It was frustration all around on Thursday afternoon when protesters of the horse carriage industry nearly missed an opportunity to unveil their horse, valued at $20,000, that’s made of plush, for fear of rain.
Members of NYCLASS, the organization dedicated to eliminating carriage rides in NYC, protested in front of City Hall offices amid a slight rain. They had expected around 100 people but the weather limited it to just over a dozen or so. And they not only brought the realistic horse (that was donated to PETA via a Hollywood studio and loaned to NYCLASS), they also brought a blow-up one as its rain delay backup.
“Neither of them have a name yet,” NYCLASS head Allie Feldman said.
(Above photo: Allie Feldman)
The protesters were there on the third anniversary of carriage horse Charlie’s death, with another horse breaking loose a few days ago before being captured in the city streets. Protesters specifically stood outside the offices of city council members to remind them that Mayor Bill de Blasio has previously pledged to ban the practice, and that a resolution should appear before the council by the end of the year.
“We’re here to remind the council why we wanted to get horses off the street,” Feldman said.
One of the protesters was trying to hand out flyers when a pedestrian, wearing sunglasses and carrying an umbrella over his head, snapped, “Worry about humans.”
The fight over the horses has long been contentious, and each time NYCLASS organizes a rally, it often clashes with horse carriage industry supporters.
But on this rainy day, the crowd mostly consisted of people trying to pass the protesters on the street. A custodian of one of the nearby buildings walked out to the two horses laying on the street.
“What happened to the donkey?” he said.
(Photos: Amy K. Nelson/ANIMAL New York)