Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Just like Agent Mulder once said; “The truth is out there”.

He wasn’t wrong either. The thing is with the expansion of social media like Facebook and Twitter news can proliferate extremely quickly. We’re not talking about the Government or Murdoch controlled type of news which is always skewed to fit a certain agenda or opinion, we’re talking about basic facts. It’s never been easier to do your own sleuthing or even recording the news on your phone if you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. That news can then be uploaded warts and all, and go viral with thousands of views in no time at all.

Those on the front line of wildlife protection have embraced this fully and rightly so. While the authorities may stand by and take no action the general public can be engaged immediately, forcing those with the power to make change into action through nothing more than email and comments on Twitter or Facebook. A couple of incidents came to light recently which perfectly highlight this, one very close to home but I’ll get to that later.

First up is the case of PC 5336 Clair Ford as seen in the video clip above, filmed and released by North Wales Hunt Saboteurs. You don’t have to be an expert in law to know what PC 5336 is doing is a clear conflict of interest. It’s not the first time a service officer has been caught out (see here and here) but what’s most shocking in this case is the utter blatancy of the officer in question and her belief that she can abuse her position of power to facilitate an illegal activity and not face any consequences. Well is would seem PC Ford has underestimated her opponents and that’s something you should never do.

A tweet from NWHS to Cheshire Police shortly afterwards got this response.

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So within a day or so of the video being uploaded to their Facebook page and then widely shared it would seem the police have been forced to take action. PR is a vital tool in the armory of any group trying to reveal the truth to the wider public and if it’s one thing which the authorities don’t like it’s bad PR and the resultant pressure. The general public (bless em) like nothing more than creating change from the comfort of their homes and no doubt the many complaints the police received where integral to the quick response. What we want now is suitable action to be taken and not some cover up as has been the case in the past. Just in case you can sign the petition right here.

Closer to home now and if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll be no doubt up to speed with my dealing with Bedfordshire Police and their general attitude towards hunting. Things had been going fairly well, there had been a definite improvement in how we were being treated in the field and further to that we were even given our own dedicated police liaison officer who I met with last week. Now I’m never going to be completely trusting of the police but you have to play the hand you’re dealt and nothing will change unless you engage. I’m fairly certain none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for both myself and our group using the tools which we have at our disposal to force the police into action. I’m told our local hunt (the Oakley) also have their own liaison officer and that’s to be expected as the police can’t seem to be favouring one side however thinking about it you have to ask a few questions.

We know from experience the Oakley openly break the law. They pay only minor lip service in creating an alibi for themselves in terms of laying trails and they still employ both terrier men and hunt thugs as unlicensed security. Surely, a completely legal hunt would have nothing to hide and therefore no need for these kind of services? They are clear indications of intent to break the law so why do Bedfordshire police feel the need to give them credibility with their own liaison officer? This isn’t about fairness, its about upholding the law. The police also have a meet card from the hunt, will they be policing these meets when we’re not present. This action implies the police believe the lies the hunt are spouting and both liaison officers are nothing more than a PR exercise used to appease the wider public. The remit of the liaison officers is nothing more than to create a dialogue and perhaps act as a conduit for complaints and issues. I was told in no uncertain terms they weren’t going to act as security against the thugs and wouldn’t be making arrests if they were in the field.

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Sab being sprayed by a thug.

I’m still waiting for the call I was promised before the weekend to see how everything went last Saturday (10/12). I’ve got quite a lot to say considering the amount of abuse and intimidation we faced, our colleagues at South Cambs Hunt Sabs had people assaulted, had property stolen and were sprayed with dye. Not only that they were threatened with arrest for not providing details and bogus claims of a stolen phone. I’m fairly sure had the boot been on the other foot and sabs had behaved in such a manner several would now be on bail pending further inquiries. After a decent start Bedfordshire police once again reverted to type, were more interested in the nonsense claims of the hunt support and the complaints of trespass (civil offence). Amusingly one officer said we had to submit written evidence of wrong doing before we could gain access to private land in order to stop the criminal offence taking place. I might be going our on a limb here but I’d suggest by the time we did that the fox would be dead, the hounds back in kennels and all the riders in the pub having their last drink before heading home. Make no mistake, we witnessed the hounds chasing a fox and a report from a member of the public suggests the hounds rioted on a deer and it could be heard squealing in terror.

The point is without blogs, social media and the internet plus the people who know how to take advantage of this resource none of this information would have made it into the public domain. Some of the police may still think we’re a bunch of long haired, hippie layabouts in need of a shower (the pro hunt side still believe this crappy stereotype) but the are finding out to their cost we’re the exact opposite. Most have good jobs, are bright, well educated, articulate and most importantly, are well versed in making sure the facts see the light of day. Sooner or later, the truth will always come out.

Lets see how long it takes for them to contact me.

Things have changed over the last couple of days, primarily with the actions of the police during the cull. It has been reported many times before what a complete debacle the police operation (Themis) was in the first year of the cull and one of the primary reasons why the cull cost so much to the public purse. Since then the policing has generally been much more low key in an attempt to keep costs down so the cull can be justified on financial grounds.

This year it appeared the situation would be much the same although there was always a slight undercurrent of bias towards those doing the killing as aggressive behaviour by cullers along with damage to activist cars and multiple breeches of license conditions went uninvestigated or generally ignored. Now it seems the police are overtly taking the side of cull companies and the NFU.

This new action came in the form of multiple arrests (see here) and the new tactic of following activists around as they searched for the low lives doing the killing. There can be only one explanation as to why there has been a sudden change in tack by the police and that is the effectiveness of those defending our badgers.

With a little imagination you can picture the scene, NFU and cull company officials along with land owners signed up to the killing, in a meeting with the local police area commanders . . .

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Pixie Henge

“OK we’ve had enough now, we’re running out of cages, we’re just not killing enough of those stripy bastards and all we see is pictures of flattened cages on Facebook. They’re rubbing our noses in it. Those smelly tree huggers are ruining everything.”

“My shooters are reporting that every time they go out someone covered in camo with night vision turns up and starts flashing high power torches all over the place and moves them on”.

“We want action, sort your shit out and start arresting the f*ckers. We need to clear the way and get rid of them, we have targets to meet.”

The NFU of course can dictate Government policy on farming matters so why not the police too?

The worst policing incident was the use of a Section 35 Dispersal Order by Devon and Cornwall Police. The Section 35 was never intended to be used to support the actions of an unelected entity and deny non-violent protest. It would appear at first glance to be in contravention of the human rights act (although I’m no legal eagle) and the area in question was a large one containing badger setts that could then be openly targeted without interference. Unsurprisingly the local councillor is Robin Julian, UKIP member, Freemason and badger killer who breaks the license conditions.

UPDATE: Stop the Cull put out a call for people to contact Devon and Cornwall Police and complain about the use of the Section 35 and it would seem people power proved a success and the order has been withdrawn.

Less understanding people will often ask why put yourself at risk of arrest and claim that the police are only upholding the law. However my answer would be a simple one.

Sometimes, regardless of legality you have to do what you believe is right. Take Nelson Mandela, he was imprisoned for standing up for what he believed in and yet history now views him as the hero. In years to come I hope those involved in fighting this injustice will receive similar treatment. Historically animal rights activists have always been treated as terrorists and there seems to be an institutionalised prejudice by the police again them.

Make no bones about it, what we’re seeing here is the fight by grass roots activists against an undemocratic, immoral, inhuman and downright cruel policy against our wildlife that has been forced on us by a corporate entity with a hidden agenda and way too much influence on Government policy that is now using the police as a personal security force to meet their despicable ends.

And that ladies and gents, simply will not do.

You may remember I reported on an incident last autumn when the huntsman from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale hunt deliberately rode down a sab causing her serious and potentially life threatening injuries. The huntsman in question, a Mark Doggerell even admitted he was the rider and was initially charged with grievous bodily harm, however the CPS, in their divine wisdom have chosen not to prosecute citing lack of evidence.

Lack of evidence.

To be honest I’m not really sure what more they would need to gain a successful prosecution seeing as there were eye witnesses and the whole incident was caught on video (see below). It makes shocking viewing, the sab has no idea of what’s about to transpire, the horse is at a full gallop and there’s plenty of space to avoid her. What’s more revealing is Doggerells actions once the impact has taken place. He’s clearly aware of what he’s done and kicks the horse on without even so much as a cursory glance backwards. The worrying thing about all of this is once again it has set a dangerous precedent, it would seem it’s open season on sabs without risk of repercussions. A new generation of hunt thugs will be rubbing their hands with glee knowing they’ll be able to dish out the violence and not face the wrath of the law. It’s not the first time sabs have suffered violence and some have even paid the ultimate price for their beliefs so if you feel as incensed as I and many others feel free to write to the CPS and sign the petition (details below). This kind of decision makes a mockery of our legal system and only further undermines the already fragile relationship with the general public. It would seem, no matter what your crime you really are above the law if you’re from the right demographic. Of course that won’t make one iota of difference to what we do, our principals are unshakable and we’ll continue to fight against the wrongs committed against our wildlife.

Note: Due to the new review of the evidence this video has been removed.

Of course this incident has been quietly ignored by the Countryside Alliance after their PR stunt in the Daily Mail. The hatred stirred up on social media and specifically aimed at the ethical cosmetics company Lush, who have long supported our work is quite frankly ridiculous. Some of the comments coming from the pro hunt lobby on social media would be laughable if it wasn’t such a serious issue. Apparently sabs have dragged children from horses, thrown acid over hounds and beaten horses. I’ve never heard so much unadulterated clap trap in all my life. Writing something on social media doesn’t make it a fact. Saying you witnessed it doesn’t make it a fact. This is clearly nothing more than CA inspired hearsay, fables dream’t up and exaggerated to turn the tide of opinion. Rather than address the real issue which is the cruelty the hunts like to deal out on our wildlife they choose a path of deflection and misinformation, smoke and mirrors to discredit an organisation which causes them so many headaches.

Here’s one particularly incoherent and delusional rant:

Hunt sabs are vile!!!! Lush supports them!!!!!..i witness them killing a dog when I was 8 years old, i was riding out in the woods and the hunts sabs were chasing down the hunt…any excuse to rebel against anything…lush who???? now I know that I would never buy from them…spread the word! anyone on here saying hunt sabs are animal lovers are a bloody joke…..i was a little girl when i saw that dog get beaten to death and i tell you what i will never ever forget that, they threw things at us and tried to pull us off our ponies…8 years old riding out in the woods, i was not on the hunt just happened to bump into them at the same time, the sabs caught up with them…rot in hell you disgusting vile hunt sabs…and lush cosmetics!!!! LUSH COSMETIC SUPPORTS HUNT SABS!!!!!!!”

Note the impeccable grammar and punctuation, the excessive use of exclamation marks and capitals. This person is literally foaming at the mouth with indignation and all she can muster is something which most likely didn’t happen from her long distant past. Of course a quick look through her profile and you’ll seen lots of connections with the pro hunt lobby so nothing surprising there. There’s little point in trying to reason with these people as reason is, quite frankly, beyond them.

Sabs hold all life dear. The very thought they’d throw acid over or beat animals is unthinkable. Stopping animal suffering is our ethos. The fact none of these spurious claims can be backed up by any hard evidence indicates their legitimacy. Had any child been assaulted the police would have been informed and the incident been in the public domain, no doubt with the full backing of the CA PR machine. It’s funny how, just with a cursory search through Google you’ll find lots of incidents of hunt violence towards sabs and monitors and yet little or nothing to the contrary but then when you’re dealing with the lowest common denominator of society the reality of the situation becomes irrelevant.

Sign the Petition.

Contact the Atourney General.

Email the CPS.

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