Council’s ‘patronising’ move against vegan activists
FOOTAGE of what activists say is standard practise farm animal slaughter has been labelled "inhumane", "graphic and distressing" and "inappropriate" to show at CBD protests.
Brisbane City Council has held firm on its position that certain distressing images of animals are not suitable for the city despite animal rights activists insisting their footage only shows animal agricultural practises that adhere to animal welfare standards.
A petition with 876 signatures condemned the council for restricting what vegan protesters could display at Cube of Truth demonstrations in Reddacliff Place.
The council's response, which will go to a vote of full council this Tuesday, states protesters showed "graphic and distressing material" of "animal cruelty and disfigurement, blood and inhumane slaughter of animals".
"The restrictions sought to be imposed relate to the conduct of the peaceful assembly, in particular that the images displayed and material handed out are not considered appropriate for the location," it stated.
Anonymous for the Voiceless spokeswoman Lisa Jane, who asked for her last name not to be published, said the images the council said depicted animal cruelty and inhumane slaughter were standard practises in Australia's animal agriculture industry.
"Everything we show is Australian footage, it's recent footage and it all adheres to animal welfare standards in Australia," she said.
"If people are concerned about the images we don't need to stop the images, we need to stop the violence, to stop what we're doing to animals."
She said it was "unacceptable" and "patronising" that the council would restrict what could be displayed at protests.
"What's most concerning is they're trying to veto what the public can and can't see. They're saying they know what's best for people," she said.
Deputy Mayor Krista Adams said the restrictions were imposed after complaints from the public after a protest last year and referred to specific photos.
She said more concerning to the council were reports that protesters approached passers-by, which is not allowed, and applies to other groups like those promoting charities.
"It was more about them being in people's faces rather than showing the photos," she said.
"We don't control what people want to show in a protest but when you get multiple complaints about very vivid animal cruelty pictures shown to families and children, we will do reactive measures.
"They can hold photos, but not those ones."
She said the group had held protests since the restrictions were imposed and the council had not received further complaints.
"So if they are showing the same photos, they're doing it in a far more sensitive way and they continue to have their freedom of speech.
Lisa Jane rejected claims that Cube of Truth protesters ever approached people with materials.
"The Cube of Truth is a static demonstration and we don't approach members of the public - we never have and we never will," she said.
She said activists only ever spoke to people if they stopped and engaged with the footage that the group held.
"They do have a choice … if they stop by, then we talk about it," she said.