I've had occasion to recently pull out some old files full of magazines and what not (looking for a book review I wrote several years ago - unsuccessfully so far). I have quite a few boxes of publications many readers of this blog have probably not heard of: The Beast, The Black Beast, Arkangel, Animals' Agenda, Bite Back, HOWL, CAW Bulletin, The Turning Point, Agscene, Animals Defender, The Liberator
and so on.
The magazine I was looking for was ARCNews
, a British grassroots publication edited by my old friend, and sadly departed, Neil Lea
. I think I have most copies of ARCNews
from 1995 through to 2003 ~ but I'm damned if I can find the review I want.
I did find this article (left), however, Violence in Animal Rights, from p. 25 of the May 2001 edition. I had forgotten about the event mentioned and, as far as I can tell, the website cited no longer exists. I was invited along because I had been beaten up a few times when sabotaging hunts in Essex and Chester in England, and because I had not long beforehand received £4,000 in compensation from the police
because an officer took it into his head to smash me in the face with a baton, breaking a cheekbone in four places, including the eye socket.
This incident took place at a demonstration outside a cat breeding facility. I was - ironically and genuinely - there primarily to make some useful contacts as I was between writing my MA
Demonstrators who were stood in front of me were swept away by a police charge on horseback and I was suddenly face-to-face with a line of riot sheilds. Before I could move back, the sheilds opened slighly and the next thing I remember is being on the floor with a caved-in cheek.
I think the organiser of the event mentioned in the clip, Keith Mann, wanted to create some sense of balance in the increasingly hysterical notion that the animal advocacy movement was chock-a-block full of people prepared to be violent. In my experience, that has never been
the case and long may it continue. The event highlighted the fact that three animal advocates had been killed at that point, and many more had been severely injured.