After a rally at the central station and a march to a fur shop in the city centre, affinity groups broke off to organise a number of smaller actions: a vegan cake giveaway outside a (non-vegan) cake shop; demonstrations outside shops selling meat, leather and fur; an information market distributing resources and raising money for imprisoned activists; and public performances from vegan musicians. Later on, the activists regrouped for another mass demonstration and afterparty. One activist stated afterwards (translated from German report at http://de.indymedia.org/2010/04/277999.shtml): "We are completely satisfied with the action… On 10.4.2010 in Kiel there was no looking away or refusing to listen."
The day of action in Kiel is reminiscent of the recent animal rights gathering in Nottingham. For one day of the weekend meeting, activists went out into the city to protest animal abuse or give out food, while others went further afield to hunt sab or demonstrate at an animal circus. In Nottingham there were fewer activists than in Kiel – 30-50 in the city centre – but it was certainly a productive day.
The multi-action model presents some advantages over the conventional mass march. Rather than being observed from afar, chanting slogans, activists are more approachable in smaller groups so can explain their message directly (and can choose to take action in areas they have knowledge of). The occurrence of numerous simultaneous actions across a city is also a very visible reminder of the extent and variety of animal abuse – a march against speciesism or animal abuse in the abstract could appear incoherent, but this way the industries being targeted can be clearly seen. A potential further advantage is that activists are harder for the police to monitor and control: blockades or other actions could be initiatied without the risk of police cordoning off any possible targets. Allocating power to affinity groups could be seen as representing a democratisation of actions, and allowing individuals to use their creativity rather than just regurgitating well-worn chants. The small group setting could also provide useful experience for those looking to get active or improve tactics in their own groups.
Such days of action obviously cannot occur very regularly, due to the impracticalities of travelling to different cities all the time and the responsibility of fighting animal abuse in our own areas. In many countries or peripheral regions, the possibility of ever mobilising enough people may seem remote. Another consideration is that a wide geographical spread of activists comes at the price of an unmissable mass of people on a march. Passers-by may easily miss the scale of the mobilisation and not have their attention caught in the way that it might by a march (or other mass action in one place). Should anyone want to partake in direct action, they would not benefit from the anonymity that a black bloc (not common on animal rights demos in the UK but they have been seen elsewhere) or other mass of people provides, but the aforementioned relative freedom from police monitoring may make up for that.