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.
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.