Professional Activism

If I do not actually have negative views of self-described “activists” who wish to bypass representative governance by holding an attention-grabbing street-protest, then I certainly expect them to demonstrate the worth of their activism rather than receive support pro bono from me.

Anything which Sunny Hundal approves of, I am instinctively inclined to oppose. Whilst I would not have deployed marksmen to pick-off his favoured poncy middle-class nimby wankers masquerading as radicals such as Plane Stupid, nor would I be disappointed to see a minimum six month gaol sentance handed out for such behaviour. That should focus their minds and make their sacrifices worthwhile.

At the more agreeable end of the scale, as far as I can see, is former Thurso-based woman, Joanne Simm, whom the Caithness Courier recently reported as intending to protest at the 2009 Running of the Bulls Festival in Pamplona. Her stated aim was the strip-off, but I immediately noted that she was to wear nipple-covers and pants. That is not stripping-off! That is a Brazilian bikini!

She did, however, go completely nude for the 2005 event, so I will concede her that, even if I consider “nude protests” now to be little more than exercises in self-promotion. Their undoubted intial value has now been overtaken by the titilation factor and, I suspect strongly, desire of natural extroverts simply to get their kit off.

I will risk the wrath of animal lovers here when I say I have no mean respect for the bull-runners and, far more so than other blood-sports, bull-fighters. Unlike Simm, I am neither a vegetarian nor vegan so would see the inherent contradiction in getting misty-eyed over the Pamplona bulls and then tucking into my stew.

Without meaning to sound like one of the ex-RCP members given prominence in the BBC – with I emphatically am not – we live in a sanitized society which so much of risk, visceral excitement and immediate contact with death removed. Participants in the bull-running risk minor to severe injuries take place every year, and this year one participant was killed. Bull-fighting can be exceptionally dangerous.

As noted, Simm has been involved with such professional activism for a number of years. In 2007, the John o’Groat Journal reported that she had been arrested following a disturbance as part of an anti-fur protest outside a Burberry store in London:

Joanne Simm Outside Burberry Store

With a clean record, Joanne told the John O’Groat Journal this week that she had not realised that being arrested would be a consequence of the demonstration, but remarked that she is “a lot wiser now”.

Well, yes. Not wishing to submit oneself to this risk suggests one’s commitment to whichever ’cause’ is not 100%. I am also wondering about where the above photograph came from: I doubt there were any JoG photographers in London with Simm. Whilst there is a local news aspect of any local resident, present or former, being in the public gaze, I am deeply cynical about media outlets permitting professional activists to actually supply the photo-ops: be it Simm, or when ‘environmental protestors’ members superglue themselves to statues in the Palace of Westminster.

In addition to regular travel to Pamplona, this previous JoG article also revealed that Simm had undergone a three month internship with People for the Eating of Tasty Animals Ethical Treatment of Animals in the USA.

Sunny Hundal does not appear to be the only ‘committed environmentalist’ who feels able to clock-up many thousands of travel-miles each year as part of his activism, or because he feels he deserves the holiday.

PETA has an attested record of spending most, if not all, of its funds on publicity rather than actual animal care. Whilst insisting that the naked truth about animal mistreatment be revealed, they appear to prefer to call their concerted killing programme of healthy pets “euthenasia“.

Still, from everything I can see, Simm appears as a harmless crank, rather than the unpleasantness and duplicity of PETA or the violent sociopathy of the likes of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and the Animal Liberation Front. Never forget, from the IRA ceasefire and until the Admiral Duncan pub-bombing (and for some time afterwards), misanthropic scum like this were the greatest terrorist threat in Great Britain.

Simm’s previous fully-clothed attention-grabbing protests have included disrupting Crufts to protest against its pet food manufacturer sponsor and, bizarrely, accosting Prince Charles at the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso as part of a campaign against real fur in Buckingham Palace guards’ ceremonial hats.


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