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Derek McMillan

Animal Rights and our rights

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Stories in the tabloid press can reasonably be expected to exaggerate the threat of "animal rights terrorism" in order to make a sensational story out of nothing and to justify the kind of right wing policies Mr Murdoch seems to favour.

However the "quality" press can also be guilty:

An inherently implausible story in the Observer on 5th September contains the following: "As hundreds of extremists from across the world gathered at a training camp in Kent today to learn direct-action tactics, the ultra-hardline wing of the movement warned the UK to brace itself for a sharp escalation in violent activity. "

An extremist training camp? In Kent? To which they invited the Sunday newspapers? Who does Mark Townsend think he is fooling?

His article then goes on to talk about "breaking windows" and "daubing graffiti on cars". With the wildest imagination in the world this is neither violence nor terrorism. They are hardly things which I would do myself or condone but has everybody lost their sense of proportion in the climate of fear caused by the "war on terrorism"?

In later paragraphs - reading between the lines - this is clearly a legitimate meeting of ordinary animal rights activists which inevitably attract the tiny handful of nutters who want to recruit. Mark Townsend says "sceptics are concerned those attending are being taught how to handle police interviews and life in jail." Thus he does not make the statement himself but attributes it to unnamed "sceptics" and in any case if teaching people about their rights is evidence of TERRORISM then Amnesty International and Liberty must be the biggest TERRORISTS out there :(

I am not an animal rights activist of any kind - violent or otherwise...well I do stroke the cat occasionally but that is about it... but there is no excuse for this kind of second-rate sensational journalism.

Of course Blunkett will use the threat of "animal rights terrorism" against legitimate protest. He has already used the Prevention of Terrorism Act against peace protestors and anti-capitalist protestors....

He takes his cue from Bush whose administration used the Patriot Act against groups of peace activists and even one guy who got into a discussion with friends at the gym and was skeptical about the official version of the Twin Towers attack...shown in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

People like Mark Townsend (mark.townsend@observer.co.uk) are creating an atmosphere of fear in which the rights of ordinary citizens can be taken away under the pretext of a crackdown on "extremists." Blunkett is the worst possible guardian of our rights - he thinks it is necessary to destroy liberty in order to save it.

Have a nice day.

Edited by Derek McMillan

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Guest Andrew Moore

You stoke the cat, Derek? Presumably that's just before you put it out... :clapping

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Thank you Andrew I have amended the post accordingly.

Now we see that in fact the threat to Parliament came not from animal rights activists but from pro-cruelty campaigners.

The sight of upper class twits battling riot police was not something I expected to see this side of the revolution.

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The sight of upper class twits battling riot police was not something I expected to see this side of the revolution.

I am not sure you have Derek. The Countryside Alliance may well be orchestrated by a social group you despise but the poor saps on the end of the truncheons outside Parliament looked and sounded like agricultural workers to me.

I am surprised that you are not defending their right to defend their jobs... it could of course be an opportunity to recruit new members after all :clapping

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The sight of upper class twits battling riot police was not something I expected to see this side of the revolution.

I am not sure you have Derek. The Countryside Alliance may well be orchestrated by a social group you despise but the poor saps on the end of the truncheons outside Parliament looked and sounded like agricultural workers to me.

I noticed the people at the front taking a battering from the police very much had a working class look. Nothing really changes does it. The upper classes have always used the proletariat do their fighting for them. I see the officer class were selected for taking on the men in tights.

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This is an interesting issue. It takes time and energy to protest against government decisions: going on marches, civil resistance campaigns, writing letters to MPs and to the press, posting comments on forums, etc. Although I am an opponent of fox hunting I would never go on a march about it. Nor do I give money to animal charities. However, I do donate a proportion of my earnings for people living in poverty. To me, these things have to be kept in perspective, people are more important than animals, children are more important than adults. Nor would I go on a demonstration opposing the right of people to go fox-hunting. I would go on one demanding that people earning over £100,000 should pay income-tax at a higher-rate.

I believe it is a citizen’s duty to play an active role in the way we are governed. This includes going on protest marches. Over the years I have protested against our government’s failure to take action in order to achieve majority rule in Commonwealth countries (South Africa and Rhodesia), unfair laws against women, ethnic minorities and homosexuals, education cuts, the 11+, Tory educational policies, the Poll Tax, nuclear disarmament, US military bases in the UK, and trade union rights. Like many people of my age I went on many demonstrations in an attempt to persuade our government at the time to withdraw support for the United States war on Vietnam.

It has been said that you become more conservative as you get older and are less likely to spend much time protesting. However, the invasion of Iraq changed that. It is definitely the worst thing a UK government has done in my lifetime.

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You can just imagine the upper classes sending the servants off to do their demonstrating for them :angry:

However according to the Mirror ("Toff with their heads") at least two of the protestors inside the commons were from millionaire families.

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