In Memory of Jill Phipps
Jill Phipps was a British animal rights activist. She lived in Coventry, England. On 1 February 1995, Jill was crushed to death under the wheels of a lorry carrying live baby veal calves into Coventry Airport in Baginton, England, to be flown to Amsterdam for distribution across Europe. 10 of the 33 protesters present had broken through police lines and were trying to bring the lorry to a halt by sitting in the road or chaining themselves to it. Jill was crushed beneath the lorry's wheels and her fatal injuries included a broken spine. Phipps' brother Zab commented: "Jill was crushed and died on the way to hospital. Our mother, Nancy, was with her. The lorry driver has not been charged, not even with driving without due care and attention."
The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the driver, Stephen Yates. Jill's family believe that the police were to blame for her death, because the police appeared determined to keep the convoy of lorries moving despite the protest.
Veal calf exports from Coventry Airport ended months later, when the aviation firm belonging to the pilot responsible for the veal flights, Christopher Barrett-Jolley, went bankrupt following accusations of running guns from Slovakia to Sudan in breach of EU rules. In 2006 he was charged with smuggling 271 kg of cocaine from Jamaica into Southend airport. The continuing level of protest was such that several local councils and a harbour board banned live exports from their localities. All live exports of calves later stopped due to fears of BSE infection. In 2006 this ban was lifted, but Coventry Airport pledged that it would refuse requests to fly veal calves.
(from Remember Jill Phipps Myspace Page)
From a Tribute to Jill:
"Jill's peaceful protests took many forms, from providing a home to a stray dog, to handing out leaflets, to sabbing a hunt, to standing in front of a lorry load of young calves destined for a short hellish life in veal crates. When Jill stood in front of the lorry that killed her, she understood the risks but typically for her she assumed that the police and the lorry driver would respect life as much as she did, unfortunately this was not true and in the end Jill gave her life for her beliefs and for others who could not defend themselves - this is the greatest act of bravery that is possible by a human being. Jill is not a martyr, she is a hero and her actions will inspire and give courage to everyone who knew her and to many thousands of people who never met her. Jill`s bravery and compassion will go down in history and she will never be forgotten."
have you ever asked yourself how far are you willing to go to honour your values and beliefs?
are you willing to talk for your brothers when they might need your help?
were you brought up into this world only for passing by like a leaf in the wind, or are your actions going to make a difference for some fellow earthlings?
it is through a conscious and meaningful life that we will make the most out of this passage on Earth, and through a life that matters not only for us.