Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oxford University Wins Animal Rights Injunction: Free Speech Trifled: Animal Rights Victim in Government and Business Attempt to Increase Control

Well, here we go. The first win in the attempt of the Government and its twin, business to increase its control. The victim – well, at first glance, animal rights. But, overall, it’s free speech. I’m still wondering when Tony Blair will give up his claim to be from the Labour party.


UK's Oxford University wins animal rights injunction


Fri May 26, 2006 12:41 PM BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Oxford University won a legal appeal on Friday to increase restrictions placed on animal rights activists to halt violent protests against a new research laboratory it is building.

The university went to the High Court last week to extend an exclusion zone round the 20-million-pound ($37 million) biomedical center to keep demonstrators away.

Some animal rights extremists, opposed to vivisection, have threatened violence against anyone involved with the university.

On Friday, a judge at the High Court in London increased the exclusion zone and handed down new rulings on the amount of noise protesters can make.

Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, said the legal move had been designed to curb a "pattern of weekly disruption and loud noise by relatively large groups of people."

"What the university is seeking to stop here is the growth of a mood of violence and aggressive protest against the university and everyone associated with the university," he told BBC radio before the ruling.

Construction of the laboratory was suspended in July 2004 for 16 months when the building contractor pulled out in the face of a persistent campaign by animal rights group SPEAK.

Building work resumed late last year after the university obtained a limited injunction on protests near the laboratory. Demonstrations against the center have continued elsewhere in the city of Oxford.

SPEAK had said the university was seeking too broad an injunction against demonstrators.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair this month spoke out in favor of vivisection.

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