Two people have been arrested in London after protesters dyed Trafalgar Square’s fountains blood red to call for the government to stop future pandemics by ending industry farming.
The Animal Rebellion group said it held the protest in central London on Saturday to draw awareness to what it believes to be the actual cause of the Covid-19 crisis – animal exploitation.
A few demonstrators poured red dye into the fountains, standing in the water to their knees. Some, dressed as sea creatures, held posters with the words “global boiling” and “don’t bait me” as they staged a socially distant demonstration, claiming the government had “blood on [its] hands.”
Stephanie Zupan, a representative of Animal Rebellion, said: “The government must now begin a shift towards a plant-based food system, or risk future zoonotic pandemics of catastrophic dimensions.”
Zoonotic diseases are those that are transferred from animals to humans. Covid-19 is widely believed to have originated in an animal, a bat, at a seafood market in Wuhan in late 2019. So-called wet markets – where live animals are traded – have been involved in previous outbreaks of coronaviruses, in particular Sars.
Animal Rebellion said demonstrations in 20 towns, including Bristol, Brighton and New York, coordinated the protests.
“Such unsatisfactory and risky measures will only increase the likelihood of potential pandemics,” said Kieran Blyth, another community leader.
The government is playing with the potential of tens of thousands more deaths.”
Two people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, the Metropolitan Police said.