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Oxford injunction an attack on peaceful protests
Posted 10 November 2004
Today's Court Order renewing Oxford University's injunction in relation to protests against its proposed new vivisection laboratory, goes to the heart of the public's personal and collective freedoms. There are already laws against harassment, against causing alarm and distress and against violent and threatening behaviour. As a peaceful campaigning organisation, Animal Aid supports the use of such laws wherever appropriate and whosoever is guilty.
Today's order goes far beyond what is reasonable and democratic. It is an attempt to curb the right of ordinary people with a legitimate concern about immoral and cruel behaviour to express themselves freely. It also serves to criminalise the whole animal rights movement, in that any "protestor" served notice of the injunction is subject to its restrictions.
Merely publishing and distributing well-informed material, in which animal experiments are described and referenced, will from now on be illegal. Such a move would deny the public access to information to which they are entitled. It is a further attempt to stifle a vitally-needed debate that would expose the scientific invalidity of using animals in medical research.
Oxford University scientists were invited to speak at an open public meeting at Oxford Town Hall on November 4 - at which Animal Aid officers gave presentations. Pro and anti-vivisectionists attended what was an entirely peaceful and constructive event. The university declined several invitations to send a representative.
Notes to Editors
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