MILITANT vegans are planning a campaign of “direct action” as a way of forcing the government to ban everyone from eating meat, fish and dairy products.
The group, known as Animal Rebellion, hope to shut down London markets and a government ministry as part of what they say is a “people’s revolution” in the next two weeks.
Around two dozen men and women are said to have formulated their plan during a meeting of the group in a disused office building in central Newcastle recently.
It’s members hope to bring thousands of supporters out onto the streets across the UK and cause a major disruption to the country’s food supplies, the Daily Mail reports, with those taking part being prepared to be arrested.
One speaker at the meeting is quoted by the paper as saying: “It doesn’t matter if you are the nice one who didn’t want to get arrested, or you’re the one at the front who did. Everyone who goes down there [to London] has to be aware of that, and make sure it’s not going to be stopped by a few people getting pulled away [by the police].”
It is claimed the Animal Rebellion group is an “extremist faction” of the wider eco-protesters called Extinction Rebellion although it is not known if there are any links between the two groups.
Extinction Rebellion eco-warriors managed to cover themselves in fake blood when they tried to use a fire engine to cover the Treasury in fake blood on Thursday.
The publicity stunt though went badly wrong though when the bungling activists misjudged the pressure of the fire hose and covered the road and themselves in the red liquid.
Protesters for the eco-group are hoping to attract 20,000 activists to London next week as part of a protest against what they see as “government inaction” over the issue of climate change.
They hope to blockade City Airport and close roads around Westminster.
The Animal Rebellion members are said to be planning to “occupy” both Smithfield and Billingsgate markets, where many of London’s restaurants and takeaways source their meat and fish.
They are also believed to be wanting to blockade the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as well as facilities belonging to Cargill and JBS, two of the UK’s largest meat firms next week.
It is also thought they want to target the offices of Red Tractor, the assurance scheme that certifies British meat has been responsibly sourced.
Members of the Newcastle group of Animal Rebellion are said to have been trained in what to do during the protest to avoid the more serious criminal charges.
The main speaker of the meeting, identified as Jane Tredgett, 52, by the paper, told the gathering: “For a blockade or an obstruction of the highway, the police can only hold you for 24 hours.
“They’re going to put you away for a maximum of 24 hours, release you, and then it will go to court several months later. Usually, you’ll get a couple of hundred pounds in fines and a smack on the wrist, and maybe a restraining order — if you’ve done it a few times — in terms of where you can go and where you can’t go.”
After the pep talk the group then are said to have done a series of role-play games about how to behave with the police during their “non-violent direct action”.
Tactics included refusing to comment to questions from the police and to make their body go limp if officers tried to arrest them.
Animal Rebellion is a relatively new group, being thought to have formed in June when representatives of 20 animal rights groups – including The Vegan Society, Peta, and vegan charity Viva! – met to discuss a campaign of “non-violent civil disobedience” that would force the government to “end the industries of animal agriculture and fishing and [lead] a transition to a sustainable and just plant-based food system”.
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The group was then registered with Companies House.
Its two directors are Dan Kidby, 27, who describes himself as a “pro-intersectional vegan anarchist”, and Mark Westcombe, a 49-year-old lecturer at Lancaster University, who is listed as a Green Party local election candidate.
Mrs Tredgett is said to run the group’s “direct action” training programme.
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