Cassie King

Published on:

October 26, 2018

Hundreds “Haunt” SF Streets with Smoke Flares and Glowing Animal Masks, Stopping Traffic as They March for Animal Rights

Artistic Demonstration Dramatized Animals Killed for Food “Haunting” the City


  Photos by Michael Goldberg/DxE
Photos by Michael Goldberg/DxE

October 28, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Over 200 activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), many wearing glowing paper animal masks, stopped traffic for more than 15 minutes at the busy intersection of Geary and Powell Streets in downtown San Francisco Saturday night, chanting their message to raise awareness of the 150 million animals killed and used for food each year for San Francisco alone. DxE says the action was meant to bring the animals’ voices back to life, amplifying their cries for all of San Francisco to hear.

The activists were also marching to honor the brief lives of animals such as Angel, a dying calf that DxE activists tried to rescue from a California farm just this past Sunday, but who was taken from the arms of an activist by police as she was being carried to safety. They also spoke and displayed signage in remembrance of 9 hens taken from activists’ arms and later killed by authorities during a September 29 demonstration at a Petaluma chicken farm which resulted in multiple felony charges for 58 activists.

The march has been viewed over 40,000 times on various social media platforms as of Sunday morning..

“San Francisco is a special place with special people,” said organizer Priya Sawhney, a human rights advocate who previously worked at San Francisco’s Tenderloin Housing Clinic. “It’s time it leads the way for animals just as it has for other marginalized groups historically.”

The march began at Union Square where activists blocked off the Geary/Powell intersection and using a mobile sound system delivered an animal liberation speech. They headed down Powell to Market and poured into Westfield San Francisco Centre, filling the food court, then heading up to the next level, before leaving the building and heading up Market Street, completely shutting down the right lane of traffic. The march ended in front of city hall with a “wish burning ceremony,” where the 200 activists lit small pieces of colored paper on which they had each written a wish for the animals killed for food for San Francisco.

Other highlights of the peaceful march included activists holding colored smoke flares and hundreds of white flowers, as well as emotional group singing. Activists say they hope San Franciscans will contemplate the millions and millions of lives that were needlessly lost in 2018 alone, and join them to help create a better world for animals.

DxE’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the recent effort to ban fur products in  San Francisco. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for these investigations and rescues. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.