The video, which you can watch later in this post, shows a group of activists filing into Pizza Express in Brighton, holding signs with pictures of animals and chanting. A man approaches the group and asks them to leave before he appears to punch the woman. It was recorded Sunday night, and Direct Action Exchange Brighton shared the video on its YouTube channel. It was posted by the Daily Mail Monday, then made the rounds on social media. Direct Action Everywhere described the woman as an “anti-speciesist” activist on its video post.
Another video on the group’s YouTube page appears to show a man grabbing an activist by the hood of her coat.
Here’s what you need to know:
Two Videos from Direct Action Everywhere Brighton Appear to Show Violence Against Protesters
Members of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) filed into the Pizza Express restaurant in Brighton Sunday as several activists recorded the demonstration on their cellphones. They formed a circle in the restaurant as one person shouted on a loudspeaker. Several of the activists were holding signs which showed pictures of animals. The signs said, “I want to live.”
At least one sign described “Rose’s law,” a reference to the “Animal Bill of Rights” and a global lockdown to demand those rights.
“In the fall of 2019, thousands of animal rights activists around the world will ask their legislators for an Animal Bill of Rights,” the Rose’s Law website says. “If legislators refuse to sit down and create a path to the Animal Bill of Rights, activists will stage the largest ever coordinated mass civil disobedience for animal rights. We know from history that protest works.”
The woman who was later punched is shown in the video holding her arms out and appears to be blocking people in the restaurant from moving through the protester’s circle.
“You’re scaring these people,” the man says, before telling them to leave with an expletive.
He appears to shove the woman, and she spins around to put her hand near his shoulder. He then appears to punch her in the face.
The man angrily stares into the camera while others put calming hands on him, trying to deescalate the situation.
Another woman entered the circle and appeared to confront the activists without violence. One of the men holding at sign chanted “It’s not food. It’s violence” at the woman.
The group chanted, “Animals want to live. Animals feel pain. Not your mum, not your milk.”
“What do we want? Animal liberation,” they chanted as they filed out of the restaurant. “When do we want it? Now.”
A second video posted on the group’s YouTube channel shows a demonstration at another restaurant where activists appeared to be assaulted. The video is paired with graphic images of slaughtered and caged animals.
“The power we have over our fellow animals is not an invitation to exploit,” a man says on the video. “Might is not right.”
The video shows a man angrily pointing into the camera and pointing toward the door. Another man appeared to grab a woman by the hood of her coat. The video appears to show the protesters being physically removed from the restaurant.
Direct Action Everywhere Demonstrated Against Amazon & Whole Foods in San Francisco Monday
Members of Direct Action Everywhere also demonstrated at Amazon and Whole Foods on Monday. More than 30 protesters were detained by the San Francisco Police Department at Whole Foods in Noe Valley after they occupied the store for more than three hours, according to CBS San Francisco Bay Area.
Several chained themselves to the store, blocking the entrance, while others scaled the building and held up a sign of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. A smaller rally was held outside Amazon headquarters, where at least four protesters were cited, according to the news station.
Whole Foods responded in a statement to the news station, which said, “Direct Action Everywhere’s repeated targeting of Whole Foods Market stores jeopardizes the safety of our customers and team members, including today at our Noe Valley store.”
“Whole Foods Market caters to customers with a wide variety of diets, and we’re proud to provide transparency in animal welfare and growing practices through third-party certifiers like Global Animal Partnership,” the statement said. “We respect everyone’s right to voice their opinion, but our responsibility is to provide a safe environment for our customers and our team members.”
DxE explained the reason for targeting Whole Foods on its website, writing, “There are many reasons to target Whole Foods, from its horrendous violence towards animals to its incredible growth based on fraud.”