"We are very happy; this was a big step forward strategically" said Roger Lahana, vice president of CRAC Europe, the leading anti-bullfighting organization in France. When we saw that the town had blocked the five roads leading to the arena, we quickly devised our strategy to divide activists into five groups and block all entrances to the town. Mr. Lahana told this reporter that he was very pleased to have succeeded in delaying and perturbing the bullfighting activities all day long.
There were 10 arrests and the several activists who were punched, gassed and kicked by police officers will be pressing charges later this week.
A video taken by Simone Viau, who posted it on Facebook, shows a scene from later in the afternoon, only 100 meters from the arena. In it, a small group of activists pace the street right in front of the barricades, heads bowed, crying quietly as the heart-wrenching cries of a calf being stabbed to death pierce the smoke-filled air. The activists stop chanting, the sirens have stopped blaring and all is quiet but for the guttural moans of the calf, who bleeds out in agony. It sounds like he is crying for his mother. On the other side of the wall, so close, is the sequined killer in pink tights and his accomplices. When the calf's screams fade, incredibly, one can hear polite applause from spectators as if they were at the ballet. At that moment, Jean-Pierre Garrigues, president of CRAC Europe, roars with authoritative rage into his bullhorn, "You sadists! You perverts! You twisted, vile barbarians! This is a scandal! You've turned France to shit! When will you stop this torture, you criminals?"