Collaboration Between Big Pharma, Private Security Firms, Police and “Counter-terrorist” Forces

This Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest case study of suppression tactics against a Canadian animal rights group is interesting reading, especially for the linkages it draws between AstraZeneca and Novartis pharmaceutical companies and their private security firms, local police and government, and state “counter-terrorism” operations. Here’s the abstract:

This article examines how policing, security, and intelligence agencies have networked with private agents in a campaign targeting Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) in Canada. SHAC is a network of autonomous groups that coordinate an international campaign to disrupt the animal testing corporation, Huntingdon Life Sciences. Unlike in the USA and the UK, where SHAC groups have been targeted by a series of extraordinary legislative initiatives that are coordinated at a national level, the campaign directed at SHAC-Canada has its root in the work of private detectives. Drawing from the results of Access to Information Act requests and interviews with SHAC members, we discuss how the preliminary surveillance conducted by private detectives facilitated a multi-scalar policing effort that includes a network of municipal, provincial, national, and international police–intelligence agencies. To enrich existing typologies of social movement repression, we emphasize the role that private security plays in monitoring activists and in providing information to public police. Our research suggests that public and private agencies involved in regulation of SHAC are networked through surveillance, engaging in information sharing that casts a wider net of suppression.

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