Yep, you’ve heard it right. The 112 year old business has thrown in the towel. They’re closing the downtown Portland store and might be leaving the state entirely. The animal rights protesters have actually won.
Shumacher Furs isn’t being very graceful about their decision to give in to the many years of protesting by animal rights activists. Check out the sign they have posted in their downtown shop:
I think they’re a little bitter, don’t you?
Today’s KGW Report has this:
Every week for an entire year Schumacher has faced sidewalk protests by animal rights activists. Schumacher has blasted city officials and police for failing to support him in the face of picketers who appear weekly to try to dissuade customers from buying his coats.
“They trespass,” says Schumacher of the picketers. “They vandalize our property. We’ve had bomb scares.”
Police counter that they’ve assigned an officer to every weekly protest and they’ve made occasional arrests. Police also say Schumacher has rejected their advice and has made relations with protesters worse, not better.
Mayor Tom Potter has offered to mediate.
Schumacher replies, “I don’t think it is reasonable to ask me to mediate with a terroristic organization.”
Poor Mr. Schumacher fighting the protester-terrorists. Just this Monday, Bush signed the “Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,” a bad law that is clearly crafted to scare animal rights protesters. Its language is unclear and seems to blur any real distinction between peaceful protest and “terrorist acts” because it allows for criminal punishment of “intimidating behavior” as well as “economic disruption”. I couldn’t find the act in its final form, but here is a script of it while still in session.
It used to be called the “Animal Enterprise Protection Act,” now it’s more clear. If you challenge capitalism, you’re a terrorist. Good times, eh? At least for the moment, animal rights activists here in Portland can celebrate. But the bigger picture still doesn’t look that great.