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Animal activists banned via Whole Foods’ restraining order hold 24-hour fast & protest in Oakland
by DxE
Wednesday Nov 27th, 2019 11:45 PM
Activists say Whole Foods’ parent-company Amazon continually seeks to silence animal cruelty and transparency concerns with heavy-handed legal actions
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(Almira Tanner — an investigator facing seven felony charges after exposing criminal animal cruelty at Whole Foods factory farms in Sonoma County — is fasting in protest. Video :56)

NOVEMBER 27, 2019, OAKLAND, CA — Over a dozen activists with the grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) — including some facing felony charges for investigating factory farm suppliers to Whole Foods — are currently holding a 24+ hour overnight fast outside the Oakland Whole Foods store.

Thursday, they will be joined by 50+ others for a storefront protest. Activists will be "swarming" traffic — blocking traffic for a few minutes, letting traffic pass, and repeating. The action will finish with a “die-in” on the sidewalk outside the store.

Last month, an Alameda County, California judge signed a temporary restraining order against DxE, its co-founder Wayne Hsiung, and dozens of unnamed individuals and affiliates. The complaint, which seeks to restrain protests against Whole Foods at all California locations, is set to go to trial in February 2020.

DxE says the filing is the latest in the company’s ongoing effort to prevent exposure of disturbing animal abuse at Whole Foods farms:

• In March 2017, a teenage animal rights activist was charged with felonies for sprinkling flower petals in a meat case at a Colorado Whole Foods. Whole Foods litigation counsel subsequently sent a letter to the district attorney asking for her punishment, and the teenager was threatened with removal from her family.

• In April 2018, Hsiung was arrested and charged with “threatening bodily injury” after asking questions at a Colorado Whole Foods about the conditions at the company’s meat suppliers.

• In June, an activist who attempted to ask Jeff Bezos to cut ties with abusive suppliers was arrested on felony charges.

Six activists currently face 7+ felony charges in Sonoma County, CA, after exposing what they claim is criminal animal cruelty happening inside Whole Foods-supplying factory farms.

The company’s 2017 acquisition by Amazon, DxE activists say, has led to a new strategy: crushing activists through litigation.

“Over the past 5 years, we’ve asked Amazon, Whole Foods and Jeff Bezos to sit down and discuss our findings, which are shocking and contradictory to everything they claim about the treatment of animals at their suppliers,” said Hsiung, a corporate lawyer and former Northwestern law professor. “They have refused all conversations, instead resorting to lawsuits and trumped-up criminal charges.”

Beginning in 2014, Hsiung and DxE have undertaken multiple undercover investigations of Whole Foods and Amazon suppliers, exposing what they call criminal animal cruelty at farms that include Diestel Turkey Ranch, Pitman Family Farms (Mary’s Free Range Chicken), Petaluma Farms, and Smithfield’s Circle Four. The investigations have led to thousands of complaints against Whole Foods on social media and protests across the country against both Whole Foods and its parent company, Amazon.

DxE says the tide is turning in favor of a growing movement for animals, with veterinarians, law scholars, prominent journalists standing with activists, and even government officials now in support. The Berkeley City Peace and Justice Commission voted in September to pass a resolution in support of six Sonoma felony defendants. The resolution will be considered by the full City Council December 10th, where it is expected to be supported.

Despite the growing number of legal cases, Hsiung and DxE say they are determined to continue their campaigns. DxE says clear instances of criminal animal cruelty inside factory farms have continually been ignored by authorities at all levels. With no enforcement action taken, they say they’ve been forced to take action themselves to help dying animals, expose the abuse, and ultimately create a world that reflects the values of ordinary people who have compassion for animals.
§Activists outside Oakland Whole Foods
by DxE Wednesday Nov 27th, 2019 11:45 PM
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