07/03/05 The Human Race in Pamplona

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Residents of Croatia and neighboring countries take part in Running of the Nudes 2005!

Hoping that Human Race will expose and end cruelty behind bull run organizations PETA and Animal Friends organized a coach which will go from Zagreb to Pamplona and for which were much more interested than its 50 seats, so it was very quickly filled with activists from many Croatian towns and other countries.

Activists are off to Spain to join an estimated 600 PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) supporters from around the world who will run through the streets of Pamplona - most of them wearing nothing more than red scarves and plastic horns - two days before the city's annual Running of the Bulls, as part of PETA's fourth annual Human Race on July 5. The runners' goal is to let tourists know that there is a win-win alternative to inciting a stampede among panicked animals who end up being tormented and slaughtered in the bullring later in the day.

PETA supporters worldwide have written to the mayor of Pamplona, asking her to embrace a new tradition - the festive, naked Human Race - and to stop abusing bulls, who are terrified by the ordeal and often suffer serious injuries as they slip and fall when forced to charge down cobbled streets. Spanish opposition to bullfighting is mounting. After the Barcelona City Council voted in April 2004 to ban this primitive blood sport, other Spanish towns, including Torello, Calldetenes and Olot - which has the second-oldest bullring in Spain - followed suit.

The Running of the Bulls is tourist-driven, but most visitors haven't a clue about the cruelty that bulls are subjected to before, during and after the run. Electric-shock prods and sharp sticks are typically used to torment and frighten the bulls into a stampede. As the animals flee, they sustain bruises, cuts and broken bones. In the bullfights following the run, bulls are often intentionally debilitated with tranquilisers and beatings and have petroleum jelly rubbed in their eyes so that they are less able to resist their tormentors' attacks. According to The New York Times, as many as 90 per cent of tourists who attend bullfights never return after witnessing the animals' suffering.

"Tormenting and butchering animals for entertainment is something straight out of the Dark Ages," says PETA Director of European Campaigns Sean Gifford. "Tourists flocking to Pamplona are looking for a thrill, and our Running of the Nudes aims to give them just that - without harming a hair on a bull's back."

This year's Running of the Nudes boasts twice as many participants as last year's race, which garnered international media attention and included runners from Canada, the US and almost every country in Europe. To view footage of last year's Human Race, please visit RunningOfTheNudes.com.

Here you can find the itinerary and more information about the coach, which heads for Pamplona in organization of PETA and Animal Friends Craotia, completelly filled with participants of Human Race from Croatian towns Rijeka, Pula, Pazin, Djakovo, Koprivnica, Nasice, Nova Kapela, Mali Losinj, Velika Gorica, Hvar, Borovo, Vukovar, Osijek, Laslovo, and Zagreb, as well as neighboring countries Slovenia, Hungaria, Bulgaria, and Serbia and Montenegro - who will together leave from Zagreb on a four-day trip to take part in Human Race.

This July PETA and the Croatian animal rights group Animal Friends are teaming up to end bullfighting and the cruel Running of the Bulls that takes place in Pamplona, Spain. A coach is taking activists from Eastern Europe to Pamplona and we want you to join in!

This year PETA and Animal Friends organized a coach with 50 seats which was filled in with lightning speed with activists from many Croatians towns and neighboring countries who wanted to participate in the Human Race. We are leaving from Zagreb according to the itinerary and will join hundreds of other participants from all parts of Europe.

The campsite where we will be staying is featured at Aritzaleku.com/eng.html and has all the usual facilities, such as showers, a small grocery store and even a pub. Nestled amongst the hills 30 miles outside Pamplona, the site has gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside and a lake for anyone who wants to go swimming. There are two types of accommodation available at the campsite - either a bunk bed in one of four PETA cabins (each cabin houses up to 33 people and will be mixed-sex) or a tent outside, which will be supplied by the campground and will sleep anywhere from 2 to 6 people. There will be enough sleeping spaces for everyone but if you want to sleep by yourself do bring your own tent. Please remember - whether you are in a tent or a cabin, you still need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow.

For the actual run, please seriously consider running naked! In 2004 the Mayor of Pamplona allowed us to protest only in our knickers (the demonstration was still a smash success!) and this year we are attempting to get a permit to allow people the choice to run totally nude. I know that it sounds a bit daring for the modest among us, but the Human Race should be an attention-grabbing spectacle - the more flesh we show, the more people will pay attention. Any media coverage we receive allows us to highlight the terrible plight of the bulls and the horrors of bullfighting. Don't worry if you cannot stand the thought of running nude! The most important thing is simply to have you at the event! If you'll be wearing clothes during the short 15-minute "race" (it's more of a fast walk, really), we ask that you wear an all-white outfit (white knickers or white shorts or trousers with a white T-shirt). PETA will be providing all the necessary posters.

Local newspapers are often interested in area residents who participate in high-profile actions like this one - please let us know if you'd like us to contact your local newspaper about writing a profile piece on you and the reason you're making the trip to Pamplona. Last year, dozens of newspapers around the Europe published great stories about people just like you who were going to protest in Pamplona (see enclosed samples). It's a tremendous opportunity to spread the word about how animals suffer during bullfights, and if you are nervous about speaking to a journalist, don't be - it's a piece of cake! Just mark the box overleaf, and a PETA staffer will call you and give you a few tips. Animals need you to speak up for them so please mark that box!

Here's the itinerary:

July 3: The coach leaves from Zagreb, at 8 A.M. from the main railway station.
July 4: The coach arrives at a beautiful campground just outside Pamplona at about 3 P.M., where PETA has reserved large cabins with bunk beds and outdoor spots to pitch tents. A vegan barbeque is planned for the afternoon, where you can meet other activists from all over Europe. Activists will be sleeping in this camp on the nights July 4 and 5, and the camp address is: Camping Aritzaleku, San Pedro, s/n. 31291 LERATE, Navarra-Nafarroa, Spain.
July 5: At 9 A.M. the coach leaves the camp and drives to the center of Pamplona. The Human Race begins at 1 P.M. sharp. After the run, a celebration will be held in honour of everyone who participated in the Human Race and helped call attention to the suffering of the bulls. At 7 P.M. the coaches leave Pamplona and head to the camp.
July 6: The coach departs campground at noon and drives back to Zagreb.

The coaches and campground are expensive, so we are asking for a minimum of euro 15 from each person to help cover the costs. We have sponsorship forms available so you can raise money from friends, co-workers and family members to help pay for the fee. Obviously, euro 15 does not cover the cost of the entire trip, so any additional money you raise above euro 15 would be greatly appreciated, though the most important thing is that you come!

More information about the Human Race

The fourth annual Human Race takes place in July 2005. Each year, the number of protesters doubles, so we are expecting a huge turn-out this year! In 2004, 300 activists gathered for a unique and eye-catching event. Some went topless or stripped down to their knickers, while others ran in shorts or fully clothed. They held signs reading, "Stop the Bloody Bullfight" and "Join the Human Race" and ran the same course the bulls are forced to run. Greeted by cheers and whistles, the fun and light-hearted protest was a tremendous success, bringing a great deal of attention to a very serious issue: the hideous cruelty of bullfighting. We are hoping the Human Race will become so popular that it will eventually replace the cruel Running of the Bulls. This year, we need an even bigger showing of support from around the world, and this is where you come in. Be one of the 600-plus protesters on the streets of Pamplona this July!

How long is the Human Race?

Don't worry! It's less than one km and only takes about 10 minutes - participants don't even run - it's more of a walk. Think of the fantastic tan you'll get!

What do the locals think of the race?

The last three years, the locals loved it - many of the participants were Spanish themselves, and thousands of people laughed and cheered us along the way. Locals from Pamplona, two elderly men in particular, thanked us for being so brave. They said that the bullfights were disgusting and needed to stop and that we had the right idea. In 2004 local tour guides encouraged their groups to watch, and even participate, in our Running of the Nudes protest! If the trend continues in the future tourists will travel to Pamplona to run through the streets with us and celebrate instead of participating in a bloody, cruel spectacle!

Do I have to go naked?

Of course you don't! While many people choose to protest topless or in their knickers, going fully clothed is great, too - all we ask is that you wear all white clothing.

Thank you, and we'll see you in Pamplona in 2005!

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