Slaughterhouse Blockaded!
from No Compromise Issue 4
 

Petaluma, CA -- Unsure of what lay ahead, 15 activists from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area drove through the early morning darkness towards a common enemy - Rancho slaughterhouse. Armed with 3 concrete barrels weighing over 800 lbs. each, lockboxes, and bike locks the objective was a simple one, to prevent any vehicles from entering or leaving the facility.

It was 5 am when we backed our pickup truck into the main entrance and began the arduous task of setting the barrels in place. While two activists locked both of their arms inside the barrels, completely blocking the road entering the slaughterhouse, another activist pulled a gate shut and locked his neck and arms around it and its connecting post. After covering Rancho in animal rights slogans written in chalk, we all sat down and waited for the trucks to arrive.

After having been in place for approximately an hour, a truck from inside moved towards the gate attempting to leave. At the other gate several men just getting off of "work" and heading towards their other jobs were quite irritated to find that they had no way of leaving. At approximately the same time a truck carrying "spent" dairy cows, veal calves, and others to their death approached the activists. The driver did not stop the truck and continued towards the activists. Several others jumped in front of the truck finally bringing him to a stop. After a short period of male posturing on the part of the Rancho staff, a bewildered police force arrived.

The blockade worked as planned for at least 4 hours, backing up traffic headed both in and out of the facility. Eventually the police were able to move the line of barrels out of the way of traffic at great risk to the activists who were locked down. Had one barrel fallen or been moved incorrectly, broken arms would have been the result. As it was, the procedure tweaked the arms of the activists putting them in great pain for the half hour that it took the police to move them out of the way. Had we not left pieces of metal bar sticking up from the tops of the barrels to be used by us for leverage in maneuvering them, it is quite unlikely that the police could have moved the activists out of the way. Unfortunately it was a lesson learned the hard way. A locksmith was able to remove the bike lock from the activist blocking the other gate and although he was still lockboxed to it, they were able to swing the gate open and move traffic through.

As a last ditch effort one activist jumped and attempted to lock down to a truck as it started to move through the gate, but was nabbed by police and arrested in the process. We watched with sadness and frustration as cows and calves were shocked, poked, and herded into corrals to be murdered. After an hour more of protest the activists unlocked themselves and were taken away to jail. Although we were quite successful in disrupting business for the day, it was frustrating to know that animals were still slaughtered. We will not be stopped however in returning and continuing to fight until we achieve the ultimate goal of total animal liberation.