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Activists Occupy MetLife Building To Protest Chimp Abandonment (VIDEO)

April 29, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

On April 26th, animal rights activists in NYC staged a 30 minute disruption inside of the MetLife building at the height of rush hour. Protesters demanded MetLife hold the New York Blood Center (NYBC) accountable for its decision to abandon 66 chimps in Liberia. As NYBC’s largest corporate donor and partner, MetLife can compel the organization to uphold certain ethical standards – or risk losing funding.

In May 2015, when the NY Times reported that NYBC cut off all funding for the chimps and their caregivers, advocates worldwide began contacting MetLife, believing that a company that prides itself on “corporate social responsibility” would intervene on behalf of NYBC’s victims. MetLife has neither responded to the communications nor made any public statements about the scandal.

MetLife-Lobby-disruption

Approximately 20 activists occupied the lobby of the MetLife building for 30 minutes during rush hour. Employees were diverted to the back exit.

Participants suspect that the police did not make trespassing arrests because MetLife does not want to draw more attention to the scandal

Participants suspect that the police did not make trespassing arrests because MetLife does not want to draw more attention to the scandal

In November, 2015, primatologist Bob Ingersoll, who is the subject of the documentary film Project Nim, 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 funding for the chimps. While a representative from the company did collect the petition from him in the lobby, neither she nor anyone else from the company responded to him.

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers petition to MetLife, asking company to cut funding to New York Blood Center

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers petition to MetLife, asking company to cut funding to New York Blood Center

MetLife has considerable influence over the operations of NYBC, both as a donor as its rent-free landlord. MetLife donates space to the blood center in its global headquarters.

NYBC blood collection site in the MetLife building

NYBC blood collection site in the MetLife building

In March, another NYBC donor, Citigroup, did respond to the call of advocates, issuing a public statement asserting that “the current situation is not tolerable” and making an unsolicited $50,000 donation toward the care of NYBC’s chimps. Until MetLife takes similar action, activists in the New York area intend to step up their campaign, staging protests at MetLife’s office buildings and at the homes of executives who have failed to respond to the global outcry.

Citigroup takes a principled stand on behalf of the chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center

Citigroup takes a principled stand on behalf of the chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center

For a thirty year period starting in the mid-1970s, NYBC conducted experiments on over 400 hundred chimpanzees in Liberia, where they could capture, breed and experiment on them with little regulatory oversight. After the research was conducted, NYBC moved the survivors onto six islands with no natural food or water and made a public commitment to provide them with lifelong care.

The New York Blood Center abandoned 66 chimps in Liberia, leaving them to die of hunger and thirst

The New York Blood Center abandoned 66 chimps in Liberia, leaving them to die of hunger and thirst

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding for them,” leaving the chimps to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by NYBC 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 — until NYBC reinstates funding.

Jane Goodall attempted to meet with the NY Blood Center, but the organization refused.

Jane Goodall attempted to meet with the NY Blood Center, but the organization refused.

Your Turn

Sign the Care2 petition to MetLife.

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.

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

Follow “Save NYBC Chimps” on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 


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VIDEO: Activists from Ten States Stage Massive Protest at NY Blood Center Gala

November 11, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

On November 5th, over 100 activists from ten states, including California, Texas and Montana, staged a massive protest at the New York Blood Center’s 50th anniversary gala, demanding that the organization’s board of directors reinstate funding for the lab chimpanzees who they abandoned on islands in Liberia with no food or water.

During a rally before the protest, Jane Velez-Mitchell (Jane UnChained) and Bob Ingersoll (primatologist featured in documentary film Project Nim) delivered remarks about the scandal and inspired the crowd to continue to be a voice for the chimps until the blood center fulfills its promise to provide them with lifelong care.

NYBC donors did not anticipate encountering over 100 protesters as they entered the gala

NYBC donors did not anticipate encountering over 100 protesters as they entered the gala

As guests began to arrive, activists quickly exited the barricades and staged a moving picket at the entrance of Cipriani, the venue where NYBC’s gala was held. Hundreds of donors were forced to navigate their way around the protesters in order to enter the building.

NYBC donors were forced to navigate their way through the moving picket line to enter the gala

NYBC donors were forced to navigate their way through the moving picket line to enter the gala

Activists distributing handouts at the periphery of the protest said that many gala attendees were unaware of the scandal and were outrage to learn that NYBC abandoned at least 66 chimps.

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to participate in the online actions. If you live in New York City, please join the protests targeting New York Blood Center board members at their homes and offices.


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VIDEO: Over 125 Activists Protest New York Blood Center Over Abandoned Chimps 

October 17, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) staged a massive protest at the headquarters of the New York Blood Center, the organization that abandoned 66 ex-lab chimpanzees on islands in Liberia with no food or water after earning $500 million in royalties off of the research.

The protest featured several prominent speakers, including Claudine André, the founder of the world famous bonobo sanctuary, Lola Ya Bonobo. Ms. André traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to participate.

Claudine André speaks at New York Blood Center protest

Claudine André speaks at New York Blood Center protest

The theme of the protest was “Keep Your Promise” because New York Blood Center officials made a commitment to provide the chimpanzees with lifelong care.

New York Blood Center executives promised to provide its chimpanzees with lifelong care.

New York Blood Center executives promised to provide its chimpanzees with lifelong care.

Your Turn

Please be a voice for the abandoned chimps by taking action at NYBC: Do the Right Thing and Save the Abandoned Chimps


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Activists Stage Dramatic Protests at Home of NY Blood Center Chairman Howard Milstein (Video)

July 25, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

As Chairman of the New York Blood Center, real estate magnate Howard Milstein bears responsibility for the organization’s decision to cut funding for its former lab chimps who are living on six islands in Liberia. In an effort to convince him to fulfill his promise to provide lifelong care for the 67 surviving apes, New Yorkers have begun staging dramatic protests in front of the billionaire’s Park Avenue apartment building.

In spite of global pressure to reinstate the funding for the chimps, the NY Blood Center is digging in its heels, stating that it doesn’t own the them and that the government of Liberia is responsible for their care. They do not acknowledge that NYBC captured the chimps in the wild; bred them in captivity: held them prisoner in cages; experimented on them for 30 years; earned $500 million off the research; moved them to islands with no natural source of food and water; and made multiple promises to provide them with lifelong care.

Real estate tycoon Howard Milstein is Chairma of the Board of the NY Blood Center

Real estate tycoon Howard Milstein is Chairma of the Board of the NY Blood Center

TV journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane UnChained attended the first protest at Mr. Milstein’s home and filed this report:

The Real Deal, a real estate publication read by Howard Milstein’s peers, also has also reported on the grass roots campaign against him and the NYBC.

real deal

As New Yorkers prepare to expand the protests to the homes other NYBC board members, hundreds, if not thousands, of advocates in other parts of the world are taking action against the the Blood Center by participating in a grass roots campaign organized by the Facebook group, New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing.

New Yorkers protest outside the home of Howard Milstein

New Yorkers protest outside the home of Howard Milstein

In the streets, online and in the media, the NY Blood Center is being pressured to resume funding for the chimps’ care. On July 24th, the Daily Mail – one of the most widely circulated news publications in the world – posted a story that went viral: “Battle to Save the Hugging Chimps: Heartbreaking Story of 66 Apes and a Baby ‘Abandoned’ on Island by Medical Firm after They Finished Experimenting on Them.”

NYBC Chairman Howard Milstein cut funding to provide food and water to the organization's lab chimps after earning $500 million in royalties off of the research.

NYBC Chairman Howard Milstein cut funding to provide food and water to the organization’s lab chimps after earning $500 million in royalties off of the research.

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook group New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing and the Facebook page Take Action: Save New York Blood Center Chimps to see how you can help.


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Activists Occupy New York Blood Center

June 19, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

Security was tight at the NY Blood Center, with a guard stationed at the door to prevent another protest inside the building. But that didn’t stop 15 activists from charging past him; occupying the lobby for 30 minutes; and using a bullhorn to ensure that employees throughout the building could hear about the crimes committed by their employer and the demand to reinstate funding for the chimps who they left to die with no food or water.

Jane Velez-Mitchell and Donna Dennison from JaneUnchained were there to document the disruption and the reaction from the NY Blood Center:

In May, the NY Blood Center told the NY Times it has no “contractual obligation” to care for their former lab chimps. That’s not good enough for leaders in the great ape community, including Dr. Jane Goodall, who say that NYBC has an ethical obligation. Like the grass roots activists who have staged two protests in their lobby, they are demanding that the NYBC reinstate the funding.

Activists occupy NY Blood Center to Demand that the organizations reinstates funding for lab chimps it abandoned

Activists occupy NY Blood Center to demand that its executives reinstate funding for the lab chimps they abandoned

Will NYBC executives continue to dig in their heels with the hope that activists will abandon their efforts to hold the them accountable? Or will they reinstate the funding for the chimps in order to prevent similar protests at the homes and offices of their executives, board members and donors?

Activists unroll police tape to convey the message that the NYBC is a crime scene

Activists unroll police tape to convey the message that the NYBC is a crime scene

Your Turn

1. Please join the Facebook page New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing and participate in the calls to action.

2. Sign the Change.org petition asking one of NYBC’s biggest supporters, MetLife, to cut its funding to the organization.

2. Please give the NYBC a one star review on its Facebook page.

save-the-NYBC-chimps


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