This Friday, February 19, a minimum of 10 compassionate activists voiced their outrage at Nicholas Ungár Furs about the 50 million animals killed each year for vanity and status. The protest was positive and effective. Several people welcomed the activists' presence and engaged in conversation about fur and other animal issues.
Portland Police Officer Zachary Zelinka made a visit to chat with the individuals about their activity. He attempted to argue that they were in violation of Disorderly Conduct - the catch-all complaint against activists - to no avail. However, no amplification devices are being used, and activists are aware and advised that no ordinances are being broken. When the activists did not yield to his request, he drove around the block to monitor from a distance, eventually driving off.
The first surprise of the day was the discovery that a trash can in the underground parking garage of the Portland Clinic has become home to a "clandestine" video camera. No, the camera was not thrown away as trash. Rather, it was installed inside of the body of the trash can and pointed directly at Nicholas Ungár Furs and the protest activity. (Photos and video follow).
Interestingly, that is not where the discoveries ended. Activists also learned that the FBI has begun questioning businesses in the area about protest activity.
Finally, near the end of the protest, yet another police car arrived to monitor the final moments of the day.
All of this police presence is despite the fact that a rally of hundreds of people regarding police brutality and accountability was occurring mere blocks away. The intense monitoring of animal rights activity by authorities either indicates that the campaign has reached a critical level of effectiveness - or that police have a whole lot of time and tax money to waste. We assume it's the former.
Despite these obvious attempts to stifle First Amendment activity, the protests remain strong and consistent. All are encouraged to stand in solidarity with the animals:
Where: Nicholas Ungár Furs @ the corner of SW 12th and Yamhill
When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Come whenever and stay as long as you like.
We will never back down!
*for more information about the fur industry: http://www.furisdead.com or http://www.furkills.org