The Brighton branch of the so-called ‘animal liberation’ non-violent protest group DxE have conducted a protest against the dairy industry by targeting stores in the North Laines.
The Brighton DxE activists aimed to expose “the dairy’s dark side”. They decided to do this by protesting a Starbucks’ branch on Jubilee Street.
After the protest finished at this location, DxE moved on to Brighton Sausage Co. on Gloucester Road. The protests took place on Sunday 24 February and began at 1pm.
There was an increased police presence in the North Laines before the protests began. Police could be heard discussing possible locations for the protests as DxE hadn’t announced where their protests would take place before they began.
Police were seen speaking to staff at Artemis, a shop that sells fur, in the North Laines which has been a previous target of a previous Brighton DxE protest on January 19.
The owner of Artemis, the fur shop targeted on January 19 told The Badger: “Shouting insults and descending on one person in a small shop is beyond a peaceful protest.
“I felt threatened and bullied and unable to leave my shop. I hope they all learn from this and realise it was not peaceful.
“The people of Brighton have been so supportive, thank you Brighton”.
A spokesperson for DxE Brighton told The Badger about the Sunday 24 protests:
“Today, during the month of Februdairy, the dairy industries failed attempt to ignite the public’s interest in bovine breastmilk consumption, DxE Brighton activists walked into mega-chain Starbucks to expose some of the hard realities of the dairy industry”
Sussex Police told The Badger “At 1.10pm on Sunday 24 February police were called to the Starbucks in Jubilee Street in Brighton, where around 12 people were taking part in a vegan protest. The group left at around 2pm. There were no arrests.”
Sussex Police previously attended the protests by DxE Brighton that occurred at a Brighton Waitrose Western Road 16 December 2018. Sussex Police confirmed that on this occasion no arrests were made.
After the DxE Brighton protests on Sunday 24 February, Starbucks told The Badger: “We only work with suppliers across our business who are committed to doing the right thing.
“Our contracted dairy supplier for milk and cream in the UK is part of the Red Tractor Assurance scheme to ensure high welfare standards apply throughout the animal’s life.
“They are also committed to driving up animal welfare standards based on the five freedoms defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
“In our stores, we cater for all our customers’ dietary needs and taste preferences so always make sure there is a wide range of food and drink choices available. This includes dairy alternatives such as soy, coconut, almond and oat.”
DxE Brighton told The Badger that they ran this protest “during the month of Februdairy” to “expose some of the hard realities of the dairy industry”. Protestors entered the Starbucks branch with placards and signs which accompanied their message, which they voiced via a megaphone.
The protest then moved from Starbucks and moved on to their second protest site: Brighton Sausage Co.
Here, the protesters continued to share their message from Gloucester Road, outside Brighton Sausage Co. Brighton Sausage Co. have been approached for comment.
The protestors then finished their activism and the action stopped. The protests were live streamed on DxE Brighton’s facebook page.
One of DxE Brighton’s organisers was heard stating: “The truth is the dairy industry is incredibly cruel and most people have no idea how much suffering and death is involved”.
The University of Sussex VegSoc told The Badger that “VegSoc supports any individual, organisation or group which aims and succeeds/is succeeding to expose and change the maltreatment of animals, the environment and the humans of Earth.
“The controversies and uproar caused by the media have been recently used as a way of creating an ‘us versus them’ mentality between vegans and non-vegan readers.
“However this is an attempt to hush the real, and frankly simple, message which is ‘Look at what is happening to animals, acknowledge this horrible truth and be the change along with many others’.
“We support justice at VegSoc.”