The British newspapers The Sunday Mercury and The Times (London) both ran stories this week featuring supporters of fox hunting threatening to carry out Animal Liberation Front-style actions if the government goes ahead and bans fox hunting.
Here’s how the Times summed up the various ideas being put forth by some pro-hunting extremists,
One plan is to immobilise a motorway by covering a stretch with a ton of pop rivets that would slash vehicle tyres. Other ideas include dumping sand into sewers to block drains, and pouring dye into Welsh reservoirs that supply the Midlands. Severn Trent Water has stepped up its security. Such action, and a massive campaign of civil disobedience, is expected to follow any government announcement to ban or curtail hunting. The hotheads are operating under the loose banner of The Real Countryside Alliance and have issued leaflets and a poster with a Green Union Flag and slogans such as “rural rebellion” and “free country.”
The Sunday Mercury reported that some pro-hunt acts of violence had already occurred. According to that newspaper,
Four Labour MPs, including junior agriculture minister Elliot Morley, have had their constituency offices attacked by a group of militant pro-hunt supporters — believed to be from the RCA — led by a balaclava-clad woman. It has also been blamed for defacing the famous hillside white horses in Oxfordshire and North Yorkshire with giant graffiti figures of huntsmen and hounds.
Aside from the fact that this sort of nonsense is indefensible, like animal rights terrorism it will prove self-defeating. These sorts of actions do not gain sympathy for a cause, but only further alienate people who might agree with hunters and marginalize the fox hunting movement. Mainstream groups should denounce these sort of tactics.
‘We’ll attack water supply’. Paul Malley, The Sunday Mercury, September 15, 2002.
Hunt hotheads plan disruptive action. Valerie Elliott, The Times (London), September 16, 2002.