DxE is an international network known for their nonviolent direct action for so-called ‘animal liberation’. Members of the Brighton branch of DxE gathered in the Western Road Waitrose supermarket wearing black and white to ‘symbolise peace and death’. They were there to highlight what they claim to be the inhumane welfare of turkeys over the festive season. After the Christmas period ended, protest efforts continued into January. Most notably, the protest on January 19 focussed on the fur industry.
On January 19 members of DxE Brighton gathered in the streets of Brighton calling out businesses for selling leather and fur in Brighton. Roughly 20 protestors attended this event, both in the streets of Brighton and shops that sell fur. One DxE Brighton organiser stated that the businesses “…are profiting from animals being murdered and objectified”.
The Brighton chapter of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) held a protest in a Waitrose meat aisle in the lead up to Christmas. The Badger contacted DxE Brighton regarding this protest. When asked about the reasons for the protest, a spokeswoman told us: “As animal rights activists we want to create major change towards ending speciesism (the assumption of human superiority leading to harm towards animals). Our main aim is to disrupt normalised activities that harm animals – such as buying dead animals in a supermarket and bring attention to the cause.”
DxE Brighton informed The Badger that 20 activists attended the protest. The spokeswoman for Brighton DxE told us they chose Waitrose because the supermarket “prides itself on the ‘high welfare’ of the animals whose bodies they sell”. DxE Brighton aims to target businesses that “commodifies the use of animals”.
When asked about the responses they have received from this protest, DxE Brighton informed The Badger that they “have had very mixed responses from the public…the vast media coverage has led to countless people talking about animal rights…any people who would otherwise not be discussing these issues, are now talking about veganism and animal rights activists at the dining room table.” DxE Brighton called into question whether the law itself is correct in regard to animal rights.
When Waitrose was asked for a comment on the protest by The Badger, they stated: “We pride ourselves on exceptional animal welfare, with our turkeys farmed to high standards at farms we know and trust.”
Due to this protest and subsequent media coverage, three members of DxE appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to talk about their cause and their protests. DxE told The Badger “It is a shame that there was no interest in hearing what we had to say. Despite this we consider it a great success as it has sparked so many conversations.”
DxE Brighton have made the headlines previously with their protest at the Brazilian restaurant, Touro Steakhouse in Brighton on 24 November. During the protest, audio clips of animals being slaughtered was played, chants were shouted and placards depicting photos of animals were displayed.
A Sussex Police spokesperson confirmed that ‘no arrests in relation to either event’ in the North Laines or Waitrose in Brighton were made.