Posts Tagged ‘LACS’

The Countryside Alliance and particularly their Chief Executive Tim Bonner have been banging on about sabs & monitors covering their faces for as long as I can remember. I first commented on the subject here. It’s certainly something which has got under their skin to the point of obsession so when the laws regarding face covering were modified recently they once again shouted from the roof tops to anyone who was listening that they’d gained some sort of victory.

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Oakley Hunt Terrier Men.

Their headline of “New power to remove face coverings from violent protesters comes into effect today” suggests a radical change in police powers however the modification to the Section 60AA legislation is only minor and certainly won’t change anything from the point of view of those who wish to remain anonymous from the CA and their intelligence gatherers. Previously for a Section 60AA to be used it had to be requested and then authorised from an officer of Inspector rank or above and the relevant paperwork signed before it could be enforced. Now this order can be given orally by the senior officer at the request of officers on the ground.

It’s not hard to understand why the CA want to know the identities of those who stand against them. They hold files on all sorts of people from monitors to sabs and LACS employees. This is so, should the need arise they can try to discredit, undermine or even use this information for more sinister purposes by passing it on to the hunts and their thugs which the activists operate against. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had my photo taken by hunters and their supporters. They are clearly under instruction to do so at every opportunity and these will be passed on to the CA so a database of their activities can be built up over time. I imagine my own file is fairly large.

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Masked hunt supporter taking my photo (again).

So, what is the reality of the situation?

Well, nothing really changes. You’ll note in the headline the words “violent protesters”. The police can’t simply turn up at a hunt and demand all those wearing face masks remove them, they still have to justify this order in the same way as previously and simply wearing a face covering isn’t justification. Of course the CA and Bonner like to claim that sabs are violent protesters but the truth of the matter is the complete opposite.

Firstly sabs are not protesters. They are there to stop hunts from illegally killing mammals in direct contravention of the Hunting with Dogs Act. The hunts themselves are more accurately described as the ones protesting as they are openly flouting a law that they disagree with. Secondly sabs are non-violent. They gain nothing from acting in a manner which would detract from their main purpose and in all likelihood lose them the support of the general public. Of course we’re fully entitled to protect ourselves from violent assaults and will do so but it simply isn’t in our interests to act like thugs, we leave that to the hunting fraternity.

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More hunt thugs

Speaking of which we can now look forward to all the hunt thugs and terrier men being unmasked but notice how the CA and Bonner deny all knowledge of the existence of these people? The silence from Bonner et al regarding all the violence from the hunting side which made the national media several times this past season speaks volumes. The hypocrisy involved here really is astounding. In Bonner’s recent statement he says;

There are only two reasons for wearing masks and face-coverings in the context of a protest: to intimidate and harass, and to hide identity with the intention of committing criminal offences and avoiding prosecution”.

Now remember that sabs aren’t the ones protesting and apply what he says to the pro hunting side. I find it highly amusing the CA are attempting to hold the moral high ground here and even when they put together a short video on Twitter which is alleged to show sab violence they can’t really come up with anything substantive. I can say without doubt that any of the sab groups across the country could come up with hours upon hours of footage of hunters, supporter and “stewards” acting violently towards people and property. It is, quite frankly, laughable. Bonner can harp on all he likes, the reality is that perhaps now we’ll get more convictions against the terrier men and the violent thugs the hunts employ and if the police try and apply the rules in a hunt situation it will apply to all concerned and not just from one side.

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Tim Bonner, wearing a face covering while watching a hunt.

The tweet below sums up Bonner & the CA perfectly so I’ll finish with that. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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I was sent a very interesting article to preview prior to publication in the next installment of HOWL. For those of you who aren’t members HOWL is the magazine of the Hunt Saboteurs Association. It’s a pretty good read with all the updates from the various groups around the country and some informative pieces regarding sabbing, the law and the history of the movement. If you aren’t a member I really encourage you to join. You don’t have to be active in the field but it is one way of getting involved and your money goes directly towards saving lives. All you need to know is right here.

Back to the preview.

The subject of the article is Phillip Davies. It’s a name many people wouldn’t have heard of. While most will know of dim Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance and his buffoonery and nonsensical ramblings on social media Phillip Davies is described in the article as “someone who prefers to operate in the shadows”. He is the Countryside Alliance’s police liaison officer. It should come as no surprise then that Davies was himself a police officer before retiring and taking up his position with the CA.

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Shadow Man Phillip Davies

The article goes into great detail on how this man has influenced police policy and decision making with regards to those who stand against the illegal hunting community and painting the CA as the voice of the countryside when the facts are indeed nothing of the sort. The CA’s main purpose for existing is the promotion of blood sports, the repeal of the hunting ban and the criminalisation of those who oppose¬†them. The real issues of the countryside are completely ignored.

It goes on to highlight the other aspects of this mans work, the intelligence gathering and files of known sabs and investigators from LACS and the reason sabs are constantly having their photos taken week in, week out. It’s an obsession with those on the pro hunt side to the point of ridiculousness (and sometimes their own down fall).

Those who are regular readers of this blog with know the amount of hard work I’ve put in with the police to get their attitudes towards hunting changed. Phillip Davies is the man I’m up against and the reason why so many forces are pro hunt in the first place. It’s actually fairly unsettling to read and further highlights what a truly insidious organisation the CA really are. The article includes quotes from Kevin Blowe of Netpol (Network for Police Monitoring) who concludes:

“Mr Davies’ efforts at the conference to portray anti-hunt groups as violent criminals seemed like a rather crude attempt by the Countryside Alliance to try to co-opt local police forces as its own private security.”

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The real face of the CA

It’s a piece which pulls no punches and gets to the heart of the matter with regards to policing and why sabs and monitors are constantly fighting an uphill battle against what should be public servants acting to uphold the law and not be influenced to the point of obvious bias by those with a sinister agenda. It looks at those in power at the CA and¬†perfectly highlights why we should be questioning what’s going on behind closed doors and need for transparency within the police force and from those who are advising them on matters of hunting with hounds.

A few freedom of information requests submitted to various forces throughout the country may shed some further light on the matter and indeed this may be the purpose of the article. Before you take on an opponent you have to know who they are and what they are about. Bringing the shadow man into the light might make things a little more uncomfortable for him and with such huge public support for the ban on Hunting with Hounds the police will be put in an uncomfortable position and maybe forced to changed their ways.

UPDATE: I have been given permission to publish the full article which can be found by clicking HERE.