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Three Animal Rising Supporters Convicted Over Big Ben Paint Spray

Updated: Jun 3


  • Today (10/8/23), at City of London Magistrates Court, three individuals were found guilty of criminal damage in relation to a paint-spraying protest at the Houses of Parliament on 7/9/22. As part of the action, individuals sprayed white paint, to represent milk, on the walls and gates outside Big Ben [1].

  • This was an action taken by Animal Rising (then known as Animal Rebellion) during the dairy distribution disruption that was happening over the entire south of the UK, known as the “Plant-Based Future” campaign, that caused empty shelves across the South East.

Three individuals have been found guilty of criminal damage after a one-day trial relating to their actions in central London last September. One of them was sentenced, with the judge handing down a £1,300 fine, and the other two individuals will return for sentencing next month.

Louisa Hillwood, 29, an Animal Rising spokesperson, said:
“I’m hugely disappointed that the judiciary is still choosing to side with the criminal Government, and with each ruling against peaceful protestors they are only losing more legitimacy. We know that our current food system is causing serious harm to a whole host of animals; captive and wild, human and non-human.”
“The dairy industry is built on the exploitation of a mammal’s reproductive system, with females artificially inseminated and their children separated from them shortly after birth. As a woman, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for these poor individuals to have this repeatedly done to them.”
“If we change our food system for the better, we stand a chance at saving the lives of millions of people. For this reason, I feel obliged to continue taking nonviolent civil resistance against our government that has betrayed us all.”

While at the court today the punishment of peaceful protests continued, it will soon be time for the Government’s turn to face the judiciary. In June this year, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government’s Food Strategy may be illegal in relation to net zero policies and granted a full judicial review at the Court of Appeal that is expected to take place this October [2].

The extreme weather this year in the UK, which has been attributed to global warming, is causing real difficulties for farmers already. An extremely dry June followed by extremely wet July has left farmers scrambling to get crops harvested in the isolated dry periods, worried about their yields, and already starting to use up their winter feed supplies.


A recent study, released just last month from Oxford University, backed up previous studies and showed that a plant-based diet significantly has the lowest impact in all areas analysed including emissions, land-use, water-use and biodiversity loss [3]. Animal Rising is calling for a rapid shift to a safe, secure, and climate-resilient plant-based food system that works for farmers, and allows for rewilding of the freed-up land and a draw-down of huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


ENDS


Word count: 489


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Notes to Editor:




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