This article is for BFFF members only!
Please do not share this article with anyone outside of your business as we do not wish for this article to end up in the public domain to prevent Animal Rebellion seeing the advice being given out to industry.
Last week an industry wide meeting was held regarding the Animal Rebellion dairy protests taking place in September.
During the first two weeks of September 2022, Animal Rebellion activists plan to bring the dairy supply to a stand-still, claiming to have 500 people participating in a nonviolent, civil protest across the country. The aim of their protest is to see milk shortages in supermarkets nationally, resulting in a massive media spectacle occupying front-page news day after day.
It is unsure where the protests will take place, so the industry are urging businesses to be prepared. The list below highlights things that were discussed on the call to help businesses be prepared:
Ensure the site is always secure, with extended security checks beyond the site boundaries, CCTV coverage and ensuring staff are aware to report suspicious activity. If possible, increase security resources. Using dash cameras in vehicles and wearing body cameras will provide back up if activists make a claim about the business/staff behaviour towards them.
Look at using or creating an alternative entry to the site (if possible), If protestors are blocking the main entrance or road, but you have access to a different entrance, this could allow you to continue with some deliveries on/off site.
It is highly beneficial to notify your staff of any potential protests that make take place for several reasons. Firstly, this allows them to be vigilant and can report any suspicious behaviour or activity. Additionally, it is essential that staff are trained and know not to engage with protestors. Staff that are not trained and engage with the protestors (verbally or physically) could cause more damage to the business with potential legal action against them.
The staff have a legal right to go about their lawful business without being hindered by others. If the protestors take pictures of staff, their vehicles or record vehicle registration numbers, this is harassment and must be reported to the police immediately.
Animal Rebellion contact:
Industry experts are encouraging everyone to avoid interacting in any form of communication with Animal Rebellion. If you are contacted by anyone directly, please ignore it and also refrain from commenting on any news articles or social media posts regarding their activity.
If you are contacted by the press wanting you to comment on Animal Rebellions plans or activity, please contact Denise Rion (email@example.com), who will then connect you with the relevant industry experts who can advise you how to respond. As an industry, we need to work together to ensure that Animal Rebellion do not get the better of us.
Contacting the Police and getting legal advice:
It is recommended you contact your local police station straight away when protestors arrive. When contacting the police about a protest that is affecting your business, you should make it clear to them, how much this protest is going to cost the business (financially), what implication is going to have on the rest of the supply chain and any other issues you will encounter as a result (have this information already available and ready to use to save time). This will then put the situation into prospective for the police and they will act accordingly.
If you are forewarned that a protest is going to take place, the director of the business should contact the local police station as soon as possible and ask for the protest to be policed properly. They may attend and be at the protest the whole time, or they may do a regular drive by to check the situation isn’t out of control.
If possible, businesses should try to capture as much of the protest on CCTV, body cameras, dash cams and if the protestors are handing out leaflets, try and get a copy as it may be libellous and can be used to support getting an injunction against future protestors.
It may even be worth getting legal advice about possible injunctions in advance of any protests taking place.
If the protestors come onto your land, it will be the responsibility of the land owner to give permission to the police to remove the protestors. So, for businesses that don’t own their land, it’s advisable to pre-warn the land owner of possible protests.
In summary, it is recommended that businesses put together as many contingency plans as they can, to protect them and the supply chain from disruption.
If you have any questions please contact Holly Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org).