You want to protest? Get a permit first!

June 11, 2010

Read this piece of news early today in the Straits Times. The first thought that struck me was, why are the authorities going all out to protect the rights of the big corporations? By not allowing this protest to be carried out is hurting the interests of the average person. If there is something going on with KFC, we have the right to know and not be kept in the dark. We shall decide for ourselves if the protest is based on factual claims but information should not be kept from us!

Let’s face it. Nowadays the big corporations are getting away with all sorts of claims (both covert and overt) in their marketing ads. They will have you believe that they use the freshest ingredients, their products are all sourced from ethical farms etc. This can’t all be true if you see the amount of profits they are churning out. So why can’t the small people showcase their own advertisement. If we think of the protest as an advertisement, why it was prematurely killed? Is it just because they didn’t get a valid permit to protest? Would this permit ever be issued in the first place?

Whose rights are the authorities protecting now I would like to know?


Jun 11, 2010

Activist at KFC runs afoul of law

By Mavis Goh

Mr Basse has previously staged protests at KFC outlets in Malaysia, including this one in Kota Kinabalu. His sign translates to ‘Fried Chicken Cruelty: Boycott KFC’. — PHOTO: PETA

AN ANIMAL rights activist’s attempted protest outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Bedok was abruptly ended after it ran afoul of the law.

American Edward Basse had planned to don a chicken costume and hold up a placard that read ‘KFC: Stop Chicken Cruelty’ outside its Bedok outlet at 11.30am yesterday.

But within minutes of arriving in a taxi, the 24-year-old was approached by police and advised to leave as he did not have a valid permit to protest there. He complied.

Mr Basse, who has been a full-time campaigner for American animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) for a year, was there to protest against what his organisation deems as KFC’s ‘cruel’ treatment of chickens.

‘Peta wants to raise consumer awareness about the suffering that the chickens have to endure in factory farms, which have limited space,’ he told The Straits Times yesterday.

When contacted, police confirmed the incident and added that they are investigating.

Mr Basse claimed that police officers confiscated his costume, placard and other Peta paraphernalia from his hotel room.

His assignment in Singapore was part of a worldwide Peta campaign dubbed The KFC Campaign.

Peta’s regional director Jason Baker, 38, said Peta had applied for a permit to protest outside the KFC outlet, but was denied.

But it did not stop Mr Basse, who has protested in places such as Malaysia and Vietnam, from trying.

He said: ‘No one is going to stand up for the animals, so I have to do it. Whatever happens to me cannot be compared with the suffering of the chickens which are abused and slaughtered.’

The KFC campaigners from Peta have been to Singapore twice before, in 2004 and 2006, and were similarly approached by the police.

When contacted, a KFC spokesman said: ‘KFC Singapore does not own or operate any poultry farms, but purchases products from the highest quality producers who also supply other leading supermarkets and retailers.’

Mr Basse is determined to be back here again if given the opportunity.

He said: ‘I would do this again. Someone needs to stand up for the chickens.’

Today, however, he will return to Manila, where he is based, with some consolation – his chicken costume will be returned to him.

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