The Fellowship of Life
The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade are active every Saturday throughout the year outside Harrods: http://www.caft.org.uk/harrods/harrods.htm
Harrods is now the only department store in the UK which continues to sell real fur, even though the production of fur is illegal in the UK.
Harrods calls itself the "world's most famous department store" and its store in Knightsbridge is Europe's largest department store, occupying a 4.5 acre (18,000 square metre) site with over 1 million square feet (over 92,000 square metres) of selling space. The last survey at Harrods revealed a wide range of real fur garments on sale on display throughout the store, and included items made from beaver, chinchilla, red fox, arctic fox, mink, musquash, rabbit, wolf, coyote and squirrel.
In October 2005, campaigners launched a campaign to persuade Harrods to stop selling fur, with regular protests outside the store and phone, email and letter writing calls. This followed on from recent campaigns against other department stores, Fenwicks, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Liberty, all of which have now stopped selling fur.
Despite the fact that all the protests had been legal and peaceful, in December Harrods went to the High Court to seek an injunction which would have placed a 10 metre exclusion zone around the entire store, and would have forced the protests across the road, and a ban on the use of megaphones. This was an attempt to use their financial might to silence the protests.
The three activists named in the injunction vigorously defended the case, and attended four High Court hearings over the next 6 months. Eventually an injunction was granted, but its terms were reasonable and in effect allowed the protests to carry on almost exactly as they had done before.
During the court case, the campaign continued as before, with protests every Saturdays and some weekdays. In another desperate effort, Harrods employed two undercover agents to infiltrate the protests to try to gain evidence to use in the court hearing. However once again their tactics backfired as the agents' evidence showed the protesters to be, in their words, "calm and reasonable".
The injunction which is now in place, which also names CAFT as a defendant, allows 3 protesters within a 5 metre zone by each of Harrods 11 entrances, outside these areas however there is no limit on numbers at all. This was to a large extent how the protests were being conducted before the legal action was instigated.
The fact that Harrods is willing to use so many resources to try to stop the protests shows just how effective the campaign has been and how afraid they are that their customers will discover the truth. Harrods has a very upmarket image, and the sight of regular protests is most unwelcome.
Harrods is even considered a tourist attraction, many visitors to London include the store in their itinerary of places to visit, it is even mentioned on the side of the tourist buses, along with attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. However many are more interested in filming the protests, and the anti fur message is regularly being taken back to all corners of the world.
More and more shoppers and tourists are getting the message every week, tens of thousands have signed the petition, hundreds of thousands of leaflets have been given out, and hundreds of potential customers have been turned away.
For the sake of the many thousands of animals tortured and killed on fur farms to supply Harrods, it's vital that we persuade Harrods to take the compassionate decision to stop selling real fur, in line with all the other department stores in the country, the vast majority of the British public and the democratic will of Parliament which has outlawed the production of fur in this country.
Protests take place at Harrods at least once a week every Saturday, and on some other days. Whether or not you can make the protests, please politely email, phone, fax, write to Harrods to request that it takes the compassionate decision to n stop the sale of all real animal fur and adopt a fur-free policy. Remember to point out that fur farming is illegal in the UK, so they should come into line with the wishes of the British public and the democratic will of Parliament.
If you get any replies please forward them to us.
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