In Birmingham crown court every week day (court 9 – 10.30am onwards) for the next 12 weeks are 6 non-violent anti-vivisection campaigners charged with “contravening sec 145 SOCPA so as to cause harm to an animal research organisation and its suppliers” (re Sequani Limited vivisection labs Ledbury Herefordshire)
If found guilty activists could face up to 5 years in prison.
This trial has implications for the whole of the UK dissent movement.
Strict reporting restrictions are in place at this trial.
Anyone in the public gallery is banned from using pen and paper or other reporting equipment.
The 6 defendants cannot leave the court premises at any time during the trial.
Defendants cannot approach Sequani vivisection lab or the lab’s suppliers in question during the trial.
Defendants have to wait for 15 minutes after a session outside the courtroom in question so as “not interfere with jury members” who may be in or around the vicinity of defendants immediately after session.
For more information about SOCPA and how it affects the animal rights movement and the right to protest in general see this NETCU WATCH post.