activist defense

on the intersection of activism and legal systems

Tag: blackmail three

novartis obtains extended court order to restrict anyone protesting against animal research

Novartis, which already had an injunction against members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), obtained an extension today to cover anyone protesting animal research. The court order blocks animal rights demonstrations at the company’s U.K. facilities or against any of its employees. According to a Bloomberg article,

The order bars harassment or intimidation of Novartis employees, including abusive or threatening posts on websites or social media. The order also restricts demonstrations to six people or fewer, in designated protest zones, with no amplified sounds, and forbids costumes, face-coverings or “blood-splattered costumes.” Anyone breaching the injunction can be arrested.

At least 18 companies have obtained injunctions from British courts against SHAC. After the conviction of SHAC activist Debbie Vincent last month, Novartis allegedly wanted protection from any backlash. The injunction is temporary and there will be a trial to determine whether it remains in place.

member of stop huntingdon animal cruelty goes on trial in the united kingdom

Debbie Vincent was one of more than thirty people arrested during raids against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) in May 2007. Five years later, she was charged with conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), an animal-testing company. According to today’s Guardian article,

She was arrested in July 2012 at the same time as the Swiss-born Sven van Hasselt and a British woman, Natasha Simpkins, who was born in Germany. [Simpkins and van Hasselt] were detained in the Netherlands and are still awaiting extradition to the UK to face the same charge.

The three activists, known as the Blackmail 3, are accused of trying to put HLS out of business by threatening to harm its suppliers. Surveillance carried out on SHAC headquarters, as part of a police investigation, recorded phone conversations allegedly showing Vincent’s involvement. She’s currently on trial and facing time in prison.