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Fur Free Friday in San Jose
Activists Beat Macy's in Fur Free Friday Protest
Several animal liberation activists paid a vist to Macy's Department Store at Valley Fair Mall at 10:00AM on Friday, November26, to educate customers about Macy's support for the torture and slaughter of thousands of animals for fur and fur trim. Hundreds of leaflets were distributed, despite the feeble attempts of Macy's to shut us up.
After only a few minutes of peaceful demonstrating, Macy's management came out and told us to get off their "private property." Knowing our rights, we responded, "Actually the U.S. Supreme Court in the Pruneyard decision held that individuals have a right to exercise first amendment rights in shopping centers, even on private property." Taken aback at our knowledge of the law and our unwillingness to bow down, they then said that our signs were misleading because "Macy's only uses rabbit fur." One activist, shocked in disbelief, asked if this woman understood that rabbits feel pain just like any other animal. Knowing they didn't have a leg to stand on (legally or ethically), they wandered off to figure out what to do next.
Soon, a slick, cheesy guy in a suit (the landlord and general manager of the whole mall!) came over to sweet-talk us, telling us that we could fill out some paperwork and pass out our leaflets at the "designated area" for free speech. He soon got agitated after we re-asserted our rights to protest in front of Macy's. We told him we didn't want to go to their special space, and that we were happy right where we were. He huffed and puffed about getting an injunction, and we again mentioned the god-send Pruneyard case as well as the recent Ninth Circuit Cow Palace case. His charming veneer melted away quickly, and he soon showed himself to be nothing but a bully. He pouted over to the two Macy's managers and eyed us suspiciously from afar, obviously frustrated that he wasn't able to intimidate us into going away. All the while, we continued passing out leaflets and telling customers about the attrocities against animals for which Macy's is responsible.
A bit later a San Jose police officer and two rent-a-cops from the mall came over to try again to bully us into leaving. We stood our ground, and the cop finally just said that if they got any complaints from customers, regardless of how valid they were, he would arrest us and take us in. He then informed us that PETA (whose logo was on our literature) was a "terrorist organization," and that we better watch out. We scoffed at him and told him he needed to do a bit more research. The cop then hatefully looked me in the eye and told me, "I know a lot more than you do, guy." It took everything I had to keep from saying, "Oh yeah? Is that why you're a mall cop?" But I somehow restrained myself, and just ignored him and continued to pass out leaflets. Knowing they were beat, the pathetic team of managers, landlord, and cops left us to go about our first amendment rights.
After passing out hundreds of leaflets, and tying up two Macy's managers, one mall general manager, and three cops for over an hour on the busiest shopping day of the year, I'd say this was a success! We made our presence known and educated a lot of consumers. The animals who are slaughtered for Macy's corporate greed need everything we've got, and we won't stop until every cage and every trap is rendered obsolete.