Tag Archives: EIA

Kill the ivory trade – not the Elephants! Action for Elephants UK Protests outside Chinese Embassy!!

Can you imagine an outside being coming to hack away human bodies..  just so that they can carve out human skulls and bones as trophy for their collection…or worse..  powdered human bones for their tasty meals..or medicines?  (well, this was already imagined and filmed as `The Predator’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger)!

Luckily, we don;t have aliens who come to Earth to do this..  But we humans are quite happy to do it to other animals..  Elephants massacred for their tusks, Rhinos killed for their horns.. Tigers for their tooth,  fur and testicles..Whales & Dolphins..and more beasts ..all for our human greed and consumption!

elephantom & many friends outside Chinese Embassy (London)  - photo (c) Vathani Navasothy 2014
elephantom & many friends outside Chinese Embassy (London) – photo (c) Vathani Navasothy 2014

I was feeling tired yesterday, ..and going to be a rather low-key presence at the Peaceful Protest outside Chinese Embassy, London..to band ivory trade..  Showing up and adding a body of support was more important, than not showing up because of personal circumstances..

But  I kept thinking about why I am doing it..  ? for me.. for the Kudos..just like some celebrities and politicians do..  to say they support some eco-campaign..?   Or to really make a difference…and really save the Elephants?

Personal tiredness is one thing..and is often self-inflicted due to the kind of life styles we lead..   But life or death..  the situation those Elephants face..are not life-style choices for them..is it?    They have no power or control over that one..  An external force (the madness of mankind) takes away that. …and their lives too..  Because their tooth is somehow `valuable’   – for medicinal reasons, or just purely as status symbols or art and craft..  !

So I got off my tired back-side, grabbed the Elephantom mask, and got into London..  to join fellow decent eco-warriors, campaigners, protestors and carers…  to be outside the Chinese Embassy in London, to send out a physical message…that we do not approve..  that we want them to get their government to stop the ivory trade in their lands…so that somewhere in other lands (Africa & India) poachers won’t have a reason to kill Elephants.. to supply ivory to the Chinese people..!

My Elephantom (Eco-Hero) mask  had the desired result..  in attracting a bit of entertaining attention from passers by, as well as Media people..  (well, they want something more than slogans, banners and placards to photograph..  Entertainment sells papers!!  So shamelessly some of us exploit that to put our messages across!)

My fellow protesters made sure they stood with their slogans and placards ..right besides me or behind me..  so those will come in photos too 🙂

Well, it was a great success..  Already initial search reveals so many big news papers in Uk have covered the event.. (links blow).

And for a first event of a new eco-(elephant) activist group, Acton for Elephants UK have done very well indeed.. Maria Mossman, who pulled us all together and started this deserves a huge hug..(never mind the pat on the back..organising this sort of thing takes a lot of guts..apprehensions, stress..and a hug will go a long way ..than a pat on the back..in soothing all that stress ! 🙂  

We’ve had incredible support from Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) with Mary Rice Executive Director participating and giving speeches, as did ..Dominic Dyer from `Care for the Wild’, and Will Tavers from Born Free..

Watch video here of all the speeches

Needless to say, we are going to keep up the good work..and the pressure..  We’ve only just begun!!

Mani Navasothy

(Director/ Chief Editor of `Gaian Times- Eco-spiritual Magazine’)

ps. Special thanks to my sister Vathani  for carrying my bags, taking loads of photos, networking with others..while I paraded half blindingly about..   (hard to see through an Elephant Mask)!

News Report of this event 

The Times  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/asia/article3986020.ece

The Evening Standard  http://www.standard.co.uk/panewsfeeds/protesters-demand-ivory-trade-ban-9084774.html

Demotix  http://www.demotix.com/news/3750468/action-elephants-protest-chinese-embassy-london/all-media

The Express http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/456033/Let-s-stop-this-SAVAGERY-Chinese-embassy-swarmed-with-protesters-to-ban-ivory-trade


The Independent  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/protesters-lock-horns-with-china-over-ivory-as-campaigners-look-into-buyers-9085506.html

The Belfast Telegraph  http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/protesters-call-for-china-ivory-ban-29949705.html

Daily Echo  http://m.dailyecho.co.uk/news/national/10963499.Protesters_demand_ivory_trade_ban

Local Guardian http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/national/news/10963499.Protesters_demand_ivory_trade_ban/

Other links

Elephantom Origins: Birth of an Eco-Hero (eBook on Amazon)

Adventures of Elephantom (website)

Gaian Times Eco-spiritual Magazine

Eco-Campaigns with E.I.A (Environmental Investigation Agency)

`Extinction is Forever’ – a poster I designed for a t-shirt competition (but never entered it). (c)Mani Navasothy 1994.

It is quite amazing that there are so many things that matter to me which I have yet to write or talk about, or share with family & friends. Blogs are wonderful for such sharing.

One such area of my life involved me being a member of the Eco-campaign and activism charity called E.I.A (Environmental Investigation Agency). My involvement dates back to around 1993-94,and am not sure why I picked that one to join and support (I was also a member of Green Peace anyway). Perhaps one of their people stopped me in the street and convinced me to join.

I wasn’t just a `pay and forget’ member of EIA.  I went to events, and did quite a lot of Fundraising for it.  I can’t recall the name of the other friend (a middle aged guy with beard) but partnered with him, I have stood at so many London Tube Stations, and also a special week-long stand at London’s Covent Garden – to do fundraising for EIA.  We would wear  a fluffy full body animal suit –  either a Dolphin or an Elephant – and stand clinking our cans for hours at peak times, with posters behind us.  (It was while doing this one day that I noticed a funny difference of sight between my left and right eye, as each had a separate eye-hole. This lead me to consultation with eye hospital and I learnt I had a slightly asymmetrical curvature of my left eye-ball!)

One friend I had made there was a very young girl (16?) called Harmony, and we all became friends. I even contributed art works for her teen-based eco-Newsletter.  One of our fundraising event was a sponsored run in what I now know as Trent Park (Enfield). I remember walking behind a person who looked very much like a TV soap start from Australia’s `Neighbours’ – and it was her!

At EIA HQ, we once had a big screening of their now famous TV programme, `The Animal Detectives’ – where experienced EIA `operatives’ went under-cover to places of animal cruelty, trafficking etc and filmed matters and exposed them to the world. It was a big hit ITV programme in the UK at the time.

Wikipedia has a full entry for EIA at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Investigation_Agency and here is an extract on the TV show:

Animal Detectives TV Series.

In 1995, Independent Television Network (ITV) broadcast a TV series called The Animal Detectives in the UK. The series commissioned by Carlton Television was produced by Goldhawk together with Ecodetectives, a company owned by directors of EIA. The series, based on EIA’s undercover investigation work into the trade in endagered species, showed footage from EIA’s undercover filming. The series had seven episodes, each covering a different group of animals-

Episodes BEARS (01/06/1995) WHALES (25/05/1995) PARROTS (18/05/1995) WALRUS (11/05/1995) RHINOS (04/05/1995) TURTLES (30/03/1995) MONKEYS (23/02/1995)[21]

The series won the Media Natura award for best film, the Brigitte Bardot International Genesis Award (Los Angeles), and the Gold Plaque at the Chicago Documentary Film Festival”

I don’t have any contact with EIA these days, but do check their website from time to time. But They provided me with a channel for my eco-activism at the time. These days I put those eco-activism energies into the online eco-magazine Gaian Times.  I must tell EIA about it one day.

Meanwhile, if I ever find those old photos of me in an Elephant costume, I’ll post it here 🙂

-Mani Navasothy