Based on the dozen or more police officers and private security guards stationed at his Upper West Side home, New York Blood Center (NYBC) board member Michael Hodin must have been expecting an armed invasion. What he got instead was a group of 20 peaceful demonstrators who merely asked that he reinstate funding for the 66 chimpanzees abandoned by NYBC on islands in Liberia with no food or water.
Hodin, who has not responded to any of the letters or phone calls asking that he and his colleagues at NYBC take responsibility for their chimps, is a Managing Parter at the High Lantern Group and the CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. During the protest, participants noted the irony of an advocate for the aging leaving elderly and dependent chimps to die.
Mr. Hodin’s neighbors, several of whom acknowledged knowing him, and other area residents were appalled to learn that he played a role in leaving chimpanzees to die.
After conducting experiments on several hundred chimpanzees for 30 years at a laboratory in Liberia (West Africa), NYBC promised to provide the survivors with lifelong care. In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC executives decided to walk away from its $25,000 monthly obligation, arguing that the government of Liberia and animal advocacy groups should pay for the long-term care of the chimps. To date, NYBC has earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimps.
Grassroots activists working on the campaign to pressure NYBC into fulfilling its promise to care for their chimps say they intend to stage protests at the homes and offices of Michael Hodin and former NYBC board member Laurie Glimcher before expanding the campaign to other board members. A third protest at the Oakland office of NYBC board member Owen Garrick is scheduled in March.
Please join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure NYBC executives and board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.