From NY Whale and Dolphin Action League:
Many thanks to all, especially, Kiley, Camille, Greg,
and all the rest for the great demo - the fabulous posters and all that
SINGING! HOW COOL!!! It was really the best! There will be an article (and
picture) in the Bay News, which might get put in all 5 weekly Brooklyn
September 6, 2004
Taffy Lee Williams
REPORT ON THE LABOR DAY PROTEST
"STOP THE TORTURE! STOP THE PAIN!
NEW YORK AQUARIUM IS TO BLAME!"
Fourteen dedicated activists shook the boardwalk
yesterday as hundreds of passers-by encouraged and praised efforts to
remove the beluga whales from the New York Aquarium.
The picture-perfect weather and large turnout made this
an exceptional event. Police and Aquarium security were on hand to witness
the tremendous public support. Hundreds of pieces of anti-captivity
literature were distributed.
Many people stated that though they had not thought
about the situation before, after learning about the issue believed that
keeping whales, dolphins or sea lions in concrete tanks was simply wrong.
"It's terrible!" a Brooklyn resident remarked, as she
joined in the strong, determined chants led by protestor, Greg Novara.
"One-Two-Three-Four! Open Up The Tank Doors!
Five-Six-Seven-Eight! Educate and Liberate!"
"One Struggle! One Fight!
Human Freedom! Animal Rights!"
These were the sounds of the protestors, heard from a
distance on the beach and up and down the boardwalk, as Labor Day
vacationers stopped and signed letters, read our signs, and joined in the
singing. This was a day of victory for the belugas inside, endlessly
circling three small holding tanks, filled with chemical and
Some of the signs read:
BELUGAS IN CHLORINATED TANKS =
WHALES IN CONCRETE TANKS:
Inside the Aquarium, three Arctic Beluga Whales endure
a chillingly disturbing confinement. Life in these unnatural concrete tanks
is shortened, maddeningly monotonous, and may even lead to chlorine-induced
blindness. In the wild, belugas are known as the "CANARIES OF THE SEA,"
because of their constant chatter, song and incredible vocal dexterity. The
beluga "CANARIES OF THE SEA" in the New York Aquarium are silent.
After one blind beluga whale died in April, two more
were brought in, originally on loan to the Mystic Aquarium. One of the
whales is wild caught, from one of the notoriously violent wild whale
roundups, another's origin is reported as "unknown" by NOAA/NMFS, which
activists believe means it is probably wild-caught as well.
The third beluga whale was captive born.
These large, silent, often-blinded belugas are kept in
concrete tanks at an enormous expense to the City of New York.
Last year, the city proposed a 50% cut in funding for the Wildlife
Conservation Society, which manages and operates the NY Aquarium. The cuts
were expected to finally close the beluga exhibit.
Although aquarium security guards were present during
the event, there was no response from the NY Aquarium to the protest.
"When Innocent Whales Are Under Attack, What Do We Do?
Stand up! Fight Back!"
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is
organizing a "Wildlife and Environmental Action Day," on Sunday, September
26, 2004, in White Plains, NY. Please visit our website,
, for more information.
Taffy Lee Williams, Director
New York Whale and Dolphin Action League
PO Box 273
Tuckahoe, NY 10707 USA
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