Two groups said they set the fire to coincide with the start of shooting, that the action was in response to the police's attempts to quell protests, and Somerset & Gloucestershire officers fear attack could be first of many.
Anarchists who oppose the badger cull have claimed responsibility (official statement) for a blaze that destroyed a £16million police firing range.
Two groups, the Angry Foxes Cell and ACAB - which stands for All Coppers Are B******* - said they set the fire to coincide with the start of the shooting.
They claimed the ‘direct action’ was taken in response to the police’s attempts to quell protests and help the ‘land-owning classes’.
Officers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, where the culling of badgers began on Monday, fear the attack could be the first of many.
[Left] Burning, Smoke: Thick black smoke rises from the police firing range at the Black Rock Quarry near Portishead, after it was set alight. Anarchists and animal rights groups have claimed responsibility for the attack. Firefighters were today still battling to put out the fire at the quarry, which was part of a 'night of action' against the authorities, which included attacking two vehicles used by prison security services
Anarchists from London and Manchester are expected to head to the countryside to cause disruption, after they were found to have discussed car-sharing arrangements on the internet.
And it is feared that militant anti-hunt campaigners and animal research activists have infiltrated the ranks of the peaceful anti-cull umbrella group Stop The Cull.
Last night, firemen were still battling to extinguish flames at the half-built Black Rock Quarry firearms training centre, near Avon and Somerset Police’s Portishead headquarters near Bristol. Smoke could be seen up to 12 miles away.
In a statement made online, the Angry Foxes Cell and ACAB admitted joint responsibility for starting the fire on Monday.
‘The night of our action coincides with the announced start of the planned cull of wild badgers in the South West of England,’ it read.
‘Through attempting to facilitate the cull and stop resistance, the police shore up the interests of agricultural industry and the land-owning classes.
‘We hope this will be one of many rebellions against this slaughter.
‘It put smiles on our faces to realise how easy it was to enter their gun club and leave a f***-you signature right in the belly of the beast, with a curious fox as our witness.’
Vandals from the groups also claimed to have slashed the tyres of prison vans in Bristol.
Police said they were aware of the claims, but are waiting until the site of the training centre is safe enough to allow its forensic investigators to collect evidence.
[Left] Plume: The rebels cited 'tensions across the world' as the reason for their attack against armed police and the security industry who 'specialise in making us feel powerless in our own lives'.
Farmers have already reported intimidating phone calls late at night, as well as sabotage on their farms – including leaving gates open to allow herds of cows to roam the roads.
One farmer has claimed that one of his cows was killed by a van after it was ‘freed’ by extremists.
The badger cull is an attempt to tackle bovine tuberculosis, which is transmitted by badgers and has led to the death of more than 305,000 cattle in the UK over the past decade.
The past 15 years has seen a boom in the disease, which is transmitted by badgers urinating on grass which is then eaten by cows.
Farmers say a cull is the only way to protect their livestock, and the Government has approved a trial in west Somerset and west Gloucestershire that could see as many as 5,000 badgers killed.
[Left] Road closed: Police block access to the site as firefighters continued to battle the fire yesterday.
The current scheme, which will last for six weeks, is due to be repeated every year for the next four years, and is predicted to cut bovine TB by some 16 per cent.
Two companies have been given the licence to carry out the culling. Defra and Natural England have kept their identities confidential, in case activists target them directly.
Animal rights groups, which have received support from Brian May and Dame Judi Dench, say the authorities should vaccinate badgers instead.
Last week, the National Farmers Union was granted an injunction in the High Court barring anti- cull activists from approaching farmers’ homes, business premises and cull sites through fear of intimidation.
Members of so-called ‘Camp Badger’ near Watchet, west Somerset, were evicted from a field yesterday after the landowner claimed they had broken a lock and squatted on the land. (Source)
Another news report states:
The Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF), which has been involved for several arson attacks in southwest England before, said in a statement that they started a fire that is burning “more than 12 hours later”.
The fire was actually burning more than 24 hours after it started at the construction site at Black Rock Quarry in Portishead early on Tuesday.
Smoke from the fire, which had took over half of the £16 million building, could be seen from 12 miles away.
"More than 12 hours later the fire is still burning. It put smiles on our faces to realize how easy it was to enter their gun club and leave a f*** you signature right in the belly of the beast," the groups said in their statement published on the 325 website.
Te police said they are “devastated to see the impact of the fire”.
"The damage is extensive and we'll be working closely with fire investigators and our own forensic teams to understand what happened to cause such a large fire,” Avon and Somerset assistant chief constable Dave Hayler said. (Source)
Channel 4 News claim to "reveal their history of sabotage and arson attacks in the UK":
Avon and Somerset police are investigating a possible arson attack at the site of a planned police firearms training centre near Bristol.The incident is the latest attack to be claimed by a group linked to the Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF), though police are not commenting on their alleged involvement.More than twelve hours later the fire is still burning. It put smiles on our faces
Anarchist statementThe emergence of the IAF in the UK has gone widely unnoticed - but they are linked to attacks on politicians' homes, the destruction of a broadcast mast and the sabotaging of train lines around Bristol.A statement from the IAF released yesterday boasted the following: "We used accelerant to burn the major electrical cables at five junction points throughout the complex, and doused and lighted a pallet of electrical fittings and wires. More than twelve hours later the fire is still burning. It put smiles on our faces."In a statement Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hayler of Avon and Somerset police said:"We're devastated to see the impact of the fire. The training centre is a new state of the art development designed to train firearms officers across three forces. For the communities of Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire whose officers will be trained there, it's a tragic setback."History of attacksIn June six vehicles belonging to the UK Border Agency were torched at an industrial estate in Bristol, and the IAF later claimed responsibility in a statement sent to the Insurrectionist magazine 325.When contacted by Channel 4 News at the time, police claimed there was no national investigation into the group but noted they were aware of a string of attacks the IAF had claimed.In November 2011 the Mayor of Bristol and a local Tory councillor had their cars set alight outside their homes. Mayor Geoff Gollop fled with his family as the car blazed outside his home. A subsequent statement from the IAF claimed "We can strike you any time we wish."One of the most high profile actions claimed by the IAF in Bristol was an arson attack on a communications mast taking out radio and TV to over 80,000 homes along with distrupting communications for emergency services.A statement after that attack declared; "Mass media is the enemy of all rebellion" and revealed "we burnt out the mast by setting fire to the cables at the bottom" – similar to the method used in this week's arson attack.The only actions outside of the Bristol area were in Nottingham where the group has claimed responsibility for arson attacks on prison vans and G4S vehicles over the last year.In May 2012 the group took responsibility for sabotaging train lines at two points near Bristol disrupting thousands of commuters – a statement outlined how they damaged the signals and claimed they were targeting "employees of the Ministry of Defence".They have also published claims for low level attacks on an almost monthly basis over the last two years, including attacks on G4S vans and employees, the Conservative club and even Bristol zoo.There have been no known arrests in relation to any of the attacks claimed by the IAF around Bristol.European networkInformal Anarchist Federation is a name used by a network of insurrectionist groups across Europe and parts of Latin America. Groups are active in Spain, Mexico, Italy Greece and Chile.In Greece the Conspiracy Cells of Fire group, linked to IAF, have carried out car bomb attacks and sent parcel bombs targeting politicians, prisons and security services, while in Italy members claimed the shooting of a nuclear scientist.In the UK the group takes on a different name for each action carried out, but statements are produced in the same style using the typical language of the Insurrectionary anarchist movement and co-signed IAF.The Coming InsurrectionThe group's ideology is inspired by insurrectionary anarchists like Alfredo Bonanno and the book The Coming Insurrection, which was a huge hit with academics in recent years.The Leeds based insurrectionist publication 325 magazine has published all statements from the group along with information about anarchist prisoners across the globe.A series of similar attacks in the 70s and 80s were carried out under the name the Angry Brigade, but there is little support even among British anarchists for the current actions. The similarly named Anarchist Federation has distanced itself from the actions, along with other left groups, calling the IAF "elitist" and denouncing their violent tactics.Avon and Somerset police have stated that "Valley Road is likely to be closed for the next two or three days and single file traffic is likely to continue along the Clevedon to Portishead road at the bottom of Valley Road for a similar period. (Source)
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