Seal Protest Day
Canada / United States
March 15, 2007
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society came out in support of Vancouver's International Day of Action for the Canadian Seals. In attendance were International Director Jonny Vasic and Outreach Coordinator Amy Baird who demonstrated support for CATCA and Liberation BC in their demonstration. Erika Ceballos and Joanna Chang did a fantastic job coordinating the protest, which was attended by over 70 supporters. The "Funeral Procession for the Seals" started at the Art Gallery, and protestors were escorted 7 blocks using one street lane by Vancouver police to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) building on Burrard Street. The police even held up traffic as we crossed an intersection during a red light. Protestors dressed in black and acted somberly for the procession; several seal-sized coffins were carried. Once at the DFO building, protestors talked to passers-by about the seal slaughter and chanted into bull horns drawing a lot of attention from both the public and the media. We were also able to distribute flyers of information to hundreds of people who passed by, a majority of whom were interested and expressed support of the protest.
Protestors carried coffins for the
seals during the
"Funeral Procession for the Seals"
Amy joins protestors for Vancouver demonstration
Jonny and Amy meet up with Anthony Marr
from HOPE during the demonstration
The coffins were lined up outside of the DFO building during the demonstration
Location: Canadian Consulate General: 550 South Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA.
Time: 11:30 - 2:30 pm
THE GOAL OF THE EVENT WAS:
- Draw worldwide attention to the CANADIAN SEAFOOD BOYCOTT
- Hand out leaflets, anti-hunt info, etc.
- Keep the pressure on the Canadian government by demonstrating in front of their Consulate location in a major city.
On March 15th, roughly 45 sealhunt opposition activists, mostly women, showed up at the consulate building in LA to play their part in the 39 event international effort in over 20 countries to keep the pressure on the Canadian government.
After last year's event with celebrities Martin Sheen, Paul Watson, and Dan Haggerty showing up, we knew it would be difficult to top that event in terms of sheer numbers of bodies being there, but we did the best we could nonetheless, despite not having the celebrity draw power.
The event was organized by our group, Harpseals.org, with the help of IDA (In Defense of Animals), Peta, and LCA (Last Chance for Animals). Our friends at the Sea Shepherd were busy doing their thing at demonstrations at the steps of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa and also Vancouver.
The idea behind all the gatherings was of course to let the Canadians know that we, the opposition to the yearly seal slaughter, will not be going away until the seal hunt is banned - and that was the message we passed on in LA. I believe that as long as we continue to show our resistance, we remain a reminder of the ever increasing opposition to the seal hunt.
There was nothing particularly news shattering about the days events- we did what we always do at public gatherings: we talked to the public, educating them about the seal hunt, and how to help end it by boycotting Canadian seafood and continuing to publicize the shame that the seal hunt brings to Canada every year.
After my initial failed efforts in calling the Consul by phone (and also trying to contact from the downstairs security checkin desk) and asking for some kind of official statement from the Canadians about the seal hunt, we managed to successfully "slip" an activist up the elevator to the 9th floor (apparently, members of the public can't just visit the Consul without security approval). That effort ended up being rather anti-climactic, however, in that their "official statement" was that there "was no statement." Go figure... at least we tried.
Unfortunately, no news media showed up despite having promises from several of them to attend. (unfortunately, par for the course, it's always proven difficult to get news coverage for the seals...)
All in all, it was a good day for the seals and I want to give special kudos and a huge thanks to everybody who showed up to represent for LA.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitute to those special persons who helped organize and promote the event, with an extra thanks to Last Chance for Animals for bringing the Animal News Van to show videos of the slaughter.
My last comment about the day is simply this: The stubborness of the government in not recognizing the seal hunt as an international embarrasment continues to amaze me, but we will continue the fight until the seal hunt ends. Harpseals.org will not give up on the seals.
- Ian Robichaud, Harpseals.org