"A small group of people have succeeded where Karl Marx, the Red Brigade and the Baader-Meinhof Gang all failed."
- The Financial Times on the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign, April 2003.
In 1997, a Channel 4 television documentary exposed Cambridge-based animal experimentation laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences for numerous horrific abuses of the animals it was testing on, as well as for various breaches of regulations. The government slapped its wrist and let it off.
Meanwhile, the animal rights movement in Britain had just won a fight to shut down the beagle breeder Consort. It was also in the middle of a vigorous campaign to shut down Hillgrove Farm, the last commercial breeder of cats for vivisection in the UK, and the campaign to shut Shamrock Farm, the largest importer of primates for vivisection in Europe, was just beginning.
After tough battles the Hillgrove Farm and Shamrock campaigns were ultimately successful. On a roll, it was decided by some campaigners to move on from simply closing down the animal supply chain, and step up to take on a major component of the vivisection industry - Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a publicly listed company and the largest animal testing facility in Europe. Building on the momentum of the Channel 4 expose and the success of the Hillgrove victory, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) was formed in 1999 as a purely volunteer, grassroots campaign, with the express purpose of closing down HLS...
Bending a Company to Your Will
For years it has been common to treat companies as giant monoliths - single entities symbolised by their great glass headquarters in which you can only ever see your own reflection, but never what is really going on inside. This was intentional on their part, to make you feel small and impotent in the face of their impressive size, and to themselves appear well armoured and invincible.
Corporations depended on keeping activists ignorant of how they really worked. But look a bit closer and you will find that their armour is really quite fragmented, and if you find the right set of cracks then you can bring even the mightiest company to its knees.
For a long time campaigns consisted of running at a company full tilt and attacking whatever came to hand. Unfortunately what often came to hand was precisely what the company wanted us to attack; those bits deliberately put in place to draw the attention of activists, while the real business continued unabated behind closed doors.
What SHAC, and similar campaigns following their lead, are now doing is the complete opposite. Before announcing a company as a target, careful research is carried out. A picture of the company is built up, copies of their annual reports obtained, lists of subsidiaries, offices, research and manufacturing sites drawn up. Its activities and their weaknesses are identified. The PR flunkies and the lower management being paid to take the heat are ignored. What matters are the real decision-makers; the people at the top and the people behind the scenes pulling the strings are the real targets.
As well as going for HLS itself, the campaign has spent much of its effort taking out all the secondary companies that support the company, keeping it alive. Each such strut has become a campaign in its own right, and each time one collapses it causes HLS to totter that bit closer to being pushed over the edge.
Experience has shown this to be a highly successful approach, leading to numerous victories. It's got to a point where even a phone call to a company from a SHAC activist letting them know that their involvement in HLS has been rumbled can often be enough to get them to pull out.
With HLS itself every single aspect of the company is being targeted, because there is the single goal of outright closure with no escape clause. However, the majority of secondary targets don't require that sort of campaigning, as the aim is not to close them down but simply to break their links with HLS. This requires a more focused approach, where the supporting company is analysed and targeted at its weakest points.
Every company can be broken down into 5 main aspects:
- Top people.
- Ordinary workers.
- Public presences.
Each of these requires a different strategy, but when hit on each front, it will leave the target reeling. Companies are not accustomed to dealing with campaigns working in this fashion, and indeed they are very hard to counter - especially if a variety of above ground campaigning and underground action takes place. Large companies are too spread-out to protect everywhere at once, while small companies give a nice focused target where vital bottlenecks are easily hammered.
The really powerful tool we have as activists is that they never know what we will do next, and that if we all act in a united cohesive way we can take out parts of their infrastructure that they cannot afford to lose. It basically boils down to three things:
- Putting the fear of God into them.
- Costing them financially.
- Dragging their name through the dirt.
Don't waste your time appealing to their better nature - it doesn't exist among the people who really matter in a company. What you appeal to is how much money you are going to cost them, how you are going to destroy their morale and how they are never going to know when and where you will turn up next with a new, disruptive and embarrassing tactic they can do nothing about. Always changing tactics and hitting them at different points keeps them confused and disoriented so they cannot fight back properly.
It does no harm to approach a company first, saying you are planning to campaign against them. But be very strict about what you actually want from them. Tell them that there is little room for negotiation, and that once the message that their company is being targeted reaches the wider public there is nothing that can be done to recall that message without announcing a significant victory or concession that has real meaning. Actions can start happening while you are negotiating, as this re-enforces the message that you do mean business.
However, it is useful to give the target a way out, an escape clause. Depending on the campaign, this may or may not be possible. But if it is, or can be manufactured by making yourself come across as the reasonable party, then this is a very useful tool to bring the campaign to a successful end.
1) Top People
These are the people at the very top of a company - the people who sit on the board of directors at the parent company, or the very senior management. They are the people with the most power, and also the most to lose. In general they start as very intransigent and hard to get hold of - but a few home demos and actions directed specifically at them can sort that out sharpish.
They, above all, have the ability to set policy for the company and all its subsidiaries, regardless of what they might say. It does not matter if it is just one of their distant subsidiaries who are actually at fault, they still have the power to say stop. Anyone lower than this can be overridden.
2) Ordinary workers
Treat these differently from the top people, as they often have little or no say in the running of the company, and quite often you will come across disaffected employees who are willing to dish out information. You do not want to alienate these potential allies. Don't tell them it is their fault, but that of their managers that their office is being targeted. Tell them to get on the phones to their bosses and demand that they give into the campaign's demands.
Senior management are very aware what damage insiders can do, and if they realise their own workforce is opposing them on this issue, then you have a powerful tool. Many workers will be sympathetic to your aims themselves, and won't like the dirty side of the company they work for. In the past this has resulted in a gold mine of information coming our way. Indeed, in some campaigns it has been the actions of employees awakened to their company's misbehaviour which provided the winning blows.
Public exposure of internal secrets is a very powerful weapon, and is much under-used. Secrets that might not seem important to protestors may be very sensitive information from a commercial point of view. In some cases whistleblowers can crash a company's share price. It may not seem significant to campaigners, but from the company's point of view it can be a deadly blow.
Modern companies cannot function without their communication systems. Blocked phone lines, faxes and email accounts mean that they are not doing business properly. Sales are lost; time is wasted weeding out the hoax orders; staff are demoralised and work less efficiently - it all affects the profits of the company, and that, at the end of the day, is what they really pay attention to.
Companies, small and large, often channel all messages through a central telephone number. This is a natural bottleneck - tie this up and you have a large knock-on effect, especially if it is their main number for doing business.
Companies also tend to own a whole subsection of numbers. Don't just try their publicly issued numbers, but also the ones a digit or two on either side. This will often turn up interesting details as well, and can give direct lines to the top people.
Emails are very easy to target, as you can email a lot of people at once. After a while they will start blocking you, but being smart can circumvent that. Posting their emails to newsgroups and signing them up for free links pages can generate huge amounts of emails from other people, saving you the time and effort. We know of one target who ended up having their entire email system taken down, something which will have hurt them greatly given how much internal communication and networking is done by email. It is also a clear sign to employees that you are winning the campaign.
Next to targeting the top people, this is probably the most effective tactic, but it has to be done consistently and the pressure needs to be kept applied. When the call to action arrives in your email box don't simply send one message or phone-call or fax, then forget about it. Keep at it, day in, day out until they cave in.
The staple of many protests, people often drift away from doing office demos because standing outside holding placards and banners is dispiriting and little reward is seen. In the past, these were often the main form of action rather than being run in conjunction with other tactics. However, they do have a large effect, both financially and in terms of morale. It demonstrates your commitment to closing them down and puts them in a defensive position.
Even better is to meet them on their own territory by entering offices and speaking directly to the staff. Demand to see a manager and bring videos and literature to offer them. This is a tactic they really hate. It is one thing to have a wall between you, but when you are in their workspace they cannot ignore you. Plus they don't get much work done. Do it repeatedly and they start having to pay for increased security measures, as initially you will find most security is done on a low budget basis and easily dodged. Increased security makes for an unpleasant working atmosphere that only helps raise awareness of your cause and encourages people to come forward against their bosses.
5) Public presence
Most companies have a public presence. This comes in two forms: the sponsorship of awards and public events, and attendance at conferences. In both cases it is basically advertising for the company. This is very easy to disrupt and causes them acute embarrassment among the people they are trying to reach out to.
Activists locked onto their stalls at conferences or banner drops exposing them at public events are not things they can hide from. It costs them business and goodwill, and damages their brand name. HLS have stopped going to some conferences now because they know they will be unable to avoid being publicly humiliated - and that definitely means lost business for them.
And it does not have to be just the companies. Company directors often sit on local government and charitable boards - a few visits to these and the directors will soon get the point that it is not just their company name being dragged through the dirt, but their name as well. It is at this point that many long-term campaigns rapidly come to a conclusion.
Dealing with Subsidiaries and Affiliates
An issue that regularly arises is that it is only one part of a large company which is the problem. For example, those companies dealing with HLS know that protests are to be expected. Their parent company probably doesn't know this though, and is not prepared for it either. However, the first thing they normally say is that it is not them that's involved, and why don't the protestors go and target the people who are directly connected.
Never Give Up!
Once you pick your target, never give up. Even if for a while it seems you are going nowhere, let this simply spur you to more inventive and effective methods of campaigning and taking action. Giving up makes you look bad and gives other companies the belief that they can defeat you.
In the past too many campaigns have gone this way, and it has a hugely detrimental effect on the campaign and people involved. Sinking your teeth in and refusing to let go, no matter what they throw back at you, is the only way to real victory. If you show any sign of weakness your enemies will jump on it, and it will make other victories much harder to achieve. The psychology of your success is as important as the psychology of using their fear against them. Never give up!
The response to this is twofold. Firstly, they are all part of the same overarching company and that means they all have a voice. The reason pressure is put on other subsidiaries is to make sure the message reaches the top people that the activists really do mean business. It is one thing for the top people to ignore the chants of protestors, it is another to ignore the demands of their own managers wanting to know why they are getting the grief.
The second reason is that companies are made up of separate divisions who often do not like each other. There is competition for resources and for promotion. Though we will rarely see it, behind the scenes the protests sometimes even give ammunition to different factions in the company, allowing us to divide and rule. It makes the managers of the subsidiary dealing with HLS look to their own backs as the rest of their competitors use the opportunity to gang up on them, costing them precious resources and pay-rises.
Even if you do not get an outright victory, a well-fought, hard-hitting campaign can have major effects. It makes the target think twice about whether they want to deal with HLS again in the future, and whether the cost of lost business and extra security is really worth it. It also sends out a strong message to the rest of the industry that you mean business.
With this campaign the results have gone far beyond just HLS. Multinationals such as Novartis have questioned the suitability of the UK as a place for animal research, while Japanese companies have withheld £1 billion of research grants. Both cite the HLS campaign as a reason. The result is that the UK is increasingly looked upon as a place to avoid carrying out any animal based research.
The Worlds of Finance and Commerce
It was often questioned why SHAC went after companies such as HLS's insurers, bankers, auditors, shareholders, stockbrokers, market makers, etc. instead of focusing on the companies directly involved in the animal abuse.
The answer is that you need to think about the company itself, not just why you are taking action against it. Once you pick your target you need to remove all the struts supporting it. From the company's point of view, its auditors, insurers and share price are all important aspects, the loss of which make it very hard to function. A good campaign creates a climate of suspicion and instability among creditors and clients and is hard to shake off, as well as being disruptive of the natural workings of the company.
Clients become reluctant to invest and will not pay out millions for a contract if there is a big question over whether the company is going to be around to complete it. Large investors only invest in companies on prestigious stock markets and with recognised auditors. Companies lacking this find it hard to attract these investors, which further damages their credibility, and once in the vicious downward spiral it is hard to climb out again.
Another effect is that, the way the system is, it makes it much harder to get loans. Loans are a vital part of the process of expanding and attracting new business. They are needed to modernise and stay on top. For companies of HLS's size, loans are very much tied into the share price - a dead share price means loans are very hard to come by. As HLS struggles to replace support companies, it is losing the battle for credibility in the eyes of the financial people who can really matter to its future. Nobody in the main financial markets will now touch HLS, and for a company fighting for its life that is a deadly situation.
Success is vital. It is better to focus on one company, gain a victory on, and use that as an example to hold up to others. Once one goes, it is easier to get the ball rolling. Though you may have an array of targets to hit, pick them off one at the time. They will all talk to each other, and the message that you mean business will get around of its own accord.
Internationalism in Action!
Success also breeds global awareness - and global awareness breeds more success. The HLS campaign is capturing the global imagination, and now has sister organisations in dozens of countries around the world. This means that when a new target is chosen, they're hit on an international scale, adding greatly to the impact of the campaign, as well as helping unite the global movement. When HLS moved their shares and loans to the USA in order to escape UK activism, the SHAC campaign in the USA took off and much to HLS's horror, crushed whatever they could lay their hands on.
This global aspect of the struggle has been a significant part of the campaign against HLS. The importance of this is when targets do not have headquarters in the UK. Headquarters are vital as they are where the real decisions are made. Having the presence of activists close to home is very influential in encouraging them to make the decision to pull out from HLS. It also means that they cannot simply escape the attention of SHAC by pulling out of the UK. HLS attempted this and were humiliated. Likewise, Japanese pharmaceutical company Yamanouchi closed down their large UK research centre, only to find that there was no refuge in Holland.
The End (for HLS!)
After the last 10 or so years, animal abusers and other destructive companies now expect direct protests from us, and are ready and able to deal with them. What they are not able to deal with is the loss of the support required to keep them in business. Take these supporters out and the companies are left in a position where they can be put out of business relatively easily. The promises of the governments and police are no substitutes for our tactics of cold hard economic fact, and the fear of being held personally and directly accountable for supporting animal abuse in any form.
The HLS campaign was treading on completely new ground; the learning curve was exponential, and continues to be so. Consistent and unwavering campaigning and action, continually revising strategies and tactics, and producing glossy, professional literature kept the targets, police and government wrong footed, while keeping the public on our side. The hard work and single-minded commitment paid off, as HLS has become a household name associated with animal abuse, and other companies are quaking in fear of being publicly associated with it.
All it has required is for us to recognise that we have to move forward, embracing new opportunities and taking new forms of action. It does not mean you need a lot of people either. A few focused individuals and some time spent on background research makes for a very effective and victorious campaign. The key is to stop thinking as protestors, but to put ourselves in the position of the target and discover its weak points. A company is made up of many people and has many supporting structures. Pick the right ones and the lot comes tumbling down.
Since the HLS campaign started much has changed in the world of animal rights, but, as even their managing director recently admitted, HLS is on its knees. The media and government rant about the campaign, but it is making very little difference. Indeed, the negative press has been a very useful tool, as it helps spread the word as to just what new targets have to fear when they have the spotlight turned on them. In the last four years SHAC has made mistakes, but they have been learned from and strategies and tactics have been honed. Companies may well be able to run, but they are finding it very hard indeed to hide....
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)
6 Boat Lane
Worcestershire WR11 4BP
Tel: 0845 458 0630
Web: http://www.shac.net/ and http://www.shacamerica.net/
Other Animal Rights Campaigns
Save the Newchurch Guinea pigs
PO Box 74
Worcestershire WR11 5WF
Tel: 01902 564 734
Surrey Anti-Hunt Campaign
London WC1N 3XX
The Covance Campaign
c/o Bear Café
29 Rochdale Road
Todmorden OL14 7LA
Tel: 07960 992824
Huntingdon Life Sciences and The Marsh Campaign...
Marsh Inc., one of the world's largest insurers, acted on behalf of HLS. One of the toughest campaigns launched by SHAC, it took them a year to get Marsh to announce they were stopping involvement with HLS. The victory established SHAC as a force to be reckoned with, and the result is now that other companies look at the Marsh campaign and decide that they are not up for taking the same hammering.
Following on from Marsh, HLS's auditors Deloitte & Touche clearly saw the grief Marsh had received, and 10 days was all it took for them to pull out, and no major auditing company will now touch HLS with a barge pole. It has established the domino effect in campaigning, with all the initial hard work on one company leading to easier victories with others.
Below is a timeline of the Marsh campaign, giving you an idea of how intense the pressure on Marsh was, and showing how this fundamental victory was won. The campaign started in February 2002 and finished in December 2002. Countries involved included: Austria, Australia, the Czech Republic, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, UK and the USA.
February - August In the UK Marsh had their office windows smashed. At some points there were almost daily office demos, occupations disrupting their work, roof top demos, home visits, protest camps set up at the homes of several directors, as well as name and shame leafleting campaigns in directors' villages. Additionally, their clients were targeted, insurance companies working with them were hit, cars were covered in paint stripper, the people who rent them their offices were targeted, and events sponsored by them were ruined.
March - June Boston Marsh executives receive repeated home protests, including several at 3am.
4 March Activists in Boston protest at Marsh offices as part of a weekend of action. Also, Chicago activists disrupt the Marsh office building. In San Antonio Marsh offices are disrupted with stink bombs and flyers.
5 March Under cover of darkness activists sticker Marsh offices and glue their locks.
10 March Homes of Marsh executives are covered in anti-HLS stickers in the middle of the night.
11 March Chicago activists visit the homes of Marsh executives wielding bullhorns, noisemakers, air horns, stickers, and their fists for banging on doors. During the night 'Puppy Killer' slogans are spray painted on an executive's home. In Texas, 3 Marsh offices are covered in stickers and flyers.
25 March Chicago Marsh office building disrupted. Internal Marsh memos released, detailing "proactive steps which should be taken at every office" in response to the SHAC campaign. It also mentions a 24 hour hotline established for upset Marsh employees!
29 March Seattle activists cover Marsh's office in flyers.
5 April Activists blockade themselves inside San Francisco Marsh offices.
8 April Putrid fruit left in Boston Marsh office stinks the whole place out.
9 April Chicago Marsh executive gets a late night home visit.
21 April - 28 April The homes of two NYC Marsh executives are trashed. Doors, vases, lamps, and mirrors of the lobbies of their Central Park and Park Avenue homes are left in piles of broken glass. Marsh offices and employees homes are protested against in San Francisco, Texas, and Chicago. Their neighbourhoods are plastered with posters informing neighbours that puppy killers live in their communities.
14 May San Francisco Marsh executives wake up to neighbourhoods plastered with posters informing neighbours that puppy killers live in their communities.
7 June Chicago Marsh executive has his house covered in red paint and windows smashed.
11 June In San Jose, California a Marsh executive has his house spray-painted with 'Puppy Killer' and 'Scum' slogans.
17 June A Boston Marsh executive has the front of his home covered in gallons of red paint.
1 July In Sacramento, California, a Marsh executive has his house spray-painted with 'Puppy Killer' and 'Scum' slogans.
3 July A Boston Marsh executive receives a 7am home demo. Later that night two Marsh executives receive late night candle-lit vigils.
7 July Activists hang a banner and flyer the neighbourhood of a Marsh executive in California.
10 July Smoke bombs are set off in two Seattle Marsh offices. Both are evacuated and city blocks are closed off.
15 July Banners are raised by helium balloons in three San Francisco Marsh offices.
24 July Anti-Marsh banners are hung over expressways in Chicago.
26 July San Francisco activists hold an anti-Marsh street party in the financial district.
1 August During the PGA tournament a cell of Animal Liberation Front (ALF) destroys a golf course on Long Island, where an honorary Marsh director is a member.
5 August Activists protest the homes and offices of Marsh executives during a Texas regional weekend of action.
9 August - 11 August Boston activists protest the homes and offices of Marsh executives as part of a regional weekend of action.
17 August A Texas Marsh executive has her neighbourhood plastered with stickers and posters informing her neighbours that she is a puppy killer.
26 August More Marsh home visits in the UK.
27 August Another day of Marsh home visits in the UK.
28 August A Marsh executive gets a 6am early morning home demo. The executive does not go to work. Protesters returned at 4pm to catch the evening traffic.
1 September Marsh directors in New Zealand get visited at their homes.
2 September Activists protest the offices, homes, and church services of Marsh executives. Additionally, the homes of Marsh private investigators are receive home visits.
3 September Marsh director Hamish Ritchie has his windows smashed.
5 September Noisy late night demo at home of Marsh director Christopher Pearson. Later on in September it was reported that a demonstration had taken place at the home of Pearson on the day of a family member's funeral.
7 September Marsh offices across UK get visited by activists. Some are invaded and others face noisy demos outside. It was common practice with Marsh for people to just stand outside their offices all day long banging drums, screaming and shouting, setting off sirens and air horns and making so much noise it was impossible to work.
7 September Marsh private investigator receives a late night wake up call.
14 September Italian ALF cell smash up a golf club where Marsh sponsor a tournament. Extensive damage caused to the golf course.
17 September Long Island activists protest at the home of a Marsh honorary director.
21 September The ALF paints Long Island Marsh honorary director's home with slogans while security guards sleep in their cars close by.
22 September Marsh executives receive home demos in California.
23 September Phone blockade begins against a hotel in New Zealand who are hosting an event sponsored by Marsh. There are also Marsh demos in Portugal and New Zealand. In NZ offices are entered and stickers plastered everywhere. Another office has 15 people outside it handing out flyers with employees' home addresses on them. There are Marsh demos in four German towns on the same day. Offices are besieged all day long.
24 September As part of an Italian week of action against Marsh 3 offices had demos outside and 3 were invaded and a week-long phone blockade took place.
25 September Activists invade the Marsh offices in Liverpool.
28 September Memorials to the animals are left outside the homes and health clubs of Marsh executives in California.
29 September Activists break away from a national demo against HLS and visit Marsh directors in their homes.
30 September At 1am activists arrived at the home of Marsh director Hamish Ritchie, shouting at him on a megaphone and setting off air horns.
3 October Internet attack against Marsh begins. Activists set up an Internet chat room where every time a word is typed an email is sent to Marsh. Marsh received over 200,000 due to the action and experienced computer problems as a result. For details see: www.huntingdonsucks.com
10 October University job fair in London disrupted as activists besiege Marsh's display with chants, megaphones, posters and flyers.
19 October SHAC is sent a letter from a Marsh employee claiming that there is a group of employees who sympathise with the campaign and have been causing damage to company property. At one point during the campaign a coffee machine fire caused the whole office to be evacuated.
24 October Activists disrupt a party at a Country Club in Long Island, USA where Marsh directors schmooze with other high rollers. Outside another protest ensues.
27 October Marsh director William White Cooper has stickers bearing his name and address plastered all over his neighbourhood. Marsh Offices in Exeter have demos outside. Marsh takes out an injunction to try and keep people away from the offices but it is constantly ignored over the following weeks as people carry on giving Marsh hell. Marsh client Exeter council is also targeted and they take out a similar injunction.
28 October A two-day conference in London is besieged by activists in protest at the fact a Marsh director is speaking at it.
30 October Activists distribute information to attendees of a Marsh presentation at a university's ongoing job fair. In the middle of it activists stand up and disrupt the presentation.
1 November Activists demonstrate outside Marsh offices in Italy.
4 November Long Island activists protest at the homes and golf club of Marsh executives.
5 November An ALF cell claim responsibility for spraying slogans all over the village of Marsh director Julian Atkinson in the UK.
6 November Marsh director's house in NZ is attacked by the ALF. Car paint-strippered and slogans sprayed all over and more Marsh directors are visited in the UK.
7 November The polling places of Marsh executives are plastered the night before Election Day with posters informing the district that puppy killers live amongst them.
8 November Marsh director Hamish Ritchie 'retires' from another company he is involved in (HALMA) to save them the trouble of a planned week of action against them. In Philadelphia activists protest at Marsh offices.
9 November An honorary Marsh director on Long Island has his neighbourhood, food market, and gas station plastered with posters educating the town that he is a filthy puppy killer!
10 November Marsh directors across the South East of England are visited in their homes despite a huge police presence to try and curb the demo.
11 November The Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts pay a visit to an honorary Marsh directors golf club on Long Island and covers the shop, surrounding buildings, and signs in painted slogans.
17 November SHAC Portugal visit Marsh offices and Marsh offices all over the UK get demos. During the evening activists find out that Hamish Ritchie and his wife sit on the board of the English National Ballet. A performance of the world famous 'Nut Cracker' show is invaded and disrupted. Days later Ritchie and his wife are made to resign and the Ballet confirm that their sponsorship deal with Marsh will not be renewed.
21 November Activists hold a demo at the British Insurance Brokers Association over their links with Hamish Ritchie of Marsh.
22 November Several Marsh directors have their home windows smashed and there are home visits on Marsh directors in Austria.
23 November A witness statement by the head of security for Marsh UK is leaked. It reveals that up until September 2002 Marsh have had thousands of abusive emails and letters, up to 400 nuisance phone calls per hour, text messages sent to employees on their mobile phones, 244 office demos, several bomb hoaxes and suspect packages, 42 employees bombarded with junk mail and threatening letters, 26 directors have had home visits on a total of 58 occasions, several cars damaged, windows smashed, corporate events have been disrupted and documents removed and leaked!
26 November New Zealand Marsh director sells his house and moves out after home visits, leafleting and damage. 10 UK Marsh directors are visited in 48 hours - some of them in the early hours of the morning.
28 November Marsh executives in Cincinnatti get late night megaphone home visits.
1 December Son of Marsh director phones SHAC and claims that incendiary devices were found at the family home. German activists visit Marsh directors in their homes and demonstrate outside. Around 24 home visits against Marsh and other HLS collaborator directors take place in one day. The ALF report that Marsh in Holland has windows smashed, locks glued and acid is thrown all over the hall way.
5 December Marsh in Southampton have their windows bricked in.
9 December Posters and stickers put all over the area of a German Marsh office.
10 December Marsh offices all over the world get demos on a global day of action. It is also reported that German Marsh director is bombarded with junk mail and unwanted services as an early Xmas gift.
12 December Texas activists hold home demos against Marsh executives.
13 December Marsh demos in 3 German towns.
14 December Marsh directors in Surrey get home visits.
17 December Marsh offices in London get demos - they have been done every Wednesday for the past few months.
Unknown date in December Police claim that an activist attempts to carry out an arson attack on the property of Marsh director Christopher Pearson.
18 December Marsh announce they will sever all contact with HLS. Victory!.