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.
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.
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.