After two years of trying to get Chicago Public Health Commissioner Arwady’s attention on live animal markets, activists from Slaughter Free Chicago and Animal Rebellion decided it was time to step up the pressure. On the cool morning of September 30th, activists congregated near her North side home, put on hazmat suits and gas masks, and walked over to Arwady’s condo building to perform a Sound the Alarm demo, followed by speakouts and chants.
Then at 9:30 am, a larger group of activists congregated at Pritzker Park with the intention of performing the same action in front of the office of the Chicago Department of Public Health where Arwady works. Finding the building accessible, activists instead filed into the offices and congregated in the lobby. The police soon arrived. Activists demanded a meeting with Arwady and were told they they needed an appointment. To that, they told staff that they would not leave until she came out to speak with them.
After an hour, Arwady came out to address the group. Activists insisted that her department’s own rules on live animal markets were not being enforced, that the system of inspection was broken. If it was working effectively, it would find these facilities noncompliant and incapable of compliance, because they are so grossly unsanitary and their animals are in appalling conditions. Therefore, activists demand she shut them down now.
The activists urged her to review CDPH’s own records of inspection like they did, and then to go on site and see for herself what the conditions are like. The activists believe that their disturbing findings should prompt her to investigate for herself, instead of trying to defend a broken system of oversight. After about 10 minutes, Arwady left them without addressing our core demand.
The action was then concluded with a Sound the Alarm at the entrance of CDPH offices.
Activists will continue to keep up the pressure on the city of Chicago until it enforces their own laws!