This year, 100 protesters from around the world turned the traditional Running of the Bulls costume on its head to show the bloody reality of bullfighting. With "blood" on their hands and eerie painted faces, the "death runners" marched through Pamplona's streets as three nearly naked activists dressed as bulls fled before them – creating a chilling mirror image of the actual carnage due to take place on the very same spot a few days later.
With the bullfighting lobby trying to secure legal protection for its bloody "sport", protesters from Spain and around the world created a melancholy tableau for this year's demonstration – nearly naked activists posed in black "coffins" in Pamplona's main square, reminding the world that every single animal who is hounded through the streets during the Running of the Bulls ends up being tortured and killed in the bullring just hours later.
PETA's 2012 protest was held outside the mayor's residence just two days before the barbaric bull runs were scheduled to start and included activists from as far away as Australia and the United States.
With bullfighting slated to be banned in Catalonia in 2012, PETA and AnimaNaturalis activists turn their attention to bullfighting throughout the rest of Spain and the Running of the Bulls held annually in Pamplona.
Just shy of 100 activists stripped down to their underwear, had their bodies painted and then lay on the ground to form the shape of a giant bull outside the offices of the mayor of Pamplona.
In an even more impressive show than last year, caring people from around the world lay naked and "bloodied" with banderillas in their backs again for the second year in a row to urge people to stay away from the Running of the Bulls and the bullfights that follow.
2008 brought with it a new direction in PETA's fight to end the Running of the Bulls and bullfighting. Caring people from inside and outside of Spain laid naked and 'bloodied' with banderillas in their backs to highlight the fact that the terrified bulls forced to run the streets of Pamplona will ultimately die in the bullring.
Hundreds of revellers from more than 30 countries joined the sixth annual Running of the Nudes in Pamplona! Wearing plastic bull horns, Running of the Nudes logo knickers, red scarves and little else, compassionate partiers from around the world showed Pamplona just how much fun they can have without harming a hair on a bull's head! The Running of the Nudes was a rally, a reunion and, most of all, a rocking party!
This year was the biggest “Running of the Nudes” ever! Just two days before the first bull run, more than 1,000 people, most wearing little more than a red scarf and horns, ran through the streets of Pamplona. It was an amazing party—a real fiesta—complete with musicians and with people dancing and marching through the streets to show Pamplona that it doesn’t need to torture animals for tourism. As usual, the event attracted international media attention.
2005: The Fourth Annual Running of the Nudes
Six hundred people from all over the world participated in the fourth annual Running of the Nudes, wearing red scarves, horns, body paint and little else. More than 90 Spaniards attended, thanks in part to a Pamplona newspaper that included the Running of the Nudes in its official San Fermín Festival guide. The event garnered international media coverage, including in Belgium, France, Latvia, Greece, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland and even Australia! Olympians Sally Gunnell and Cathy Freeman and singer Chrissie Hynde wrote to Pamplona Mayor Yolanda Barcina Angulo in support of the Running of the Nudes, and PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk invited US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has attended the bull run in the past, to show his compassion and attend the nude run. Secretary Rumsfeld did not RSVP, but we remain hopeful that one day we’ll see more of him!
- “Protesters Strip Against Bull Run” (BBC)
- “El Encierro, al Desnudo. Multitudinaria Marcha Nudista en Pamplona Contra el Maltrato a los Toros” (Rojo y Negro, Madrid, España)
- “Naked Protesters March Against Pamplona Bull Run” (The Daily Mail)
- “Aussie Woman Plans Nude Pamplona Protest” (The Age) The Australian press even covered it!!!
2004: More Than 350 Runners in Pamplona
Coachloads of activists travelled to Pamplona from the UK, Belgium, Germany and Spain, totalling more than 350 participants! Although the mayor of Pamplona turned down PETA’s request for a permit, the regional government opted to allow the event on the condition that participants cover their – ahem – private parts. Local newspapers listed the Running of the Nudes in Festival of San Fermin events calendars, and tour guides were heard telling tourists to check out the “Encierro Humano”.
- “Los Cuernos Despiertan Pasiones” (La Voz de Galicia, Galicia, España)
2003: The Running of the Nudes Was a Grand Success
The second annual Running of the Nudes was six times bigger than the inaugural event, with 150 activists taking to the streets of Pamplona, where they were met by riot police! The officers blocked the nude “runners” inside the Santo Domingo corrals to keep them from running naked through the streets, but that didn’t keep onlookers from hearing the chants of “end the bloody bullfights”, watching from balconies and jumping the police barricades to join the crowd. The peaceful demonstration ended with an emotional speech in English and Spanish by PETA Campaign Coordinator William Rivas-Rivas, who thanked everyone who travelled to Pamplona and congratulated the masses for showing the world that the abuse of bulls will not be tolerated. Rivas-Rivas vowed that compassionate people, both clothed and nude, will come back to the city every year until the Festival of San Fermin no longer includes animal abuse.
2002: A New Tradition Is Born in Pamplona
The Running of the Nudes was born in Pamplona in 2002, when 25 nude people streaked through the winding streets to protest the cruel and bloody bull run and subsequent bullfights. Many local residents and tourists stopped to watch the demonstrators as they marched in an eye-catching and titillating taste of the Festival of San Fermin’s new tradition.