Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Charges dropped against meat packers protesters
January 14, 2015 Toronto Sun
TORONTO - Charges against six animal rights activists who protested outside a Toronto slaughterhouse last November were dropped in court Wednesday. The activists were part of a group that blocked trucks transporting cows to St. Helen’s Meat Packers in the Junction area on Nov. 6, 2014.
At the time, Toronto Police arrested a total of seven activists, charging them with mischief. Two of them were also charged with assaulting a police officer, their lawyer Camille Labchuck said.
She said the Crown told court the charges were dropped because it “was not in the public interest to prosecute” the protesters.
Paul York, one of the organizers of the protest, described the protest as a non-violent civil disobedience action. “It’s a total victory because we didn’t even have to pay a fine or do community service,” added York, one of those whose charges were dropped in a Finch Ave. West court Wednesday. “Legally, it’s a complete victory for us. And by extension it’s a victory for the animals.”
The protest was captured by Sun photographer Stan Behal. Activists and police faced off for two hours before several activists were arrested to clear a path for the trucks.
York said the protest was meant to draw “attention in a very dramatic way to why animal exploitation is wrong.” York refused to rule out similar protests in the future, adding “ultimately we’re hoping people will become vegans.”
Labchuck, lawyer for the activists, said she was “very pleased” with the Crown’s decision to drop charges. “They organized a very peaceful protest,” she said. “It was done in a sort of Gandhian tradition, really.” One female activist still faces charges of assaulting a police officer and criminal mischief. That case is working its way through the courts, Labchuck said.
Comment: These activists should never have been charged. They are not criminals. The vast majority of animals raised for food in Canada live on industrial sites where they are cruelly confined, unable to express normal behaviours, and forced to slaughter, their lives violently snuffed out, all because of selfish human want.
Under our archaic laws wherein animals are regarded as chattel property, this is perfectly legal, but is completely unethical and abhorrent to any human being with an ounce of compassion. Please add your voice to the growing number of caring people creating social change and pursuing justice on behalf of all animals.