Saturday, January 30, 2010


I have mixed feelings about yesterday's assault on a PETA activist in downtown St. John's. While it may not go down in the annals of history as the organizations most electrifying protest, they will make millions because of the pie throwing incident.

Yesterday, I listened in disgust as VOCM Open Line host Randy Simms encouraged listeners to throw pies at the PETA activist dressed as a seal. He suggested that it would be great to see a bunch of people, armed with pies pelt the protester.

The Downhomer's mascot Salty did just that, but in a way which certainly did not make me proud. Salty approached  (after jumping out of a van)  a weary Emily Lavender, grabbed her, knocked her over (while trying to pull of the head of the costume), picked the pie up from the ground and planted it her face. The trip was accidental, but the scuffle looked ugly and mean.  Yes in broad daylight a male physically assaulted a young girl and many have condoned it. Salty royally screwed up!

If we thought the assault on Fisheries Minister Gail Shea earlier this week by a PETA supporter was intolerable, what makes this incident acceptable? If we demanded that PETA be branded a terrorist organization than why should those who suggested that not demand the same of VOCM or the Downhomer.  Yes folks, Randy Simms (who I have defended many times in the past) may have incited this assault on live radio yesterday morning. If we feel that Gail Shea was assaulted than surely we must feel that Emily Lavender was assaulted? What happened to freedom of association or freedom of speech? What happened to the reputation of warm open hospitality that we have worked so hard to develop?

37-year-old New York City resident Emily McCoy was charged with assault for striking Fisheries Minister Gail Shea in the face with a pie. McCoy, a supporter of PETA acted alone, the incident was not organized by the animal-rights group. Compare McCoys plop in the face with aggression and intensity of yesterdays assault. and your left with an empty feeling in your stomach.

For me this was just stupid. Sure, on first brush it may have given some people a rush of gotcha, in return for years of slagging the hunt and our people. In the long run we lose. We look like the savage bullies that we have been painted out to be. Perhaps this is just what the organization wanted to happen. We are our own worst enemies.

I may show great disdain for PETA, and their false messages, but I certainly support their right to protest. Imagine being forced to defend a PETA organizer because of the stupidly of my fellow Newfoundlanders'.

Two wrongs do not make a right it....stupid, stupid stupid.


Brian Fagan said...

Did anyone notice that Our Danny was dressed in his seal fur coat yesterday! Good on him

Anonymous said...

She looked like she was frightened to death!

Peter L. Whittle said...

A pie for a pie

Earl said...

So much for tourism in this province. What an idiot! I hope the Downhomer has to run an apology on it;s front page.

Gord in Bonavista said...

Assault is assault. Where is the indignation that followed the humiliation of the beauty queen over a few pictures!

Look at the size of this big man. His hands are bigger than the poor girls face. What a bully! Has he been arrested and charged?

Donna Delisigillo said...

Here is a young woman demonstrating her disapproval of the seal hunt in a legal quiet manner, not shouting, or gesticulating, or impeding the flow of traffic. She is attacked from behind, tripped, and thrown to the ground; she is then picked up by her assailant, her costume torn from her head and a cream pie viciously screwed into her face. Her attacker dressed in a dog mascot costume runs away. Did anybody come to her assistance? Was there any comment raised about this vicious and unprovoked attack on a young Canadian woman exercising her democratic right of freedom of expression and dissent?
Given that the seal hunt is a Canadian issue (not just Newfoundland) within Canadian law, any citizen has the right of dissent and the right to express this dissent.

It is sheer hypocrisy to proclaim that the pieing of Ms. Shea is an act of terrorism, when an unprovoked physical attack on a young Canadian woman goes without comment. Is this indicative of local Newfoundland culture?

Anonymous said...

Pathetic, really, really pathetic

Oscar G said...

Stupid? No doubt. But still quite funny.

Anonymous said...

"Salty approached (after jumping out of a van) a weary Emily Lavender, grabbed her, knocked her over (while trying to pull of the head of the costume), picked the pie up from the ground and planted it her face. The trip was accidental, but the scuffle looked ugly and mean."

Just watched the video. She wasn't grabbed, she wasn't knocked over, she tripped, no attempted was made to pull off the mask, she took it off herself and I don't think it would rank as a scuffle compared to real scuffles that have happened on the next street down. I won't be losing any sleep over what happened to this naive, brainwashed Peta robot.

Marcia said...

I respect the fact that you don't support PETA even though I personally do. Reason being: You are being educated,respectful, and unbiased with your approach.

Thank you for writing such a great piece.