Animal rights activists defy march ban

IssueFebruary 2008
News by Polina Aksamentova

Despite heavy police presence and last minute restrictions, about 150 activists participated in an anti-vivisection demonstration against Sequani Limited in Ledbury, Worcestershire, on 15 December. Sequani tests pharmaceutical drugs, chemical compounds and medical devices on animals.

Five people were arrested as they tried to block one of the main roads by locking-on with arm tubes. They were detained for 10 hours before being released on bail, until February 2008.

On the day of the demonstration police imposed sections 12 and 14 of Public Order Act limiting the number of protesters outside the Sequani laboratory to just 15 people. Most of the activists took their message to the town centre, marching with placards and giving out leaflets.

Western Animal Rights Network estimated about 200 police officers from various forces at the demonstration and criticized their heavy-handed tactics.

One woman was forcefully pushed into the marchers when she tried handing out a leaflet. Three of the five arrested activists also reported injuries after being handled by the police.