Animal rights activists and other caring New Yorkers staging weekly demonstrations at the home of New York Blood Center (NYBC) board member Michael Hodin are being greeted by his neighbors with increasing hostility – an indication that their patience for protesters is wearing thin.
Their use of the “F” word to express their rage at the protests in front of their building has left many activists asking, “Are they really more angry about peaceful demonstrations than the fact that their neighbor left 66 chimps to die with no food or water?”
Not all of Michael Hodin’s neighbors, however, are cursing the activists. Many have stopped to express concern about the abandoned chimps, and others have thanked them for their commitment and tenacity.
While the reaction to the presence of activists varies, one aspect of the weekly protests is consistent: the extraordinary amount of security — a combination of a private security squad; at least four NYPD officers; and Michael Hodin’s building security. “It seems wasteful,” said Michael Dolling, one of the protesters.”Can’t the blood center use the money being spent on all of this excessive security to feed the chimps?”
Activists are protesting NYBC’s board members because they bear responsibility for the organization’s decision to abandon their former lab chimpanzees after promising to provide them with lifelong care. For a thirty year period starting in the mid-1970s, NYBC conducted invasive research experiments on over 400 hundred chimpanzees in Liberia, where they could capture chimps in the wild, breed them in captivity and experiment on them with little regulatory oversight.
In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that the blood center walked away from its $25,000 monthly obligation, leaving the chimps to die of starvation and thirst while arguing that animal welfare 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.
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.