A California man was arrested for being part of a group of animals rights protesters that surrounded and blocked the path of a truck driver attempting to deliver a load of live chickens.
Demonstrators Block Truck From Entering Facility
Thirty-two year old Jonathan Frohmayer was arrested for trespassing around 12:20 a.m. on August 14 outside of the Petaluma Poultry Processors facility.
The Petaluma Police Department was called to the scene to respond to a report of a group of demonstrators blocking a truck from entering the plant. At least one protester held a sign that read “No hate for truckers. Just love for animals.”
When officers arrived at the scene they found “a group of 20 demonstrators who had surrounded a large tractor trailer truck and one demonstrator was also located sitting in front of the truck on a private driveway to Petaluma Poultry. The demonstrators were not permitting the truck from moving and creating a traffic hazard that was unsafe for the demonstrators in the roadway, the driver of the truck, and other motorists on the roadway.”
While all other protesters eventually complied with police requests to move out of the truck’s way, Frohmayer remained seated in front of the truck and refused to move.
Police arrested Frohmayer without incident.
Protesters Say Truck Drove Into Them
A statement from the group that organized the protest, “Direct Action Everywhere”, claimed that the truck “drove into a throng of activists” and said that the truck “pushed into the activists.”
Petaluma police denied this claim. “The truck didn’t drive into the protesters,” said Lieutenant Tim Lyons.
The protesters claim that the transport company was in violation of the USDA’s Twenty-Eight Hour law, which requires that animals be held in a transport vehicle for more than 28 hours before they are unloaded to rest and feed for five hours. Petaluma Poultry has denied that the animals were held for more than 28 hours in the truck.
Direct Action Everywhere says that they have planned more protests and that they want the plant shut down.
Petaluma police have issued a warning to protesters about the dangers of demonstrating at night, when they are difficult to see, especially for drivers who aren’t expecting to encounter them.