Foie Gras – A report from the frontlines

We apologise for the lack of updates but we have been on the Foie Gras frontlines literally over the past weeks with only two days rest. We have been relentless in our resolve for the ducks and geese that are tortured for the vile Foie Gras industry.

Unsurprisingly the police and NETCU have been rather unrelenting as well during our lawful protests making six wrongful arrests on two occasions for supposed tresspass / breach of the peace etc. We had a sergeant shoulder barge one young protester for looking through the window of the police car. We have been moved away using Section 14 notices, we have been told we would be nicked and “I don’t need evidence I just need reasonable suspicion” (this is right but knowing full well we haven’t broken the law makes this a bit of an threat). We have been told to “Grow up, animals will always be used and we can’t stop it” by a custody sergeant. Not to mention being told by two cops on separate occasions “We WILL stop your protests you know”. Better get an armed response unit out quick because you will have to pry MY placard from my death grip.

Anyway we don’t want to concentrate on the cops, they will be self-“cop”ulating over the idea of being mentioned on the internet as it is.

Our protests at the Queens Hotel have a history, for those of you we started protests around a year and a half ago but the protests were few and far between as our group were concentrating on fur campaigning during this time. It took around 8 protests without a break for them to question whether it is really worth losing customers over one item on the menu. A constant police presence further enhanced the effect of our protests reducing the Queens to the status of a grotty bed and breakfast in Blackpool rather than the pride of Cheltenham Spa. They definitely tried every trick in the book to stop the protests they lied to the police telling them a protester entered the hotel and started harassing staff (which resulted in five arrested) and they told one protester “I could kill you like that” (snapping fingers). But eventually they took down the menu and we received confirmation via email that they had permanently removed Foie Gras from the menu.

During our protests at the Queens to keep the local law keepers on their toes we broke away to give our friends at Lumiere some attention. After three days of returning and countless apologies and free bottles of wine to their patrons and a year after the chef cooked “Foie Gras” for protesters to try and then attempted to throw it at protesters (he was then reprimanded by the police), the owner approached activists with a statement “Foie gras has been permanently removed from our menus”.

La Scala and Merlot Brassiere are literally opposite each other, unluckily for both of these businesses (and the ducks and geese who suffer for Foie Gras) road names aren’t the only thing they have in common, they both serve(d) Foie gras. We try to focus our protests at these two businesses on Saturdays as they are closed most evenings when the majority of our protests take place. After around seven protests La Scala informed us that they had permanently removed Foie Gras from the menu as a result of the protests. Unfortunately Merlot continues to sell Foie Gras – Contact details below.

Yesterday (17th July 2007) saw Hotel on the Park receive their first protest, they were very understanding and removed the menu and have now confirmed the removal of foie gras from the menus via email – many thanks to them.

Protests at Monty’s and the George Hotel in Cheltenham are ongoing and they have received half a dozen protests so far with many free bottles of wine being offered because of the protesters causing such a “disturbance”. They produced yesterday a letter saying the are now serving Foie Gras from “Free range” ducks (not geese because that is apparently more cruel?!) that are NOT FORCE FED!?!?!! Had they said they had sourced the Foie Gras from Spain we might have been more convinced, but they confirmed it was a French supplier.

Foie gras (French for “fat liver”) is “the liver of a duck or a goose that has been specially fattened by gavage” (as defined by French law [1]).

[1] French rural code L654-27-1: “On entend par foie gras, le foie d’un canard ou d’une oie spécialement engraissé par gavage.” (“By “foie gras” one is to understand the liver of a duck or a goose that has been specially fattened by gavage”).

During one protest at Monty’s and the George police seized a banner that read “SERVING DISEASED MEAT” although Foie gras literally is diseased meat (liver disease – hepatic lipidosis). The police said our text only banner had “Caused alarm and distress”. Even if it is totally true. We continued to inform the public loudly that they are serving diseased meat which may have been prepared next to the meals they were eating.

Bistro Scena have had a fair few protests outside and the tiny French fellow and tall chef always like to make a comment or try to humiliate themselves in front of the restaurant patrons. On one occasion last week they managed to exit the restaurant and attack our group in front of two dinners who were wholly supportive of our campaign. Needless to say for a dinner to break up a brawl between activists and restaurant staff showed the level of stupidity they are serving at this particular place. What caused the battle to ensue? The petite owner of Bistro Scena decided he could threaten a younger member of the group to stop the protest and was filmed, when he realised his actions were being recorded he lunged at the person filming and went into a frenzied attack… no doubt fearful that the police might not like his threatening behaviour.

Anyway the battle continues on the Foie Gras frontline. More info coming soon…

So far we have received confirmation from: Queens Hotel, Lumiere, La Scala, Frere Jacques.

Watch this space…

Chris

Please Contact the following businesses using the details below.

Merlot Brasserie
merlotbrasserie@hotmail.co.uk
phone: 01242 574008

Monty’s Brasserie
hotel@stayatthegeorge.co.uk
Phone: 01242 227678

Bistro Scena
info@bistro-scena.co.uk
Phone: 01242 238134

Cheltenham Hamper Company
sales@cheltenhamhampers.com
Phone: 0870 203 3000

Kandinsky
kandinsky@aliashotels.com
Phone: 01242 527788

Le Champignon Sauvage
mail@lechampignonsauvage.co.uk
Phone: 01242 573449

The Daffodil
eat@thedaffodil.com
01242 700055

All emails:

merlotbrasserie@hotmail.co.uk; hotel@stayatthegeorge.co.uk; info@bistro-scena.co.uk; sales@cheltenhamhampers.com; kandinsky@aliashotels.com; mail@lechampignonsauvage.co.uk; eat@thedaffodil.com

(Please be lawful in your communications – it does nothing for animals if you are aggressive or threatening)

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