Topless protesters get bloody over Pamplona bull run

Emma Anderson
Emma Anderson - [email protected] • 6 Jul, 2016 Updated Wed 6 Jul 2016 09:00 CEST
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Topless activists from animal rights group PETA doused themselves in fake blood in protest of Pamplona's famous running of the bulls - taking particular aim at foreign revellers.


Dozens of supporters of the groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Anima Naturalis took to the streets of Pamplona on Tuesday to protest against bullfighting and bull-running in the northern Spanish city.

Wearing nothing but black underpants, bull horns and carrying red buckets reading “Pamplona: Bloodbath for Bulls” in multiple languages, the protesters then poured the fake blood all over their bodies.

“The visual was designed to mimic the drunken revellers – many of whom are American, Australian or British tourists – who douse themselves with sangria at the Running of the Bulls, oblivious to the fact that every single one of the terrified animals they chase through the cobbled streets will be dead a few days later after being stabbed to death in a bullfight,” PETA wrote in a statement.

Photo: Ander Gillenea / AFP.

Pamplona’s annual San Fermín festival has become a symbol of Spanish culture, attracting thousands of tourists each year to watch the running of the bulls.
The week-long festivities kick off on Wednesday with the chupinazo - a rocket launch at the city hall. The rest of the days are filled with early morning bull runs as people dressed in the traditional white and red outfits run for their lives from a herd of bulls into a stadium.

Bullfights are then held later in the day.

PETA has also in previous years protested the centuries-old tradition, made prominent outside Spain by Ernest Hemingway’s book The Sun Also Rises.

“This performance is cruel and completely out of step with the values of progressive, modern Spain,” PETA wrote on Tuesday.

“There’s no getting around the fact that foreign tourists who flock to run with the bulls every year are complicit in this bloodshed, even if they would never dream of actually setting foot in the bullfighting arena.”

Photo: Ander Gillenea / AFP.

Spain's tradition bearers have long locked horns with animal-rights activists, who have called for bans on the practice of bullfighting.

Madrid's typically conservative regional government cut bullfight subsidies last year to aid domestic violence victims.

Meanwhile Madrid City Hall, under left-wing mayor Manuela Carmena, gave up the city council's private bullfighting box at Las Ventas.

Catalonia banned bullfighting events in 2012 after the Canary Islands became the first region to pass a ban in 1991.

Pro-bullfighting groups have fought back against restrictions by trying to get the tradition protected under Unesco’s cultural heritage list.



Emma Anderson 2016/07/06 09:00

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