"Greater London Action for Animals" was sussed pretty quickly as a money making front by those of us active in London and yes you are right about the penguins, the Born Free Foundation did all that and then Steele tried to grab the glory at the end. He was told where to get off.
The AR movement and Veganism are growing in Britain, slowly it's true but growing all the same and organisations such as SHAC and individuals such as Steele are not a part of either. We don't need them and we don't want them.
The damage done by SHAC to the bigger cause of closing HLS is probably incalcuable. I don't know if that was deliberate, I hope not, I prefer to think it was just enthusiasm that become incompetence. After 15 years in the movement I am convinced that direct action does not work is counter productive and certainly alienates the public whose support we need. Without the SHAC campaign I fully believe HLS would have closed by now, before SHAC started HLS was in a terrible financial state but the attacks on it have allowed it to get preferential funding, government support and to play the victim. A terrible result of 10 years work. The last set of financial information showed that HLS is growing !
History shows that all changes to unjust laws have come about through popular support driving legislation, the direct action element in fact slows the changes that are needed. Votes for woman is an obvious example, the laws abolishing slavery another. These campaigns were won by changing public opinion not by direct action and most of all not by drunken louts with an eye on a money making opportunity.
Best wishes on SHACWATCH
For the animals