A horror novel by
Jill's mother Nancy.
All proceeds go to Jill's Fund to be used to help sanctuaries and animal rights campaigns.

 

 
 

Jill's Day 2005 will never be forgotten by anyone who was there. On Saturday 5th Feb 2005, 500 people from as far away as Scotland, Ireland and Europe came to Coventry to mark the 10th anniversary of Jill Phipps tragic death whilst protesting against live exports at Coventry Airport. It was a sombre day of remembrance, but also a time to celebrate Jill's life and remind everyone of all that she fought against.



Marchers fill the streets of Coventry on Jill's Day 2005

The day included the laying of flowers at Jill's memorial stone at Coventry Airport, speeches in Coventry City Centre, a colourful march through the city streets, the first screening of a film about Jill's life, a vegan banquet and entertainment into the evening.



Click here for a video clip
of the quiet part of the march



Click here for a video clip
for the exuberant part of the march

Read on for a full report of the days events, including many more pictures.

2005 the 10th Anniversary

For dozens of people, Jill's Day 2005 started with the laying of flowers and tying of purple ribbons at Jill's memorial stone at Coventry Airport, just feet from where she died. Campaigners stood in silence for a few moments, whilst reflecting on their memories of that tragic day 10 years before.



The plaque on Jill's memorial stone

From 12 noon, campaigners started to arrive in the Bull Yard in Coventry City Centre, where preparations for the day were well under way.

Banners and posters were on prominent display and also an exhibition about Jill's life and the Coventry live export campaign.

There were stalls with a huge variety of leaflets and Nancy Phipps' (Jill's mum) chilling horror novel was on sale.


Veggies were on hand with a selection of delicious vegan food. Local cafes had prepared for cruelty-free visitors and displayed the fact outside their shops (see picture above).

Speeches were given by Jill`s good friend and activist John Curtin, Juliet Gellatley of Viva! and Tony Moore(whose wife Vicki was also killed campaigning for animals) of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE).

The Rt. Hon. Tony Benn and Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP, sent their apologies that they could not attend but messages of support from them were read out by Ursula Bates of Solihull Animal Aid.



Just one of the many banners decorating Coventry


Hundreds of posters depicting images of Jill had been specially prepared for the day. And there were dozens of other banners, placards, purple flags, ribbon sticks etc.

At just after 2pm, a colourful march set off around the busy city streets, it was silent except for a single drumbeat. This was so effective and hundreds of shoppers stopped to look as we marched by.



The procession made a striking impression on all who saw it

The march wound it`s way towards Coventry Cathedral, where Jill`s funeral was held. Marchers walked down the Cathedral steps and circled University Square before gathering at the bottom of the steps to listen to more speeches.



Click here for a video clip of the procession

Robin Webb, the spokeman for the Animal Liberation Front Supporters Group(ALF SG) was first to speak and he was followed by Jill`s friend and fellow activist Pam Brown (read an article written by Pam here).



Marchers stream down the Cathedral steps

Finally, Jill`s partner Justin Timson, who had travelled over specially from Australia, captivated the crowd as he played the didgeridoo and a drum. This was very moving for everyone present and was surely the highlight of the day.



Justin plays from the heart ...



... to a spellbound crowd

Once again, the march set off but the previous silence was replaced with the sound of a samba band, drums, whistles and dancing, in a celebration of Jill`s life.



The crowd marched on ... but now silence was replaced with exuberance

A long stretch of road was closed off by the police allowing us to march towards the finish point at Swanswell Park, Hillfields where Jill, other members of the Phipps family and many other Animal Rights activists lived.



Click here for a video clip of the procession

At Swanswell Park, 3 marquees had been set up during the day and when the march finished, a vegan banquet awaited us! A huge variety of delicious vegan food was available, incl soup, samosas, sandwiches, cake etc and it was all FREE!!



Marquees on the Swanswell

Veggies were there again providing burgers etc. After an hour or so enjoying the food and the samba band, over 200 people squeezed into one of the marquees to watch the first screening of a specially prepared film all about Jill`s life and horrific death. This was followed by more speakers including Mel Broughton of the SPEAK Campaign (which is trying to stop the building of a new vivisection lab in Oxford).



People crowd into the marquee to see Jill's Film

For many people, the day ended at the Swanswell Pub, where the band who played earlier in the afternoon, continued to entertain.

Despite the setbacks and controversy surrounding this event (see the Guardian report below), it turned out to be a great 10th anniversary remembrance event to Jill and will never be forgotten by all those that attended.

Many thanks to everyone that helped make the day so special!

A further report of the day by a member of Warwickshire LACS can be found here

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Media reports from the day

"Woman who died in veal protest becomes martyr of wider cause"
The Guardian

"Marching in memory of martyr Jill"
Coventry Evening Telegraph Feb 7th

"Jill remembered as modern-day Lady Godiva"
Coventry Evening Telegraph Feb 2nd

"Day angels came for Jill"
Coventry Evening Telegraph Feb 1st

"March dogged by intimidation"
Coventry Evening Telegraph Jan 28th

"Anguish over Jill memorial setback"
Coventry Evening Telegraph Jan 20th

"Animal rights activist remembered"
BBC News Feb 6th

"March to honour animal campaigner"
BBC News Feb 5th

"Memorial marks campaigner's death"
BBC News Feb 1st


Coventry Observer
(click this link then enter "Jill Phipps" in the search box for many letters about the day)

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Other Jill`s Day events

On the same day that 500 people remembered Jill in Coventry, other campaigners were holding special events elsewhere in the UK and abroad. For example in Dover, 40 people joined a live export protest at Dover Docks.



Street stall in Zagreb

And in Zagreb, Croatia, campaigners from the group Animal Friends Croatia, held a Jill`s Day march and stall in solidarity with us in Coventry!! See pictures from their event below.





Croatian activists march in Zagreb

These Croatian pictures show how Jill and her beliefs still have the power to inspire people people all over the world even ten years after her tragic death.

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Feedback from Jill`s Day

Since Jill`s Day took place on Saturday 5th February 2005, we have received dozens of emails and phonecalls from people who enjoyed the event. Below is just a small selection of the feedback we`ve received.

Dear organisers of Jill's Day,

I just wanted to thank you for organising this moving and inspirational day. Thanks also to those who volunteered in various capacities, including the excellent stewards, which is probably a pretty thankless job!

Adam (Cambridge)

Hi

Yesterday was such a positive celebration of Jill's life and gave a chance for all there to focus on our struggle for the animals.

Well done to everyone inolved in making the day such a success. Despite all the last minute problems with the venues it all went off smoothly due to all your hard work.

Thanks again.
For the animals
Cathy and Steve

Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed Jill's day 2005. Despite all the setbacks, it was extremely well organised. It was a good mix of commemoration and celebration, as well as motivation. It was great to be on a march where the police weren't all over the place, and filming us with video cameras. This must have taken a lot of negotiation to achieve. The food was amazing too.

The highlight of the day was John Curtain's film. Very moving, and very professionally edited. Can't believe he put it together in just a month. We will definitely be ordering a copy for our group.

Thanks again for a great day!
Sarah & Ian
Preston Action for Animals

I would like to say what a great day Saturday was. Despite all the attempts by the state, media and other hysteria causing idiots, it was with great dignity and thought that the march was such a huge success.

It was a very thought provoking day,one which was great to see new faces also and to greet campaigners last seen years ago.

The food was gorgeous and the film shown was fantastic, it will stay with me for many years to come.

What a brilliant job you have all done,
my kind regards and respect
Heidi Daish

Dear John, Sole, Nancy, Luke, Justin, family & friends,

I just wish to say a huge thank you for all your efforts in making Jill's 10th Memorial Day so very special. Even after having to make other arrangements at such short notice, everything was so well planned, on time, and with every last detail lovingly undertaken.

The amount and selection of free vegan food that awaited and welcomed everyone was so thoughtful and giving.

I hope in some way that Jill would have seen, felt, and shared the love that filled Coventry for her on Saturday, and for all that she stood for.

I feel proud and privileged to have been part of this very special person?s day, and part of a movement which Jill fought for, and one that we will continue to fight for.

Luv from all of us here in Norfolk
Lin

Hi guys,

Just a quick note of congratulations for organising such a well run event yesterday. I was very impressed and it went very well. I'm sure Jill would have been proud.

Put a separate page on my website regarding yesterday, including pictures and a bit of film of the march. Intend to keep the page as a permanent reminder if that's okay.

Regards,
Heath Thompson
Group Co-Ordinator
Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports

(note: you can see Heath's page
here and the videos he mentions are the two clips you can find at the top of the page)

I felt honoured to be there last week to celebrate Jills life. Hope all those who withdrew their support at the last minute are hanginng their heads in shame given that all went peacefully on our part and it was a few moronic members of the public who tried to mar it to no avail.Jills selflessness is inspiration to all in the movement.

May her memory live on.

Kandy Kitten

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