As I type this my friend Debbie is enduring her first day in Crown court in Winchester. Debbie is the UK defendant in the Blackmail 3 case. Allow me to explain who the Blackmail 3 are and why you should support them.
Debbie, Natasha and Sven are three people believed to be involved in the campaign against the notorious vivisection lab “Huntingdon Life Sciences” (HLS). This lab murders up to 500 animals everyday in pointless and cruel experiments.
On the 6th July 2012, cops raided the homes and business premises of three people arresting them on suspicion of “conspiracy to blackmail”, in relation to HLS. Debbie is accused of committing this between 2001-2011 and Natasha and Sven in Holland are accused of doing this between November 2008 – December 2010. The Blackmail charge seems to be used increasingly as it carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison and has a high conviction rate. The prosecution are alleging that the defendants were conspiring to blackmail companies in order to make them pull out of doing business with the lab, a charge denied by the defendants.
Due to extradition the Dutch pair will be go on trial separately to Debbie. The powers that be are trying to convict these activists as the campaign against HLS was extremely successful with customers, suppliers, banks, etc. leaving the lab in droves. The state wish to stifle protest and show other people and movements how far they will go to crackdown on campaigns once they become successful. In order to fight this and in order to support these brave and compassionate activists we need to have strong solidarity groups in place to support people.
As a support group we have a website translated into three different languages, a popular facebook page and a twitter account. We will be driving Debbie to court and will be in the public gallery watching the case. We have put on a info night and several fundraising events and we have also been collecting and publishing solidarity statements from groups all over the world… we even have supporters putting on a solidarity rally in France today. Our solidarity efforts need to be just as global as repression and oppression is.
People who stand up to cruelty and abuse only to find themselves targeted by police and governments need our support. People who are trying to make the world a better place must never stand up to the full weight of state repression by themselves we must support them in anyway we can.
Blackmail 3 Solidarity Group