Reading Time: 2 minutes A DXE activist is arrested by the Petaluma Police Department (Photo: Facebook)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

67 veganactivists were arrested on Saturday after their attempt to provide emergency medical care to chickens used in animal agriculture.

Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) Co-Founder Wayne Hsiung led the operation, which occurred at a chicken farm in Petaluma.

The farm – McCoy Poultry Services, Inc. – reportedly provides for Amazon and is estimated to contain 125,000 animals.

A live video shared to Facebook documented the day’s events.

Medical triage

The activists set up a ‘medical triage unit’ outside of the farm, and collected animals who needed care.

Workers in the unit describe animals with broken limbs, and who were starving and thirsty.

According to Hsiung, this was the first time the animal rights organization had attempted to bring medical aid to a farm, as opposed to bringing animals off property.

Worker response

One animal agriculture worker can be seen in the video swearing at the activists, and calling them ‘freaks’.

She screams at them, telling them to ‘get the f*** off’ of her property.

Not long afterward, she can be heard shouting a homophobic slur at someone who doesn’t appear on camera.

Police intervention

When police arrived, an officer asked Hsiung to call off the operation.

Hsiung – a former lawyer – and other activists said that what the activists were doing was within their legal rights and that California law allows citizens to intervene with animal abuse.

The officers called animal control to assess the situation. When the activists tried to leave the property with sick and injured animals, they were held back by police.

Confronting ‘evil’

The activists pled with police for permission to bring collected birds to DXE animal caretakers, but were denied.

Speaking to viewers, Hsiung said: “What we’re asking of them is to do the right thing, do the thing that’s required of them by law, do the thing that’s gunna help save these animals.”

Later, he added: “When we confront the evil and the violence of these corporations with our love and compassion, we can change the world.”

Felony charges

A post shared to the DXE Facebook page Saturday updated followers on the arrests.

It reads: “67 DxE activists are being held on over $1.3 million bond on felony burglary and conspiracy charges for trying to help dying animals.

“Where do we go from here?”

Alleged assault

According to The Associated Press, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says that the owner and a worker were assaulted by a protester.

No evidence of this appears in the livestream.

Plant Based News called and spoke to a representative of the farm, who refused to comment at this time.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious and culturally sensitive approach to her work in all fields.