Priya Sawhney

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Priya Sawhney is an Indian-American activist, born in Punjab and now living in California, responsible for co-founding the organisation Direct Action Everywhere (DxE).

Direct Action Everywhere is known for its public disruptions. In 2019, Sawhney got on stage with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking him to use his wealth to help animals. She was arrested and spent three nights in jail for simply asking a question.1BBC News. 2019. Protester confronts Jeff Bezos on stage. Available: [Accessed 4 November 2021]. In 2020, protesters disrupted a Bernie Sanders speech asking him to stop propping up the dairy industry. The group has also engineered campaigns against Wholefoods and Amazon, and has staged “die-ins” in restaurants and protests outside butchers.

Sawhney has been arrested many times for her activism but she doesn’t let it deter her. She was arrested for trying to rescue a calf that had been left for dead on a farm and for liberating nine chickens from a poultry farm.2Avila, Y. 2019. The Berkeley activist who puts her body on the line to fight animal cruelty. Available: [Accessed 4 November 2021]. We’re sure there is still much to come from Sawhney in the future.

When I heard those things [being called ‘terrorist’ and ‘the enemy’ at school], I wished someone would have come to speak up for me and no one did and it clicked to me that that’s how animals feel on a completely different scale, I promised myself that I wanted to be that person who stands up for animals. I don’t want to see someone getting bullied, tortured, discriminated against in front of me. I don’t want to be silent.