profound pain I have ever felt. You get total
compliance because they dont want that pain again. It
also only leaves small visible injuries, making them ideal for compliance
enforcement, with no awkward evidence turning up in court.
Amnesty have called for an end to Taser exports because they are
so popular on the torture circuit.
US troops in Iraq were pleased to find that Tasers worked particularly
well there because Saddam had been an enthusiastic user of electrical
Meanwhile, closer to ohm in the UK, normal cops are
not currently allowed Tasers, although Scottish police had them
on hand for the first time ever during the G8. They have also been
issued to firearms teams, whose specialist training ensures they
dont randomly socket it to members of the public unless they
are black, wearing a coat, or using public transport.
Just like Pepper Spray which was initially supposed to be used
only in extreme circumstances, expect such electro-shock
weapons to become a normal piece of equipment for our increasingly
Face The Muzak
Cuddly venture capitalist Richard Branson likes a laugh, and making
loads of money. And he did both at the V Festival last weekend.
The festival has a noble tradition of trying out fun new surveillance
techniques on punters, and this year was no exception. In order
to keep festie-goers safe from terrorists and the great unwashed,
CCTV cameras were stuck all over the place and wired up to face
recognition software to scan for known troublemakers. Letters were
sent to 250 undesirables asking them not to come.
In previous years they have used Automatic Number Plate Recognition
to target known offenders, as well as using palm-wipe drug testing
kits on attendees. Although anyone asked to be drug tested has the
right to refuse, the police can regard the refusal as reasonable
suspicion of possession of drugs and conduct a full search.
SchNEWS commends the V organisers on their bold Brave New
World theme and we look forward to visiting next years
Ambient Cavity Search Tent.
Hit The Decks
In case you thought it was just corporate-sanitised festivals
that were turning all 1984, dont worry. Underground parties
abroad are proving they can attract even more brutal Big Brother
Last Saturday Versus II, a 1,500-strong legal rave in Utah (home
of bigamy), USA (home of the free), was closed in a huge raid involving
SWAT teams and the Utah National Guard as well as large numbers
of police. Soldiers with assault rifles stormed the stage to get
the music off, and tear gas, dogs, stun guns and a low-flying helicopter
were used to disperse the crowd. Ravers were kicked to the ground
and beaten with batons and rifle butts. People who tried to film
the bust had their cameras taken or smashed. And just to prove that
cops do have a sense of humour, they nicked all the bouncers for
possession of drugs theyd confiscated from people on the door.
The organisers of the party have set up a website - www.music-versus-guns.org
to publish personal reports and footage that didnt get confiscated.
Meanwhile in the Czech Republic there has been a wave of anti-police
demonstrations across the country this month, after riot cops were
used to break up the CzechTek free festival on July 31. 1,300 police
waded into the teknival in Mlynec with water cannons, batons, lashings
of tear gas and a tank, claiming that they needed to act to stop
people trespassing to get to the party. Ravers fought back with
bottles and sticks.
Explaining why he authorised the raid, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek
said: These were no dancing children [but] dangerous people
with anarchist proclivities and international links, who provoke
massive demonstrations against the peaceful society and are
likely to spread AIDS, jaundice and salmonella. The
peaceful Czech society didnt buy it, and Paroubek
has seen his popularity cut in half with dozens of angry protests.
The Czech government are now considering passing a new CJA-style
law allowing local authorities to ban raves if they think theyre
a threat to peace, property, or state security. For
more Czech out: http://en.policejnistat.cz/Uvodni
Mi Gao Huang Chen, a Chinese takeaway owner known locally as Michael,
was brutally killed in Wigan on April 23rd this year. He was beaten
to death by 20 white youths armed with piping, wooden planks, tools
and lumps of concrete. Six of them have now been charged with murder
and fifteen teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of violent
disorder and assault.
The gang also attacked Mr Chens partner, Eileen Jai who tried
to defend him from them and was seriously hurt in the process. Now
Wigan CID have charged Eileen with affray and common assault.
She is due to appear before magistrates on September 2nd.
Min Quan is a campaign group who defend the human rights of the
Chinese community in Britain. They have started a campaign called
Takeaway Racism in response to Mr Chens death,
which focuses on attacks against Chinese-owned businesses. They
have started a petition to request that the charges against Eileen
On their website Min Quan list racist attacks and highlight the
way that the police fail to take them seriously or offer protection
to victims. Mr Chen had been the target of harassment for a long
time before his death at the hands of his persecutors. Racist incidents
have risen massively since the July 7th bombings. Since 1991 there
have been over 70 murders in mainland Britain with a suspected or
known racial motive. www.minquan.co.uk
When are the powers that be going to clamp down on religious
extremist leaders preaching hate and calling for the assassination
of people in other countries? Take Pat Robertson, for example.
A right-wing televangelist, head honcho of the shadowy Christian
Broadcasting Corporation, former presidential hopeful and Bush buddy,
he said that President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela should be
assassinated because he was a terrific danger. The country
- second biggest supplier of oil to the US - was a launching
pad for communist infiltration and Islamic extremism and killing
him (and taking control of the oil presumably) would be a
whole lot cheaper than starting a war.
Seeking to distance the Bush Administration from this religious
hate cleric, Donald Rumsfield, Secretary of Defence told reporters
that our department doesnt do that kind of thing. Its
against the law. Hes clearly forgotten the USs
attempt in April 2002 to overthrow the democratically elected Chavez.
Old Rummy and his White House cronies met the then head of the Venezuelan
business lobby, Pedro Carmona, to lend support when he illegally
seized power for a few days until a popular uprising saw Chavezs
return to the presidency.
SchNEWS says stop these crazed nutters now before they destroy
the very fabric of civilization with their loony doctrines
wed even give up some of our civil liberties if someone would
gag these fundamentalists hell bent on violent incitement. Then
again, wiping out the Neo-liberals would be a whole lot cheaper
than starting a war
SchNEWS warns all readers going underground - Theres no
graver issue than keeping skeletons in the closet. Honest!
P.S. Check out our new Book Reviews section
or buy one of our lovely t-shirts HERE
or find out what fun and games you can get up to in our Party and
Protest guide HERE
OUT NOW!!! 'SCHNEWS
AT TEN' - A Decade of Party & Protest - £9 inc p&p
- Peace de
Resistance - issues 351-401. £7 inc p&p
- SchNEWS of
the World - isues 300 - 250. £4
- SchNEWS and
SQUALLs YEARBOOK 2001. £4
- The SchQUALL
book Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Survival
Guide Sold out - Sorry
- SchNEWS Annual
issues 101 - 150 and a whole lot more £2.00 inc. p&p
- SchNEWS Round
Sold out - Sorry
In the UK you
can get SchNEWS Annual, Yearbook 2001 and SchNEWS of the World for
just £14 inc p&p.
£6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).
In addition to
50 issues of SchNEWS, each book contains articles, photos, cartoons,
subverts, a yellow pages list of contacts, comedy etc.
to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues)
or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription,
or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals"
if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.