International Day of Protest against the Canadian Seal Hunt
March 15, 2005
The weather was perfect even though it had been overcast and rainy all week. Since there is no Canadian consulate/embassy anywhere within 500 miles, we chose the busiest location in Byron Bay NSW which is an international tourist destination for people all over the world. I talked with people from Canada, US, Israel, Italy, France, Switzerland, Ecuador, England etc. We were in a park right on Main Beach adjacent to magnificent Byron Bay and opposite a very busy pub.
Unfortunately we didn't have enough participants to warrant the media to interview me.
At least 17 Canadians came up asking what was going on. They had no idea the hunt was happening. Most of them signed and were very sad and ashamed. I am sure they will go back home and do something. One self-confessed hunter from a family of hunters signed saying how disgusted he was at the unnecessary cruelty.
We collected 65 signatures in 2 days and a total of 400 so far in 3 other petition drive and tabling events. We gave out all the 200 fliers you so kindly mailed plus another 200 I printed up from my computer. Paul Watson was on Australian radio 3 times that week. (I was too - plus another interview tomorrow morning).
I made good connections with caring people who want to continue working to make the boycott against all Canadian goods a success.
Already on St Valentine's day Sea Shepherd and Canis presented the Canadian embassy a typical Austrian gift: A "Sachertorte" (cake), a rose with crepe, a letter of protest and the clear message "Stop Killing Seals!"
We talked to Mag. Ms. Fritscher (public relations) and confronted her with the fact that in Austria it is charged if you club a mammal - not only by laws to protect animals, it would also violate hunting rules. She admitted she could not imagine 15 000 men rushing into the countryside here in Austria to brutally with hakapiks club 330 000 young, helpless mammals, leave them terribly wounded to die or skin them alive! - when just this happens every year in Canada - allowed and subsidized by the Canadian government!
On March 15, 2005 about 20 - 30 people met at Opernring 1 at 11.00. The protesters were shocked when they saw the cruel pictures on the signs. We marched through the city of Vienna, handed out flyers and the new Sea Shepherd brochures, talked to people and even busy passersby had their eyes focused on the bloody atrocity of the horrific images.
At the Canadian embassy this time I was asked to prove my identity. The clerk disappeared for a while with my driving licence before we could meet Ms. Coutts (Counsellor).
Representatives of several Austrian animal welfare organisations (VGT, Wiener Tierschutzverein, Canis, Österreichischer Tierschutzverein, ...) who represent hundreds of thousands of members then handed their officially signed petitions to the Canadian embassy. Ms. Coutts promised to pass them on to the Prime Minister.
She stated that the DFO has officers to control the hunt and 379 violations had been detected between 1999 - 2004. I told her that the veterinary report in the US Resolution states that up to 42% of the seal babies are skinned alive - what was never charged!
She answered Canada has different reports - but could not explain how DFO ever controls 15 000 sealers on the huge pack ice fields to not skin tens of thousands of baby seals alive!
In Brussels, Belgium, Bite Back and Sea Shepherd joined forces to protest against the horrible slaughter of baby seals. We protested from 2 till 3.30 p.m. under the first spring sunshine we had this year.
I'm sure the people inside the Canadian embassy heard us because we shouted through a megaphone for an hour and a half. "We support Sea Shepherd!", "Canada, watch your back!", "Canadian butchers!", "Boycott Canada!", "baby killers!" ...
We managed to turn the world upside down for a moment. An activist dressed up like a baby seal clubbed a "fur bitch" (an activist with a fur coat) to death! If dreams only could come true...
We made it to the 7 o'clock television news on national TV, reminding Belgium of the suffering of the baby seals.
I'd like to thank all the protesters who took a day off or missed school to speak up for the seals. Special thanks to Bite Back's Marianne.
I hope that the world, and especially Canada, will listen to these protests and that we don't need to get back to the Canadian embassy next year.
For the seals,
Anne Van Ingelgem
This event was a coordinated effort between Sea Shepherd, the Vancouver Humane Society and Liberation BC/Vegan Voices. 60 activists gathered in front of and inside the Canadian government office tower housing the Pacific HQ of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). We marched, chanted, handed out brochures, and gathered signitures on the petition. Glynis (SSCS Vancouver) played the Sea Shepherd PSA and recent video footage of the seal hunt (courtesy of IFAW) throughout the duration of the demo. There was significant local and some national media coverage of the event. Media received kits and copies of the Sea Shepherd PSA. Ashley Fruno (Liberation BC/Vegan Voices) & Glynis shared the role of media spokespersons.
Toward the end of the demonstration, Lesley Fox of the Vancouver Humane Society led protestors into the building and up to the office door of DFO. DFO staff responded by barracading themselves inside! Tenacity and courage is clearly on the side of the protestors, who will continue to mobilize to make our federal government accountable to over 70% of Canada's constituents, who want this atrocity stopped once and for all.
Today, on 15 March 2005, from 11:45 am to 1 pm a loud demo against slaughter of the seals in Canada took place in front of Canadian Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia.
Together with the activists of Animal Friends Croatia from Zagreb and Voice of the Animals from Karlovac, more than 60 protester gathered, shouting Save the seals, 'Fur is not for humans, Stop the slaughter of the seals, etc.
Our president Luka Oman was calling for a boycott of everything that is Canadian over the megaphone, as well as for a boycott of Prada and Dolce & Gabbana.
Also, a protest letter was given to a representative of the Canadian Embassador in Croatia, Mrs. Stefanie Beck, who was in front of all media attacking IFAW for spreading lies about the slaughter of the seals, denying everything in the process. Luckily, media people trusted more the video footage about the last year's slaughter we showed on a Body Screen TV than him.
Two TV crews (Croatian National Television included), three newspapers, three radio stations and Croatian News Agency - HINA came on a demo in Zagreb.
This is how Croatia raised its voice for the harp seals today!
For the animals,
Bernard Vjeran Franolic
Int. Campaigns Coordinator
Animal Friends Croatia
Until every cage is empty. Until every animal is free.
We held the rally on 16 March - because of the public holiday on 15 March - at two locations: 2.30-3.30 pm outside the office of Air Canada in downtown. We started our demonstration (6 people), distributed about 150 colorful leaflets in Hungarian. The pedestrians were very sympathizing and interested, they took the leaflets from us. We went on with our demonstration outside the Canadian Embassy between 4.30-5pm. Unfortunately, the petition was not accepted by the colleagues of the embassy so I put it in the post box with the Hungarian leaflet. In addition, the news program reported on the protest but unfortunately the people from the media did not appear at the demonstration. The Police were very helpful and fair to us again. We only got positive feedback in arranging and organizing work.
Thanks to everyone who supported ARAN's seal hunt demo last Tuesday in Dublin. Between 12-2pm a crowd of almost 50 caring compassionate people came along many long term supporters old and new. We also had some supporters who are making a film of the seal hunt here in Ireland and shot some of their film at the end of the demo - it was great, thanks to everyone who supported this years event.
After the seal hunt demonstration we then targetted fur stores around the Dublin city centre area. Here is the link to some pictures when we were first getting started.
Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN)
"Ireland's National Animal Rights Organization"
The demo was organised by Animalisti Italiani in supporting of the International campaign of Sea Shepherd and HSUS against the seal slauther.
I had a meeting with the vice Ambassador and with the head of the press office. They were very relaxing and gentle but their sentence didn´t satisfy me. As usual, they said that those images (that we were sending on a TV in front of the Embassy) are only a scoop and it isn't the reality....etc.
When I go back out of the Embassy there were a mass of journalists and photographers, and our staff and volunteers starts to make the representation of the "crime scene". As you can see from the pics...
The demo was very well covered by the media and we had a great success. I've asked to our friends in the Italian parliament, to help us in order to obtain the ban of the import of the seal products in Italy. The Greens accepted our request and they presented a motion to our Government asking the total ban of seal products. We have a petition on our web site www.animalisti.it in support of the motion re the total ban.
Thanks to all the people around the world, we can make the difference!
Anticaptive and Marine Campaigner
Animalsiti Italiani Onlus
My name is Fabiana Portal. I'm a member of ALCO and UPA (organizations in defense of animals in Perú). We were in front of embassy of Canada protesting. We carried posters, flyers, and fake seals painted with fake blood.
Approximately 100 activists and individuals who where interested in the subject, manifested against one of the most disgusting things that the human being allows and a goverment sponsors, the killing of millons of seals, most of them babies, in Canada.
The activists, with placards that showed the absolute cruelty of this hunting without sense, made a pacific long wait in front of the Embassy of Canada in Peru. The world-wide call of the Humane Society of the United States was delegated in Lima to AnimaNaturalis Peru, that summoned not only affiliated activists, but other organizations, like ASPPA (Peruvian Association of Protection to the Animals), representatives of the Federated Center of Students of the Catholic University and people not affiliated to groups who knew about the hunting thanks to the program of Cesar Hildebrandt, the most credible and serious Peruvian journalist, who interviewed the President fo AnimaNaturalis Peru and showed 3 minutes of footage that impressed and outraged thousands of people. Also a representative of the national rock group Mater Natura was there, group that in all its concerts promotes the Rights of the Animals and, in special, our very successful International Campaign "Lima. Anti-bullfight City".
We thank for the presence of all these people and the support of the National Police, that guaranteed that the manifestation fulfilled its goals. Also, we thank for the interest of the mass media that went there to inform on this activity in defense of the life.
For the animals,
Jose Enrique Escardó Steck
President | AnimaNaturalis Peru
Regional Secretary for South America | AnimaNaturalis International
Close to fifty people gathered on March 15 at the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw to protest seal hunting. The association Empatia organized the demonstration. Other organizations - Pracownia na Rzecz Wszystkich Istot (Workshop for All Beings) and Viva!, among them, joined in. We had posters and banners, and maple leaves coated in red paint symbolizing blood. We were pinning the red leaves on to the white fabric. During the protest we read aloud the information about seal hunting and shouted: Shame on Canada! Canadian Consul was presented with a letter of protest sign by demonstration participants, photographs and films of the hunts, and two reports: "Seals and Sealing in Canada 2005" (IFAW) and "The Canadian Seal Hunt: No Management and No Plan" (Greenpeace). All major newspapers, and some radio and television station give an account of the event. We have prepared CDs with the photographs, films and reports especially for the journalists, so all of them had the information. Two days before the protest we have launched mass e-mail sending action. Thousands of people send mail protesting the seal hunting to the Canadian Embassy. We also placed the link to IFAW petition on our web page.
I report 114 people in Barcelona event. Also 3 TV channels, two local TV and the national TV of Catalonia (TV3), which this morning has pre-covered the event, as well as written media, some of them national. We have been "kindly" received by the Consul of Canada, Mr. Khawar Nasim, who has got the letter for the Prime Minister, signed by the President of our Board, and handed by Nuria Querol. He has delivered us a copy of the same letter the Government is widely distributing. For us 114 is extraordinary, as today is a working day and working time.
Best for all, and good luck on your event.
Fundación Altarriba, Amigos de los Animales
We had a protest planned for March 15th, however we got snowed out! Today we held our second, and what an amazing day. We received nothing but positive public feedback, and hundreds of signatures from Canada and all over the US. We were able to engage many people and prove that educated people are far more powerful as they address issues such as this. It was a bluebird day! Keep up the good fight!
Sisley Milroy sent me an e-mail asking if we (she and I) could pull something together at the last minute for the International Day of Protest for the Seals.
We went to work. I found out the date, picked a 2-hour time slot during lunch and sent notices to everyone I could think of. Sisley found someone to loan a few seal clubbing posters from another state. They were sent 2 day! Sisley found someone to make us a banner in 2 days. We met to put it together and went to order it together. I made home made posters from other posters and from photos sent to me from Sea Shepherd. Sisley called the news offices. We had people from Rocky Mountain Animal Defense (the organization we belong to), PETA, Humane Society of the US, and Sea Shepherd join us the day of the demo. Approximately 25 good, compassionate people in all. The CO weather was beautiful. Some people were friendly to us and some weren't, as expected. All in all, the event went well. Sadly, no media showed. We handed out over 200 pieces of literature in 2 hours. It was a good event. I hope we were able to bring the seals closer to living a peaceful existence. I want to thank everyone who help us put this event together and joined us for the demo. Together, we will make the world better place, one person at a time. Thank you!
Ann Swissdorf of HEALTH/Rocky Mountain Animal Defense
The seal hunt demo in Detroit went well March 15th. Detroit was in the unique position of being located on a busy border crossing with Canada. We set up the demo at the entrance to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, one of the two busiest border crossings in the U.S., where we were visible to thousands of Canadian commuters heading home. Also, CBC sent camera crews and the Windsor (Canada) Star Newspaper sent a reporter.
A number of us are considering the idea of coordinating another rally. Actually, I believe that the Tunnel was a great location, because we accessed so many Canadians, and potentially concerned Canadians, rather than Americans, are the ones we need to reach. They are the ones who have the ability to directly engage their lawmakers.
On Saturday, April 9, Detroit held a second, large-scale demonstration in opposition to the seal slaughter. It was tremendously well attended; over 65 protesters came out in support of ending the massacre. We were again positioned on the Detroit/Canadian border, at the entrance to the tunnel that joins the two countries. People couldn't get anywhere near the tunnel without seeing us, traffic was plentiful and friendly, and the weather was beautiful. Another brilliant aspect of the day was that our Canadian neighbors held a demonstration consisting of approximately 25 concerned citizens at the very same time on their side of the tunnel. People traveling from one country to the other were bombarded from both sides. Our message was inescapable. It was magnificent, and a fantastic illustration of harmony. (I only wish we'd had an aerial photographer~)
Thank you again, Sea Shepherd, for sending us literature and encouragement. A sincere thank you, as well, to each and every individual who showed up and gave their support to this cause! It did not go unnoticed!
On behalf of Sea Shepherd and the Seals, here's a big THANK YOU to all those that attended the protests on March 15 in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Also want to thank everyone who's busy getting petitions signed at home/office and putting the pressure on the Canadian government in any way possible.
I joined the LA protest along with at least 70 like-minded activists on a beautiful California day. Sea Shepherd and several other groups (Harpseals.org, HSUS, IDA, PETA, USETA) were well represented on the four corners of 6th and Hope Street in front the high-rise building where the Canadian consulate is located. Together we made our voices heard, waived signs and banners, handed out thousands of info sheets, and collected over 700 signatures on the petition in just a few hours! Many pedestrians were shocked to learn about the hunt, many thinking it had ended long ago.
At least three media outlets covered the event in LA including KPFK and KFWB radio. Associated Press sent a video crew. Ian Robichaud of Harpseals.org did an excellent job conveying our collective message to the media.
Bill Dyer of In Defense of Animals
co-leads the demonstration
Harpseals.org founder Ian Robichaud fields questions from the media
At the end of protest, Tim Midgley (SSCS International Director), Ian Robichaud, and myself met with a representatives of the LA Canadian Consulate outside the street lobby. In addition to our heartfelt reasons for the protest and boycott, we provided them copies of the petitions and a 30 minute dvd of the seal hunt so they could see the sheer horror themselves. Eric Pelletier (Consul for Political, Economic and Public Affairs) seemed very defensive of the hunt in his French-Canadian accent, and challenged us regarding the effectiveness of a boycott. So it's up to all of us - including your friends/family/co-workers - to prove the boycott's point: CANADA - STOP THE SEAL HUNT OR YOUR ECONOMY WILL SUFFER.
Again, thank you to everyone in California who helped make this protests a success. Keep up the pressure on the Canadian government with the petitions, emails, and phone calls. And don't buy Canadian products, especially seafood, until the hunt is permanently shut down.
I am writing to let you know about our extremely successful seal demo yesterday. We met at Pioneer Square at noon. We had 15-20 people show up to help. We blanketed 2 whole blocks of downtown Portland with volunteers leafletting and holding posters.
We handed out ALL our literature from HSUS, Sea Shepherd, and Harpseals.org plus more that I had run off. We got 14 pages of signatures on the petition.
Most people were very sympathetic and anxious to help. It was a beautiful day and we actually stayed until 2:30pm because we were having such success. We actually had a line of people, at times, to sign the petitions.
I feel it was a huge success and I hope we can make a difference.
We had over 30 people holding signs, banners, chanting, and passing out information in front of the Canadian consulate. In addition, we gathered over 200 petition signatures against the annual slaughter, and handed out 200 postcards for passer-bys to send in to the Canadian embassy. We were received with interest by most people walking by, many of whom said they were surprised the "hunt" was still happening. We also met with a representative from the Canadian Consulate who accepted a letter on behalf of IDA's 85,000 members calling for an immediate and permanent end to this slaughter.
Thank you all again for providing us with literature (all of which was handed out!), posters, banners, and support.
There were 37 people from Sea Shepherd, HSUS, and Northwest Animal Rights Network that showed up in front of the Canadian Embassy at 6th and Stewart. While that corner is not in the busiest part of the city, we had our share of foot traffic. We handed out a petition for people to sign and our new Sea Shepherd Seal Brochure, which has a great historical timeline of Paul Watson's and Sea Shepherd's 25+ years of opposing this horrific atrocity. We also had postcards with a picture of a baby harp seal on one side, which made it very attractive to the people passing by - they would soon discover the seal slaughter details printed on the back. HSUS and NARN handed out general info regarding the seal slaughter and a pamphlet about the Canadian Seafood Boycott.
Some people stopped to talk or take materials while others wouldn't even make eye contact with us. One man walked towards us and then stopped quickly, trying to find a way across the busy street without having to go by us. I walked up to him, held out a card and said calmly, "Stop the seal slaughter." He looked almost relieved when he took the card and said he wasn't sure what was going to happen if he "walked the gauntlet." "Are you a sealer?" I asked, to which he replied "No." "Well," I said with a smile "there's no problem then! You can safely walk right on by."
KOMO 4 and KING 5 TV news teams showed up and interviewed various protesters. Three of Seattle's finest also "attended the protest" and huddled inside a nearby coffee shop. They said that they didn't expect any problems as NO ONE approved of the seal slaughter. Overall it was a very successful protest!
I just returned from an hour-long protest in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington. There was a large crowd of about 200 or so with lots of banners, signs, pictures, posters, and leaders with megaphones leading chanting and protest slogans. There were speakers and we got lots of publicity with many fronting Pennsylvania Avenue to show passing motorists/tourists the signs and pictures. Boycott Canada was the cry of the day. I view it as being VERY SUCCESSFUL!