On Monday 21st November, I attended a chicken vigil at a kosher slaughterhouse in East London. When all of us arrived between 5:00 am and 6:00 am the chickens were already stacked in the slaughterhouse yard and we were unable to stop the truck entering the premises.
I waited outside the slaughterhouse for around 3 and a half hours, and the chickens were left outside in their freezing, filthy wet crates for the entire time! We asked the rabbi to cover the chickens so that they wouldn’t get wet and if he could give mercy to at least one chicken, but he refused to respond or even make eye contact with us.
All together the birds were left outside for over 6 hours, not including however long they had been sat there before any activists had arrived. The chickens weren’t moving or making any noise, many of them were probably dead before they even entered inside the building.
A 72-year-old activist was also assaulted by one of the slaughterhouse workers in front of 2 police officers. The worker hit the man in the face, pushing his camera back whilst shouting “Don’t film me!” The police then allowed the violent worker to enter the abattoir, without any threat of arrest or even questioning him.
The police failed to do anything about the incident until about an hour after the assault had taken place. Myself and several other activists pleaded with the officers to take a statement from ourselves and the victim but they completely ignored us and locked themselves in their car!
I’m sure many of the people that watch the footage will find it shocking that the police failed to do their duty, but it is very common for the police to react this way when at vegan demonstrations. If myself or someone else had assaulted the rabbi there is no doubt in my mind that we would of been instantly detained.