Animal rights activists hit several Vancouver-area fur stores
paint a reminder of 'innocent blood spilled in vicious trade'
May 23, 2012
Four Vancouver fur stores
have been targeted by the Animal Liberation Front, an extreme animal rights
group willing to resort to illegal activities like vandalism and arson. On
Monday buckets of red paint were splashed on windows and signs at Capilano
Furs, Speiser Furs, Snowflake Canada and Pappas Furs 'to remind the public
of the innocent blood spilled every day in the vicious fur trade,' said an
anonymous press release signed by ALF.
'This action is dedicated to
the hundreds of thousands of mink suffering and dying on the many, filthy,
polluted fur farms in the Lower Mainland.'
The release also claims
the ALF went to the home of Capilano Furs owner Eugene Klein on May 21st and
spray-painted a dodge truck and a Volkswagen sitting in his driveway. Klein
confirmed two cars and the sign outside his North Vancouver home, where he
conducts his business, were vandalized. He called the perpetrators
'yellow-bellied cowards.' 'They come in the middle of the night and do
damage. They don't have enough guts to come to me and say something,' he
said, adding he hasn't been deterred. 'It wasn't the first time and it won't
be the last. This won't change nothing. I've been doing this for 60 years
and I'll do this till my dying days.'
The animal activists also
singled out Megan Halprin, co-owner of Snowflake Canada, saying they also
went to her house but didn't bother to throw paint again since there was
still some on the door from their last visit. 'The sign outside of your
house says 'The right to free speech does not include harassment,
trespassing and vandalism.' Well, the right to earn a fair living does not
include torturing, abusing and murdering others,' the ALF release states.
Halprin said the ALF did not target her home Monday, as they have in the
past. Rather the group chose instead to target the business she co-owns with
her sister, Rokie Bernstein. Halprin said red paint was thrown on the
windows, doors and column of the Snowflake store at Pender and Howe.
'They're trying to make it uncomfortable for our landlords to have us as
tenants,' she said. 'For some reason they've glommed onto us and are trying
to shut us down. They use scare tactics and want people to believe every
animal is mistreated and living in inhumane conditions. That's not the
industry. It's a highly regulated one.' Halprin said she and Bernstein are
concerned it will cause another disruption for their 17-year-old Vancouver
store, which has been targeted by activists six times since 2009. Halprin
said the negative attention was likely responsible for the Fairmont Hotel
Vancouver choosing not renew the store's lease in 2010. 'We believe the
activists got to the management of the hotel and they caved in to pressure,'
she said. Snowflake has been vandalized three times since moving to its new
location, she said.
Speiser Furs owner James Laurenson said Monday's
vandalism was not as bad as what happened last June, when the ALF claimed
responsibility for gluing his locks shut and throwing canisters of bleach 25
feet into the showroom, destroying 85 fur coats. This time, he said, the
damage was confined to the windows, door jambs and doorsteps which had red
paint thrown on them.
The owner of Pappas Furs, Constantine Pappas,
declined to comment.
Animal Liberation Front press officer Gerry Vlasak,
who is based in Los Angeles, said he is aware of the four incidents in
Vancouver. The local ALF group is one of the 'more active cells which are
operating all over the world,' he said.
'No one knows who the members
are. It would be problematic with police wanting information from us,' said
Vlasak. 'We [the press officers] understand the ideology so serve as their
spokesmen to the mainstream media. ... Why this particular action at this
particular time? I'm not able to say. But these actions happen generally as
economic sabotage against people who are willing to take the skins of
animals to make their living.'
North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De
Jong said the RCMP is aware of the mischief to a house and vehicles in the
4000-block of Delbrook Avenue -- the same block as Capilano Furs -- and are
working closely with the Vancouver Police on similar files. Anyone with
information on this is encouraged to call the North Vancouver RCMP at
604-985-1311 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, he said.
Four Vancouver fur stores have been targeted by the Animal Liberation
Front, an extreme animal rights group willing to resort to illegal
activities such as vandal-ism and arson.
On Monday buckets of red paint were splashed on windows and signs at
Capilano Furs, Speiser Furs, Snowflake Canada and Pappas Furs "to
the public of the innocent blood spilled every day in the
trade," said an anonymous news release signed by ALF.
"This action is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of mink
suffering and dying on the many, filthy, polluted fur farms in the
The release also claims the ALF went to the home of Capilano Furs
owner Eugene Klein on May 21 and spray-painted a dodge truck and a car
sitting in his driveway.