In Confrontation with Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Activists Demand that He Fulfill Promise to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (VIDEO)
In response to the collapse of a carriage horse in NYC, at least two hundred activists staged a protest at the home of Mayor Bill de Blasio to demand that he fulfill his 2013 campaign pledge to “end carriage rides” in NYC. The protest marks the re-birth of the movement to ban horse-drawn carriages from the congested streets of midtown Manhattan.
Following the protest at Gracie Mansion, which is located in uptown Manhattan, many of the activists traveled downtown to confront the Mayor as he exited an event at Cooper Union College.
In the months leading up to the 2013 Mayoral election in NYC, Bill de Blasio publicly vowed on several occasions to outlaw NYC’s horse-drawn carriage trade. After de Blasio declared that animal rights would “move into the mainstream” if he was elected, the community took to the streets to help him get elected.
The campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages from NYC was launched in 2006, but the animal rights community has been unable to free the horses because of opposition from the media, labor unions and NYC lawmakers. In addition, Bill de Blasio, who was the horses’ most powerful potential ally, has failed to effectively exert his power as Mayor to achieve a ban. By the time he introduced a compromise bill that would contain the horses within Central Park, the majority of NYC lawmakers had already decided to take the politically expedient route, which was to reject any changes to the carriage trade.
Activists say that horse-drawn carriages cannot be operated humanely or safely in NYC.