The Hillgrove Campaign Newsletter – (1997- 1999. Oxford, England)
Reading these newsletters gives me a feeling of elation that is rare in our work as animal liberationists. After witnessing the worst abuses against our non-human neighbors, most of us are left with a sense of deep despair. In the instance of the Hillgrove Campaign, however, those abuses were countered and ultimately stopped in a most satisfying way!
These newsletters offer some of the best documentation of one of our movements most watershed moments. Each issue shows the escalation of the campaign, the police response, and the slow downfall of Farmer Chris Brown’s cat breeding business. No punches are pulled, and from blockades, to mass demos, to the beating of Chris Brown by two elderly women, the newsletter shows step by step how the campaign was won.
While this makes for invigorating reading, there are also disappointing, even racist material in the newsletters. One example is Dr. Vernon Cole’s comparing being stopped by police during a lecture to the sort of harassment and brutality faced by black youth in Britain. A well meaning mistake possibly, but a comparison that misses the mark by an offensive distance none-the-less.
As you can see, we are missing issue #2 and #10! Please get in touch if you are in possession of either issue by clicking HERE.
A Cat In Hell’s Chance (2002, London, England.)
In the annals of animal rights history there are but a handful of legendary campaigns still talked about by activists of all ages. The story of Hill Grove cat farm is one such fabled war, and with good reason. Hill Grove was a watershed moment for the movement and eventually led to the founding of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign. The battles that raged there included the beating and intentional poisoning of protesters, attacks by company employees, systematic police brutality, a security bill that ran into the millions of British pounds, and eventual victory for the cats being imprisoned in farmer Chris Brown’s compound.
A Cat in Hell’s Chance attempts to document this significant stage in our movement’s development. While the book is in need of a better editor, and is at times disjointed, it does cover all of the major events involved. Including all the way back to the first protests and raids against Hill Grove in the 1980s. Lovers of animal rights history, and young warriors curious about the successful tactics developed by earlier generations, would do well to read this long out of print book.
UPDATE: If you would like a physical copy of this book, it is available through the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society and can be found HERE.