Six Animal Rights Activists Were Arrested Over the Weekend. What Happened?
by Sorav Malhotra, Sentient Media
October 7, 2021
In the early morning hours of October 3rd, 2021, six animal rights activists were arrested after leaving their houses. The arrests came just hours before a planned demonstration, organized by global animal rights group Meat The Victims (MTV), was supposed to take place at Hybrid Turkeys breeding farm in southern Ontario.
The activists—Amy Soranno, Nick Schafer, Jen Deighan-Schenk, David Magina, Bridget Armastus, and Kirsten Little—were apprehended by Waterloo Regional Police at 3 a.m. before they left for the facility. All six activists were arrested for “attempted break and enter” and “attempted mischief.” All of them have since been released on bail with “no contact” orders, meaning they are not allowed to speak with each other, and a separate condition prevents them from contacting the farm. Their first court date is set for November 17 in the Ontario Court of Justice.
Amy Soranno recalls her 15-hour experience in police custody. “In jail, it was cold and miserable, as it’s intended to be.” Every hour or so, she said they would whisper to each other, “Are you OK?”
“I kept thinking about the mother pigs kept in gestation crates and the egg-laying hens in battery cages, the small space I was confined to was a mansion in comparison,” said Soranno. “I could move and stretch if I wanted to. And eventually, I was set free.” Most farmed animals don’t share the same fate.
Meanwhile, close to 200 activists from across Canada and the United States staged a mass protest outside of Hybrid Turkeys…
… Earlier this year, Canada’s only national animal law advocacy organization, Animal Justice, filed suit against the Ontario government challenging Bill 156 on the basis that it conceals animal suffering and violates people’s Charter-protected rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. This is the first lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of an ag-gag law in Canada. “This dangerous law was pushed by the powerful farm lobby to silence whistleblowers and conceal animal cruelty from the public,” Camille Labchuk, the executive director of Animal Justice, said in a statement. “We are hopeful the court will strike down this troubling ag-gag law and make it clear that Ontario and other provinces cannot interfere with Charter rights to protect the profits of the meat industry.”
Sentient Media’s Sorav Malhotra spoke to Jen Deighan-Schenk and Amy Soranno, two of the activists arrested on Sunday morning about the importance of animal rights campaigns like MTV and civil disobedience.
Sorav Malhotra: What do you hope to accomplish from the MTV action?
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