Windsor animal rights activists push back against Bill 156
WINDSOR, ONT -- A group of protesters unfurled a 'Go Vegan for Regan' banner over the E.C. Row Expressway at the Central Avenue overpass to push back against a new law meant to protect farmers from animal rights activists.
The Windsor-Detroit Animal Save group are sending a message to lawmakers in Toronto that the recently passed Bill 156 is seen as a ‘gag law.’
“Bill 156 is a just a horrible, horrendous, unconstitutional law that’s impeding our freedom of expression under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Jolene Bulmer, co-organizer of the Windsor-Detroit Animal Save group.
Saturday’s protest comes on the three-month anniversary of the passing of animal rights activist, Regan Russell. She was struck and killed by a truck while protesting outside of a Toronto slaughterhouse in June.
Bulmer says the group gathered today to honour Russell and to push the government to reverse its legislation.
“She wouldn’t have lost her life because the government decided that it’s more important to hide criminal animal cruelty than it is to protect activists, than it is to expose the truth than it is to actually hold these farmers and these slaughterhouse workers accountable for their actions. It’s despicable,” said Bulmer.
Standing on the Central Avenue overpass, the group chanted while cars passed by “What do we want? Animal liberation. When do we want it? Now. What was her name? Regan.”
“All of us here are Regan Russell and trying to get her message out that it’s not right for animals to suffer, that it’s not right to not be able to tell the truth about their suffering and people need to make the connection of why do we love one and eat the other,” said the group’s co-organizer, Kelly Neuber.
The Ford government argued Bill 156 was needed to protect farm animals, the food supply and farmers from trespassers and those engaging in unsafe interactions with animals and transport vehicles.
Protest organizers argue they've been sidelined. “The animals are here with us, they’re not here for us. We’re all the same and no one is free until we are all free,” said Neuber.