As part of a series of articles on fur, Animal Policy Examiner (APE) takes a look back at the fourth annual “Fur Excellence in Athens” International Fur Fair in 2012 for conversations with Greek protestors, police, fair workers and industry insiders
Across the street from the parking lot of the Athens Fur Fair exhibit hall, where Animal Policy Examiner (APE) interviewed members of Greek animal protection groups about why they were protesting the 2012 event, a dozen or so police officers in riot gear tightly encircled a different group under the shade of a tree.
The closely-guarded group held up banners reading, “Burn the Fur Industry,” and “Smash the State.”
As this reporter approached, identified herself, and asked for the name of that group, one of its male members replied from behind the police cordon, saying that they did not wish to give the group’s name, nor did they wish to give an interview.
Other sources told APE that the group is known as “anti-speciesists” or as “anarchists,” and that they typically reject media coverage.
Fur industry is ‘arcane and cruel,’ said cop
Asked why that group of about 40 was corralled so tightly by a riot squad while the Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation and Greek Greens Party groups across the street were more loosely monitored, a police captain on the scene who declined to give his name told AIR that it was because the carefully guarded group had verbally confronted and thrown paint at some fur exhibit attendees the day before, while the other groups were more low-key.
The police captain added that he personally opposed the use of animals for their fur. He said he sympathized with animal advocates’ argument that the fur industry is arcane and cruel. But he said that the protestors did not have the right to attack anyone with paint or to perpetrate any other type of violence, and that he believed that those who protest with peaceful methods are most effective.
‘Why is she to blame?’
Earlier in the afternoon when this reporter had asked an Athens Fur Fair parking garage attendant where the protest was being held, he replied, “Oh you don’t want to go there. You could get hurt if they see you coming out of here [the Expo Athens exhibit center where the fur fair was being held].”
He too said he fully supported the protestors’ mission to end the fur trade because he felt that it was cruel to animals and unnecessary these days when other types of clothing are easily available. But he added that he felt sorry for individuals whom the protestors had attacked with paint, one of whom was a fashion model.
“Why is she to blame?” he asked. “She was just doing a job. She probably badly needed the work.”
Previous articles in Animal Issues Reporter's series on fur:
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