Sunday, November 27, 2022

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant occupied by Animal Rebellion activists

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Animal Rebellion members entered the Gordon Ramsay restaurant on Hospital Road in Chelsea around 6pm on Saturday.

In footage the group shared on Twitter, they are seen streaming into the restaurant and then seated at tables reserved for diners at the high-end restaurant, which has three Michelin stars.

Activists held mock menus detailing the environmental costs of food served on the restaurant’s menu, including steak and veal.

In a statement, the group said they are committed to a plant-based food system and the creation of a mass rewilding program.

Lucia Alexander, a 39-year-old nursing assistant from eastern England, said the restaurant was a “perfect example” of inequality in Britain.

“This restaurant is the perfect example of the inequality we are currently facing in the UK. As Gordon Ramsay serves food costing at least £155 per person, more than two million people rely on food banks during this livelihood crisis,” she said in a statement from the group.

“Instead of restaurants making colossal profits at the expense of animals, workers and our climate, we must feed everyone by supporting farmers and fishing communities in the transition to a plant-based food system.

“A plant-based food system requires 75% less arable land to grow food, allowing us to feed millions more people without having to rely on exploitative and inefficient livestock industries. This is the answer to the cost of living and climate crisis.”

Animal Rebellion said police were at the scene late Saturday, adding in a tweet that they left the restaurant at closing time.

A spokesman for the Gordon Ramsay restaurant called the protest “incredibly inappropriate and deeply disrespectful”.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs,” she said.

“However, it is incredibly inappropriate and deeply disrespectful to invade a restaurant, disrupt hard-working staff from their work, and ruin the evening of guests who have waited months for their reservations.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said no arrests had been made: “Police were called to a restaurant in Royal Hospital Road, SW3, just before 6.30pm on Saturday 19 November to hear reports of a group of protesters who refused to leave the premises.” They said.

“Officers attended. The restaurant was closed and the protesters left. There were no arrests.”

It comes after two activists from the group were arrested on Friday after reportedly accosting Sir David Attenborough at a Michelin-starred south coast restaurant.

Dorset Police said Emma Smart, 45, was arrested on Thursday night after allegedly causing a disturbance and refusing to comply with officers after they asked her to leave Catch At The Old Fish Market in Weymouth.

Animal Rebellion said she approached the table where Sir David was eating to deliver a letter to him and shared pictures of her being dragged away by police at 8.45pm.

Smart, an ecologist from Weymouth, said she wanted a five-minute chat with Sir David about the need to tackle climate change.

According to Animal Rebellion, Smart targeted his visit to Catch restaurant because of its expensive fish menu.

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In footage the group shared on Twitter, they are seen streaming into the restaurant and then seated at tables reserved for diners at the high-end restaurant, which has three Michelin stars.

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