Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Watch What Happens When Activists Show Earthlings on TV in NYC (VIDEO)

August 30, 2016 by 1 comment


The News

Activists with Friends of Animals United (FAUN) screened the documentary Earthlings in Union Square, a public space in New York City with a high concentration of pedestrians. The following video, which was viewed almost 300,000 times in the 24 hours after it was posted on Facebook, shows some of reactions generated by the film:

Phyllis Letthembe, the organizer, told TheirTurn that the activists show Earthlings and distribute information in an effort to open peoples’ eyes to animal cruelty and tap into their empathy.

Pedestrians in NYC stop to watch the documentary film Earthlings

Pedestrians in NYC stop to watch the documentary film Earthlings

During the two hours that Earthlings was screened, hundreds of pedestrians stopped to watch the film and talk to the activists who were standing by to answer questions. “We can tell based on the discussions we are having that people are profoundly affected by the video,” said Letthembe. “We wouldn’t be out in the streets if we didn’t think we were making a difference. After all, it was videos like Earthlings that made me and many of my fellow activists go vegan.”

The next outreach event takes place in the same location on September 15th.

Your Turn

To watch Earthlings, please visit the website for the film.


Neighbors of NY Blood Center Exec Michael Hodin Lambaste Chimp Advocates Over Nighttime Protests (VIDEO)

August 28, 2016 by 4 comments


The News

After staging over 10 daytime protests at the home on New York Blood Center (NYBC) Board Member Michael Hodin and receiving no response, animal rights activists escalated their campaign by staging three nighttime protests, a change that is infuriating his neighbors. Hodin, along with his NYBC colleagues, abandoned 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia with no food or water after conducting experiments on them for three decades and making a public promise to provide the survivors with lifelong care.

As Hodin watched two of the protests from the windows of his multi-million dollar apartment, his neighbors, most of whom ignored the activists for months during the daytime protests, lambasted them for the nighttime disruptions. Activists told his angry neighbors to “take it up with Hodin.”

Activists plan to resume the night time protests at Hodin’s building after Labor Day, when area residents return from their summer vacations.

 

Your Turn

Use the tweet sheet to contact the NYBC and its corporate donors.

Sign the Care2 petition to MetLife, NYBC’s largest corporate donor.

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 board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.

Follow TheirTurn on Twitter, and follow “Save NYBC Chimps”on Instagram and Twitter.


Modern Day Slavery

August 4, 2016 by 2 comments


The News

A slave is defined as “someone who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.” Across the globe, wild animals are held captive in circuses and subjected to violent punishment in order to force them to perform for human entertainment. Their plight is chillingly similar to that of the victims of the African slave trade.

Like the victims of the African slave trade, circus animals are often kidnapped from their homes and held captive in chains and prison cages — when they’re not performing.  Circus elephants, for instance, spend 97% of their lives shackled. One investigation showed that, for weeks at a time, UniverSoul Circus kept tigers in cages so small that they could not make “normal postural adjustments.” The confinement causes many animals to go insane.

Chains are used to restrain non-human animals in just as they were to restrain humans during the African slave trade.

Chains are used to restrain animals in circuses just as they were to restrain humans during the African slave trade.

Like the victims of the African slave trade, circus animals work out of fear of punishment. Tigers and lions are whipped; monkeys and camels are beaten with sticks; and elephants are stabbed with bullhooks, devices that resemble a fireplace poker. Fear is the only way to entice wild animals to perform unnatural – and often scary and painful – tricks in front of noisy crowds.

Like the African slaves, circus animals are forced to work under threat of violent punishment.

Like African slaves, circus animals are forced to work under threat of violent punishment.

The bullhook is a weapon used to beat and control elephants in circuses.

The bullhook is a weapon used to beat and control elephants in circuses.

Like the victims of the victims of the African slave trade, circus animals often taken have their children taken from them. The kidnapped children are taught to fear humans at a very age. Baby elephants, for instance, are tied up; beaten with bullhooks; and shocked with police tasers. Young animals, especially lions and tigers, are often used for photo ops.

Baby animals are oftentimes taken away away from their mothers in circuses, not so differently from how families were separated at Southern slave auctions.

In circuses and slave auctions, babies are and were taken away from their mothers.

The plight of circus animals falls squarely into the definition of slavery.

Your Turn

To learn more about the plight of circus animals and what you can do to help them please visit Born Free USA.

 


Advocates March to Home of MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian To Protest Abandoned Chimps

July 28, 2016 by 1 comment


The News

In spite of petitions, protests and letters from concerned citizens around the world, MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian continues to ignore the abandoned chimp crisis created by the New York Blood Center (NYBC), an organization that the company bankrolls.  Dozens of activists, therefore, took the campaign to his home in Summit, NJ, an exclusive suburb of NYC, for the second time since May 2015.

Activists march through Summit, NJ, the home of MetLife's CEO.

Activists march through Summit, NJ, to the home of MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian.

Activists marched from Summit’s train station to Kandarian’s home and back, all the while engaging with and distributing leaflets to Mandarin’s neighbors and other Summit residents. While some were annoyed by the presence of activists in a quiet suburb, others were eager to learn about the issue.

Activists protest in Summit, NJ, the home of MetLife's CEO.

Activists protest in Summit, NJ, the home of MetLife’s CEO.

“We are sorry that it has come to the point that we have to show up on Kandarian’s doorstep,” said Donny Moss, one of the organizers. “We are also genuinely confused about why a company that prides itself on corporate social responsibility is not only turning a blind eye to an atrocity being committed by an organization that it supports but also refusing to publicly address the crisis in spite of pleas by thousands of people worldwide.”

Activists protest at the home of MetLife's CEO, Steven Mandarin.

Activists protest at the home of MetLife’s CEO, Steven Mandarin.

“Tap Into Summit,” a local news outlet, reported on the protest both before and after.

The protest was covered by "Tap into Summit," a local news outlet.

The protest was covered by “Tap into Summit,” a local news outlet.

In November, 2015, primatologist Bob Ingersoll traveled from San Francisco to NYC to hand-deliver a petition to MetLife asking the company to cut its support of NYBC until the organization reinstates promised funding for its former lab chimps. While a representative from MetLife did collect the petitions from Mr. Ingersoll in the lobby, neither she nor anyone else from the company responded to him.

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers petitions to a MetLife representative.

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers petitions to a MetLife representative.

On April 26, activists staged a 30-minute disruption in the lobby of the MetLife building during rush hour. Two weeks later, they protested at the New Jersey home of MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian. On June 14, activists held a demonstration at MetLife’s annual shareholders meeting. To date, MetLife has ignored all of the protests and the efforts to open a dialog regarding the chimpanzee crisis.

Activists stage a disruption in the MetLife building's lobby.

Activists stage a disruption in the MetLife building’s lobby.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding for them [the chimps],” leaving them  to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by the blood center to deliver food and water, began to care for them on a volunteer basis. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, these volunteers kept the chimpanzees alive until an HSUS-led coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis.

chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center

Chimpanzees in Liberia abandoned by the NY Blood Center

The New York Blood Center, which has earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimpanzees, has publicly stated that it has no “contractual obligation” to pay for the chimps’ food and water and has shifted the financial burden of caring for their captive chimp population to the animal welfare community.

chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center receive food from a local volunteer

A Liberian volunteer distributes food to chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center

Your Turn

Use the tweet sheet to contact MetLife, NYBC and their stakeholders.

Sign the Care2 petition to MetLife, NYBC’s largest corporate donor.

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 board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.

Follow TheirTurn on Twitter, and follow “Save NYBC Chimps”on Instagram and Twitter.


Artist Duke Riley Throws Tantrum At Protest Targeting His Live Animal Show

July 26, 2016 by 2 comments


The News

Duke Riley, an artist who strapped LED lights on the legs of 2,000 pigeons and forced them to fly in the dark, verbally assaulted animal advocates, calling them “racists,” “animal abusers,” and “animal haters.”

Artist Duke Riley Verbally Assaulted activists protesting his pigeon show.

Artist Duke Riley Verbally Assaulted activists protesting his pigeon show.

The Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund (ACEF), an animal advocacy group, staged three protests in front of Riley’s “Fly By Night” shows. At two of those protests, Riley brought in counter-protesters with provocative signs in an attempt to discredit the animal advocates.

Counter-protestor

Counter-protestor

“Duke Riley’s totally unsubstantiated accusations, in calling animal rights activists and protesters ‘racists’ and ‘animal haters,’ is beyond ludicrous,” said Nora Constance Marino, President of ACEF. “Mr. Riley has resorted to baseless and meaningless defamatory name calling in an apparent ill-conceived and feeble attempt to defend his actions.”

Counter-protesters recruited by Duke Riley.

Counter-protesters recruited by Duke Riley.

Pigeons, who are strictly daytime animals, have poor nighttime vision and only fly in the dark if disturbed. “Fly By Night” potentially subjects them to stress, disorientation and drowning in the East River.

Excerpt from Creative Time's website

Excerpt from Creative Time’s website

Creative Time, the arts organization that funded the pigeon show, claims on its website that the show took place “when there is still daylight.”

However, photos and video taken during “Fly By Night” demonstrate that the pigeons are, in fact, in the air after dark.

Video footage taken at the event shows that the birds were out while there was little to no daylight.

Video footage taken at the event shows that the birds were out while there was little to no daylight.

In a post on the Facebook page of Creative Time, Karen Davis, President of the national avian advocacy group United Poultry Concerns, condemned the event: “Perhaps what strikes me most significantly about this Fly By Night exhibit is the part where the pigeons are trying to land and get rest, but are forced to fly even though they are bewildered, scared and exhausted. . . No one who respects pigeons and empathizes with them as fellow creatures would dream of mistreating them so meanly, strapping gadgetry to them, and putting them in danger.

Pigeons have limited vision in the dark, but they are forced to "Fly By Night" for art exhibit

Pigeons have limited vision in the dark, but they are forced to “Fly By Night” for art exhibit

The use of live animals in art exhibits was recently addressed in a CounterPunch article critical of the practice written by Elliot Sperber, a New York-based writer and lawyer.

Your Turn

Post a comment on Creative Time’s Facebook page.

Tweet the organization that produced the event, Creative Time, and the artist, Duke Riley.