As part of a multi-year campaign to compel the sporting goods store Paragon Sports to stop selling Canada Goose and other coats decorated with coyote fur, NYC animal rights activists staged a night-time protest at the Brooklyn home of Zach Blank, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Previous protests at his home took place during the day.
“We have sent him letters. We have sent him emails. We have protested his store for 2.5 going 3 years now, and he’s left us with no choice but to come to his doorstep to urge him to remove the fur from all of his racks.” said Leo Nardo, a protest organizer. “Zach Blank is directly responsible for the deaths of countless individuals who want to be with their families and to be loved just like the dogs and cats in our homes. It is 2019, there is no need to wear the stolen body parts of innocent animals.”
In March, 2019, the Speaker of the NYC Council, Corey Johnson, introduced legislation to ban the sale of fur. “I believe it is cruel to kill an animal just for the purpose of people buying and wearing a fur coat. There is really no need for this,” said Johnson. ”In a progressive and modern city like New York, banning the sale of fur clothing and accessories is long overdue.”
In the weeks prior to a contentious public hearing for the bill at City Hall, the fur lobby hired a prominent black preacher in Harlem, Reverend Johnnie Green, to decry a fur ban as racist. “Fur has given black people standing, fortitude and strength in the face of bigotry.” In an op-ed in the Daily News, Jabari Brisport, a board member of Voters for Animal Rights, responded to this fur industry tactic: “As one of many African American animal activists who testified at the hearing in favor of the ban, I found it insulting that the fur trade would use my community as a smokescreen . . . I’ve marched with Black Lives Matter in Charlottesville and gotten hit with tear gas by white supremacists . . . I know what a threat to the black community looks like. This fur ban ain’t it.”