Shine on! Megaphone street activist set for defiant comeback
51-year-old, who has spoken out at arms fairs, supermarkets and banks, says he’s ready to come out of retirement after successful appeal against public order offence
09 November, 2018 — By Tom Foot
Danny Shine looks set to bring his megaphone back to the West End’s streets
A VEGAN activist has vowed to bring his megaphone back to the West End after successfully appealing against his conviction for a public order offence.
Danny Shine, who used to make stops in Camden High Street and Hampstead, was found guilty of “using abusive words and disorderly behaviour” at Central London Magistrates Court in May.
The 51-year-old reacted by announcing his retirement from “megaphoning” on his YouTube channel and selling his megaphone on eBay.
He had been accused of saying “jerk-off” and making an offensive gesture during a vegan rights protest outside McDonald’s in Liverpool Street. He successfully appealed at a hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court at the end of last month.
In a statement read out to the court, Mr Shine acknowledged freedom of speech had limitations, but that he had been married for 25 years, had three children, and was a “man of good character”.
Mr Shine said: “Any reasonable person would find my work, at worst, mildly and momentarily annoying and, more likely, entertaining food for thought and consideration.”
He maintained the gesture illustrated how the meat industry mass milks cows, and that the protest had been “very jovial” and no different “from what I do and I have done for years”.
Mr Shine has spoken on his megaphone outside arms fairs, supermarkets – for “the relentless promotion of cheap alcohol” – and banks.
Last year he had several run-ins with police community support officers in Hampstead who saw his work as a public nuisances.
Their exchanges were recorded and posted online.
On Monday, Mr Shine said: “Yes, I did sell my megaphone, but I’ve bought another one now and I’ll be back.
“Let’s say I call you a w*****, for example. It is obviously completely ridiculous that the response to that is to arrest me, put handcuffs on me, defame me, as that is essentially what happens when you are wrongfully convicted, then spend weeks and weeks causing me to have sleepless nights, and waste £20,000 of taxpayers’ money in the process.”
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed the appeal had been permitted.