Taiji Japan Dolphin Protest, London. 7th November 2014.
We headed down on the train from Derby to London to attend our second Taiji dolphin protest outside the Japanese Embassy. Like last time, we followed the whistles and cheers as we left Green Park tube station and rounded the corner. That electric feeling…a protest in full swing. The atmosphere was as charged as the first, the people who turned up all committed to ending the dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan, our protest as loud and vehement as the previous one. Between 12pm and 6pm we occupied the entire section of Piccadilly, outside of the embassy, in the West End of London. Police arrived. Barriers were soon erected in front of the embassy’s doors, much like last time, and we remained there, unmoving, much like last time.
Once again, there was so much support from passers-by and passing drivers. Buses, cabs, lorries, cars, bikes all beeped and cheered our protest on. Never underestimate the impact that support has on a protest; every cheer and wave was met with our own, collective and much-boosted cheers.
Dominic Dyer made another impassioned and rousing speech to the protesting crowd, and Ric O’Barry spoke to thank us all for coming to make our voices heard against the brutal dolphin hunts in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.
I was lucky enough to get close to Ric O’Barry, close enough to ask to shake his hand initially, and then later to ask him to sign my protest banner and to say thank you for his work to liberate, protect and protest against horrific abuse and slaughter of cetaceans worldwide. Admittedly, I was star-struck! Among those who know of and follow his campaign work, who wouldn’t be?
Again, Robert Platt did an amazing job with a sound system rigged up on a lamp post facing the embassy! He kept the chants flowing, in a way no one else manages. He is relentless. There were a couple of glitches, which was the perfect opportunity for us to make more noise with whistles and horns.
We shouted and chanted until I lost my voice. We stayed to the end. Candles were lit, roses left, along with protest banners left tied to the railings opposite the embassy. Night had fallen on the West End. We walked through a softly lit Green Park, the moon shining through the trees, heading for the tube station. We were both elated, on a high, still chanting, freezing cold and hungry. We’ll be there again for the next protest, until Japan ends its horrific, barbaric and greedy dolphin and small whale hunts.
For background on the anti-Taiji protests and why they happen, watch The Cove documentary.
Head over to Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project website for further info.