Rally for Jobs and Horses

Hundreds Rally in support of the Carriage Horses of Central Park on the steps of City Hall

Hundreds Rally in support of the Carriage Horses of Central Park on the steps of City Hall

Yesterday, I attended a rally at City Hall for the Carriage Horse Industry.  Hundred of drivers, workers and their families were joined by Teamsters, other union members, New Yorkers and animal lovers to protest the Mayor’s introduction of a bill in the City Council to ban the horses by 2016.  It was a day of rallies at City Hall, rallies for and against the Carriage Horses, a “die-in” calling for a further inquiry into the death of Eric Garner. It is an important moment for the Mayor and Council to get their priorities straight.

I was at the rally standing for the horses in my Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood who bring beauty and majesty with their calm and peaceful spirits to the neighborhood and to thousands who visit them in Central Park every day.  And to stand with the carriage owners, drivers and workers and their families who have broken no laws, and care for their horses with deep love, respect and pride.

It was the biggest rally to date in support of keeping the horses in NYC.  The Teamsters were out in full force, joined by 10 plus other unions including 32 BJ SEIU.

A highlight of the rally was getting to connect with Jon Katz and Maria Wulf, who came down from Bedlam Farm upstate to participate. Jon has been an eloquent and important voice writing and speaking out on behalf of the drivers and horses and the importance of having working animals in our midst!  Maria, a fiber artist created a beautiful quilt depicting the bond between horses and humans, which appeared in a sign brought to the rally by Pamela Rickenbach of Blue Star Equiculture.

Here are some photographs from the rally.  It was a hugely positive day and we have a long way to go. The majority of Councilmembers remain undecided. It will be about a six month process before the bill comes up for a vote. I am cautiously optimistic. I hope you will take a moment to write your Councilmember and ask them to vote against the bill.

Stephen Malone at the podium.

Stephen Malone at the podium.

Angel Hernandez, Carriage Horse Driver

Angel Hernandez, Carriage Horse Driver

Representative from 32 BJ SEIU adds his support.

Representative from 32 BJ SEIU adds his support.

Maria Wulf and Jon Katz

Maria Wulf and Jon Katz

Frank is a carriage driver I met over a year ago when I visited Clinton Park Stables  It was great to meet his family.

Frank is a carriage driver I met over a year ago when I visited Clinton Park Stables It was great to meet his family.

Teamsters from NJ joined Rally for Carriage Horses!

Teamsters from NJ joined Rally for Carriage Horses!

High School student, Alexandra Summa launched a post card campaign to save the carriage horses.

Alexandra Summa, launched a post card campaign to save the carriage horses.

Professor of Veterinary medicine and expert on the abuse of horses speaks about the excellent health and living and working conditions of the Central Park horses.

Professor of Veterinary medicine and expert on the abuse of horses speaks about the excellent health and living and working conditions of the Central Park horses.

Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec-Treas of the Teamsters, Local 533

Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec-Treas of the Teamsters, Local 533

Maria Wulf with Poster of her quilt and Pamela Rickenbach

Maria Wulf with Poster of her quilt and Pamela Rickenbach

Bhairavi Desai, the Executive Director of the Taxi Workers Alliance.  "We are in the struggle together..."

Bhairavi Desai, the Executive Director of the Taxi Workers Alliance. “We are in the struggle together…”

Calling all horse lovers! Christina Hansen, carriage horse driver and advocate.

Calling all horse lovers!
Christina Hansen, carriage horse driver and advocate.

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Rally for Jobs and Horses

  1. Thank you, Cathy, for the terrific and pertinent photos. I, too, support the Carriage Horse drivers, their families and especially the horses. I simply cannot believe that anyone could be so ignorant as to the true nature of horses and their great value to humanity. One has to conclude that the dollar and the greed of too many people are the root cause.

  2. Nancy, I fear you are right. The Mayor has refused to visit the stables or meet with the drivers. If you simply come and take a look you find healthy, calm horses in well regulated conditions and an industry that improves the vibrancy of our city. Thanks for your comments! And Cindy–thanks for your pledge, I believe we can make a difference in this one!

  3. I just found this article. As memories of the Carriage Rally fade and a vote on the carriage ban approaches it is use to remember that “Driving a Carriage Horse is NOT Immoral!”

    Thank you for the article and support for these 300 hardworking NYC families.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s