Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tony Blair, England, Oxford and Their Battle to Protect Corporate Interests While Taking Away Rights: Animal Rights Supporters the First Target

Many of you may be following this story. It’s become such big news in England that even Tony Blair is in it now, saying he’ll gladly sign an online petition to support animal testing. I have a strange feeling that England will soon resort to full draconian measures to protect their friends in business. That’s Tony Blair for you.

Just like in the US, over there, they’ve suddenly waged war on peaceful animal rights activist, all while ignoring the true terrorist groups. Again, here is the link to an article that shows clearly that no one has ever been killed in an animal rights movement, but that many have been killed in right wing movements -
http://geari.blogspot.com/2006/05/
article-points-out-mislead-obsession.html

Article:

May 19, 2006

Oxford Seeks More Curbs on Protests to Aid Animals

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/world/europe/19animal.html


By ALAN COWELL

LONDON, May 18 — If animals have rights to escape cruelty, and humans have rights to study in tranquillity, where does that leave the civil rights of avowed animal lovers who want to protest loudly with bullhorns in one of Britain's supposedly hushed groves of academe?

In a case that could determine which set of rights takes precedence, Oxford University petitioned Britain's High Court on Thursday to extend curbs on protesters trying to thwart the construction of a biomedical research center in the city.

In response, animal rights protesters warned that further legal restrictions on them could force some of them into what one of their leaders, Mel Broughton, called "a process outside the law." He said his right to protest was under attack.

But it was not simply a matter of colliding definitions of entitlements. The case further sharpened the lines between animal rights advocates, accused of using intimidating tactics, and an increasingly vocal array of adversaries including academics, leaders of the pharmaceutical industry and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"The appalling details of the campaign of intimidation — which include grave-robbing — show the depths to which the animal extremists are prepared to stoop," Mr. Blair wrote in The Sunday Telegraph last weekend.

He even said he would sign a petition in support of testing pharmaceutical products on animals. Richard Barker, the leader of a pharmaceutical industry advocacy group, said the debate over animal rights activism had reached a "tipping point."

Mr. Blair's words followed a disclosure last week that activists had sent letters to investors in the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline warning them that their identities would be revealed on the Internet unless they shed their shares.

At Glaxo's annual meeting on Wednesday, Jean-Pierre Garnier, the chief executive, said his company had no plans to leave Britain because of the protests and urged other businesses to resist pressure from the animal rights movement. "This is not the time to flee the battlefield," he said.

In recent weeks, the long-running skirmish has sharply revived. This month, four Britons were jailed for waging a six-year campaign against the owners of a guinea-pig farm where animals were bred for medical research.

In court on Thursday, Charles Flint, a lawyer acting for Oxford, urged the extension of restrictions on the animal rights advocates, who are able under existing court orders to protest for four hours on Thursdays, using a megaphone for only one hour.

Oxford, Mr. Flint said, was urging the creation of a four-square-mile exclusion zone, extending a smaller zone near the construction site. He also said protesters should not be allowed to use a bullhorn.

But Mr. Broughton, the animal rights advocate, said the university's effort to curb the protest "goes way beyond what's necessary."

"What they're seeking is in fact an attack on the right to protest," he said.

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