Pamplona; Blood, Death and Torture
7 Jul 2011
Just days before a vote in Catalonian Parliament to delay the 2012 ban on bullfighting in the autonomous region of Catalonia, just over 100 activists from around the globe descended on Pamplona to protest bullfighting and the Running of the Bulls - an annual event in Pamplona, part of the San Fermin festival each July.
The activists prepared on the morning by covering themselves in bodypaint, either brown or red, and leaving only underwear on they proceeded solemnly to the Mayor of Pamplona's offices - to a plaza in front of the building, where they lay prostrate - some on the hot floor bathed in sunlight, and some on the freezing cold stone floor, out of the direct sun.
They formed the shape of a giant bull, to signify the approx. 40,000 bulls which are killed each year in bullfights, and lay there still for an hour. Emotions ran high and by the end it was clearly visible in some activists eyes how emotionally involved they are with their cause.
Over 30 newspapers covered the demonstration, and three of Spain's top TV channels also ran stories - the aim of the groups satisfied. Not long after the demonstration the vote in Catalonian Parliament was overturned, much to the joy of all animal rights activists across the world. Around this time last year the vote in favour of the ban was passed, meaning in 2012 Catalonia will become the 2nd region in Spain to ban the blood sport.
Once again I had the pleasure to meet some interesting and passionate people and document the story, meeting old friends, making new ones, and returning to England once again empowered by their dedication.