Private eyes and public order: Policing and surveillance in the suppression of animal rights activists in Canada
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.
|Keywords||Animal rights, Policing, Private security, Social movement repression, Surveillance|
|Journal||Social Movement Studies|
Walby, K. (Kevin), & Monaghan, J. (2011). Private eyes and public order: Policing and surveillance in the suppression of animal rights activists in Canada. Social Movement Studies, 10(1), 21–37. doi:10.1080/14742837.2011.545225