Cut the Crop

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Dogs were let loose on anti GM crop protestors in Scotland recently. At least one activist required medical treatment for bites to the chest.

This followed extensive damage that was done to the huge 40-acre crop nearing maturity at Munlochy, near Inverness. An eyewitness described the events: 'A lot of us were attacking the crop. It was a full moon and we were probably spotted when the clouds broke. In the early hours the police arrived, and searchlights were set up and mad dogs let loose. Everyone scarpered!' The police are refusing to say whether they were police dogs, or private security with whom they were colluding. Police cars blocked all roads nearby and questioned everyone.

Five people were arrested and many escaped. But what followed was just as disgraceful as the dog attack. All five were kept in solitary confinement for three nights. Soaked by rain and snow, dry clothing (which was delivered next day) was kept from the prisoners, and one young man was seen--for the first time -- 36 hours later on Sunday still shivering in his underwear. Another prisoner had dog bites bandaged up but was not taken to hospital.

The partners of two of those in the cells were only allowed to see them after the intervention of solicitors the next day. All five were denied any visits from friends, and the duty solicitor advised them all to plead guilty. But guilty of what? As yet the charges have still not been made known. Three of the five are members of the Scottish Socialist Party.

Even those arrested for serious assault are usually released the next day, but it appears that orders have come down to treat these activists with particular vindictiveness.

Such treatment would be no surprise in a dictatorship. That it is happening on behalf of the Labour/Liberal-controlled Scottish government is perhaps not much of a surprise either. The executive still dances to New Labour's familiar tune: 'Do as the multinationals tell us'.

News of the incident has not deterred the fight. The very next night another large force inflicted even more damage to the crop!

Unfortunately both SNP and Green Party spokesmen have 'deplored' the crop attacks, saying the 'democratic process' must be followed. But even this flawed process is being ignored and abused by those in power, and the crop will have seeded while government stalls.

A fighting fund has been set up. Please send cheques urgently to Munlochy 5 Defence Fund, c/o 77 Hilton Court, Inverness, IV2 4JW.

Frank Ward
Easter Ross