A Weekend of Animal Rights Violence in Great Britain

Animal rights terrorists in the United Kingdom went on a tear over the weekend as more letter bombs were discovered in an ongoing terrorist campaign in which animal rights activists are the leading suspects, while a mob of up to 1,000 animal rights activists trashed facilities owned by pharmaceutical companies in the UK.

On the letter bomb front, army bomb disposal experts were called on to disarm a letter bomb sent to an unnamed agricultural business and a farm. At least nine people have been injured during the letter bomb campaign which has been directed at animal enterprises including farms, restaurants, pet pest control companies, and pet suppliers over the past couple months.

Police again urged that any business in the UK associated with animals be extremely cautious opening mail and contact police if they find any suspicious packages.

Meanwhile, as many as 1,000 animal rights activists took part in well-planned assaults on facilities owned by GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer and three other pharmaceutical companies in Great Britain.

According to The Independent (London), protesters first met at a church parking lot in an action organized by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. At the parking lot the protesters were divided into a white and a yellow team and given detail instructions on routes to take to their targets as well as instructions on what to do once at the targets.

In all there were nine separate actions throughout the day. At a Bayer facility, activists stormed offices, smashed windows, destroyed machinery, and overturned cabinets and other office equipment shortly before 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Shortly after that, the activists targeted a factory owned by GlaxoSmithKline, smashing windows and damaging the building before participating in a sit down protest on the roads outside the company.

Police made more than 80 arrests of animal activists and were studying security camera tapes to identify other activists to arrest.

Protesters also surrounded the homes of several directors of pharmaceutical companies.

Chris Avery, SHAC spokesman, took credit for the violent assaults saying, “The protests were aimed at five different companies who are customers of Huntingdon Life Sciences and are paying for 500 animals to die every day.”

SHAC spokeswoman Heather James had a more ominous take on the day’s events saying, “We asked them if they were going to continue to use Huntingdon and they have refused to answer. They are being targeted now and will be targeted from now on. They certainly know they have been demonstrated against today. We’ve said we mean business and we do. People out there today were very, very angry. All those companies have underestimated how determined we are.”

GlaxoSmithKline issued a statement that the company “wholeheartedly condemns this violent action … which was clearly designed to disrupt work and terrorize employees.”

Police promise to track down and charge as many activists as possible. The main product of this day of mob action may be to strengthen Home Secretary Jack Straw’s call for more serious laws to curb animal rights extremists.

Sources:

Police vow to catch animal rights wreckers. Ananova, February 11, 2001.

Animal rights mobs invade drug companies Sally Pook, The Daily Telegraph, February 12, 2001.

Animal rights mobs synchronise attacks. Adrian Shaw, The Mirror, February 12, 2001.

Protesters held after 400 target Huntingdon. Paul Peachey, The Independent (London), February 12, 2001.

Pharmaceutical firms attacked. David Brown, The Guardian (London), February 12, 2001.

Protesters attack drugs groups’ premises. The Financial Times (London), February 12, 2001.

Firms ransacked during six-hour rampage as 87 are arrested; 1,000 animal rights activists in mass protest. Steve Hartley, The Express, February 12, 2001.

Animal rights mob of 1,000 on rampage. Ben Taylor and Gordon Rayner, Daily Mail (London), February 12, 2001.

Farming businesses on alert after letter bombs find. Paul Sims, Press Association, February 12, 2001.

Letter bomb defused by army experts. Paul Sims, Press Association, February 12, 2001.

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