These people are not “activists” or even “extremists” as mealy-mouthed news bulletins like to put it. They are terrorists. Death threats and physical attack are their prime arguments. They are, in some ways, more horrifying than the Abu Hamzas who threaten all unbelievers and offer no escape: animal thugs prefer to make their threats individual, in order to cow individuals into silent compliance. Their attack is not on cruelty to animals but on free speech, free thought, freedom from fear. They assume that their limited view of what is right excuses them from giving the slightest respect to law, democracy, or common humanity. A stupid woman questioned by the BBC said that any attack was fine because: “These are like, evil people, yeah?” Nicolas Atwood, unmasked last week as the manager of a website run from Florida that passes on calls to criminal action, drivelled that “ the academics set themselves up and I agree with protest . . . I am not going to say what form the protests should take”. So Atwood’s a coward as well as a thug, is he? His website does, in fact, pass on very practical and violent incitement. The Americans, by the way, roll up their eyes, cite the First Amendment and say they can’t do anything. This from the nation that brought you Guantanamo.
So here I was, enjoying an article about the evil animal rights terrorists, still undecided whether I should post it or not, and I get to the end of that paragraph, as it screeches into some sort of snarky condemnation of a prison for terrorists arrested on a battlefield trying to kill us. Amazing.