A letter from Animal Liberation prisoner Debbie Vincent…

debbievincentWhat is scary in this world is oppression and injustice, when people hurt people, animals and nature. What is beautiful in this world is resistance, when people say ‘enough is enough’ and act. Oppression and injustice are everywhere, but so is resistance. Because some people know that if you fight you might lose, but if you don’t fight, you’ve already lost.”

I first became aware of the animal suffering about 30 years ago and went veggie with my partner at the time. Though unfortunately, I did not make the connection straight away and didn’t start campaigning for animal liberation as well as other social issues for a further two years. I became vegan when I moved to study at university in 1991, after an industrial accident 1n 1990. There I met other like­minded people and initially got involved in hunt sabbing, campaigning against animal experiments at Plymouth University and other social liberation issues.

I quickly got involved in other social issues across the spectrum and became aware of the intersectionality of all forms of oppression. Sea Shepherd and EF­Earth First, and other international campaigns started to grow in the UK in the early 90s as well as campaigning against GM and road building project.

My eyes were opened to the cruelty. Destruction, greed, injustice and oppression caused by the indifference of capitalist world. I left University to go and volunteer at an animal rescue for 18 months before returning to Plymouth where I continues to campaign – hunt sabbing, circuses, live export, FnB, badger cull, etc – as well as animal rescue worker.

By 1991, I had moved to North Devon where I set up a local AL campaign group and also helped with setting up a coalition (CBAG) against the continued killing of badgers. I also did volunteering work for a local recycling reclamation project as well as helped out at a small rescue.

In 2001, I left Devon and hitch­hiked around the UK for 6 years, volunteering on different radical community projects, animal rescues and AL and ECO campaigning as well as national campaigning such as SHAC, SPEAK, etc… In 2007, I was arrested along with 30 others for “conspiracy to blackmail” related to SHAC campaigning. Later, the charges were dropped against me, but the police continued to monitor my activities, especially SHAC.

After the arrests I got more involved with SHAC protests in London and nationally. And helping out with gatherings, other protests and some rescue works. In December 2010, I was raided at a small rescue where I was living, the arrest was used as an excuse to take campaigning and personal stuff. It was more of a “risking” expedition by the police and I was put on bail again, this time for 18 months until the charges disappeared. Only to be replaced when I was raided again in July 2012 and charged with conspiracy to blackmail. I was then raided again in January 2013 for SOCPA 145/146 charges relating to SHAC protests.

I continued to be on bail until April 2014, when after five weeks’ trial, I found guilty of “conspiracy to blackmail” and sentenced to 6 years in prison. While in prison, I have continued to maintain my innocence of these political charges and challenge what I can. I remain positive and busy, I am one of 200 individuals and organizations that are core participants in the UK’s public inquiry into undercover policing, their wrong­doing and possible miscarriages of injustice.

For more information, see: www.undercoverresearch.net

I should be released from prison in April 2017 (halfway through my prison sentence) and I’ll initially sent to a probation hostel, as well as having many draconian license conditions until April 2020. But I’ll keep on, keeping on. I appreciate everyone’s support and solidarity.

Lots of love, rage, respect, total liberation ­red, black and green lentils – and big purple vegan hugs of solidarity. ­Debbie

Debbie Vincent A5819DE
HMP Send Ripley Road
Woking, Surrey GU23 7LJ