The ‘Zumbini’ instructor who vandalised London’s top department stores: Vegan psychology student who teaches baby Zumba and photographer animal rebellion activists threaten MORE chaos tomorrow after pouring milk over Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason

  • Animal Rebellion names protester duo as Sofia Fernandes Pontes from Madeira and Steve Bone from Essex 
  • Video today shows them taking milk bottles from shelves of Fortnum & Mason and pouring over red carpet
  • 45 minutes later they poured milk over cheese stand at Selfridges on Oxford Street before being kicked out 

One of the vegan activists who today sparked fury by pouring milk over two high-end London department stores in a protest against dairy products can tonight be revealed as an instructor who taught babies how to do Zumba. 

Sofia Fernandes Pontes, a student and mother from the Portuguese island of Madeira, provides educational classes to new parents after launching her own business teaching ‘Zumbini – a music and movement programme for young children.

Ms Fernandes Pontes is an Islington-based BA psychology student at London Metropolitan University where she has been studying since last year, and is also president of the Climate Justice Society at the students’ union. 

The milk vandal was joined by photographer Steve Bone, of Essex, as the pair were pictured pouring glass containers of milk over the floors of a pair of luxury London departmen stores.

Animal Rebellion – an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion group – named the duo who acted in today’s protest as Sofia Fernandes Pontes from Madeira and Steve Bone from Essex, and released videos of their protests at Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges.

Ms Fernandes Pontes’s LinkedIn profile describes her as an ‘environmentalist helping families and planet’ also lists her as the founder of Parezy, an app described as a ‘virtual one-stop service provider for families with children in the early years sector’.

Father Steve Bone, the other activist that took part today, is a photographer from Thrope-le-Soken, Essex. 

Ms Ferndandes Pontes, also known as ‘fifi’ on her Instagram account, has been posting activism related content since August 2021. This includes various protesting events relating to animals and fossil fuels.

Animal Rebellion named the duo who acted in today’s protest as Sofia Fernandes Pontes from Madeira and Steve Bone from Essex, and released videos of their protests at Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges


Sofia Fernandes Pontes, one of the protesters, is an Islington-based psychology student at London Metropolitan University where she has been studying since last year, and is also president of the Climate Justice Society at the students’ union

Protester Sofia Fernandes Pontes is also an instructor of Zumbini, a music and movement programme for young children, and founded Parezy, an app described as a ‘virtual one-stop service provider for families with children in the early years sector’

The activist was also thought at one time to have been involved with an alleged burglary in June earlier this year, after twelve people – thought to be anti-vivisection protestors – broke into MBR Acres, a beagle breeding facility in Cambridgeshire.

All charges however were subsequently dropped and the arrest remains ‘under investigation’.

There were reports of dogs being stolen. 

The site was targeted in a series of protests against the breeding of animals for testing purposes which began officially in July 2021.

In an Instagram post dated April 12, Ms Ferndandes Pontes wrote: ‘Chemical testing on animals is still legal in the UK and animals … are subject to daily torture where they lose their fur, go blind, and eventually are murdered. 

‘This is not only happening to small beings such as mice but also on what society deems “man’s best friend”. 

‘MBR Acres breeds beagles to be shipped out for chemical testing, they are being sent to their deaths via the truck-load.

‘We were there to say no to fossil fuels, no to animal agriculture and no to animal testing. Let’s say yes to humanity and unity instead.’

The animal rights group also claimed today that one of the activists was ‘assaulted by a member of the public’ during the Selfridges protest, which appeared to be when a man put his arm in front of Ms Fernandes Pontes’s neck.

The onlooker could be seen during the video trying to block Ms Fernandes Pontes as she walked away, catching her neck with his outstretched arm. The activists were then escorted to the exit by security staff.

The protest at Selfridges infuriated onlookers, with one person off-camera asking an employee: ‘Do you guys not intervene?’ The member of staff replied: ‘We’re not allowed to.’ Another onlooker said: ‘F***ing ashamed of yourselves.’ As the activists finally started to leave the store, the man said: ‘Yeah, t*ss off, now. B***er off.’

But the Metropolitan Police later confirmed it had made no arrests involving either incident after officers were called to both stores following reports of criminal damage. Detectives did however say inquiries were continuing.

It is the latest incident where a fed-up member of the public has intervened in an eco protest, after a series of road-based demonstrations by Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain over the past year caused fury among motorists. 

Following today’s protest, the National Farmers’ Union led criticism of the activists’ actions, with its dairy board chair Michael Oakes telling MailOnline this afternoon: ‘British dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, are staples of people’s diets up and down the country, providing essential nutrition at an affordable price. 

‘During a cost of living crisis, when many families are facing difficult choices between heating and eating, farmers have been shocked to see supply chains blocked, disruption and food purposely wasted in this way.

Animal rights group Animal Rebellion claimed one of its activists was ‘assaulted by a member of the public’ during a protest at Selfridges in London this afternoon, which appeared to be when a man put his arm in front of Sofia Fernandes Pontes’s neck 

The activists from Animal Rebellion pour milk over the red carpet at Fortnum & Mason today

The bearded man and a woman wearing a white dress held the protest in Fortnum & Mason

The duo held the milk-based protest in Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly at 11.45am this morning

The activists took milk bottles from the shelves at Fortnum & Mason before pouring them out

The duo eventually left Fortnum & Mason after their protest involving the milk bottles today

‘For those thinking about sustainable food, British dairy farming is already world leading, with our cows grazing outside turning inedible grass into high-quality dairy products, and an ambition to reach net zero by 2040.’

He continued: ‘Our high animal welfare and production standards are recognised around the world and are hugely valued by the public, who recognise choosing British means eating climate friendly food.’

The protests today began when a bearded man and a woman wearing a white dress – later identified by Animal Rebellion as Mr Bone and Ms Fernandes Pontes – first entered Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly at 11.45am. They took milk bottles from the shelves and then emptied them over the store’s red carpet before walking out.

Soon after at 12.30pm they were filmed brazenly pouring milk over a cheese stand at Selfridges on Oxford Street before being frogmarched out by security guards following the intervention by a member of the public.

Ms Fernandes Pontes, a student and mother from the Portuguese island of Madeira, said: ‘I don’t want to see my children grow up in a world surrounded by drought, destruction of nature, and food shortages.

‘I want them to see a world full of wildlife and beauty. Transitioning to a plant-based future is simply essential if we want to see a better world for everyone. Supporting farmers to move into profitable and sustainable plant-based production is a no-brainer for (Prime Minister) Liz Truss and (Environment Secretary) Ranil Jayawardena.’

Ms Fernandes Pontes is an Islington-based BA psychology student at London Metropolitan University where she has been studying since last year, and is also president of the Climate Justice Society at the students’ union.

She is also an instructor of Zumbini, which is a music and movement programme for young children, and founded Parezy, an app described as a ‘virtual one-stop service provider for families with children in the early years sector’.

The Animal Rebellion activists pour milk over a cheese stand at Selfridges this afternoon

The protesters are eventually escorted out by security guards after the Selfridges protest

The bearded man speaks to a security guard before the duo are led out of Selfridges today

The security guard removes the Animal Rebellion protesters from the Selfridges store today

Mr Bone, a father and photographer from Thorpe-Le-Soken in Essex, said: ‘I took action throughout September to push for a plant-based future, and I am taking action again today because Liz Truss and Ranil Jayawardena are still refusing to listen.

‘My little girl’s future is on the line and the Government’s response is to ignore advice from Oxford and Harvard and, instead, opt to drive us all further into the climate, ecological, and cost-of-living crises.’

The group cited a report from the University of Oxford in 2018 which it said showed that ’76 per cent of the land currently used for food production would be freed-up by a global transition to plant-based production’.

It also referred to a 2019 Harvard University study on UK farmland and food production which it said concluded ‘that the UK would be carbon-negative if it completely transitioned to a plant-based food system’.

Later today, while Fortnum & Mason showed no signs of any disruption taking place, the cheese display onto which the activists had poured milk had been removed.

As of 2.30pm this afternoon, Fortnum & Mason was busy, with no sign of any milk having been poured on the floor of the high-end department store. Shoppers bustled about the shop, seemingly unaware of what had taken place just a few hours before.

As of 3pm, the cheese display in front of the cheese counter at Selfridges had been removed. This is where the activists poured milk out. Otherwise, there was little evidence of any disruption, as the store was busy and shoppers went about their business.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Officers were today, Friday October 7, called at approximately 12.35pm and attended reports of criminal damage at a business premises on Oxford Street, W1A. No one was arrested. Inquiries continue.

‘Separately officers attended a business premises in Piccadilly, W1A just before 12pm on Friday October 7 to reports of criminal damage. No one was arrested. Enquiries continue.’

Animal Rebellion has carried out a series of protests in recent months aimed at disrupting the dairy industry and pressuring the Government on its demands.

Its first demand is that the Government ‘supports farmers and fishing communities to move away from animal farming and fishing as part of an urgent and immediate transition to a plant-based food system’.

Its second demand is that the Government ‘commits to rewild the freed-up land and ocean as part of a broader programme of wildlife restoration and carbon drawdown’.

Last month the group tried to disrupt the delivery of dairy, with one protest seeing them glue themselves to the entrance of a busy dairy facility in Droitwich, Worcestershire, to cut supply off at the source.

Members of the group were also arrested last month for spraying ‘fake milk’ white paint at Big Ben ahead of Liz Truss ‘s first Prime Minister’s Questions.

Today’s protest comes after it emerged an eco zealot who defaced Captain Sir Tom Moore ‘s memorial was arrested three times in less than a week and named in a High Court injunction after scaling an oil storage tank earlier this year. 

Madeleine Budd, 21, was arrested for a pitch invasion of the Arsenal vs Liverpool match where she tried to glue her hands to the goalposts on March 16. It is understood she was handed a six-month conditional discharge by a judge, meaning no further action would be taken unless they commit a further offence within that time period.

But it emerged this week that Budd, a former medical student from Manchester, was arrested by police three times in April for her part in fuel protests staged by Just Stop Oil in Thurrock, Essex. 

No charges were brought against Budd for the April arrests, which meant the ‘End UK Private Jets’ supporter was free to pour human excrement over Captain Sir Tom Moore’s memorial in Hatton, Derbyshire last Friday.

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