Animal-rights group cancels protest against Chilliwack Fair Rodeo, citing multiple threats of violence

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      A new organization dedicated to stopping animal abuse has abandoned plans to hold a protest outside the Chilliwack Fair on Sunday (August 12).

      On its Facebook page, the Fraser Valley Animal Rights Association has alleged that it received "multiple threats of violence".

      The group, which was formed only a week ago, objects to the fair's annual rodeo.

      "Although we continue to passionately oppose the rodeo, it has become clear that this protest will not generate the peaceful dialogue we hope to engage in, and we cannot encourage anyone to put their safety at risk," the FVARA stated.

      This was going to be its first public event.

      "Our peaceful demonstration against the rodeo was intended to start a dialogue, raise awareness of animal cruelty, and spread a message of compassion," the Facebook post noted. "As we emphasized in our Facebook event description, we do not condone harassment of rodeo attendees or employees in any form, and hoped that we would be granted the same courtesy by those who do not share our values. Unfortunately, this was not the case."

      It also noted that a group called Soldiers of Odin had planned a counterprotest.

      Last year in Vancouver, the Soldiers of Odin showed up at an antiracist gathering, where a smoke bomb was set off to disrupt the event.

      In April, the Soldiers of Odin also demonstrated alongside a right-wing group called Culture Guard at a Vancouver rally opposing the Ministry of Education's sexual orientation and gender identity policy, a.k.a. SOGI. They were vastly outnumbered by supporters of the policy.

      The rodeo at the Chilliwack Fair includes tie-down roping and steer wrestling, which have been condemned by the Vancouver Humane Society.

      Former Playboy model and Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has also criticized the Chilliwack rodeo on social media.

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