A group of 35 animal rights protesters staged a protest at a popular Melbourne steakhouse on Saturday night, chanting through megaphones and waving graphic signs.
The vegan activists, who identified themselves as members of Direct Action Everywhere Melbourne and the curiously-named Melbourne Cow Save Animal Liberation Army burst into Rare Steakhouse on King St in the Melb CBD at about 6:30pm.
Video posted by Melbourne Cow Save shows the protestors occupying two levels of the restaurant, shouting slogans at bewildered patrons.
**STEAKHOUSE DISRUPTION**This evening, Direct Action Everywhere – DxE – Melbourne & Melbourne Cow Save Animal Liberation Army was out in full force!35 activists disrupted a Melbourne steakhouse to speak up for animals where their dead bodies were being consumed.In order to create change in our society, we must challenge current belief systems and force people to take a side; oppression or justice, cruelty or compassion. There is no humane way to kill someone who does not want to die.Always speak up loud and strong for those sentient beings who are oppressed. They need us to. (Please see the DxE Melbourne page tagged above, for more video of the night)Thank you so much for all the activists who were there tonight.=========================*DISRUPTIONS*Melbourne Cow Save is 100% for collaboration with other animal rights groups. As this video shows, Direct Action Everywhere – DxE – Melbourne is one of those groups we regularly collaborate with. There has been a few questions lately about Disruptions and we wanted to give you an overview here……The mission of DxE is to force animal rights into the public consciousness through nonviolent direct action. Disruptions are never about targeting individuals, but rather the system, and confronting a normalized practice of that system is one way to do that. This is done in places where violence is being committed and consumed, with speak outs, protesting and chanting.We aim to create the debate and get animal rights onto the agenda."Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored." – Martin Luther King, Jr.This is also a good clip to watch.https://youtu.be/2-bE1T7mS8s
Posted by Melbourne Cow Save on Saturday, 27 January 2018
Rare manager Arryanne McIntosh told News.com.au:
It was hard to communicate with them. I asked who was in charge and one lady said, ‘We all are.’ We were trying to talk to them but they were quite in-your-face with talking and speaking over the top of you – they were very loud, yelling.
Restaurant staff called the police, as customers in the venue became “very upset“.
There were a couple of tables that were very upset, to be honest, one table in particular was very emotional. We just did the bet we could to calm the people, give them comfort that the police were coming.
Staff and customers were reportedly pretty freaked out by the fact that a number of protestors were shoving phones and cameras into their faces, despite being asked not to film them.
Reactions on social media have, of course, been mixed. While some are praising the group for their direct approach, others – including other vegans – are not impressed.
One commenter identified themselves as vegan, and wrote:
This is not cool. Best way for non-vegans to think ill of vegans. People are spending money, buying a meal, uniting with family, celebrating their life’s joys, on dates. You have successfully ruined these moments for them, they will never want to hear from a vegan again.
Gotta be said, busting into a steak restaurant and yelling “It’s not food, it’s violence” is not exactly doing a whole lot to counter the dominant perceptions of vegans.
Police say the protestors left peacefully, and there were neither injuries nor arrests.