~Police close animal rights stalls~

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  • Street stalls collecting tens of thousands of pounds a year have been closed in what police say is a clampdown on the funding of the criminal actions of animal rights extremists.
    Twenty-one people have been charged following the six-month crackdown, which targeted stalls manned in central London locations including Oxford Street.
    Police claim members of the public who gave money to the stallholders "may well" have been unwittingly funding criminal activity. But animal rights act have hit back, claiming the police clampdown was politically motivated and demanding proof of a link between the street collections and criminal activity.

    More information here ~ http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22022…animal-rights-stalls.html

  • Quote

    Scotland Yard said that all of those charged were collecting money under the guise of animal rights activities but none had licence to do so.


    Whether they were channeling the cash to the radical criminal element of animal rights extremists, or whether they had more peaceful worthy causes in mind, no one seems to know. But they still broke the law.


    And to be honest, while am in favour of many of the issues these people stand for, I do not want them shouted at me across the street. My experience of animal rights protest stalls in the street is that they are manned by aggressive and rude people who have ridiculous propaganda leaflets and shout at you if you dare to challenge their radical views. Frankly I find them a bit of a nuisance usually.


  • I think that’s fair enough. They were collecting without a license, so anyone donating would have no way of being certain where their money was going. If the money they collect isn’t going anywhere untoward, why don’t they just get a license?

  • Quote from Sthenno


    They were collecting without a license, so anyone donating would have no way of being certain where their money was going.


    Because, of course, govt sanction is an automatic indicator of honesty.....:rolleyes::whistle:


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    If the money they collect isn’t going anywhere untoward, why don’t they just get a license?


    because that panders to the notion of a legitimate governmental authority and maybe they dont agree with that notion (at least in this matter)? :whistle:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote



    Because, of course, govt sanction is an automatic indicator of honesty.....:rolleyes::whistle:


    because that panders to the notion of a legitimate governmental authority and maybe they dont agree with that notion (at least in this matter)? :whistle:



    Of course it’s not, but I’d imagine that in order to get a license you have to give some indication of where your donations will be going.

    I think this is one legislation that’s common sense – if the public want to donate money they should be entitled to some reassurance that it is going where they think it is. Surely any charity reliant on public donations should appreciate that?

  • Quote from stuoolong


    And to be honest, while am in favour of many of the issues these people stand for, I do not want them shouted at me across the street.



    I don't think that's fair! how else will they get their point across? and they believe their point has some worth and if people aren't made aware of it they won't know or do anything about it - which is true in most cases.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • i think its fair enough to have to give a breakdown of where your donations are going to..i also think its fair for em to skim a bit off the top just as the goverment does. until then i don't see why they can't just keep handing out thos leaflets without asking for donations, it's still getting out and about and spreading the word. personally i think they'd get a bit further without all the righteous indignation bit and start smiling at the random housewives and joe bloggs wandering around the streets. maybe a little less intimidation would get your typical mainstream folks into actually buying into it and wanting to make a difference and getting a result is what matters, not looking at folks thinking they're a cut above cause they don't shop at boots.

  • Quote from elfqueenofrohan

    I don't think that's fair! how else will they get their point across? and they believe their point has some worth and if people aren't made aware of it they won't know or do anything about it - which is true in most cases.


    It's the whole problem I've always had with radical protesters - thinking they are better than the next person. My problem is not with them having a campaign stall in the street, it's the way they tend to run them - like Hedgewitch says, with intimidation. I feel the same towards some of the religious nuts who tell me I'm gonna burn in hell just for daring to walk past them. Don't get me wrong, I think towns and cities are more vibrant and exciting when they are stuffed full of nutters on the streets trying to sell products and ideas....but when they do so aggressively they are antisocial.

  • I agree there are some nutter types run a lot of these stalls, but many are lovely (normally the quieter ones!).


    But i fully support the right to free protest, and quite like a diverse bunch of folks shouting in town centres! That includes things i don't agree with.
    The world would be a blander place without crazy street preachers!


    It is likely that money goes into some 'grey' activities, that they might not want an audit trail, protest groups might not get charity status, or simply they're not always that organised!


    If you don't like it, don't donate!


    There's no need to clear these folks away because they don't follow the government line.
    The police didn't remove them because they were being antisocial, but because they thought money might go to illegal activity.

    "You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind."
    Timothy Leary (1920-1996)

  • I think it’s worth bearing in mind that these people were not arrested for giving out leaflets or protesting. They were arrested for collecting without a license. Normally I hate legislation as much as the next man but I think in this case it is justified. You may say if you don’t like it, don’t donate, but most people donating will presume that it is legit, and that the charity they are giving to will use the money for its stated purposes.

    The police have to suspect every unlicensed collector of possibly suspicious financial activity – it’s not a prejudice against animal rights protestors, they’re just doing their job.

  • Fair point, but what license do you need?
    There might be local bylaws, but it's legal to request donations surely?


    The issue seems to be that the police have specifically craked down on animal rights stalls, as thought it would fund illegal activity.
    Would they do the same for a church group collecting?

    "You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind."
    Timothy Leary (1920-1996)

  • Quote from Atomik

    So what you're saying is that we should trust the state to decide what constitutes a legitimate recipient of voluntary donations? That's a little risky at best.



    I’m saying that an organisation which is reliant on public donations should be prepared to allow the public reassurance of where their money is going. Maybe the state are not the best people to regulate this, but what would you suggest as an alternative?

  • Quote from Oakbear

    Fair point, but what license do you need?
    There might be local bylaws, but it's legal to request donations surely?

    The issue seems to be that the police have specifically craked down on animal rights stalls, as thought it would fund illegal activity.
    Would they do the same for a church group collecting?



    You need a street collection permit. The application process for these is different from council to council, but it’s not an overly complex procedure.

    I’d imagine that a group church collecting would have a license.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    I’m saying that an organisation which is reliant on public donations should be prepared to allow the public reassurance of where their money is going. Maybe the state are not the best people to regulate this, but what would you suggest as an alternative?

    I'd suggest that people should satisfy themselves that organisations to which they donate are worthy of their trust. I don't think they need the state or anyone else to do that for them.

  • I don’t know, I think it’s a difficult one. If there were no licensing laws, anyone would be able to set up and hassle you for money every time you walked down the street. I’ve also seen lots of propaganda used by animal rights activists in the past, such as calls to close down a British research facility accompanied by images of animals at a different, foreign location. In theory at least, shouldn’t legislation also stop the public being mislead? I think it should be illegal to ask for donations based on misinformation, because sometimes it isn’t that easy to tell who you can trust.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    I don’t know, I think it’s a difficult one. If there were no licensing laws, anyone would be able to set up and hassle you for money every time you walked down the street.

    You're using deliberately loaded language. There's plenty of other laws that cover people 'hassling' you for money.


    Quote

    I’ve also seen lots of propaganda used by animal rights activists in the past, such as calls to close down a British research facility accompanied by images of animals at a different, foreign location. In theory at least, shouldn’t legislation also stop the public being mislead?

    Who decides what's misleading? The state? That would kinda rule out protests that the Iraq war was illegal. ;)


    Quote

    I think it should be illegal to ask for donations based on misinformation, because sometimes it isn’t that easy to tell who you can trust.

    I don't think we need nannying to that degree. It isn't easy to tell who you can trust, but as an adult, I feel perfectly equipped to make my own decisions and deal with my own mistakes in that direction without needing the government to hold my hand and decide who or what I can give to.

  • Well I do get hassled for money pretty much on a daily basis by people needing to feed their heroin habits. I would be much happier in the knowledge that I was giving money to fund animal rights extremists I can tell ya.

  • I know that when my Mum has been involved with street collections for Save the Children Fund in her area, they have always applied for a permit in advance. One of the things which affected the desicion about whether the permit was granted or not was whether there were any other collections taking place at the same time in the same area. If there were, they wouldn't get a permit, unless they changed the date. Only allowing licenced collectors prevents there from being hundreds of organisations collecting at the same time in the same place, which some people would feel harassed by, even if the collectors themselves were not setting out to harrass people.

    Actually, it's in charities' intrests not to have lots of collections going on at once, because it limits the amount each one will collect. The application process helps each charity find out if there is likely to be a clash.

  • Strange isnt it; it used to be that "Hippie" meant "against the establishement".....:whistle:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Atomik

    You're using deliberately loaded language. There's plenty of other laws that cover people 'hassling' you for money.

    Who decides what's misleading? The state? That would kinda rule out protests that the Iraq war was illegal. ;)

    I don't think we need nannying to that degree. It isn't easy to tell who you can trust, but as an adult, I feel perfectly equipped to make my own decisions and deal with my own mistakes in that direction without needing the government to hold my hand and decide who or what I can give to.



    OK, I’ll rephrase. Anyone could set up on the street, ask you to donate money for a cause, then pocket it. They could claim to be representing an existing charity, or invent one. How would you stop this happening if a license wasn’t required? If people were to just use their own judgement on who to give to, charities which need the donations would see their revenue drop because of convincing hoaxers.

    I agree it would be much better to have a separate independent body regulating these things. But in the absence of such a body, I feel that in this case the state is better than nothing at all.


  • Quote from Coyote

    Strange isnt it; it used to be that "Hippie" meant "against the establishement".....:whistle:



    Hey look I’m not saying all legislation is absolutely necessary, just that in this situation I think it is needed. And, as I said, not necessarily by the state. An independent governing body would be best, but that currently does not exist.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    OK, I’ll rephrase. Anyone could set up on the street, ask you to donate money for a cause, then pocket it. They could claim to be representing an existing charity, or invent one. How would you stop this happening if a license wasn’t required? I

    They can do this with or without a license. If animal rights activists had a license, they could still pocket the money if they chose.


    Quote

    If people were to just use their own judgement on who to give to, charities which need the donations would see their revenue drop because of convincing hoaxers.

    There are plenty of existing laws that deal with fraud. You don't need licensing to control such a situation.


    Quote

    I agree it would be much better to have a separate independent body regulating these things. But in the absence of such a body, I feel that in this case the state is better than nothing at all.

    That's a non-argument. If that's the way you feel, then you should be arguing in favour of the state setting up an independent body rather than arguing in favour of the status quo.

  • Quote from Atomik

    They can do this with or without a license. If animal rights activists had a license, they could still pocket the money if they chose.



    In order to get a licence, don’t you have to give evidence of where the money is going to? Of course this could presumably be faked, but surely it makes it more difficult for a potential hoaxer than if there was no licensing at all.

    Quote


    There are plenty of existing laws that deal with fraud. You don't need licensing to control such a situation.



    Fraud laws wouldn’t apply to unlicensed individuals setting themselves up, would they? If a man in the street asks you to borrow £2.50 for a bus and spends it on a pint, could you have him charged with fraud?

    Quote



    That's a non-argument. If that's the way you feel, then you should be arguing in favour of the state setting up an independent body rather than arguing in favour of the status quo.



    Maybe you’re right. But I still support legislation by the state over no legislation at all.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    In order to get a licence, don’t you have to give evidence of where the money is going to? Of course this could presumably be faked, but surely it makes it more difficult for a potential hoaxer than if there was no licensing at all.

    That's just naive. Once the money's in the tin, there's no form of auditting by the authorities. It could go wherever you wanted. Animal rights activists could easily claim donations were going to a legitimate charity but pocket half the procedes to fund extremists. What's to stop them? Licensing doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

    Quote

    Fraud laws wouldn’t apply to unlicensed individuals setting themselves up, would they? If a man in the street asks you to borrow £2.50 for a bus and spends it on a pint, could you have him charged with fraud?

    But if a man pretends to be collecting for a registered charity, you can bet the police would collar him before he could rattle his tin.

    Quote

    Maybe you’re right. But I still support legislation by the state over no legislation at all.

    I don't entirely disagree, but I would argue that it's a tad dangerous to support government licensing that can effectively be used to sanction collections for organisations of which they don't approve.

  • Quote from Atomik

    That's just naive. Once the money's in the tin, there's no form of auditting by the authorities. It could go wherever you wanted. Animal rights activists could easily claim donations were going to a legitimate charity but pocket half the procedes to fund extremists. What's to stop them? Licensing doesn't make a damn bit of difference.


    Maybe I have a misconception of the process. I imagined licenses being the result of an ongoing process based on annual audits and the like? Does anyone know what the process actually entails?

    Quote


    But if a man pretends to be collecting for a registered charity, you can bet the police would collar him before he could rattle his tin.


    But without licenses, how would they know if he was pretending or not?

    Quote


    I don't entirely disagree, but I would argue that it's a tad dangerous to support government licensing that can effectively be used to sanction collections for organisations of which they don't approve.


    True. It would be interesting to know whether the charity concerned had first applied for a license and then been denied one. I think if this was the case my opinion might well change.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    Maybe I have a misconception of the process. I imagined licenses being the result of an ongoing process based on annual audits and the like? Does anyone know what the process actually entails?

    It was nothing like that in my day, but things may have changed. Even so, nothing changes the fact that there's no way of auditting where the money goes.


    Quote

    But without licenses, how would they know if he was pretending or not?

    Even witrh licenses, how would they know if he was pretending or not? And it doesn't take much effort to stop and ask for ID. To be honest, I think you're making a very simple situation appear an awful lot more complicated than it actually is.

  • I just think protecting people who give their money to charities in good faith is an important issue, especially when there are so many people out there willing to exploit people’s better natures. I think that, whether rightly or not, most people in this day and age expect some kind of protection of their rights. I’d imagine the majority of people who give money to licensed collectors in the street expect some kind of checking process to have taken place to ensure their money is going where claimed. And whether or not the collector thinks that expectation is fair, I think they should honour it. If their money’s good enough for them, their expectations – no matter how ‘establishment’ they may be - should be too.

  • Quote from Sthenno

    I’d imagine the majority of people who give money to licensed collectors in the street expect some kind of checking process to have taken place to ensure their money is going where claimed.

    Given the fact that no license can offer that guarantee, I really don't see the point. Especially when it involves handing over even more power to the authorities to determine what they consider to be 'legitimate' causes.