home >> LATEST NEWS >> September 23, 2008 >> Protesters show solidarity with animal rights prisoner at Carnival Against VivisectionProtesters show solidarity with animal rights prisoner at Carnival Against Vivisection Over 200 activists gathered for the Carnival Against Vivisection in Ledbury, Herefordshire, on 6 September. The protest was focussed on the Sequani vivisection labs, where demonstrations are held every week by the Stop Sequani campaign. The carnival was also intended to be a response to the ever-increasing repression of the animal rights movement. Sequani has become the latest private company to make use of the state's willingness to protect corporations against dissent at all costs. Earlier this year, Sean Kirtley was sentenced to four and a half years in prison following a five-month trial for 'conspiring to interfere with an animal research establishment' under Section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA). The trial had been subject to a media gagging order. During the proceedings, it was admitted by prosecution witnesses that Sean had been peaceful during demonstrations. The height of the charges against him were that he had allegedly uploaded material to the Stop Sequani Animal Torture website, sent text messages and made phone calls related to (lawful) protests at the lab. Sean will be appealing the charges in November. The Carnival Against Vivisection sought to highlight the significance of Sean's conviction for anti-corporate dissent in the UK and to call for Sean's release. Prior to the demonstration, the police had contacted campaigners looking for 'organisers'. Campaigners pointed out that anyone coming forward as an 'organiser' might suffer the same fate as Sean. A participant from the Western Animal Rights Network (WARN) said, "The carnival was the biggest animal rights demonstration there has been in Ledbury. Police originally tried to stop the march by using Section 12 of the Public Order Act but, in the end, it was easier for them to just let the March go ahead." For more info, see http://sequani.wordpress.com and http://wordpress.com/tag/free-sean-kirtley.