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

Protesters Confront Billionaire Maurice Greenberg Over Panda Imports

January 14, 2018 by 3 comments


The News

After failing, during a face-to-face confrontation, to convince billionaire Maurice Greenberg to cancel his plan to lease pandas from China and put them on display in NYC, over thirty animal rights activists staged a protest in front of his Manhattan home.

Reaction from his neighbors was mixed, with some taking the handout to learn more and others angrily scolding the protesters. One man who emerged from his building belittled the activists by saying that they have a “preschool education.”  The interaction was caught on video.  Also caught on video was one of Mr. Greenberg’s doormen holding up a poster that said, “Eat Fried Panda.” An NYPD detective at the scene apologized to the protesters on behalf of the doorman who taunted then.

As animal rights activists confronted Hank & Corinne Greenberg in NYC over their plans to rent pandas from China and display them in NYC.

Just hours before the protest, Mr Greenberg called protest organizer Donny Moss to discuss the panda project and the protest. According to Moss, “Mr. Greenberg was polite and attentive, but he sent a clear message that children deserve the opportunity to see live pandas more than pandas deserve to live freely in their natural habitats.  He also argued that pandas serve as a diplomatic tool to enhance relations between China and the United States.”

Animal rights activists stage a moving picket in front of the home of Hank Greenberg, one of two billionaires backing U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s plan to import pandas and display them in Manhattan.

The anti-captivity protesters, who argue that animals exist for their own purposes and are not here to entertain us, vow to continue protesting Mr. Greenberg and his two partners in the panda project, fellow billionaire John Catsimatidis and U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, until they call off their plans to lease and exhibit pandas.

After letters, petitions and protests failed to convince Maurice Greenberg to cancel his plan to import pandas, animal rights activists staged a protest in front of his Manhattan home.

In February 2017,  Maurice Greenberg, John Catsimatidis, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney held a fundraiser called the “Black & White Panda Ball” at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to raise money for the panda project, which is estimated to cost $50 million.  According to media reports, the gala raised approximately $500,000.

U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney created a charity, The Pandas are Coming to NYC, to raise $50 million for the project.

Your Turn

Please sign the Care2 petition asking U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to call off her plan to import pandas into NYC for display.

Follow No Panda Prison NYC on Facebook.

Animal rights activists argue that pandas exist for their own purposes and are not here to entertain us or serve as political tools to improve relations between the U.S. and China.


Racing Against Time to Build a Sanctuary for 19 Chimpanzees

January 10, 2018 by Leave a Comment


The News

When Jenny and Jim Desmond moved to Liberia in 2015 to oversee the care of 66 chimpanzees who had been abandoned by the New York Blood Center, forestry authorities brought them 19 young chimpanzees in need of parents and a home. Unlike the blood center chimps, who were fully grown and living somewhat independently, the majority of these chimps were newly orphaned by poachers who killed their mothers for bushmeat. Like human babies, these chimpanzees need around-the-clock care.

In order to provide adequate care for the orphans, the Desmonds hired a team of caregivers from the local village to serve as their surrogate mothers. But chimpanzee babies grow up quickly, and, by two or three years old, they have to be transitioned into a group of other chimps. In addition, they need far more space — space that they don’t have in the small home they inhabit in a densely populated village two hours outside of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city.

LCRP rescued these captive chimps whose families were killed for bushmeat.

Now, the Desmonds are tasked with the responsibility of moving all 19 chimps, including two adults, and their human caregivers into a forested area where they will build a sanctuary from the ground up. The sanctuary will have enclosed areas in the forest so that the chimps can live in a semi-wild environment by day; night time housing for the younger chimps; a clinic; a commissary for food preparation; isolation areas for new arrivals to prevent the spread of illnesses; housing for caregivers and volunteers; public areas for education and conservation programs; and administrative offices.

Enrichment activities at Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (photo: Jenny Desmond)

They’ve already created an entity, Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP), and leased a large tract of forested land on the Farmington River, just a few miles away from the islands where the blood center chimps are living. Now they need to raise funds to build.

LCRP’s Jim Desmond, one of two veterinarians in Liberia, performs minor surgery in a makeshift operating room (photo: Jenny Desmond)

The sanctuary has a second and equally important mission – to protect wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat.  If government authorities have a place to bring chimpanzees who they confiscate from poachers, then poachers will have less of an incentive to capture baby chimps in order to sell them as pets.  In the absence of a sanctuary, the authorities turn a blind eye to the trade in baby chimps because they have no place to bring them. Sanctuaries therefore play a critical role in the conservation of the species.

Your Turn

Please support the life-saving rescue and conservation work being conducted by Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection.


Animal Rights Activists and Billionaire John Catsimatidis Clash Over His Plan to Import Pandas

December 27, 2017 by 1 comment


The News

John Catsimatidis, one of the two billionaires helping U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney raise $50 million to rent a pair of pandas from China and put them on display in NYC, defended his plan during a dramatic confrontation with animal rights activists:

During the confrontation, Mr. Catsimatidis defended the importation of pandas on the grounds that New Yorkers want them: “We’ve taken polls. Ninety percent of New Yorkers say, ‘We love pandas, and we want them in New York.'”

The day after the clash, Mr. Catsimatidis invited protest organizer Donny Moss onto his radio show to debate the issue:

“I think that Mr. Catsimatidis genuinely cares about animals,” said protest organizer Donny Moss. “If he took the time to learn why holding wild animals captive for our entertainment is outdated and inhumane, then he might change his mind about renting pandas from China, and he might understand why the animal advocacy community in NYC must continue protesting his plan.”

Animal rights activists in NYC are protesting a plan to rent pandas from China and put them on display in NYC.

In February 2017,  Mr. Catsimatidis, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and billionaire Maurice (Hank) Greenberg held a fundraiser called the “Black & White Panda Ball” at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to raise money for the project, which is estimated to cost $50 million.  The gala raised approximately $500,000. Their charity, The Pandas are Coming to NYC, continues to raise money.

Your Turn

Please sign the Care2 petition asking U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to call off her plan to import pandas into NYC for display.

Follow No Panda Prison NYC on Facebook.


Vegan Bibimbap!

December 18, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

Susan Song, a New York-based animal rights activist campaigning to end South Korea’s dog meat trade, took a few hours off to demonstrate how to prepare bibimbap, a traditional Korean dish. Of course, Ms. Song, who doesn’t consume animal products, veganizes her bibimbap, replacing the meat with both soy curls and “ground beef” made from Beyond Meat patties.

Ms. Song, who emigrated from South Korea to the United States when she was 13 years old, cooks all types of food more often than Korean, but she was inspired to explore her culinary roots after a two-week trip to Korea in November.

Vegan bibimbap ingredients

While in Korea, Ms. Song participated in several anti-dog meat protests with dozens of local activists. At times, she protested on her own, wearing a traditional Korean gown to draw the attention of the crowd and media who were assembled for the arrival of president Trump who was visiting South Korea as part of his tour of Asia.

Not only did Ms. Song reach thousands of Koreans on the streets with her message, but she also spoke to several reporters who approached her because they were in downtown Seoul reporting on President Trump’s visit.

Animal rights activist Susan Song protests dog meat trade in Seoul, South Korea

“I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received by the Korean activists. The weekly dog meat protest at the notorious Gupo dog meat market in Busan, Korea, usually attracts 20 activists. When the community heard that I was traveling from the U.S. to join them, over 120 activists came out to show their support.  About half of them chartered a bus to transport them from Seoul, which is six hours away. It demonstrates how grateful they are that activists around the world are joining them in the effort to stop the dog and cat meat trade.”

New York-based animal rights activist Susan Song joins anti-dog meat activists in Korea.

A month after Gupo market protest, the dog meat merchants expressed their intent to shut down their shops and slaughterhouses if an alternative way of livelihood can help be arranged for them.

As the PyeongChang Winter Olympics fast approaches in February of 2018, Ms. Song will continue to turn up the pressure on the S. Korean government to ban the dog and cat meat trade.


U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Protested Over Plan to Display Pandas

December 11, 2017 by 2 comments


The News

As prominent women in NYC politics entered a political fundraiser headlined by Hillary Clinton, they were confronted by over 30 animal rights activists who were protesting one of the attendees, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, over her plan to rent a pair of giant pandas from China and put them on display in an enclosure in NYC.

The activists, who are opposed to holding wild animals captive for entertainment, say that panda breeding facilities in China are panda mills in disguise and that renting pandas fuels the market for captive pandas; helps to perpetuate the physical abuse documented at panda mills: and does nothing to conserve pandas in their natural habitat. 

Animal Rights activists protest Carolyn Maloney’s plan to display pandas in a “Panda Pavillion” in NYC

“Pandas are wild animals who belong in the forests of China,” said Jessica Hollander, a NYC artist and activist who participated in the protest. “More and more New Yorkers are rejecting captivity, as evidenced by the recent passage of a NYC law banning wild animals in circuses. Ms. Maloney would be turning back the clock if she went forward with her archaic plan.”

Activists chanted “No Panda Prison in NYC” as hundreds of New Yorkers entered an event for women in politics

Congresswoman Maloney avoided protesters by entering the event through a side door, but activists did interact with several luminaries who entered through the front, including U.S. Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and Huma Abedin, the vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign.

Huma Abedin, the Vice Chair of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, stops to look at the protest and take a handout.

In February 2017, Congresswomen Maloney held a “Black & White Panda Ball” at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to raise money for the project, which is estimated to cost $50 million over a period of 10 years.  The gala raised approximately $500,000. Her charity, The Pandas are Coming to NYC, continues to raise money.

At the “Black & White Panda Ball,” U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is flanked by Maurice (Hank) Greenberg and John Catsimatidis, two billionaires who are backing her plan to import and display pandas.

Your Turn

Please sign the Care2 petition asking Carolyn Maloney to call off her plan to import pandas into NYC for display.

Follow No Panda Prison NYC on Facebook.