Archive for the ‘Vivisection’ Category
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
We have long known that (parts of) the media can not be trusted to give fair and balanced reporting. It is clear that (some aspects of) the legal system sing to the tune of governments that are themselves working more for corporate interests than for the electorate.
This could not be more clear than in the case of Debbie Vincent.
17th April 2014: In a travesty of ‘justice’ Debbie was today sentenced to 6 years with a further 5 years Asbo, severely restricting her right and ability to campaign in any way for the concerns that she has supported for so many years. But she is resilient and her spirit of true justice will not be crushed.
We have known Debbie Vincent for over 20 years. She is a consistently kind and peaceful individual, with a commitment to making the world a better place for all, regardless of their species. She has dedicated a large part of her life to volunteering her time, knowledge and friendship to many grassroots projects all over the UK.
Her support for the work of Veggies, in particular in setting up networks for mutual support between those working for humans, other animals and the environment, was fundamental in establishing our role in the vegan outreach movement.
Her practical work, far beyond that expected of any volunteer, helped in the evolution of the Rainbow Centre into The Sumac Centre, which is now a base for a wide range of community projects in Nottingham and beyond. Debbie Vincent is a unique and special person and deserves all the support than can be offered to her.
Debbie received a six year custodial sentence plus a five year ASBO which will limit her rights to demonstrate to commence upon her release from prison.
Before handing down the sentence Judge Cutler said: “I come to a conclusion you are a lady of very good character. Indeed, if it wasn’t for your complete obsession with your cause and an inability to accept its limits within law, there was so much good you have been able to do for other people you have met in your life and for all the animal welfare work you have done.”
In her final email to friends and colleagues before sentencing, Debbie wrote:
“Thanks for all the solidarity and support. Keep on fighting to make this crazy world a better place for all. Love and liberation – Debbie xx”
Her email footer includes these quotes:
“You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” – Abbie Hoffman
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell”
Stop press: Write to Debbie Vincent A5819DE, HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe rd, Ashford, Middlesex,TW15 3JZ.
Please send letters of support – make sure to include your name and address at the top of the letter and on the back of the envelope. Be aware that all mail can be read by staff.
See also the Vegan Prisoner Support Group, which exists to provide support to vegans in the UK prison system.
There are many more endorsements of her valuable work in the animal rescue community and in support of animal rights, at the Blackmail3 support website.
Support All The Defendants
We also remember that others in the same case, Natasha and Sven in Amsterdam, need your support.
So far their extradition to the UK has been suspended pending their Dutch appeal. Whilst the arrests, raid and case has not been easy, Sven says “I will keep my head up, stay positive and look after my loved ones.”
In a relatively sensible article, based on an interview with Debbie, The Guardian reports:
Animal rights campaigner convicted of Huntingdon Life Sciences conspiracy
Debbie Vincent says she has been made a scapegoat and criticises the Metropolitan police’s use of an undercover officer.
An animal rights campaigner convicted of taking part in a conspiracy to blackmail the research company Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) told the Guardian she is a “scapegoat” targeted because detectives cannot catch the “real culprits” who have terrorised the company and its suppliers.
Debbie Vincent, who faces up to 14 years in prison when she is sentenced next month, insisted she is a lawful and peaceful campaigner who had been found guilty of “nebulous” charges that are increasingly being used to clamp down on legitimate protest against vivisection.
In her only interview since her conviction, Vincent also criticised the way the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, SO15, planted an undercover police officer in meetings she had with healthcare company Novartis over its relationship with Cambridgeshire-based HLS.
Vincent freely admits she carried out work for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), which has long fought to close down the HLS animal testing laboratories. But she maintains she had never taken part in acts of terror. She said: “I have been persecuted by the police. I am a public, lawful campaigner. I am being scapegoated because the police have not been able to catch or identify many of the real culprits.”
During her trial at Winchester crown court the prosecution gave a string of examples of crimes carried out against HLS suppliers and customers on continental Europe, ranging from sending incendiary devices to falsely accusing staff of being paedophiles and even digging up the urn of the mother of a senior executive at Novartis. It claimed one of Shac’s main tactics was to publish the names of possible targets, laying them open to illegal acts of intimidation and violence by extremists.
The prosecution accepted that Vincent, 52, had not herself committed direct action offences, but the jury clearly believed she was part of a wider conspiracy that enabled crimes to take place. Vincent denied the suggestion that she was a leader of Shac, arguing her work there was just part of her campaigning. For years she has travelled around the UK taking part in demonstrations and helping out at animal rescue shelters and other charities. Vincent said: “I do strongly believe that all I did was be involved in lawful campaigning against HLS.”
She said the use of conspiracy laws was having a “chilling effect” on campaigning. It meant, she claimed, that legitimate protesters could be convicted just because they had links to those who carried out attacks.
She said: “A conspiracy is nebulous and hard to grasp. The issues go further than me and could affect countless campaigners and protesters across the UK.”
Vincent, who is based in Bristol, is angry at what she sees as a smear campaign by rightwing media, who she believes used her sexuality against her.
The Daily Mail and Telegraph made much of the angle that Vincent left the army after military police found women’s clothing among the young soldier’s belongings and has undergone gender reassignment. In its headline, the Mail branded Vincent the “Sex-change soldier who became an animal rights terror commander”. The Telegraph dubbed Vincent in its headline: “The boy who grew up to be a woman of terror.”
But the depictions of Vincent in the court and in the media do not tally with the woman who emerges in dozens of letters from people who have provided references to her legal team. Farmers, vets, bosses of animal shelters and leaders of community projects spoke of a gentle, peaceful woman who was kind to both animals and humans. One read: “I have never known her act without honest or integrity and believe her motive for all she does are in the interest of justice and the greater good.”
The Met called Vincent’s conviction a “significant milestone in a long-running, proactive investigation into criminal activity across Europe”.
It said that the investigation, which was led by SO15, established that Vincent had acted as a representative of Shac and had been involved in blackmail campaigns. Vincent will be sentenced on 17 April.
Drug giant Novartis welcomed the verdict against Vincent. It said: “Novartis will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies and the courts to support investigations and help tackle animal rights extremism.To ensure the safety of our associates Novartis acted with the direction and support of the Metropolitan police throughout the investigation.”
But Vincent told the Guardian: “In some ways I’m really not surprised I was found guilty as I don’t believe anyone can get justice when faced with a political conspiracy charge and the huge resources of the state and multinationals against me. I will always have hope and will continue to try to make the world a better place to all.”
A Met spokesperson said: “We secured a conviction in a major blackmail case following evidence given by an undercover officer at court. Debbie Vincent was part of a group of animal rights extremists with a track record for using violence, harassment and intimidation to prevent companies from going about their legitimate business.
“During her trial the deployment of an undercover officer during this investigation was disclosed in court and the officer concerned gave evidence during the trial. The deployment was appropriately authorised and managed by senior officers. This case demonstrates the value of undercover policing and the way we operate within legislation to provide evidence in court.”
The Guardian, Friday 28 March 2014 19.43 GMT
Monday, August 9th, 2010
ARUK 2010 Animal Rights Summer Gathering
August 27th to 30th.
We’re on the final countdown to the Summer Gathering: below is an update and some important information for those planning to attend. Keep an eye on the website for further updates over the next few weeks, or get in touch for more details.
The gathering will officially start on Friday 27th August after lunch, and will end on the afternoon of Monday 30th (Bank Holiday). You are more than welcome in the days before and after these dates to help set up the site and clear away afterwards, vegan food and camping space will be provided for these volunteers.
This is the national gathering of the grass roots animal rights movement. It’s a chance for activists from throughout the country to get together for a weekend of talks, discussions, workshops and films on a wide range of topics connected to animal rights activism, to take stock of where we are and make plans for the future, as well as some practical and skills based workshops and activities to share and learn new skills.
There will also be plenty of time and opportunities for us to relax and unwind, to spend some time catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones, to try some tasty vegan food and drinks, all in in beautiful rural surroundings.
*Timetable / Workshops*
There are already some great workshops, discussions, talks and entertainment planned, but there’s space for much more, so if you’ve got anything interesting to contribute please get in touch soon with your ideas. This applies also to practical and skills based workshops.
Accommodation on site will be camping. Bring clothing and camping equipment suitable for all weathers if possible. If you don’t have a tent don’t worry, you can stay in one of the big marquees which will be on site throughout. Don’t forget to bring a torch as well if possible!
To enable us to plan facilities and catering etc please let us know in advance if you plan to attend, how many of you and when you expect to arrive/leave. There will be 2 mobile phone contacts if you have any problems, these will be available nearer the time.
If you are using public transport, here are a few tips to enable you to plan your journey. There is a bus which takes you from Northampton (Grey Friars) bus station to the site of the gathering. If you are coming to Northampton by train there is a 10 minute walk to the bus station. The journey time from the bus station to the gathering site is half an hour, the bus leaves the bus station at the following times 07.45, 0900, 1020, 1210, 1405, 1645 and 1800, and there are no buses on Sundays, so please bear this in mind when making connections. If you have to arrive or leave after 1800, or on Sunday (when the bus doesn’t run), contact us and we’ll try to make other arrangements.
If you are driving, the directions depend on which direction you’re coming from, so contact us for details how to get there. The site is fairly central, it is only about 15 minutes from the major junction of the M1/M6/A14.
If you’re driving to the gathering and can offer spaces to fellow activists either from your area or en route, please get in touch so we can get more people involved. Or if you need a ride, get in touch and we’ll try to put you in touch with others from your area.
Volunteers for Set-up
If you’re free earlier in the week to help set up the site, put up marquees etc, and/or you can stay a few days afterwards to help tidy up the site, you’ll be very welcome, we’ll provide camping space and food, some good company, and as well as some work we’ll have some fun and a bit of entertainment too no doubt! Please let us know if you can do this so we can get an idea of numbers, thanks in advance.
Volunteers will also be needed during the gathering for a variety of tasks such as catering, washing up, getting workshop spaces ready, recycling, driving to pick up activists and supplies, gate duty etc, there’ll be a rota organised at the site for this
Vegan Catering Skillsharing
If you want to get involved with the catering, it’s a great way to learn about vegan catering and to meet new people. We will run two cooking sessions a day as ‘mass vegan catering workshops’, and will also hope to hold cake baking sessions. The start time will be advertised on a board at the kitchen each day, but will generally be about 3 hours before each meal. We will actively encourage people to pass on skills and learn about vegan cooking.
Veggies Catering Campaign will be providing three tasty vegan meals per day
at a reasonable price. Plus Veggies d-i-y Cafe will run throughout the weekend with drinks and snacks, as well as stalls offering a selection of vegan goodies.
Vegan Fish and Chips
On top of this, the world’s first and only mobile vegan fish and chips caterers will be on hand all weekend if you fancy something different. For more information about “Something Fishy”, visit their website www.something-fishy.org.uk
It would be very useful for us to know how many children are likely to attend, and also whether their parents will provide food for them, or whether they eat alongside adults.
If you have any food-related enquiries such as special diets/allergies, please contact us in advance and we will try to help.
If you’re a First Aider, let us know when you’ll be there, and don’t forget your First Aid kit! There will be First Aid workshop on the timetable as well.
Sorry No Dogs
Sorry dogs are now allowed because the gathering will be on land where there are rescued farmed animals. However the central location may make it easier for day visits.
For updates check back with the website or contact us for more details.
Phone: 07899 775493
Mail: ARUK 2010,
245 Gladstone Street,
The gatherings play a vital role in promoting and co-ordinating the movement.
If you or your group can help by making a donation, send cheques/PO’s payable to “ARGathering” and send to the address above, or use the paypal/plastic donation button on the AR Calendar listing at http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=1711
The next AR Gathering is likely to be around the 12th or 19th August 2011.
Details will be on the Gathering website near the time, and on the Animal Rights Calendar. Details will be circulated on the Animal Rights Gathering Mailing List.
Monday, June 14th, 2010
In 2010 we were offered a fantastic opportunity by Lush Charity Pot, the fund that raises money & awareness about charities and campaigns for a better, fairer world.
Stop Press: See exhibition report at A Dip In The Directory (August 10th).
For over 20 years Veggies has participated in the Green Futures Field at Glastonbury Festival.
As well as providing a vegan catering oasis, we run a ‘free information exchange‘ to feature different projects that we support. In the past we have featured groups such as Indymedia, the Movement for Compassionate Living and the Vegan Society.
In 2010 Lush sponsored the space to help promote many campaign groups and charities that we both support. Veggies crew will engage with the public and distribute information for 10 hours a day over 5 days to the greenest of the 200,000 people that attend Glastonbury, i.e those that visit Green Futures at the heart of the Green Fields.
The great thing is that many of the groups are ones with whom we already have a well established direct working relationship.
We are also making connections with other excellent groups with whom we have not worked previously, but who are active at a grass roots level on concerns that we share.
- Animal Aid – the UK’s largest animal rights group and one of the longest established in the world
- Animal Protection Agency – the APA is committed to ceasing the trade in wildlife for pets
- Bustan Qaraaqa – a community permaculture project, based in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour (Shepherds’ Fields), close to the city of Bethlehem.
- Calais Migrant Solidarity – Practical support for migrant communities. Networking to fight all aspects of the border regime.
- Captive Animals Protection Society – Campaigning against the use of animals in entertainment: circuses, zoos and exotic pet trade
- Environmental Justice Foundation – makes a direct link between protecting the environment and the defence of basic human rights
- Hunt Saboteurs Association – Direct Action campaigning against bloodsports – saving animals lives
- Otesha Project – A youth-led organisation that’s mobilising our generation to create social and environmental change.
- Rainforest Foundation – working to ensure the protection of rainforests by securing the rights of indigenous communities
- Reprieve – uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.
- Refugee Action – a national charity that works with refugees to build new lives in the UK
- Respect for Animals – campaigns against the international fur trade, both fur farming and trapping
- Restore the Earth Campaign – This campaign is about working to restore the great ecosystems around the planet
- Room2Heal – a healing community for refugees, asylum seekers and others who have suffered human rights violations.
- Shell To Sea – campaigns to protect Rossport, County Mayo community from Shell’s Corrib Gas Project
- Sail Boat Project – water based NVDA training in support of campaigns for positive social change.
- SchNews – newsheet & directory covering environmental & social issues, direct action protests & campaigning
- Sumatran Orangutan Society – dedicated to the conservation of Sumatran orangutans and their forest home.
- Transition Network – a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction.
- Undercurrents – Support for activists using film / internet to further their message and campaign for social change
- Uncaged – international campaigns against animal experiments and for the advancement of animal rights
- Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) – Raising awarness about the issues that force women to seek international protection
- Veggies Directory – networking for humans, other animals and the environment
- AT Co-operative – infrastructure for Climate Camp etc. Collects discarded tents for activists and refugees
- Climate Camp – visit them in the Dragon Field
- Sea Shepherd – visit them nearby in the Green Futures Field
All these groups can be found in the Lush Charity Pot section of Veggies Directory at http://www.veggies.org.uk/directory/dirbrowse-306.htm.
Any old tat!
We don’t want to encourage people to abandon their “rubbish” and perpetuate the disposable consumer culture, but if anyone has tat they would like to drop off for the Calais Migrant Solidarity, the AT Collective or Climate Camp, take it to the Climate Camp area in the Dragon Field.
Glastonbury Festival is huge, time is short and there are many distractions, so we hope that ethical festival visitors will welcome the opportunity to find out about many of the finest charitable projects all under one roof. So come on down to the Green Fields!
Lush cosmetics charity support
Lush supports charities and other good causes (we don’t just support registered charities) through a variety of ways; campaigns in our shops and on our website; cash donations through Charity Pot, limited edition charity products and our Carbon Tax fund and through product donations.
We like to look after those who look after others and are committed to supporting small, grassroots charities, non-violent direct action groups and other good causes working in the areas of environment, animal protection and human rights.
We believe we can make the most impact by supporting causes and funding projects that others won’t, therefore we give priority to less popular causes which are more difficult to gain support for. We support non-violent direct action as we feel it plays an important part in bringing about positive social change.
Throughout the year we partner with organisations to run nationwide campaigns in our shops. Our campaigns team, along with the help of our creative design team and enthusiastic shop staff, have run a variety of campaigns over the last few years, including issues such as animal testing, the impact of the palm oil industry on orangutans and indigenous people, vegetarianism, packaging, fox hunting, shark finning, destitute refugees, climate change and an end of torture and the right to a fair trial. We’ve worked with organisations such as Reprieve, Refugee Action, Hunts Saboteurs Association, Animal Aid, Climate Rush, Biofuelwatch and Uncaged.
Our 90 stores around the UK and Ireland are the perfect way of reaching thousands of people; we use our windows to grab people’s attention and lure them in to find out more. Once in the shop we ask customers to take part in the campaign by taking personal action, signing postcards and petitions or simply learning more about the issue.
In April 2007 we created Charity Pot to raise funds for charities and other good causes. Charity Pot is a hand and body lotion made with fair trade cocoa butter. Every penny the customer pays for the product (less the VAT which we have to give to the government) is put in to the Charity Pot fund and then distributed to various causes nominated by staff and customers.
Charitable funds also come from our Carbon Tax Fund. Our staff do not fly domestically for Lush work and for international flights we charge ourselves a Carbon Tax; for every tonne of CO2 emitted when we fly, we pay £50 in to the fund. The fund is used to support internal and external environmental projects, especially those relating to climate change and sustainable transport, and also discourages staff from taking international flights.
We donate stock to charities to help with fundraising (eg raffles) and for direct use by patients and clients (eg homeless shelters, women’s refuge and hospices).
Get in touch
If you know of an organisation that you feel would benefit from Lush’s help please contact Sophie Pritchard on email@example.com or call 01202 667 830.
Further information can be found on the website www.lush.co.uk/charity