Charles Clark to ban "glorifying ALF-types"

OK, that thread title was too long and boring, but it does make a point

about how pathetic all this banning free speech is.

Apparently it's now "glorifying terrorism" and therefore illegal to praise an ALF-type for lettting the tyres down (for example) of the car of someone who works for Huntington Life Sciences and therefore "damaging the economy".

red n black star

Back later.....

Posted By

Oct 25 2005 10:18


Attached files


Mike Harman
Oct 25 2005 10:38

If what the Times says is accurate, it has fairly serious implications for many more groups than SHAC loons.,,2-1841452,00.htm

Oct 25 2005 10:46

Couldn't access that link, not sure why.

I am concerned about all this of course, but the idea of the government enforcing it is laughable. I think the best way to deal with it is through humour and show people how desparate and pathetic the Blair junta is.

Oct 25 2005 16:57


found the article via google.

basically it's saying the proposal is to jail people for up to 7 years for justifying economic sabotage

(not for committing the acts - justifying them)


Mike Harman
Oct 25 2005 17:03

crap, link doesn't work for me either.

But yes it looks like that.

The problem with the "glorifying/justifying of terrorism" legislation is less the glorification and justification bit, more what's going to be defined as terrorism.

Oct 25 2005 18:05

yeah, especially as presumably a strike is damaging to the economy. somehow i don't think alf supporters getting locked up is the best arguement against the legislation though...

Oct 26 2005 08:51


economic sabotage includes (i suspect) general strikes and the like.

anyone fancy 7 years for justifying / glorifying a general strike?


(also suspect the law will be enforced in a highly targeted fashion, ie to catch those the state is currently focussing their attentions on, whilst keeping it handy to catch others some other time)

Oct 26 2005 09:00

no matter who the primary target of the legistlation, they will always come to you later...

Stalker laws were justified by protecting vulnerable women against some scummy guys. Yet it has been used against animal rights activists and what not.

Terrorism act was justified by islamic fanatics, but has been used against all kinds of dissent and protests, including some people carrying placards, or people protesting against the war and that old dude at the labour party conference.

Mobiot wrote a good one about that:

This new legistlation will not limit itself only to the animal folks or course, they will leave it open ended and push it as far as possible. If poll tax would happen when this law is in place, class war mag would be in serious trouble wink

Shit happens.

Oct 26 2005 09:22

stalking laws has also been used against pickets of commercial properties and most home demos have been against executives, but i guess you would see that as wankerish as well.

Oct 26 2005 09:31
revol68 wrote:
no cos they aren't being a hysterical wankers about stupid animals.

you misunderstood me in your hysteria mate. The stalking laws have been used against animal rights pickets against commercial properties and home demos or email/letter protests on company executives.

In your hysteria you are behaving like Charles Clarke mate. You are taking an example which would win the most support for the legistlation, in your case home demonstrations on a vivisection lab worker, but not using examples which are more common targets of these laws, like the pickets at commercial buildings or picketing company executive homes, or sending them email protests.

try calming down wink

Oct 26 2005 16:02


for those who can't access the original article

error laws will apply to animal rights lobby

By Richard Ford, Nicola Woolcock and Richard Irving

ANIMAL rights activists who glorify militant acts against economic targets and laboratories are to face prosecution under terror laws aimed at al-Qaeda supporters.

The move, confirmed last night by Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, means that extremists convicted under the new legislation could be jailed for seven years and suspects held without charge for up to three months.

Mr Clarke was known to be concerned that previous legislation to combat animal rights extremists has so far resulted in only one prosecution.

In July, a new offence of economic sabotage was introduced under the Serious and Organised Crime Act, after pressure from companies involved in Britain’s £3 billion-a-year life sciences industry. However, lawyers had questioned how easy the offence would be to prove and Mr Clarke was thought to have had doubts about its effectiveness.

The new terrorism laws were designed primarily to target the so-called preachers of hate who glorify terrorist attacks. However, the Home Secretary told MPs and peers that animal rights supporters who celebrated militant attacks should also face prosecution.

Speaking to the joint Lords and Commons human rights committee, he said: “I certainly think that animal rights terrorism is something that has to be attacked. Those who argue that committing violent acts of terror to promote the cause of animal rights and who justify it by referring to it would be covered by this legislation.”

Mr Clarke made reference to an attack in July on an Oxford University boathouse which caused an estimated £500,000 worth of damage. The university was targeted because animal rights activists want to stop it from building a new animal research laboratory. Work was halted last year when the main contractor, Montpellier, pulled out after being threatened. It has yet to restart.

Brian Cass, the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences — Britain’s largest animal research facility, which has suffered a relentless campaign of vandalism and harassment — welcomed the Government’s decision.

Mr Cass, who suffered head injuries when he was attacked by masked animal rights extremists armed with pickaxe handles in 2001, said: “Anything that provides greater opportunities for the police to track down and prosecute people who are carrying out the kind of harassment and intimidation and occasionally violent acts that we’ve seen is very welcome.”

But industry sources last night expressed surprise at the move.

One senior official who was involved in formulating new laws to prevent activists from targeting drug developers and their suppliers, suggested that the proposals would be distracting.

“This is completely at odds with what we were expecting. There is a genuine concern from within the industry that labelling animal extremists as terrorists could get in the way of enforcement. I suspect that the police don’t really want this. We already have appropriate measures to deal with some of the more serious offences that are now being committed in the name of animal rights activism.”

The source added: “Let’s keep this in perspective — I would still rather meet an animal rights campaigner in Oxford Street than a suicide bomber. That is the difference between extremism and terrorism.”

The source said that any move to classify animal extremists as terrorists might also affect insurance cover: “Some insurance companies tend to get a bit difficult if they are asked to pay out on a terror event.”

Mr Clarke also told the committee that the Government was actively considering radical changes to the way terrorism cases are handled in the UK. He said that ministers were considering introducing a French-style inquisitorial system to deal with cases. Under the system the judges are deeply involved in overseeing the police inquiries and can even suggest lines of investigation that officers should conduct.

He admitted that such a change from the present adversarial courts system in which the prosecution and defence argue their case before a jury would be a major change.

Mr Clarke said no proposals had been brought forward because there was no consensus among ministers. However, he made clear that he was in favour of the idea.

The Home Secretary also said that the Government was urgently looking at allowing police to continue questioning suspects after they had been charged with an offence.

He said that the move would have significant implications for the whole legal system.

[url],,2-1841452,00.html [/url]


(anyone found a workable / legal definition of "economic sabotage"?)

the button
Oct 26 2005 16:09
Economic sabotage, then is of two kinds:

1. Direct physical damage or destruction to the production of these goods by foreign agents, ecoterrorists, animal rights terrorists, anti-capitalists, anti-globalists, anarchists, or other opponents of free enterprise.

2. Indirect underhanded damage or destruction to the production of these goods by anyone using political or legalistic measures.


From this particularly unpleasant US "free enterprise" site: -


What a surprise -- a concept from the American Right being picked up by Nu Labour.

Oct 27 2005 13:25

Obviously this all basically makes it illegal to be an anarchist, but isn't the government more concerned with pretending that the only people with a critique of bourgesois democracy and the state are nutty foreigners who can only use religon to justify social change? Wouldn't banning Class War,for example, just make anti-capitalist groups appear larger in the awareness of the general public, which would then cause them to question parliamentary democracy (well, more)?

Oct 27 2005 13:36
Obviously this all basically makes it illegal to be an anarchist

That's not true, let alone obviously true.

Oct 27 2005 13:37
(anyone found a workable / legal definition of "economic sabotage"?)

It's defined in the terrorism act.

Oct 27 2005 19:13
I am concerned about all this of course, but the idea of the government enforcing it is laughable. I think the best way to deal with it is through humour and show people how desparate and pathetic the Blair junta is

The goverment might not inforce it on everyone just a select few who they hate.

Oct 28 2005 10:09

...or who they want us to hate i.e. Muslims.