will never forget Jill. Her beautiful smile is etched into
my memory. In this brief article I just wanted to get across
an aspect of Jilly where she wasn't smiling - when she was
furious, facing aggressive bullies.
at a fur protest
and friend at the same protest
best way I can illustrate this is to recount a little story
that she recorded in her diaries. She was out in the Swanswell
park when she came across a man throwing stones at the swans.
She dived into action and stopped him but he still continued
to lurk around the park. She rang the police and the RSPCA
- not surprisingly they did nothing. What Jill did next goes
to the heart of what I want to convey about her - she went
home and got a baseball bat and went back to the park where
she carried out a 3 hour vigil. Here she was this slim built
dreadlocked punky princess patrolling up and down the pond,
alone in the dark, armed with a baseball bat.
think of it this way. Swans are beautiful, graceful, serene
creatures - to be in their presence is to be blessed with
a sense of blissful, tranquility - but.....if someone were
to do something that made them feel under threat or, even
worse, if they feel their young are threatened then .... watch
out! When necessary they have attitude by the bucket load.
To an aggressor they certainly do not take a pacifist approach
- and neither did Jill. Like all of us who get into animal
liberation she despised bullies, of whatever type.
huntsman witnessed Jill's fury. Amongst their many vices they
are invariably un-believably sexist. When they attack sabs
they expect the women to run away screaming. Jill would scream
alright and then run towards them!
and, her mum, Nancy were the first two lib loonies I ever
met when I went to a public meeting of Coventry Animal Alliance,
back in 1983.
I have many fond memories of going to punk gigs with Jill
and then smash-ing butchers windows afterwards. She received
a suspended sentence for a raid on Unilever laboratories.
However when she gave birth to her beloved son Luke she realised
that her ALF activities would have to take a back seat a she
couldn't risk being taken away from her son - she still stayed
active in every other way - doing stalls, sabbing and rescuing
Jill on the infamous Coventry Animal Alliance stall
prior to the export of calves from Coventry Airport she was
happily getting on with her life but Barrett-Jolley's business
plans put a stop to all that. The sight, day after day, of
those baby calves being driven past her broke her heart but
also rekindled the warrior inside her - she fought like never
before. She was a vegan, she was a mother, she was angry beyond
belief. Just picture a mother swan, in defence of her babies,
flapping their opened wings.
crushed into transport lorries on their way to a short
brutal life in a European farm
day she took a bottle of cows milk out of an office at the
airport. A worker saw her and shouted out "you've stolen
my milk" to which she replied "it's not your milk,
it belongs to the calves".
She spent many cold winter days and freezing nights outside
the gates of the airport - and she eventually died fighting
for the right to life.
our subsequent wave of anger we stopped Barrett-Jolley. He
moved on elsewhere. A few years ago he was arrested for importing
cocaine into Southend Airport and he is now serving a 20 year
It is greed that lead him to his prison cell and greed
that killed Jill.
What she wrote in her diaries regarding the hordes of police
who escorted Barrett-Jolley's in and out of Coventry airport
has been deemed unsuitable for publication!
was a warrior. Jill's Day ends up at the Swanswell park -
around 20 swans live there in this tiny little oasis of green.
When you look at a swan and become lost in the haze of blissful
peace and tranquility that they radiate......remember the
warrior that lies beneath the surface.
the human race reaches ever new lows in the amount of
industrialised mass slaughter and environmental destruction
that we are responsible for - we need all the warriors
of the rainbow that we can get.
Jill was one of those people.