There will be blood

Tash Peterson has become a notorious vegan protestor in Perth. Photo: Olivia Di Iorio.

Vegan activist Tash Peterson will appear in court later this month after being charged by police following her controversial protest at the Louis Vuitton store in Perth’s CBD.

On August 21 Ms Peterson entered the Louis Vuitton store on Murray St wearing only knickers, covered in her own period blood, holding a placard, and shouting ‘you are paying for the most horrific animal abuse on this planet’.

Ms Peterson and two cameramen were charged with disorderly conduct.

Peterson held a placard saying ‘I’d rather be naked than wear someone else’s skin’ and ‘If you’re not vegan you’re an animal abuser’. Photo: Supplied.

On August 29 Ms Peterson returned to Louis Vuitton bringing a large megaphone chanting alongside other protestors.

On her Instagram page Ms Peterson says being charged will not stop her from returning.

Tash returned to the store soon after she was charged. Photo: Supplied.

Vegan Australia board director Greg McFarlane says different approaches to protesting appeal to different people.

“Ms Peterson is trying to bring awareness to the horrific suffering that occurs in the animal industries,” he says.

I asked for reactions to this kind of protesting tactic on a City of Fremantle Facebook group:

The responses to a Facebook post asking about vegan protests. Screenshots: Olivia Di Iorio.

Fremantle vegan Nicolle Hansen says there is a place for Peterson’s type of activism.

Ms Hansen works in a restaurant that was targeted Ms Peterson.

“The protest alienated many,” she says.

Ms Peterson, 27, has a history of gaining attention. Video: Olivia Di Iorio.

She says in 2019 she started to get involved in what she calls “disruptive styles of activism”.

Media attention is Ms Peterson’s main goal in her “disruptive protests”. Video: Olivia Di Iorio.

Ms Peterson has protested in restaurants, fast food chains, butchers and supermarkets, leading to her being banned from Coles and Woolworths.

She has also been charged by police previously, when she ran onto the field during an AFL match at Optus stadium.

Ms Peterson ran onto the field at Optus Stadium in 2020. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Peterson says she receives a lot of hate for her protests.

She says despite sometimes fearing for her own life, she does measure her success by the amount of haters she has.

Worrying about her safety, Ms Peterson says she’s had to contact police. Video: Olivia Di Iorio

“People actually see me as a public nuisance and a terrorist.”

Ms Peterson will face the Perth Magistrates Court on September 13.

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