Not too many people in this world right now are willing to stand up for what they believe in. To have the courage to put their life, safety, and freedom on the line to take a stand and rise up for a cause that is more important to them than anything. To put the suffering victims of an industry shrouded in secrets and lies in front of their own well being to give a voice to the otherwise voiceless individuals that suffer day in and day out for a “product” that is destroying our planet, causing diseases and sickness within our bodies and and absolutely destroying the souls of the victims involved.
I don’t think I can describe the feeling that I was experiencing taking part in the history that was made on Sunday April 28th at Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford BC. After loading up the buses, we drove in silence for 15 minutes anticipating what was about to unfold. The feeling inside that bus ride is something I will never forget as long as I live. The moment our feet hit the ground, the dogs were barking and we heard sirens blazing in the distance, we knew we had to run. 400 feet later we were at the back of the barn greeted by 3 dumpsters packed full of dead rotting carcasses. We made our way to the unlocked side door and all filed in, completely covered in full bio security suits, gloves, masks and boot covers. Some of us got punched, some of us got ripped away by our hair or clothing, some got doused with irrigation water and some of us were almost run over by the farmers truck, but we held our ground and remained peaceful, level headed and calm. The way this group conducted themselves with such peacefulness and grace was a show of complete self awareness and true power. What we experienced once inside was nothing less than pure hell, what could only be described as a torturous existance inside a concrete walled and steel barred concentration camp.
After locking down the hog farm to bring a voice to the prisoners locked inside, after 6 or so hours of witnessing the pure hell they go through their entire lives, the pain and suffering they endure on a daily basis, you simply do not walk out leave the same person you entered as. After the lockdown, seizure of all my footage, mass group arrest and the 400 foot walk out. We exited as a solidified group of over 60 of the bravest men and women I have ever known. We walked side by side to a group of over 120 activists singing the liberation song at full volume, accompanied by 4 amazing guitar players, every single one of us in the same t shirt, a solidified group of one was the most powerful thing I have ever experienced. One of our heroes was escorted away in a police car to be processed at the station. All while holding her head high and not straying from the message we all entered with, the message of the real victims at hand here who were still locked up and caged inside the concentration camp known as Excelsior Hog Farm. Amy Soranno the way you conducted yourself and the way you handled yourself in the face of authority was beyond words, Watching you be the one to have the courage needed to step up and be the mediator between the group, the police and the farmers was absolutely incredible, I have never seen someone garnish so much respect from such a large group of individuals, and the respect and authority that you demanded (and received) from the officers at the scene was unbelievable, I have never been so proud of a human in my entire life, to walk out with those officers, flower raised above your head as you took your place in the cop car is a sight of true power and courage I will never forget. And to all the people that stood up for the animals, acting on their own accord, knowing full well the consequence of our actions, I could not hold my head higher knowing you were the people standing along our side. If the industry will not show us the truth as to what goes on in these farms, someone has to, and thank you all for being those voices! Here is a select few of my favorite photos from that day. Unfortunately all of my memory cards are being held for evidence so thank you to the other amazing photographers we had with us. And remember
ONE HAS A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DISOBEY UNJUST LAWS.