San Francisco Activists March Through City in Global Protests
San Francisco, August 24, 2013 – Today, San Francisco animal rights advocates joined activists in 40 cities and 16 countries worldwide in an international march for animal liberation. The “We are all Earthlings” march was held to protest violence against nonhuman animals across a wide spectrum, including in food, clothing, entertainment, and research. In San Francisco, activists marched down Market Street, and stops along the route included Senator Diane Feinstein’s office, for her sponsorship of the controversial Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), McDonald’s, for its sale of animals as food, and City Hall, for its failure to act on a 2008 Commission of Animal Welfare and Control report that found “sad and inhumane” conditions at the San Francisco Zoo. At each location, activists performed a choreographed ceremony, wearing blindfolds and holding signs that asked “Blind to Injustice?” and then removing those blindfolds to symbolize that they will no longer be blind to the massive violence against nonhuman animals.
“As more and more people realize that nonhuman animals deserve lives free of suffering, it is becoming increasingly clear that this means ending – and not simply modifying –the violence inherent in animal foods, textiles, testing, and entertainment,” said march participant Brian Burns. “Today’s march emphasizes that we have long been blind to the violence that happens to animals with whom we do not share our homes. But today we open our eyes to the fact that all animals want to live out their lives, just as much as any companion animal.”
The international march for animal liberation was originally conceived in Tel Aviv, where animal rights activism has surged and the vegan population has increased to 5% over the past nine months. Direct Action Everywhere has taken the lead role in organizing solidarity demonstrations all over the world. More than 8000 activists were expected to march in U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, and Seattle, and abroad in Canada, Costa Rica, the UK, Belgium, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, the Czech Republic, Chile, Slovenia, Sweden, and South Africa. The theme of the march, “We are all Earthlings,” aims to unite humans and nonhumans in their desires to live out their lives free of suffering, exploitation, and untimely death.
In the United States alone, approximately 10 billion animals (not including fish and other sea animals) are killed annually for food and millions more for leather, fur, and other textiles. Thousands of animals are held captive in zoos and other entertainment industries. The number of animals used annually for vivisection is at least 1 million, according to the USDA, but the industry is not required to report its use of rodents, which comprise 80-90 percent of the animals used.
Direct Action Everywhere is a network of animal rights activists working to challenge speciesism throughout society. We use creative protest to challenge the use of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.