Stop Austrian state repression against animal rights campaigners

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					      Stop Austrian state repression                                                                         Stop Austrian state repression
    against animal rights campaigners                                                                      against animal rights campaigners
Seven campaigners in prison on hunger strike for justice and freedom                                   Seven campaigners in prison on hunger strike for justice and freedom
In the early hours of May 21st,                                continued detention. On June 4th,       In the early hours of May 21st,                                continued detention. On June 4th,
special forces of the Austrian                                 one of them will have been without      special forces of the Austrian                                 one of them will have been without
police, many armed, in black                                   food for two weeks and will soon be     police, many armed, in black                                   food for two weeks and will soon be
clothing and wearing masks,                                    in danger.                              clothing and wearing masks,                                    in danger.
forced entry to 23 homes                                                                               forced entry to 23 homes
and offices of animal rights                                    The official reason for the raids        and offices of animal rights                                    The official reason for the raids
campaigners across Austria.                                    is the controversial Austrian Law       campaigners across Austria.                                    is the controversial Austrian Law
Fourteen people were arrested,                                 278a StGB which outlaws the             Fourteen people were arrested,                                 278a StGB which outlaws the
most at gunpoint.                                              "formation of a criminal body".         most at gunpoint.                                              "formation of a criminal body".
                                                               In reality this is an attempt by the                                                                   In reality this is an attempt by the
All the premises were                                          Austrian government, on behalf          All the premises were                                          Austrian government, on behalf
intensively searched and left                                  of the wealthy and influential           intensively searched and left                                  of the wealthy and influential
ransacked, and police took                                     animal abusing industries, to smash     ransacked, and police took                                     animal abusing industries, to smash
away all the computers, discs                                  the Austrian animal protection          away all the computers, discs                                  the Austrian animal protection
mobile phones, videos, cameras, photos,           movement, which has had some great results           mobile phones, videos, cameras, photos,           movement, which has had some great results
video tapes, papers, records, databases, and      in recent years, and has been an inspiration to      video tapes, papers, records, databases, and      in recent years, and has been an inspiration to
just about everything else which can be           compassionate people all over the world.             just about everything else which can be           compassionate people all over the world.
used for campaigning. Among those groups                                                               used for campaigning. Among those groups
affected are groups such as the Austrian          On top of this, quite a number of scandals have      affected are groups such as the Austrian          On top of this, quite a number of scandals have
Vegan Society, and legal animal protection        been exposed by animal protection campaigners        Vegan Society, and legal animal protection        been exposed by animal protection campaigners
groups VGT, Vierpfoten, Respekttiere and          which have involved some people occupying the        groups VGT, Vierpfoten, Respekttiere and          which have involved some people occupying the
TierWegehave, as well as other activists and      highest positions in the worlds of politics and      TierWegehave, as well as other activists and      highest positions in the worlds of politics and
individuals involved in campaigns against         the media, and it is clear that the successes of     individuals involved in campaigns against         the media, and it is clear that the successes of
fur, vivisection and the meat industry.           the campaigners have disturbed several powerful      fur, vivisection and the meat industry.           the campaigners have disturbed several powerful
                                                  people.                                                                                                people.
Most of the groups have been left without                                                              Most of the groups have been left without
the basic means to continue their legal and       It is shocking and scandalous that such terror and   the basic means to continue their legal and       It is shocking and scandalous that such terror and
political work or even communicate with           corruption can take place in a modern, so-called     political work or even communicate with           corruption can take place in a modern, so-called
supporters and friends. The police have           democratic country in Europe, this is a shameful     supporters and friends. The police have           democratic country in Europe, this is a shameful
stated that the examination of the computers      episode in the history of the Austrian state.        stated that the examination of the computers      episode in the history of the Austrian state.
will probably only start next year, because                                                            will probably only start next year, because
they are very busy, so there is little prospect   If those in power in Austria are allowed to          they are very busy, so there is little prospect   If those in power in Austria are allowed to
of these groups recovering in the near            get away with this, it isn't just animal rights      of these groups recovering in the near            get away with this, it isn't just animal rights
future.                                           campaigners who are in danger, but all those         future.                                           campaigners who are in danger, but all those
                                                  around the world who value freedom and                                                                 around the world who value freedom and
Ten people are being held in pre-                 compassion over profit and greed. We must             Ten people are being held in pre-                 compassion over profit and greed. We must
trial detention, which could last for             all stand up as one and show solidarity with         trial detention, which could last for             all stand up as one and show solidarity with
months accused of “forming a criminal             the activists who are now risking their lives in     months accused of “forming a criminal             the activists who are now risking their lives in
organisation”. The State Prosecutor has           support of justice and equality for all.             organisation”. The State Prosecutor has           support of justice and equality for all.
failed to justify the raids or the campaigners'                                                        failed to justify the raids or the campaigners'
continued detention.                            Around the world, ‘Solidarity Demos’ and other         continued detention.                            Around the world, ‘Solidarity Demos’ and other
                                                actions in support of the prisoners have been                                                          actions in support of the prisoners have been
Seven of the activists have gone on hunger      taking place and will continue for as long as it       Seven of the activists have gone on hunger      taking place and will continue for as long as it
strike in protest at their treatment and        takes.                                                 strike in protest at their treatment and        takes.

                                TAKE ACTION                                                                                            TAKE ACTION
 Contact the Austrian government either directly or look up your nearest                                Contact the Austrian government either directly or look up your nearest
Austrian embassy or consulate in your own country. Demand freedom and                                  Austrian embassy or consulate in your own country. Demand freedom and
                         justice for the prisoners.                                                                             justice for the prisoners.
   For contact details visit the government website; www.austria.gv.at                                    For contact details visit the government website; www.austria.gv.at
              Keep informed - Spread the word - Visit the websites,                                                  Keep informed - Spread the word - Visit the websites,
                       www.antirep2008.tk - www.vgt.at                                                                        www.antirep2008.tk - www.vgt.at
     Keep up the struggle for compassion and justice, wherever you are                                      Keep up the struggle for compassion and justice, wherever you are

				
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Description: Stop Austrian state repression against animal rights campaigners