Fur Free Friday 2009
Over 50 separate Fur Free Friday educational events occurred in 25 U.S. states as well as actions in Canada, Germany, and Spain on the day after Thanksgiving, November 27 the world’s largest day of outreach for animal rights. Be sure and check out the slide show of events from all over the world!
Fur Free Friday in San Francisco’s Union Square was a huge success! We had over 50 activists on a drizzly morning educating San Francisco shoppers about the terrible cruelty of fur. We had a “bunny” and a “doggy” (activists in costume) in cages with images of the horrors of the Chinese fur trade surrounding the cages depicting the anguish in which animals on fur farms suffer before they are brutally killed. Many people stopped to look at the gruesome photos.
Our huge 12 foot tall banner with images of a fox and a rabbit greeted Macy’s shoppers with the message, “Please, don’t buy fur.” Some activists went to leaflet at Niemen Marcus, some at Sacs Fifth Ave, some at Macy’s and some at IDA’s main target, Nordstrom on Market St. Around 2 pm, we marched around Union Square just as the drizzle turned into a steady rain. But it did not dampen our spirits as we chanted “Compassion is the Fashion, Don’t Buy Fur!”
IDA hosted many events on the West Coast where Fur Free Friday participation peaked, including Portland, Oregon where 200 advocates took over the streets with a police-escorted march. Activists carried signs, chanted and marched peacefully to all downtown locations that sell fur, entertained and educated by cheers from the pom-pom-carrying group called the Radical Cheerleaders for Animal Rights. In Los Angeles 100 spirited activists came out to march in Beverly Hills on the sidewalks of Rodeo Drive, stopping at all the locations that sell fur, and their efforts were covered in news stories on three local networks that evening. IDA staff and volunteers presented an eye-catching demo in San Francisco’s Union Square, complete with giant banners and displays with animal-costumed activists “trapped” inside cages.
In solidarity with suffering animals, activists in Boston came out in harsh weather, even after freezing rain had canceled the local group’s scheduled demo. IDA met a handful of these die-hard activists who leafleted the metro stops for 3 hours, handing out over 900 anti-fur leaflets!
Many Fur Free Friday demonstrations across the country occurred outside Nordstrom stores, where IDA has an ongoing focused campaign, determined to make Nordstrom the first major U.S. upscale department store to go completely fur-free. The Nordstrom Campaign was re-launched on Fur Free Friday, and is off to a great start. Activists will be leafleting outside Nordstrom stores through Valentine’s Day, encouraging Nordstrom customers to speak up about fur, and IDA is looking for volunteers to participate. Please contact IDA’s NW Director, Matt Rossell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-249-9996, to find out how you can help, and visit our Nordstrom Campaign site for more information.
IDA’s Director of Outreach Hope Bohanec contributed to this post.