On Saturday 3rd March, as part of the national Animal Rights Action Weekend, activists organised a protest against Air France-KLM at Bristol Airport.
Air France-KLM is one of the main airlines transporting animals for vivisection – stealing animals from the wild in countries like Mauritius, Vietnam and China, to be tortured inside labs around the world. However, with it being the weekend of action, the police seemed determined to cause as much disruption as possible. But, despite their best efforts, activists were still able to outsmart the cops (perhaps not much of a challenge) and hold the demonstration as planned…
Once they reached Bristol Airport, the group headed straight for the departures area, located the Air France-KLM check in desk and performed a publicity stunt to highlight the bloody business that the airline is involved in. Wearing t-shirts stating “transported & tortured by Air France-KLM animal killers” and ‘bleeding’ from head wounds, activists staggered to the check in, followed by 2 angry members of ‘staff’ wearing high vis jackets with “KLM cargo” written on them.
The impatient cargo workers began trying to round up the injured people, demanding they cooperate in being returned to the transit area. However, the terrified victims attempted to drag themselves away to safety, begging the other airport staff and the surprised customers for help.
The scared and desperate activists began pleading with the staff to let them go and to spare them from being sent to be murdered inside labs around the country. With tears in their eyes, they screamed for someone to help them, to save them from being imprisoned, beaten, poisoned and killed. They cried for their homes and families, which they longed to be returned to. But instead of sympathy from anyone at Air France-KLM, the cargo workers simply shouted at them to be quiet, called them names, made fun of them and tried to beat them into cooperating.
The cargo workers asked the other airport staff for assistance, but were annoyed to discover that they were reluctant to get their hands dirty in public – apparently they prefer it when the violence they’re responsible for is perpetrated out of view of the public.
However, considering how disgusted the public were to learn about the unwilling passengers that Air France-KLM forces onto its flights, its no surprise that those involved in the trafficking and abuse want to keep the truth quiet.
Eventually a few police officers arrived on the scene, but as usual, rather than protect the abused the cops were only interested in helping the exploiters. Without taking any time to assess the situation or ascertain what was happening, the cops began arresting anyone involved in the protest.
Over the next few hours 6 activists were arrested, while the others dispersed. The cops then used the arrests as a convenient excuse to cause disruption at the Action Weekend, hassling the various venues being used, smashing a window and seizing a minibus (used to drive to the demo), surrounding and searching a national meeting (unsuccessfully) looking for activists from the demo and stopping and searching vehicles.
Even with the cops having done their best to harass peaceful activists, the protest (and in fact, the entire weekend) was a success. Once again, the public were made aware of Air France-KLM’s involvement in the sickening vivisection industry and the millions of animals that will suffer and die for their blood money profits.
Until Air France-KLM finally join the many other airlines that refuse to transport animals to be abused and killed inside torture labs, activists will continue to highlight their disgusting business.