Okanagan animal rights activists arrested before protests start – Penticton Western News
Leading Kelowna animal rights activists Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer were to join other activists at a turkey farm in Ontario for a planned protest.
But before they could go out to meet everyone at Hybrid Turkeys, they were pulled over by Waterloo Regional Police.
Soranno said it was an unexpected showdown.
“Some (were) dragged out of their cars and slammed to the ground, although none of us resisted arrest or did anything other than leave our homes to attend a demonstration,” she declared.
“We have all been charged with attempted break and enter and attempted mischief, and we have been taken into custody.”
In total, four other activists were arrested along with Schafer and Soranno: Jen Deighan-Schenk, David Magina, Bridget Armastus and Kirsten Little.
Schafer said they weren’t doing anything wrong.
âAs Canadians we have the right to protest and we were just trying to exercise that right. All we did was walk out the doors of our homes before we were ambushed and arrested, âhe said.
Although the main organizers were all arrested hours before the start of the protest, it still went on, although not quite as planned. The fact that this has continued, however, is something Soranno is proud of, as he has always made known the cruel conditions of factory farms.
âWe have drawn attention to the sickening cruelty that is happening at Hybrid Turkeys, the world’s largest supplier of turkey,â she said.
“With no on-farm animal welfare laws and no government inspectors to proactively monitor farm conditions, one of the only ways that on-farm abuse has come to light is when whistleblowers and activists expose them. “
She added that animal farming gag laws, like the one introduced in Ontario that clamp down on animal rights activists, are proof of the lack of transparency in animal farming.
“Aggressively tracking us down and arresting us, filling prison cells with peaceful activists and deploying several dozen police officers to stand in a line surrounding the perimeter of Hybrid Turkeys is an alarming use of police resources,” she said. .
“I’m still trying to put the pieces together as to why and how the police devote so many resources to stopping and silencing peaceful protesters when rampant violent crime requires those resources,” Schafer said.
As Thanksgiving drew near, Soranno had this to say.
âOur choices as consumers are important. Since we don’t need to eat animals, the best and easiest thing we can do to protect animals is to just leave them off our plates, âshe said.
âThis violence will stop when we stop paying to make it happen. “
Soranno and Schafer are two of the “Excelsior 4” – animal rights activists who staged a similar protest at the Excelsior pig farm in Abbotsford. Soranno and Schafer, as well as Roy Sasano and Geoff Regier, face a total of 21 charges.