In a stunning display of corporate philanthropy, Citigroup is making a $50,000 donation to help pay for the care of the chimpanzees abandoned in Liberia by the NY Blood Center. In addition, the company has, in response to grass roots advocacy, issued a public statement about the crisis: “The current situation is not tolerable.”
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As hundreds of workers entered and exited their office building in downtown Oakland on March 18th, one thing became clear to the activists who were outside protesting their neighbor from Suite LL13: Most of them already knew that Owen Garrick abandoned chimpanzees in Liberia from news coverage and prior protests, and most were grateful that people were speaking out on behalf of the chimps.
If Owen Garrick made one thing clear during the two day protest at his office, it’s that he desperately wants to remain anonymous. Garrick runs a for profit business out of the office of a charity he created. In the days after the protests, he removed his business address from his company’s website, and he removed his name from the staff directory of his own charity.
Activists are not taking NYBC’s decision to abandon their surviving lab chimps lying down — unless they’re staging a “die-in” at the homes of the organization’s board members. During three increasingly disruptive protests staged at Michael Hodin’s home, residents displayed, on camera, mixed emotions – from gratitude to grief to anger.
Tensions ran high as advocates fighting on behalf of the 66 chimps abandoned by the New York Blood Center confronted the organization’s employees during a recent protest at its corporate headquarters.