Love in action: Animal Rebellion and XR carry out climate protests for Valentine’s Day

An Animal Rebellion protester sits on the road holding a sign saying "stop breaking hearts - be part of a plast-based future"
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Vegan activists blocked a road near Westminster on 14 February with a Valentine’s-themed protest. At the same time, climate activists carried out a Valentine’s Day protest at Luton Airport.

Activists from the group Animal Rebellion lit flares as they sat at a table with a candelabra and champagne flutes on Westminster Bridge in central London. One wore a mask with the face of prime minister Rishi Sunak, in a protest against government subsidies for animal farming and fishing. At the same time, other activists sat on the road with placards.

The group tweeted:

Where is the love in a food system contributing to climate destruction and ecological collapse?

It called for a “plant-based future” instead.

Police said they arrested five activists for blocking the road and a sixth person for assaulting a protester.

The activist group posted a video showing several men roughly pulling away the protesters and dragging them along the ground as a crowd watched and drivers honked horns. Meanwhile, a police officer grappled with a man after he pulled one protester to the side of the road.

Further protests

Animal Rebellion began as a sister organisation to Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate campaigners. It has freed laboratory test dogs, occupied dairy delivery depots, and blockaded the UK plant for McDonald’s burger patties.

On the same day as the Animal Rebellion protest, XR activists blocked entrances to private jet terminals at Luton Airport. In a press release, the group said it had:

blockaded the entrances to Luton Airport’s Harrods Aviation and Signature private jet terminals to demand the government take urgent action to ban private jets, tax frequent flyers and make wealthy polluters pay

XR said the action came as part of the wider Make Them Pay campaign. The initiative, led by XR, Scientist Rebellion, and Stay Grounded, also led people to disrupt a private jet conference in Brussels on 14 February.

Featured image via Animal Rebellion/Twitter

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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