Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Statement from LOHV

Here is an official statement I recieved from John Phillips of the League of Humane Voters regarding yesterday's incidents:

“The League of Humane Voters of New York City's Manhattan screening of Blinders: The Truth Behind the Tradition on 9/22 was a tremendous success. The screening was attended by more than 300 caring people who want to put an end to carriage horse cruelty.

A few of our members have written to us concerned about an incident that took place during the screening wherein a disruptive representative of the carriage horse industry had to be removed by security. Please understand our reasons:

1. The industry spokesperson approached the microphone and immediately began screaming that he supported the carriage industry while shaking the microphone stand and pointing and making threatening attacks at the panelists. Simultaneously, another individual, who we believe may also be with the industry, began shouting and regardless of affiliation began advocating for violence.

2. As evidenced by the film itself, this industry has a history of violence against its opponents. In the film, an animal advocate recounts being literally whipped by a driver, there is video footage of a violent attack of the videographers, and a veterinarian reports having had to wear a bulletproof vest because of threats.

3. Earlier in the evening, prior to the movie being screened, a driver from the carriage horse industry with a history of disruptive behavior came to the box office to intimidate movie goers and attempted to stop ticket sales by calling the police.

Given this, and that we were responsible for the safety of the hundreds of people attending the event, we felt we had no choice but to remove the industry spokesperson.

The League of Humane Voters of New York City will continue to encourage a healthy dialogue on this important issue, but the safety of all participating is of primary interest to us. We have zero tolerance for violence.”

Thanks again, and if you have any questions, let me know.




Executive Director

151 First Avenue, Suite 237
New York, NY 10003-2965
Telephone: 212-889-0303
E-mail: john@humanenyc.org
Web: www.humanenyc.org