Vegan protesters storm supermarket
CUSTOMERS have lashed out at vegan protesters who stormed a New Zealand supermarket on Sunday, disrupting shoppers in the process.
During a tense standoff at the St Lukes Countdown in Auckland, vegan activists stood in front of the meat section and held signs that said "stop eating animals" and "it's not food, it's violence".
In a video of the incident, staff at the Woolworths-owned supermarket approach the activists and ask if they have permission to be there.
But event organiser Amanda Rippon retaliates by shouting at staff and saying they are peacefully protesting for "victims".
One woman can be heard shouting, "Take your camera off me, I'm doing my f***ing shopping, I'm doing my shopping. Unless you're going to pay for my shopping you can f**k off."
Protesters were then videoed chanting "it's not food, it's violence" as they were escorted from the premises by security.
In a statement to the NZ Herald, a Countdown spokesperson revealed the protesters refused to leave, resulting in police intervention.
"As a supermarket we work hard to provide our vegan and vegetarian customers with good quality and affordable options in our stores, and we are also deeply committed to good animal welfare practices throughout our supply chain," the spokesperson said.
"We reserve the right to ask anyone undertaking protest action to leave our stores, however on this occasion this request was ignored several times. The police were called to support our team, and the protesters left shortly afterwards."
A police spokesperson told the NZ Herald they were notified about the incident at about 12.20pm on Sunday, however "it's understood the group left the premises and therefore police were not required to attend".
The protesters then marched through Westfield mall after they were forced from Countdown. In an interview following the protest, Ms Rippon claimed those who protested were the voice of the victims who had no say.
"The impact of a non-vegan diet is the victims who we don't usually hear from. We're here today to give them a voice," she said.
Another protest organiser, Deno Stock, said those who sell meat for food were more extreme than those who protest for the animals.
"I think that the way those animal parts have been put in the supermarket is far more extreme than what we're doing. We're not doing any damage to anything, we're just standing with a sign," Mr Stock said.
This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission