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Friday, 16 November, 2001, 18:25 GMT
Vigil marks hunger striker funeral
Barry Horne
Barry Horne was serving an 18-year jail sentence
A silent vigil took place in Northampton on Friday before the funeral of animal rights activist Barry Horne, who died in hospital after a hunger strike in prison.

About 400 people marched though the streets with signs and banners calling for an end to animal cruelty.

Horne, a former dustman from Northampton, died on 5 November in hospital from liver failure after refusing food at a high-security Worchestershire prison.

He was serving an 18-year sentence for a nationwide fire-bombing campaign.

He was prepared to die a long and lingering death for a good reason

John Curtin, animal liberation campaigner

Animal rights supporters from around the UK and from as far away as Belgium joined the silent procession through Northampton town centre.

Horne's body was carried through the streets in a 'green' burial pod.

He was an ardent fan of Northampton Town FC, known as The Cobblers, and asked to be buried wearing the team shirt.

John Curtin, an animal liberation campaigner from Coventry, said there would be a pagan ceremony for Horne.

"He was a role model for courage. He was a brave man who took politicians to task," said Mr Curtin.

"He was prepared to die a long and lingering death for a good reason: the broken Labour promises to hold a Royal Commission on vivisection.

'Urban terrorist'

Horne was sentenced in December 1997 after being convicted at Bristol Crown Court of causing damage costing millions of pounds to shops in arson and attempted arson attacks.

The judge described him as "an urban terrorist".

In one attack he burned a branch of Boots on the Isle of Wight causing 3m of damage because it was selling animal-tested medicine.

He came close to death while staging a 68-day hunger strike in 1998 in protest against vivisection.

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