“Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.” Lord Justice Sedley in Redmond-Bate v Director of Public Prosecutions (1999) 7 BHRC 375 , 382-383
If getting no response from Raystede is making you feel disheartened, don’t be. I assure you your complaints are being heard. And they’re getting a response, even if it’s not directly to you. Remember back in May I told you that Raystede’s trustees made a complaint to Moonpig when they received a card with a photograph of a slaughtered cow on it? Well, last month, the sender of that card received this email from a police ‘Resolution Investigator’:
Police have received reports from 3 trustees at Raystede animal centre regarding an allegation of harassment from individuals protesting around the café at the location. The trustees have reported receiving a large number of letters and cards to their home addresses and they have also reported animals being adopted [sponsored] on their behalf from a location in Norfolk.
The reason I’m contacting you is because a data protection request was sent to Moonpig.com about a card featuring a slaughterhouse that was sent to the trustees and caused alarm to the receivers. It was confirmed to have been ordered from this email address with your name as account holder. Police have also spoken to the animal centre in Norfolk [Hillside Animal Sanctuary] and they have confirmed that a Ms XXXX of [the same address] has adopted animals for the trustees without their knowledge or permission.
Police have reviewed all of the evidence provided to us by the trustees and have been informed that none of the material sent to them is deemed threatening and this email is to give words of advice about your future conduct regarding this matter as the communications that the trustees have received at their home addresses have been unwanted and has caused them alarm and distress.
Harassment is defined as ‘A behaviour which is repeated and unwanted by the victim and causes the victim to have a negative reaction in terms of alarm or distress.’
If you and your family wish to continue your protest in a peaceful manner please do so but be mindful of the above harassment definition.
Please respond if you wish to, Police will not be taking any further action regarding this matter at this time.
Force Contact Command and Control Centre
Tel 01273 470 101 or 101
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
The response to this polite warning was equally polite:
Thank you for this information. As you understand we have a legitimate cause for protest as Raystede trustees are acting in contravention of their own governing documents by causing unnecessary suffering to animals instead of preventing it.
For years many concerned members of the public have written directly to the Raystede sanctuary address, requesting that they stop serving animal products in their cafe but not a single response has been received. They left people with no choice but to write directly to the trustees whose responsibility it is to follow the charity’s governing documents.
Our protest has been peaceful, lawful and polite at all times – a simple letter writing campaign and petition – and will continue to be so. The image of the cow in the slaughterhouse is something none of us want to look at but people who pay for it to happen have no right to complain. The sponsorship of animals from a sanctuary in Norfolk were gifts from my daughter to the trustees in the hope that they would have sympathy for these animals and soften their hearts towards them.
If the trustees want the campaign to stop they can make it stop very easily by refusing to pay for animals to be enslaved and butchered for their cafe. It is a very simple and reasonable request which can very easily be accomplished and would enable them to save many more animals. I have no idea why they are so reluctant to do it.
So please don’t think your letters aren’t making a difference. They really are.
Thank you so much for your persistence.
Now then, Christmas is approaching so let’s send the Raystede trustees some polite, non-threatening Christmas cards asking them ever so politely to please make their cafe vegan. Addresses at the bottom of this petition update 🙂
Wishing you a very Merry Vegan Christmas and a Happy Vegan New Year 😀
See you in 2019 😀
vegan, animals, animal rights, animal welfare, protest, animal cruelty