Same Bloodsport, Same Attitude, Different Day!
Prince William (Monday) at the Duke of Beaufort FH to Photographer before riding at him: "F***ing Piss Off!"
The violent attitude of foxhunters has already started to rear its ugly head despite the fact that the hunting season is only a few weeks old. Several incidents over the last week, one including Prince 'not nice, but dim' William, give the lie to the hunters' claim that "confrontation is not the country way". Attacks and intimidation against hunt saboteurs have been reported from the North West, down through Oxford and Northamptonshire to the South East.
Farmer (Tuesday) at the CL&C Foxhounds to sabs before attacking them with an iron bar: "You're going to get the f***ing kicking of your life!"
Violence broke out once again yesterday on the Chiddingfold, Leconfield & Cowdray FH as West Sussex Wildlife Protection activists were attacked by hunt supporters wielding iron bars as they attempted to film the hunt packing up near Midhurst, West Sussex.
The previous week, when the hunt were the only one known to be hunting in the South of England on a Saturday, the most serious offence the police could find to deal with was the alleged absence of DTI licences for CB radios some of the sabs were using. With over 40 hunt saboteurs in attendance, no kills and no violence, the hunt appear to have taken their revenge yesterday.
The four WSWP activists were set upon by CLC supporters armed with iron bars and were forcibly prevented from reaching the safety of a nearby road. Dramatic footage taken by WSWP (stills from the video shown here) shows the supporters attempting to seize the group's video cameras, threatening to give activists the "f**king kicking of your life", and throwing one into a ditch. Throughout the 15 minute incident the CLC supporters threatened and used violence.
One camera is reported to have been damaged in the incident. It comes less than a fortnight after three hunt supporters on the notorious adjacent Crawley & Horsham FH were arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage following an incident during which a hunt monitors' camera was smashed and an anti hunt protester injured. Nicolas Soames MP - so keen to accuse anti hunt campaigners of violence - was seen scuttling away from the scene. The Chiddingfold FH was recently exposed for breaching FMD regulations and is being investigated by DEFRA.
During the sabotage of the Grafton foxhunt in Northamptonshire earlier in the new year, saboteurs split into two groups to stop the Bicester with Whaddon Chase foxhunt also killing. The two hunts were in very close proximity on the day and after one group of sabs made towards the pack of screaming hounds, they realised they had found a different hunt.
The Bicester see themselves as the darlings of the media, but when there are no cameras around, they are one of the nastiest hunts in the South. They count Baroness Mallalieu and Michael Heseltine's daughter as riders, but have also had convicted violent criminals in their ranks. Two hunt supporters were jailed several years ago for their part in an attack with a quad bike which left a sab with serious spinal injuries. Of the sabs attacked at the hunt last week, one of them received head injuries and broken glasses after being punched in the head. Others were threatened by supporters with alsatian dogs.
Video footage of the Sussex incident has been passed to Sussex police. Breath not being held. On previous experience, there would have been no point involving Northamptonshire police!
Dirty Tricks - Hunt Saboteurs Demand an Apology
Sloppy Journalism, Malicious Stories and Short Memories
As former JP, Jonathan Wilkes, is sentenced to 5 years in jail for making bombs that were "specifically designed to maim and kill", the Hunt Saboteurs Association demands an apology for being mischievously connected with the case by several newspapers, the police and the military.
The devices were left in woods in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire in August 2000. At the time Geoffrey Gibbs of The Guardian ran a story titled "Bomb linked to anti-hunt activists" which claimed that hunt saboteurs could be responsible for the devices. The report included the quote "A spokeswoman for 721 Explosives Ordnance Depot at Ashchurch said police had indicated they could not rule out hunt saboteurs."
Spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Nathan Brown, stated "We demand public apologies from the Explosives Ordnance Depot for spreading this malicious misinformation, Gloucestershire police for not withdrawing or denying the claim and The Guardian and local newspapers for running the story without even approaching us for a comment."
He explained "The Hunt Saboteurs Association has represented hunt saboteurs in this country for 40 years. We are sick of being ignored by the media and tired of being misrepresented as violent. Hunt saboteurs use non-violent tactics and intelligence to outwit huntsmen in pursuit of wildlife. We save the lives of hundreds of hunted animals every year. To suggest that we would wish to endanger life is a grave insult."
The HSA would like to know why, when Hunt Saboteurs were no more likely to have planted the devices than the Chief Constable or Coco the Clown, that we were the only specific group vilified by the media in relation to this case. Even when it emerged the main suspect in the case was an Oxfordshire magistrate, the slur cast on the HSA was not withdrawn.
- Link to the original Guardian article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/aug/22/hunting.ruralaffairs
- The Wilkes story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/jan/08/stevenmorris
Hunt steward arrested after attacking saboteur
Violence erupted today at the Woodland Pytchley Hunt in Northamptonshire, resulting in the arrest of a steward employed by the hunt.
Stewards employed by the hunt had been trying to prevent hunt saboteurs from following the huntsman, but the saboteurs had ignored them. In the alleged attack, one of the stewards stole a CB radio from a saboteur. When the saboteur attempted to retrieve it he was punched and then kicked several times. The CB was dropped and another steward ran up to it and kicked it, breaking it with the impact. Saboteurs made an emergency phone call and one of the stewards was arrested and taken to Corby Police Station.
Local hunt saboteur Clive Richardson said "We have been subjected to abuse from this hunt for years, so it is nothing new, but we are glad that the police are taking this attack seriously. After the incident we successfully prevented a fox from being dug out of an earth and the hunt packed up at 2.15 pm - 2 hours earlier than usual."
Nathan Brown, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association said: "This is an example of the depths to which the hunting fraternity will stoop to prevent hunt saboteurs from saving lives. It is testament to the fact that our tactics have a profound effect on hunts. It is not the first time that hunt stewards have attacked sabs, but we will not be deterred from taking action to save wildlife from being ripped to pieces for fun." In March 2000, 2 hunt stewards were arrested after hunt saboteurs were attacked at the Quorn Hunt, a favourite of Prince Charles.
As Master of the Woodland Pytchley Hunt, David Reynolds is responsible for what happens during a day's hunting and would have sanctioned or organised the use of stewards. He is also a Board member of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance. Nathan Brown commented further "The Countryside Alliance tries to promote itself as a respectable body, but the behaviour at Mr Reynolds' hunt shows what sort of people the Alliance really are. The fact that violence against hunt saboteurs is tolerated at a hunt run by one of the Alliance Board members sets an example and gives a green light to other hunts to follow suit. They will stop at nothing in their pursuit of terrified wildlife."
Hunt saboteur hospitalised after being run over by horsebox at Four Burrow Hunt
A hunt saboteur came close to losing his life today after he was run over by a horsebox at a meet of the Four Burrow Hunt in Cornwall.
In an incident bearing horrifying similarity to one which claimed the life of hunt saboteur Tom Worby in 1993, hunt saboteur Andy Pollock was run over by a hunt supporter's horse trailer. After a successful day's sabotage against the Four Burrow Hunt, Andy was walking down a lane late this afternoon, when a Four Wheel Drive vehicle and horse trailer drove towards him. He moved to the side of the lane and pressed himself into the hedge. However, the vehicle was allegedly steered straight towards him. The vehicle narrowly missed him, but the horse trailer hit him. Andy said "It was only pure luck that I managed to get into the hedge as close as I did and the vehicle missed me. The horse trailer took my legs from under me."
An ambulance was called and he was taken to Treliske hospital with a suspected fractured fibia. Following X-rays he was released from the hospital.
The driver of the vehicle did not stop, and despite the incident being a serious "hit and run" incident, police did not arrive for almost 2 hours. One officer at the scene said that it was "difficult to prove it was a deliberate act". The police are still making enquiries.
Two hunt saboteurs have died under the wheels of vehicles driven by huntsmen and a third was recently critically injured. In 1991, Mike Hill died under the wheels of a vehicle belonging to the Cheshire Beagles. In 1993, Tom Worby died under the wheels of a vehicle belonging to the Cambridgeshire Hunt. In September 2000, Steve Christmas was run over at a meet of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt, and air-lifted to hospital with a crushed pelvis, four broken ribs and internal bleeding. Someone was apparently charged but the victim not informed fully.
HSA Press Officer, Nathan Brown commented "When I heard the news that Andy had been run over by a horsebox, I feared that I was going to have to break the news that another sab had been killed. What we have seen happen in the past leads us to have little faith in any prosecution being brought. How many more lives - human and animal - have to be taken before Labour will live up to their manifesto pledge and ban hunting?"
HSA news release 22nd January 2002
"Let's sort this out once and for all"
A hunt saboteur could easily have been killed today by the actions of an irate huntsman. Hunt saboteur Simon Wild was grabbed by the huntsman of the Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt in Sussex and dragged along by his jacket. The huntsman, Jonathan Broise, dropped Mr Wild in front of the horse of his 'whipper-in' who then rode over him. Mr Wild, who somehow escaped with just hoof blows to his groin and legs and a throat injury where he was dragged along by his radio strap, later said "I was a hair's breadth from being seriously hurt". Another protestor was kicked in the ribs during the incident. Immediately before the attack, Broise allegedly shouted "Let's sort this out once and for all". A formal report has been lodged at Midhurst police station (However, whether they will be able to tear themselves away from the vital task of checking people's CB licences is not known).
Simon Wild is one of a group of protestors who have been regularly attending the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt to prevent them from chasing and killing foxes.
Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Nathan Brown, commented "The attendance of hunt saboteurs at the Chiddingfold has obviously had such an effect that the hunters have turned their attention away from their traditional quarry and decided to vent their rage and bloodlust on protestors. It is a miracle that Mr Wild escaped with minor injuries. A horse can easily crush a person's skull or cause irreparable spinal damage - let there be no doubt that another Hunt Saboteur could have been killed today."
Jonathan Broise has a history of violent behaviour - in February 2001 he received a conditional discharge after head-butting a disabled magistrate. He has also previously received a formal caution from the police for assaulting a hunt protestor and was the thug caught on film threatening 'war' on an ITN news crew back in 1994.
This incident follows incidents at several hunts on Saturday when hunt saboteurs were variously driven into by hunt supporters, assaulted or suffered threats to kill. One protestor was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured fibia and was almost dragged under the wheels of a horse trailer. A hunt steward was also arrested on Saturday after a protestor was attacked at another hunt. Mr Brown added "It is as if the hunting fraternity has declared war on anyone who dares oppose them. It is a shame the government does not have the guts to stand up to them and honour their election pledge to ban hunting."
The entire incident was captured on video, some grabs from which appear below:
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