In Austria, The Latest News

12/2/10

We held a press conference on 12th February in Graz on the new charges against 3 VGT activists. Local media was present and broadcast the news.

The press conference was well attended. The atmosphere was very good. A bad flavour was left when 3 police officers in trenchcoats surrounded Martin Balluch before entering the press conference room and behaved in their typical terrorist fashion. Between beginning of October 2009 and beginning of January 2010, police has visited Martin Balluch altogether 35 times at home. Since then, police has been again at his home and at his office a number of times. The solicitors have now written to all
police headquarters that they should not keep up their psychological terror and keep away from Martin Balluch's property.

On 17th February, the self indictments were presented to the press. It was mayhem and the best attended press conference ever. It hit the prime time TV news. 3 TV stations filmed the conference and basically all newspapers covered it. Right now, we have very much press attention and all very positive indeed. There has not been any negative press report in the last 1 1/2 years! And more self-indictments are flooding in.

Martin Balluch also gave a number of public talks and the atmosphere is really exciting. People get very fed up with police and state prosecution behaviour.

At the moment, 13 people have been charged and will start their trial on 2nd of March. Another 3 have still their cases pending and 30 people had their cases dropped.

The 13 people charged now have 5 lawyers together, which is not too bad. 3 people have handed in their complete defence statements. In the case of Martin Balluch that amounts to 63 written pages and a lot of material proof like films from fur farms in Scandinavia and battery farms in Austria and such. Martin Balluch himself has called 178 witnesses for his defence. The state prosecutor called 119. The other defendants will also call witnesses, so we might be facing more than a year's trial with a good 120 witnesses of the prosecution and 300 witnesses of the defence. That will truely be a monster trial.

A professor at Vienna university has just now published another judicial scientific paper on the animal rights trial. In very strong words, the behaviour of state prosecution and police is attacked and the author thinks that the whole procedure is completely unconstitutional.

Since 2 weeks, we are having daily demos again against repression in Austria. People are up on motorway bridges or distribute leaflets at underground stations in Vienna or occupy crossroads and spread the news with giant banners.

Two new websites in Austrian are in preparation. One, www.martinballuch.com, will run a blog on the whole trial. The other, www.tierschutzprozess.at, will have daily updates on the trial and on what is happening at the court.

Our next events:

- we will continue with 2-3 press releases on the case per week
- we will continue with daily demos and in addition vigils outside
court during trial days
- the next press conference is on 1st March with all lawyers, then one
on 13th April, end of April with 3 University Professors of law and
on 5th May with Peter Singer
- next Monday will be a media stunt outside the ministry of justice in
Vienna
- big demo march on 27th february and another in march and April

see here for more: www.shameonaustria.org

 

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From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann
puppypincher@yahoo.co.uk