Declan McCullagh on Thu, 20 Apr 2000 00:24:05 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] "Best of Breed" protesters in bloody cow hides are gettingunder the police skin

"Best of Breed" protesters in bloody cow
hides are getting under the police skin

Mon, 17 Apr 2000 06:50:48 -0400
Getting Under the Skin

Protesters against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are
giving the movement a bad name. In the not-too-distant past protesters were
content to lock arms and sing an off-key version of "We
Will Overcome" to a disinterested public and police force. Everyone was
happy, especially protesters, who could later brag over a double latte that
they had been arrested.

The nature of protest took a turn for the worst when Julie Butterfly Hill
camped out for two years in a 1,000 year-old California redwood.  Ms Hill,
who defied loggers, and state and federal governments for the period,
stayed perched until the opposition caved in to her demands. They would not
cut down the redwood and she could blow kisses to the tree from a safe
distance of 10 kilometers.

She announced this victory on the Dave Letterman Show, her first stop after
her televised descent. Ms. Hill acknowledged on the Letterman show she
wasn't deprived of anything during her perch, having a portable computer, a
satellite phone, and a dozen video games to keep her amused. She also had
regular visits from the Hollywood elite, such as Woody Harrelson, who slept
over but didn't like getting up with the birds or a cell phone call. Ms.
Hill apologized because she didn't have a personal assistant to take care
of such chores. Apparently the job market is tight even in old redwoods.

But those protesting the World Bank policies  in Washington DC are engaging
in policies that won't win them many friends. For example, People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protested against pigeon racing in
Morocco and cat fighting in China by playing very loud tapes of gorillas
mating. When asked the relevance, PETA chair person Eleanor Smith said "I
believe animals make the same sounds whether they are mating or dying.
Anyway, how can you ignore two 800-pound gorilla?"

Other demonstrators dumped four tons of very ripe manure on Pennsylvania
Avenue causing the District of Columbia to be evacuated because police
feared the manure was laced with poison gas. That proved not to be the case
though the methane gas stored in the manure started numerous brush fires in
the District that kept the police and fire departments busy. A group called
Guerrilla Gardeners took advantage of the free manure to plant tomatoes and
chick peas at all grassy spaces owned by multi-national corporations.

Eye-witnesses reported that the manure truck was driven by someone who was
wearing a cow costume, though PETA's Ms. Smith counters the driver "was
actually a cow, a two-ton Holstein who took matters into her own hands, so
to speak." Police doubt her report and are looking for a man who stole a
Holstein carcass from DC's largest employer, a slaughterhouse. Officials
say the man will be easy to identify because the cow has a bullet hole in
its head.

This cow antic has given protesters another way to escape detection.
Demonstrators have purchased thousands of ripe cow hides from the same
slaughterhouse and wear them, much to the dismay of police surveillance
cameras, which report a herd of badly-dressed, ugly cows with yards of
loose-fitting skin, badly in need of a tuck. Nonetheless, the tactics seems
to work as conference attendees are driven away by the wretched
slaughterhouse smell. This doesn't bother the protesters because they mask
the odor with a mixture of Brylcreme and green tea. Their favorite tactic
is to break into an unrehearsed mad cow shuffle, a comic dance of death
before falling into the arms of reluctant police in gas masks.

To celebrate the international conference local McDonalds franchises have
announced, in the interest of peace and brotherhood, a McWorld burger. The
fast food merchant claims that a single hamburger contains the meat of up
to one hundred cows, raised in as many as half-a-dozen countries. Unsure of
an ethical way to down burgers and still protest the international fat
cats, protesters have simply shifted their tactics. Now they protest in
their slaughterhouse skins but chant in half-a-dozen different languages,
to honor the cow.

There are plans to take this show on the road and organizers are eager to
hear from potential corporate sponsors. The more luscious cow hiders--best
of breed--have formed a group called "Cow Capers" that pantomime the plight
of the cow from feedlot to abattoir. The skit ends with cast members
throwing cow blood at a well-fed, delirious audience.

"Cow Capers"  have already been booked on the Letterman Show.

This article written by Mad Cow Culture. 

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