How the State Protects Corporations From Dissent
Civil liberties are under threat in the UK. Successive governments are introducing an increasing amount of repressive pieces of legislation which curtail the rights of the individual. This new legislation has been, and will be, used to protect corporations against dissenting voices.
The Attack on the Animal Rights Movement
The state and the police force, primarily the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), have been waging a media war against the animal rights movement. This media smokescreen helps to prevent the mobilisation of public opinion in solidarity with campaigners targeted with repressive legislation.
The project analyses the way in which these new laws put the interests of business over and above individuals rights to freedom of expression and assembly. Over the years animal rights campaigners have begun to seriously challenge companies involved in animal research. The state has developed new branches of the police force (ARNI and NETCU) to deal with this challenge to corporate power. Measures have been taken to prop up companies who are facing dissent, including the passing of legislation allowing companies to opt out of publishing data and the granting of Bank of England facilities to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).
The Corporate Individual
This work follows on from our work on corporate law. In 2004 Corporate Watch published the ‘Corporate Law and Structures’ report. This report critically examined the way in which corporations had developed rights in law. Today the law provides companies with protection originally intended for human beings yet frees them from many of the liabilities individuals face. Corporate Watch’s planned research will examine the development of the ‘corporate person’ in criminal and civil law and its relation to the crackdown on campaigners. For example, the Protection from Harassment Act has developed the concept that a company can be ‘harassed’.
Published in 2009.