Thursday, 24 November 2011

State intimidation of young protesters

By Dylan Murphy, in The Socialist 24th November 2011

On 14 November, my nephew was arrested after taking part in a protest outside Knowsthorpe incinerator in Leeds against Stericycle. This global waste disposal company has a contract with Harlan Interfauna, the last UK company breeding dogs for research in animal experiments.

Stericycle take the bodies of dogs killed for research purposes from Harlan's laboratories to their incinerators. If Stericycle pulled out of the contract, Harlan would have to build its own incinerators at considerable cost.

My nephew and three other activists chained themselves together and stopped lorries getting into the incinerator. Thepolice arrested them for aggravated trespass, handcuffing them and putting them into a police van.

After two hours in the cells my nephew was arrested again on suspicion of causing intimidation to persons connected to an animal research organisation. Two officers aggressively interviewed him. His solicitor says the police approached this like a terrorism case, with Homicide and Major Enquiries Teams drafted in from Hull.

Six police officers turned my nephew's house upside down, seeking 'evidence' and confiscated an animal rights poster, two computers, three memory sticks and internet router.

Four teenagers face blatant intimidation as the state tries to stifle democratic protests. The labour movement must stand up for them.

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