VIDEO: Police clash with circus protesters on Hampstead Heath
PUBLISHED: 06:45 03 October 2016
Video footage shows the moment officers clashed with protesters outside Zippos Circus on Hampstead Heath on Friday evening.
The animal rights campaigners gathered on Friday and over the weekend to call for a ban on animals being used in its performances. They intend to carry on demonstrating until the circus leaves on Tuesday.
The confrontation happened on Friday when Heath Constabulary officers were called to protesters scrawling chalk slogans on the pavement in East Heath Road and waving banners with the slogans: “Did you enjoy the circus, the animals didn’t” and “Just say ‘No’ - please don’t go to Zippos.
Footage of the incident was captured on a video which has been uploaded to YouTube by a user named Earthling Ed.
The protest was organised by animal rights organisations Surge and Vegan Action who set up a Facebook page.
They say: “Zippos is one of the last remaining circus’s that continues to profit from animal cruelty for entertainment.”
“We are asking people to take action against them, make a poster or take some leaflets and talk to people attending the shows about the cruel reality of animals in circuses. We also have an online action for anyone who can’t attend in person which is to contact Camden Council and ask that they put a ban on circuses that use animals.
“Whether it be the long journeys, brutal training regimes or constant confinement, animals have no place in the circus. This is a never ending living nightmare for them.
The groups also encouraged people to write to the City of London Corporation banning Zippos on the Heath.
Photographer Ron Vester, who took these photos and witnessed the confrontation with police on Friday night, said: “There was a fairly aggressive meeting with Surge and the Constabulary on Friday night. Surge were provoking the Heath police and no one seemed to know what to do.”
The Heath Constabulary were unavailable for comment over the weekend.