Keith Mann is a British
animal rightscampaigner and writer, alleged by police to be "at the top of the Animal Liberation Frontpyramid."Laville, Sandra. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/animalrights/story/0,11917,1514355,00.html "ALF extremist stands by call to flames"] , "The Guardian", June 25, 2005.] He is the author of "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement" (2007). Benjamin Zephaniahwrites that Mann is viewed as a " cause célèbre" within the global animal rights movement.Zephaniah, Benjamin, foreword, in Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement,", Puppy Pincher Press, 2007.] He first came to widespread public attention in 1994, after being sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for setting meat lorries on fire, one of the longest sentences to be handed down to an animal rights activist. Mann escaped from Stretfordprison, and was later found at an animal sanctuary run by model Celia Hammond, who had unwittingly given Mann and his girlfriend jobs at the sanctuary, unaware that they were on the run. [Khan, Ali Yousaf. [http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=1034121795129884207 "Angels of Mercy"] , Channel 4, June 24, 2006.] In an interview with "The Guardian" in 2005, Mann advocated a "turn to extremism" by the movement. "I would prefer that we could change things using legitimate methods that are there for changing the world," he said. "But the government have taken away their right to protest and driven people to the kind of tactics that are more productive. It is more useful to sabotage property ... All that is left now is to turn to extremism."
Mann was raised in
Rochdale, Lancashireby his father, who worked as a caretaker, and his mother, whom he describes as having done "everything else."Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement,", Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 13.]
His first job was on a dairy farm while on a youth training scheme at school. He writes in "From Dusk 'Til Dawn" that his lasting memory of the job is the cows crying out all day searching for the calves that had been removed from them.Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement,". Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 186.]
Animal rights activism
He writes that his involvement with the Animal Liberation Front has led to the happiest and saddest times of his life, as well as danger and trauma. "There is something thrilling about this," he writes, "the rush of adrenalin that comes from facing the unknown — alarms, a chase, live animals, dead animals, prison, none or all of it."Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement,". Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 14.]
He has fallen off buildings and through a roof, jumped through a first-floor window, and swum through a river wearing
wellington bootsbefore jumping soaking wet on a bus and begging a free ride. He has been shot at, spat on, driven at, and punched, chased by men with spades, and had elephant urine thrown over him by an angry clown. He has been arrested, charged, and convicted for things he writes that he did not do, and has gone without food in prison because he was unwilling to eat animal products.
Mann is considered by the police to be "at the top of the Animal Liberation Front pyramid." This claim is contentious as the Animal Liberation Front is not a formal hierarchical organisation. He has acted as a spokesman for the group and attracted the support of celebrities such as
Carla Laneand Celia Hammond. In 1998, he predicted that someone will die as a consequence of animal experimentation, noting, "we are capable of dealing with anyone; no one has died yet, but that will come."
He first came into contact with animal rights activists in 1982, when local
hunt saboteurs were handing out leaflets in the street. He writes that he was inspired by what he saw as their selflessness. His first removal of an animal from captivity was when he took a rabbit from a hutch that he used to walk past every day, after having asked the owner for weeks to do something about the rabbit's situation. He writes that this incident changed his view of "theft" forever, and that thereafter, he viewed himself as a "proud ALF activist." His next removal was of a tub of goldfish from a fairground, resulting in him having 53 goldfish in his bath for weeks until he found good ponds for them. These acts of "liberation," as Mann sees them, led to others that he says he is unable to confess to.
Barry Horneand Danny Attwood, Mann was part of a small ALF cell that raided Harlan Interfauna, a British company in Cambridge that supplies laboratory animals and organs, on March 17, 1990.
The activists entered Interfauna's animal units through holes they punched in the roof, removing 82 beagle puppies and 26 rabbits. They also removed documents listing Interfauna's customers, which included
Boots the Chemist, Glaxo, Beechams, and Huntingdon Research Centre, as well as a number of universities. A vet who was an ALF supporter removed the tattoos from the dogs' ears, and they were dispersed to new homes across the UK.
As a result of evidence found at the scene and in one of the activists' homes, Mann and Attwood were convicted of conspiracy to burgle and were sentenced to nine months and 18 months respectively.Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement,". Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, pp. 267-275.]
His next ALF raid, together with an activist who remains unidentified,Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement". Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 625.] Mann raided the Wickham research laboratory on 13 December 2003 and removed 695 mice that were being used to test
botulinum toxin, sold commercially as Botoxand Dysport. He was arrested by detectives at his home whilst cleaning his car and the mice were returned to the laboratory.Mann, Keith. "From Dusk 'Til Dawn". Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 630.] He argued that the tests were illegal because the product was being tested for cosmetic purposes, which is banned in Britain. The Southern Animal Rights Coalitionalso received paperwork which they say demonstrates cosmetic Botox was being tested on animals. [http://www.sarconline.co.uk/botox/index.html "Stop the botox horror"] , Southern Animal Rights Coalition, accessed November 8, 2007.]
A court rejected the claims, ruling that the tests were in compliance with UK regulations because Botox is used for therapeutic purposes to prevent
muscle spasms. In April 2005, he was found guilty of burglary and ordered to conduct 230 hours of community service. [http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sparex/Animal-protester-jailed-after-court.1014793.jp "Animal protester jailed after court threat"] , "Portsmouth Today", 30 April, 2005.]
On leaving the court, Mann threatened a director of the research company, reportedly telling him, "Your trouble has only just started, you will need to look under your bed."Bowcott, Owen. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/animalrights/story/0,11917,1473780,00.html "Veteran animal rights activist jailed after threat in court"] , "The Guardian", April 30, 2005.] Mann was charged with
contempt of courtand sentenced to six months in custody, which he served in Winchester Prison.
Mann was first jailed in 1992 in connection with an attack on the home of a fox hunter. In 1994, he was sentenced to 14 years in jail, reduced to 11 years on appeal, for 21 offences including possession of
explosives, incitement, criminal damage, and escape from custody. He had set a number of meat lorries on fire and, after his arrest, escaped from Stretfordprison. The sentencing judge justified a lengthy custodial sentence by describing him as a "dangerous and fanatical" man whose tactics "bore all the hallmarks of terrorism."Bennetto, Jason. [http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article4014.ece Animal rights activist jailed after threatening scientist] , "The Independent", April 30, 2005]
After his release on October 2005, for the Wickham raid, [ [http://www.directaction.info/prison_keith.htm Prisoner: Keith Mann] , "
Bite Back", October 31st 2005.] he continued to protest against animal testing on behalf of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty(SHAC), which he has called "the most important campaign" in the animal liberation movement. [http://www.abolitionist-online.com/interview-issue04_keith.mann.shtml "No Apologies! No Compromises! No Prisoners!"] "Abolitionist Online", retrieved November 15, 2007.]
Gateway to Hell Campaign
In 2007, Mann was reported as being involved in the launch of a new campaign called "Gateway to Hell", aimed at "targeting airports, ports and freight firms importing animals for experimentation."Fielding, Nick and Walsh, Gareth. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article426262.ece "Vegan bodybuilder funds animal extremists"] , "The Sunday Times", 15 March, 2007.] The
National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unitbelieves the group is closely linked with SHAC, as it used similar tactics with attacks launched against the homes of five air transport executives within days of the campaign starting.Fielding, Nick and Walsh, Gareth. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article416042.ece Airports are new target of animal groups] , "The Sunday Times", 27 February, 2005] Describing himself as a spokesman for the campaign, Mann said, "once we have stopped the airports, which we will do before too long, it is going to be difficult for them to find other ways of bringing animals in."
The campaign has claimed a victory Fact|date=March 2008 from the "Northern Animal Rights Network (NARN)", who demonstrated at
Leeds Bradford International Airport(LIBA). [ [http://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/archive.php?id=1388#v1388 LBIA Say 'No' to Lab Animal Exports] , "Northern Animal Rights Network", 2nd January 2007.] In early January 2007, LIBA announced that it had no future plans to be involved in the export or import of live animals for experimentation. Fact|date=March 2008
In January 2008, SPEAK Political, the
political partyset up to speak on behalf of animals, announced that Mann would be standing as a candidate, as well as acting as a spokesperson for the party. On his website, Mann said:
Mann's first book was published in May 2007. "From Dusk 'til Dawn", with a foreword by British poet
Benjamin Zephaniahand featuring Britches on its cover, offers a behind-the-scenes account of the animal liberation movement. [ [http://www.thethinkshop.co.uk/fdtd/book.asp About The Book] , "From Dusk 'til Dawn".]
Southern Animal Rights Coalition(SARC)
Animal Liberation Front(ALF)
* Behind the Mask
* [http://www.fromdusktildawn.org.uk/ Keith Mann's website]
* [http://www.thethinkshop.co.uk/fdtd/keith.asp About Keith] , "From Dusk 'til Dawn website"
* [http://www.thethinkshop.co.uk/fdtd/extract.asp Live Animal Exports—A Truly English Objection] , "From Dusk 'til Dawn, Keith Mann (2007)"
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXd4ro5bSb4&feature=related Keith Mann Speech at SHAC March] , "
Western Animal Rights Network(WARN)", 6-minute video on YouTube, 2007.
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Xc_DZRMs8 An Interview with Keith Mann: Part 1] , 8-minute video via
You Tube, 2007.
* [http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=1034121795129884207 Angels of Mercy] ,
Channel 4documentary, June 24, 2006.
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