On November 2nd Canada brought a complaint at the World Trade Organization against the European Union's ban on seal products, ratified in May 2009.
On Friday, November 27th, 2009 Global Justice for Animals and the Environment held our first ever international day of action, with protests in the United States in New York, NY and Tucson, AZ and in India in Bangalore, Karnataka in protest of Canada and Norway's WTO November 2009 challenge to the European Union's seal product ban, passed in May of 2009.
Bangalore: The day of action began in India with an action in Bangalore, capital city of the state of Karnataka. Members of GJAE India held a demonstration at the Canadian Trade Office. The Bangalorean activists demanded that the Canadian government drop its WTO challenge and end the seal hunt – or otherwise find a new name for the their country that wouldn't sound so embarrassingly similar to the name of Karnataka's traditional language, Kannada. After the protest, GJAE reps met with the top official at the Trade Office, who expressed his personal support for banning the seal hunt and recommended that GJAE contact the Canadian high council in India. Coverage of the demonstration ran six times on Udaya TV, a Kannada language TV channel.
Read quotes from GJAE-India's Sowmya Reddy explaining why Indian's should be concerned about Canada and Norway's WTO challenge to the EU seal product ban. View photos of the demonstration.
New York: Our well attended New York protest at the city's Canadian Consulate focused on Canada's 2010 Winter Games and featured a street theater performance of the “Animal Cruelty Olympics,” featuring actors dressed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization and the prime ministers of Norway and Canada beating baby seals as an Olympic event. The protest ended with a march down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, where protesters joined Caring Activists Against Fur for a march to protest major fur retailer Macy's flagship store at Herald Square. A GJAE activists dressed as a seal won a prize for best costume at the CAAF rally.
Tucson: GJAE Tucson activists performed a street theater skit wherein a baby seal runs away from a business man who chases her and shouts, "Let me club you!" She stops and retorts, "But you won't even be able to sell me now that the EU has banned the seal trade." The businessman responds, "You've won this round, seal, but wait until I challenge the ruling in the WTO!" and then walks away. The activists played the skit numerous times to a generally cordial response, distributing leaflets with information about Canada's pending WTO challenge to the EU's ban on seal products, and urging people to call the Canadian consulate in Tucson with their grievances.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this day of action possible, to Caring Activists Against Fur, Heart for Animals, and NYC Animal Rights Activists who helped publicize the NYC action, and to PETA, HSUS, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who mailed packages of literature and DVDs on short notice
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Read GJAE's seal hunt campaign flyer, which is full of suggestions on how you can help end the seal hunt.
2) Copy and circulate petition cards and mail them to GJAE.
US Petition (Mail completed petitions to GJAE's US Office: GJAE, 15 Thames St, Basement, Brooklyn, NY 11206).
India Petition (Mail completed petitions to GJAE's India office at GJAE – India, 455/7,, 15th main lakkasandra, Bangalore, India)
3) Learn more about Canada and Norway's WTO challenge to the seal hunt at our seal hunt background page, featuring videos, photos, articles, and reports.
4) Organize an action at a Canadian or Norwegian Consulate in your community. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 880-7979 for organizing ideas and to let us know when and where your action will be taking place.