The Buffalo Bills’ thrashing of the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night in the opening game of the NFL season was momentarily disrupted by two animal rights activists.
Emek Echo and Katia Shokrai, members of Direct Action Everywhere, rushed across SoFi Stadium while carrying smoke flares. The women allegedly wanted to draw attention to the impending Smithfield Foods factory farm whistleblowers trial, according to the group.
In the midst of the chaos, security personnel tackled the women, and one of them lost their temper. Josh Allen, the quarterback for the Bills, threw the flare all the way into the end zone, where a security guard picked it up.
DxE Activists disrupt Rams Bills with pink smoke flares to draw attention to 2 activists facing over a decade in prison for rescuing 2 sickly baby piglets from a WH Group / Smithfield Foods factory farm. #RightToRescue #SmithfieldTrial— Direct Action Everywhere (@DxEverywhere) September 9, 2022
As the smoke cleared, the incident ended the game. The reigning Super Bowl champions would lose to the Bills 31-10.
Two of Direct Action Everywhere investigators, Paul Darwin Picklesimer and Wayne Hsiung, were reportedly charged with various offenses for removing piglets from Circle Four Farms, which is run by Smithfield Foods, according to a press release. The occurrence took place in 2017.
“Smithfield, like the animal agriculture industry itself, is a barbaric house of cards — built on unconscionable, systemic abuse, and desperate attempts to shield that abuse from the public eye. I want the world to know that animal rescuers are facing years in prison because of this company’s undue influence on our democracy.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that five activists were charged in connection with the event. Picklesimer and Hsiung were charged with two third-degree felonies of burglary and a class B misdemeanor count of stealing while the other three entered plea agreements.
Early October will see the start of the experiment.
The protests that occurred earlier this year during Minnesota Timberwolves games were also organized by Direct Action Everywhere.