Brave Activist Assaults Homeless Man

On July 8, a homeless man was assaulted by a female animal rights activist. The activist was not apprehended and police will not investigate further as the homeless man declined to press charges.

According to reports, the woman approach the man verbally abusing him because of the Covance advertisements. The unidentified woman then punched the man the face.

So why did an activist go out of her way to assault a homeless man? The man was trying to make a little money by selling UK magazine “The Big Issue in the North.” One of the advertisers in the magazine is animal testing firm Covance.

A spokesman for “The Big Issue” said his magazine had little choice but to stop taking ads from Covance,

We will not put the safety or our vendors at risk and feel we have no option other than to stop running the Covance adverts in the magazine. Picking on vulnerable people to get what you want is a despicable way to act. The Big Issue in the North works with people who are victimized. Our vendors are 13 times more likely to be attack in the street than any other member of the public. People should be supporting vendors and organizations like The Big Issue in the North to tackle inequalities and not reinforcing them.

Riiight. Apparently the magazine missed the noticed that homeless people are no better than mice or rats.

Covance apparently spent a rather small sum on ads in the magazine — just 2,500 pounds per year — and a spokesman lashed out at the sort of scum who would assault a homeless man,

It is a great shame that the Big Issue in the North, which does a great deal to help disadvantaged people to help themselves, has been forced into this position. They have done what they had to do because their vendors were vulnerable and their safety has to be the primary concern. Our anger is directed only towards those people who would attack a magazine vendor simply because the magazine doesn’t agree with their views.

The irony, of course, is that the advertisements were recruitment ads for clinical trials. So the activists want researchers to use people rather than animals for tests, but they’ll punch homeless people in the face when firms actually seek human volunteers for medical research.


Big Issue pulls ad after vendor attack. Manchester Evening News, July 28, 2005.

Big Issue rejects adverts after vendor is attacked. Russell Jenkins, The Times, July 29, 2005.

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