Two days after an incident where two vegan animal rights protestors claimed they were doused with hot water and vinegar outside the downtown London Jack Astor’s location, the company’s headquarters has released a statement on the brand’s national Facebook page.
Calling the incident “disappointing,” the statement pledged the support of the restaurant’s parent company to the ongoing London police investigation, and said that “discipline” and “additional training” had been applied to the staff members implicated.
The two protesters from the Animal Liberation Alliance London, Chelsea Gross and Samantha McPherson, were downtown to protest a bacon event at a nearby bar, but decided to bring their literature and signs, targeting the “oppression of pigs” to Jack Astor’s, picketing to diners on their way inside.
The pair said a group of individuals on the rooftop dumped a bucket each of cold water, “very hot” water, and vinegar on them from the restaurant’s rooftop patio.
“Five (people) took to the roof to dump a bucket of cold water, followed by a bucket of very hot water, followed by a bucket of vinegar on us, all the while shouting obscenities. And we’re the crazy ones?” Gross posted on Facebook after the assault.
McPherson says she was temporarily blinded by the vinegar. About two hours after the incident, and soon after Police left the scene, McPherson said staff inside the restaurant posted a sign on the window that read “Stay Dry” and included a smiley face.
London Police responded to the scene after restaurant management called to complain about the protest, but it was later declared legal as it was on public property.
Investigators then reviewed surveillance footage that showed five people pouring the buckets of liquid from the rooftop, but no charges have been laid at this point because the footage doesn’t reveal the exact identities of the wrongdoers.
The general manager of the Jack Astor’s location told the London Free Press that the restaurant had launched its own investigation into what happened, but later referred all queries to the company’s head office, SIR Corp.
Officials with Animal Liberation Alliance London say the incident will not damped their resolve.
“Unfortunately, the assault on McPherson and Gross is an all too common problem in the non-human advocacy movement. We as a society objectify and oppress non-humans so much that we don’t see them as worthy of even a peaceful protest on their behalf. The human indifference and oppression of pigs has quickly translated by the offenders to the indifference and oppression of those who speak up for pigs, enabling them to assault peacefully protesting people.” said Jason King, Co-Founder of Animal Liberation Alliance London, in a Facebook posting.
Full Statement from Jack Astor’s
The incident that occurred this weekend is incredibly disappointing and does not reflect our company’s inclusive philosophy of welcoming and respecting guests.
We sincerely apologize to our guests, the community and most of all, to the people directly affected by this incident. We will be reaching out to Samantha and Chelsea personally to apologize and are cooperating fully with local authorities in their investigation.
Our team has zero tolerance for disrespectful behaviour of any kind. We have spent the past two days fully investigating the matter with those working that evening, and have followed up to discipline the staff members involved and to provide additional training to all teammates at this location.