NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - "Easter is a time for love! No more shedding animal blood!"
This was the battle cry of six animal rights activists who interrupted Easter Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to protest the killing of animals. Brandishing signs featuring pictures of animals and the question "Will You Let Me Live?" the six militants took to the aisles, with one yelling into a megaphone that "only the devil" could create "animals capable of love and joy just so humans can make them suffer and die."
It has since been revealed several of the protestors belong to animal rights organization called Collectively Free, which describes itself as "working towards total animal liberation through creative, non-violent actions, and pro-intersectional [sic]." Among them is 23-year-old Jacob Martin, a former student of the University of North Carolina and a professed Christian, who was arrested after being removed from the church.
Collectively Free's official Facebook page features video of the incident and posts declaring Martin was arrested for simply "speaking out against the violent Easter tradition of eating the bodies of animals," promising they will continue "to provoke a discussion about this, by any means necessary."
The activists also assert that Martin was "brutally tackled and restrained" by cathedral security, despite video evidence showing otherwise. They also note the protestor has not "been provided a vegan meal since his arrest."
"Ham is a big thing on Easter, so that's why we decided to bring those voices to the public," declares Raffaella Ciavatta, one of the activists. Ciavatta also played a role in organizing a protest held outside the grand opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York City last fall.
Following the incident, Fr. O'Connell recited a prayer for the protestors.