Monday, February 13, 2006

First Stop: Lynchburg, VA

We arrived at the Lynchburg KFC a bit early but I was anxious to get started. I shed my coat to reveal the yellow bikini. Passers by were very curious so Lindsay and I immediately started to leaflet. The manager was extremely heated and threatened to call the police. We assured her we had been in contact with the police and had a permit to demonstrate.

A man was with the manager and came to question if our boots were leather. He stuck around for a bit and kept commenting that we should have something better to do and that having me in a bikini in the cold was real torture.

ABC 13 News was first on the scene to interview the two of us. They kept asking if I was cold and I kept assuring them it was nothing compared to what the chickens endure.
Some men in a car saw me shiver a bit and offered their embrace, to which I replied, "If you boycott KFC that would really warm me up!"

The police did show up to check our permit and to take some information from the two of us. The officer seemed a bit intimidated by my apparel and meekly asked if I had an ID on me.
Onlookers were excited to snap pictures with their digital cameras and phones. With all of the pictures taken by the public and the by a local photographer from The News & Advance, I would say we caught the attention we were after.

Three local activists joined us, making our demo really impressive. The support of people in each community keeps us going strong!

One gentleman approached us as we were packing up and said he raised poultry. He agreed that factory farming is bad for chickens as well as humans. He voiced a need for the public to know the conditions animals are raised in. I think our conversation put him at ease that we are out for better standards, not to shut down individual farmers like him.

We attempted to drive thru to give the KFC staff some DVDs and leaflets but a manager met us at the window. It seems to me they don't want the employees to decide for themselves.


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