After the city commission meeeting, a small but vigorous group of demonstrators reminded Schumacher's of the power of free speech. Onlookers smiled and gave thumbs up, and the media showed unusual interest.
A major attraction, as always, was the free speech wagon, on which sits a small TV showing the scenes animals experience before they become Schumacher coats, hats, scarves, and purses. The facts speak for themselves, and no passer-by wants to participate in the horrors they see on that screen.
We had the good fortune of making a new acquaintance. One pedestrian stopped and told us that he used to be an "evil man." He worked for the fur industry for some 25 years, and was eager to share some unknown truths from inside the industry. We should be hearing more from him, as he offered to speak before audiences and make a video with IDA.
During the demonstration, a couple of police kept a watchful eye on us. We had a moment of comic releif when the Portland Clean and Safe truck came to wash the sidewalk. The worker was at first very stiff, informing us that we had to move. When questioned about how often the city washes the sidewalk, he explained that whenever a business reports that they have graffiti on their sidewalk, it's his job to come out and spray it clean. That's what the businesses pay taxes for.
Some demonstrators dutifully moved their signs and personal belongings, expecting the water cannons to come out. However, he pulled out small nozzle with a wispy spay that gently cleared the chalk. Afterwards, he was all smiles, informing us that we were welcome to chalk the sidewalk again if we wanted. One protestor called after him to tell his wife not to buy fur.
During the process, two additional, stern officers were apparently needed to see that all went well.
Let's keep up the pressure. We are obviously winning. Schumacher's and Portland are coming to realize that as a fashion statement, fur is NOT back. There is no need for the horrible cruelty that robs these animals of their life, security, and finally their beutiful skins. The fashion industry has attempted to tell the public what it desires, but we, the public, are speaking back. And those who see the facts hastily turn their backs on Schumacher's.