Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Man punches female vegan in face during animal rights protest in Pizza Express

‘We must stand together against speciesism, but some are not ready to hear our message of equality and justice’

Conrad Duncan
Monday 30 September 2019 19:04 BST
Man punches protester in face during animal rights demonstration in Pizza Express

A customer punched a female vegan activist in the face after protesters stormed a Pizza Express, according to animal rights campaigners.

Members of animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) were filmed entering a branch of the chain restaurant in Brighton carrying signs and chanting through a loudhailer.

In the video, an enraged man is seen confronting the protesters and pushing a young woman while shouting: “You’re scaring these people, f*** off.”

When the woman turns around to challenge him, the man throws a punch at her.

Protesters can be heard chanting “It’s not food, it's violence” as a female customer attempts to speak to one of the campaigners.

Sussex Police confirmed the altercation, along with other incidents at several restaurants, had been reported.

“Incidents involving animal rights activists at several restaurants in Brighton on Sunday evening, in which protesters with loudhailers chanted slogans at diners, have been reported to police,” a police spokesperson said.

“It was alleged that at one establishment a protester was punched by a customer, and at another activists were thrown to the ground.”

The spokesperson added that police are investigating the incident.

“Currently no arrests have been made, but if criminal acts are found to have taken place, appropriate action will be taken,” they said.

DxE activists have also chained themselves to Brighton Town Hall as part of their campaign for an animal bill of rights.

“'We must stand together against speciesism, but some are not ready to hear our message of equality and justice,” a DxE Brighton spokesperson said.

“Today, whilst bringing this message to diners at the chain restaurant, we were violently attacked.

“It is not surprising that those consuming violence are quick to partake in it too.”

“Speciesism” is a form of discrimination which involves treating members of one species, such as humans, as morally more important than others.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in