home >> news


Friday, 29th July

For the customer day of action today Midlands SHACtivists hit AXA who are a large shareholder of AstraZeneca, a major customer to Huntingdon Life Sciences with multiple protests, and held a suprise demo against Aviva, who are currently AZ's landlords for their global HQ offices in London, as well as fitting a demo in against ICS (who supply HLS with equipment) inbetween.

First up we arrived outside of AXA, and begun the demonstration by shaming them for their shares in AstraZeneca and reminded them about the horrific cruelty that happens to innocent defenseless animals every day inside those hell-holes in the name of blood-money and scientific fradulence.

Soon into the protest, members of the public started to gather and as we continued to show our determination they grew into large crowds once again surrounding us to watch the demo and find out more. Members of the public took leaflets and some felt so strongly about their disgust to AXA that they even joined in with the shouting whilst others took a look at HLS exposes on a portable DVD player and gasped in shock at the sight of beagle puppies being punched in the face and the terrible procedures taking place inside HLS. Lots of people gave us their words of support and the crowds were then sustained throughout the demonstration.

Later into the protest, police officers including an Inspector arrived at the protest. The Inspector and his fellow chum(p)s approached us, and told how he has much "experience" in public order and facilitating protests. At first he told us that our protest was lawful, but as he continued he then went on to contradict himself by saying that he disagrees with megaphones being used (even though there is a High Court ruling that states megaphones are acceptable for protesting), and that we could continue to protest however he would be seeking a noise abatement order against us all. We asked how we were breaking the law, to which we were given several different replies; first we were told it was to prevent a breach of the peace, we questioned this, then we were told it was because of a violation to section 5 (public order), we questioned this, then we were told it was because of a section 4 (public order), we questioned this, then we were threatened with arrest and told the matter was not to be discussed any longer! Noise abatement notices also exclude lawful demonstrations, so we will be interested to hear if any progress is made on that one!

We continued our protest (with megaphones) and then the police approached us once again, and we were told that the megaphones were going to be seized for "evidence", but because the conduct of the police were clearly wrongful we refused to release the megaphones, in which they then confiscated our batteries, once again claiming it was for "evidence". We carried on our demonstration, and then once finished we approached and questioned the Inspector about this confiscation, and asked him how he intended to use a handful of batteries as sufficient evidence to prove in a court of law the apparent unlawful usage of megaphones, once again with stumbling words we were told..."because they power things". So much for "experience" in public order and facilitating protests, eh!

We are currently in contact with a soliciting firm about the constant (but ineffective) unlawful harassment tactics being used by West Midlands Police on our human rights and lawful demonstrations, and will continue to fight their unprofessional and draconian efforts of disrupting campaigners.

After another loud and visual protest, we left with lots of people informed, AXA shamed and police embarassed, then replaced the batteries and continued the day with plenty more suprises up our sleeves.

Next we headed over to Industrial Cooling Systems, who have a contract in supplying Huntingdon Life Sciences with equipment. After storming onto the site, security rushed to lock the doors as staff slammed their windows shut and pulled their blinds across. We sent the clear message to ICS that they should be ashamed of themselves, as should anyone who knows about the despicable acts that are inflicted on animals every day inside places like HLS, where hundreds of them are tortured and murdered every single day and continues to be involved with them.

Then, we headed back over to AXA and suprised them with another protest (megaphones on regardless) in which crowds swiftly flocked together once again to watch as we voiced our disgust to AXA and let them know as long as they are dealing in murder, they can expect our continued opposition. The police turned up and were all rather annoyed at being outsmarted further, so they decided to pin an activist up against the wall, others rushed over to help and were threatened with arrest again but after stating their behaviour was both harassment and assault they let the activist go and we headed over to the next target.

We arrived outside of Aviva, who were completly unsuspecting to the protest in which was about to ensue. We hit the company with a barriage of noise and made it clear to them aslong as they are dealing with AstraZeneca, they can expect our protests. Security guards rushed to lock the doors, but we continued to show our disgust and told them all about the terrible cruelty inflicted on animals each day by vivisection companies; animals having their skulls cut open, pipes forced down their throats, gas masks over their faces, poisons injected into their eyes, skin and flesh and the maiming and killing animal tested drugs cause in humans alike.

As the immensity continued, they then decided to even lower shutters down on their entrance! We continued, knowing they could still hear and see us regardless as members of the public watched and took leaflets, and people driving passed on the busy main roads beeped their horns in our support. Whilst we received plenty of public attention once again, it was certainly clear they weren't going to be going to taking any custom.

We then decided to split into smaller groups, some activists stayed at the front of the company to continue to name and shame them for their unethical involvement with AstraZeneca, whilst others ran around the back, dodged the security guards and took the protest to the many Aviva offices also at the back. Once the security guards caught up, they grabbed a couple of activists and tried to "arrest" them and also steal a camera, but when reminded about the law they released all and stood completly baffled, not knowing what to do but watch us protest.

As another suprise, we then rushed up the stairs and turned it up another knotch as we protested from the top of their building on platforms and even their roof. With Aviva totally surrounded by activists everywhere, the demo took place and reached them from all areas. Some staff members decided to watch the protest, they could be seen carefully looking at our placards and listening to our words of disgust against the company, whilst others shut their windows and closed the blinds, we knew our message was being put across perfectly clear though! Members of the public also saw us positioned on the roof of the building at the front, and we continued to receive support.

Once feet had met the ground at the back again, we were followed by the security guards whom we walked straight passed and barely acknowledged their existance, we continued our demonstration and then rushed up another flight of stairs, protesting yet again from the top of the building making sure all knew why we were there and saw our determination!

The police later turned up, and threatened us with arrest once again but our intent was lawful and no arrests were made. Followed by security guards and the police, we then headed back around to the front of the building where we continued to protest against Aviva and told them as long as they are involved with AstraZeneca, we will be back and they can expect more.

Finally, we decided to pay another visit to AXA, who were once again took off-guard. We gave them another loud naming and shaming, after seeing them all so very stressed all day, a few of them broke and responded by shouting vulgar language at us. By dealing with the vivisection industry they can only expect stress, humiliation and losses!

Sever your ties!

SHAC Midlands



Contact | Disclaimer | Legal