|Report from Jill`s Day|
|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.|
|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 to left). 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 Eurpope(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.
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.
|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|
|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. 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). 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.|
|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. 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 and other members of the Phipps family lived.|
|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!! 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.|
|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, 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 can be found on the Warwickshire League Against Cruel Sports website|
|Other Jill`s Day events|
|On the same day that 400 people remembered Jill in Coventry, other campaigners were holding special events elsewhere. In Dover, 40 people joined a live export protest at Dover Docks.
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.