On 14th February, St. Valentine’s Day, six people were arrested during a protest at Westminster Bridge in London, UK, five of them vegan activists and the sixth a member of the public who was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after allegedly assaulting a protester. 

The protestors had blocked the road with a candlelit Valentine’s Day dinner scene featuring one of the protestors dressed as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and another as a representative of animal farming and fishing, in front of a banner reading “Love To All.”  Animal Rebellion, which organised the protest, said that the act was symbolic of Sunak being “in love with industries causing the climate and ecological crises.”

Animal Rebellion confirmed in a statement that none of its supporters will be pressing charges against the member of the public arrested. Orla Coghlan, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion, said, “We fully accept responsibility for the disruption to the public caused by these actions and that it can naturally lead to anger. I want to reach out personally to the individual who was arrested for intervening today and invite them to sit down and talk with anyone from Animal Rebellion so we can move forward and resolve this situation with love and compassion.”

Joshua Lane, a member of Animal Rebellion, said in a statement: “This Valentine’s Day we’re calling on the Government to get out of its toxic relationship with animal farming and fishing and, instead, show commitment to tackling the climate and ecological emergencies with a plant-based food system. Rishi Sunak could lead the way towards a world where humans and nonhumans alike are free from the worst impacts of climate breakdown, in a nation of animal lovers it’s the only sensible choice.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.