Jill Phipps (1964 - 1995) was a British animal rights activist and veteran campaigner for animals. She was crushed under the wheels of a truck during a protest to stop the live export of calves. The calves were being transported to Coventry Airport in Britain for export to Holland and thence to farms across Europe to make veal. Protesters gathered outside the airport. Phipps and a few protesters intended to slow one of the trucks by chaining themselves to it. They broke through a police cordon. Phipps was caught under a truck and her spine snapped.
Protesters had frequently burst through police lines on earlier days, but this day something went wrong. The truck driver was not charged with manslaughter for lack of evidence. Jill Phipps’ family blame the police for keeping the transporters moving. Her mother said, “Whatever happened they were determined to keep the convoys going. They had no contingency plan for people running into the road.” (1)
Phipps’ death evoked widespread public sympathy and stirred fellow activists’ resolve to keep up their protest against live animal exports. The exports from the airport eventually stopped when the aviation freight company went bankrupt.
The plaque on Jill Phipps’ grave reads ‘Died as she lived fearlessly fighting for animals.’ Her memorial web site states “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.”
For more about live animal exports see The Battle of Brightlingsea, in Direct Action.
(1) The Guardian. 5th February 2005. www.theguardian.com.