Group called ‘Angry Foxes Cell’ says it is behind blaze on Miller construction site

Portishead fire

A group of anarchists has claimed responsibility for this week’s devastating fire at a Miller construction site.

The fire, at the site of the £16m Black Rock police firearms training centre in Portishead, Bristol, raged all day yesterday, with firefighters remaining at the site today damping down the smouldering ruins.

A group calling itself the ‘Angry Foxes Cell’ working “in collaboration with ACAB” described the attack in a post on the Indymedia website, saying it launched it to coincide with the start of a government badger cull pilot programme, which was being enforced by the police.

The post said: “The (under construction) Police Firearms Training Centre in Black Rock Quarry, Portishead, situated directly beneath the Avon and Somerset Police regional headquarters was our target on the night of 26th August, and we left it with flames licking high.

“…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 to realise how easy it was to enter their gun club.”

The post added: “The night of our action coincides with the announced start of the planned cull of wild badgers in the South West of England. 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. Because the state and corporate security forces are integral to this world of exploitation and authority.”

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police told the BBC that a forensic team will be investigating the incident, and that the group’s claims were “one of the lines of enquiry” but it was too early to decide “cause or responsibility”.

In a statement yesterday the police said the fire had caused extensive damage and had a devastating impact.  

Avon and Somerset assistant chief constable, Dave Hayler, said: “This is a very sad day for us. 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

“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. The fire service will be on site for some days to come until they’re absolutely satisfied that any danger of the fire relighting is exhausted.”