Another march on Washington?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:
BOSTON, Massachusetts––A possible
encore to the June 1990 “March for the Animals”
in Washington D.C. heads the discussion list at the
1994 “Summit for the Animals,” taking place
April 7-10 at the Omni Parker House in Boston.
The “Summit” is an annual meeting
among leaders of two to three dozen animal rights
groups. Participants are asked to pledge secrecy,
and attendance is by invitation only, However,
information sent to ANIMAL PEOPLE by multi-
ple sources indicates that the encore would be
scheduled for 1995 or 1996, and would be orga-
nized by Peter Gerard (formerly Peter Linck), who
also organized the 1990 march.
The 1990 march cost more than $7.2 mil-
lion, including lodging, meals, and travel for the
out-of-town marchers––more than the 1989 budget
of any of the involved groups, and more than the
budget of any two involved groups, except People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, whose 1989
budget was $6.5 million. Grassroots fundraising
slumped for more than a year afterward.
Despite the heavy investment, the march
was scarcely mentioned on television, and drew
just 82.5 column inches of coverage (equal to half
a page) from The New York Times, Los Angeles
T i m e s, Associated Press, Washington Times,
Washington Post, and USA Today combined. Of
that space, 32.5 inches, or 40%, was generally
negative, focusing on an allegation by then-
Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis
Sullivan that “so-called animal activists are in fact
nothing more than animal rights terrorists.” No
national news magazine covered the march at all.
Linck/Gerard predicted the march would
draw 75,000 activists, and claimed it drew 50,000,
but the National Park Service put attendance at
24,000, by counting faces in grid squares of aerial
photographs. According to the NPS, which moni-
tors about 4,000 protests a year, this was twice the
usual weekend rally crowd but just 15% of the
crowd at an anti-abortion event held weeks earlier.
The march was supposed to raise support
for four animal-related bills then before Congress,
but only one of the four ever got out of committee,
and it was killed by a 62-29 margin.
Adding to the fiasco, Linck/Gerard hired
Doris Day Animal League cofounder Bill Wewer
to draft march-related contracts, on the advice of
DDAL executive director Holly Hazard. Wewer
helped start DDAL after another group he cofound-
ed, the National Committee to Preserve Social
Security and Medicare, drew a Justice Department
rebuke and twice came under Congressional inves-
tigation for alleged deceptive fundraising. While
Wewer worked on the march, his wife Kathleen
Marquardt in September 1989 founded the anti-ani-
mal rights group Putting People First. Wewer cut
his ties to DDAL and the march after PPF was
incorporated in March 1990, but used the march as
an opportunity to gather intelligence about the per-
sonal lives of activists.