TOPLESS protesters smeared in fake blood occupied the streets of Pamplona to protest the cruel annual bull runs even if the festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.
Today members of animal rights groups ‘AnimaNaturalis’ and ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ stripped off to their black pants and covered themselves with anti-cruelty slogans in the northern Spanish city.
They threw red powder into the air while wearing fake horns, portraying the cruel bloodshed during the annual festival that they want to be stop.
Preparations are underway in Pamplona for the San Fermin festival in which ‘contestants’ run through the streets while provoking the bulls.
Holding red, black and yellow batons with hooks on the end, the women and men displayed multi-lingual messages on their bodies. One woman, who can be seen in this picture in the background on the right hand side, has ‘Stop bull flights’ written on her topless front.
The protesters solemnly stand with their hands at their sides and with their eyes to the ground covered in red blood dust representing the cruelty to the animals that are forced to rung through the street.
Director of AnimaNaturalis in Spain, Aida Gascon, read a statement in which she criticized the old tradition, “From tomorrow in this city, more than 50 bulls will be tortured to death.”
“They will be persecuted and led by a crowd to the bullring, the plaza of shame and the last minutes of their lives will be full of suffering and torture.”
“We know that we will not be able to stop these deaths but we will continue to our protest so that those deaths do not go unnoticed,’ she said, calling on political representatives to show ‘courage, justice, solidarity and empathy.”
The animal campaigners have been carrying out the protests in Pamplona for the last 14 years, saying they cannot understand why bullfighting is still allowed given that the flow of opinion appears to be turning against it.
This summer, a petition was launched under the banner of ‘San Fermin without blood’ on their websites and more than 150,000 signatures have already been gained.
It will eventually be presented to the city of Pamplona and the Government of Navarre.
The Mayor of Pamplona, Joseba Asiron, has warned tourists and local people to abide by the regulations or face prosecution. This includes a zero approach to sexual aggression.