Debbie Vincent, long-term animal rights campaigner, comrade, and friend to many within the movement, was sentenced on 17th April to 6 years in prison, after a five-week long trial at Winchester Crown Court. Further to time in prison, she was given an Anti-Social Behavioural Order for an additional 5 years after her release.
Found guilty of ‘conspiracy to blackmail’, Debbie is the latest in a line of people persecuted for campaigning against the notorious animal testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences, where 500 animals are killed daily. As part of the ‘Blackmail 3’, there are two more defendants currently awaiting a possible extradition from Holland to face trial. To find out more about the case and how to support the other, visit http://blackmail3.org. Debbie was found guilty, despite the judge not finding her guilty of any actions herself, with Michael Bowes QC, the case prosecutor, stating “there is no evidence that Ms Vincent was present at the scene of any of the attacks, or incidents in Europe. There is no evidence that she was outside of the United Kingdom at the time of any of these attacks”, whilst the Met Police deployed an undercover officer, posing as a private security manager, as part of a sting operation to implicate her in acts she had no involvement with.
Debbie’s case is part of a series of convictions against animal rights campaigners, and serves as a wake-up call to all activists to show support and solidarity to those who are victims of state repression following effective resistance to corporate and state power. For additional information on the ongoing repression of UK animal rights activists see http://stopukrepression.org/
When Nijmegen ABC asked Debbie what sort of support she might need if the received a custodial sentence, she replied – “Practically, I’m not sure what my needs will be in prison, it will depend to a degree to where I go. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to cope, but being isolated from nature and friends will be the worst part. I will try to make the best of the bad situation, it’s all a bit daunting and new. The whole charge and court case are still amazingly surreal.”
“Keep on campaigning against all oppression and capitalist domination. Don’t be afraid to speak out and never apologise for trying to make a difference and caring.”
Support is as ever vital; write letters to Debbie in prison at:
Debbie Vincent A5819DE
“What is scary in this world is oppression and injustice, when people hurt people, animals and nature. What is beautiful in this world is resistance, when people say ‘enough is enough’ and act.
Oppression and injustice are everywhere, but so is resistance. Because some people know that if you fight you might lose, but if you don’t fight, you’ve already lost.”