Eight arrested in demonstration against Gillette

October 19, 1994|By Ellen Gamerman | Ellen Gamerman,Sun Staff Writer

Eight people, including a woman who wore a giant white bunny suit and handcuffed herself to the Loews Annapolis Hotel, were arrested yesterday during a protest against the Gillette Co.'s use of animals in product testing.

Gillette officials were in town for a safety and regulatory meeting, said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which organized the protest.

PETA says Gillette burns animals' skin and eyes when testing products ranging from liquid paper to shaving cream.

The eight were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

"The bunny suit is really gross, it has a huge gaping wound that's kind of pink and red . . ." said PETA spokeswoman Jenny Woods.

Security guards at the hotel, located at 126 West St., called police after the demonstrators entered the hotel and barred the way of guests entering the lobby, said Loews spokesman Diana Kaiser.

"The general manager and security went out and talked to them very nicely and even offered them coffee and sodas and asked them not to interfere with our guests," she said. "But they stormed the lobby and were being violent and making a lot of accusations, et cetera, so we had to have them removed."

Gillette spokesman Joan Fitzgerald says the company must test its products on animals to ensure public safety and guard against surprise chemical reactions that could harm consumers.

"We manufacture pens, for example," she said. "Pens contain ink and ink has to be tested for safety. How many kids do you see who chew a pen?"

This year, PETA members disrupted the company's annual shareholder's meeting, stormed its Boston headquarters and denounced the company in fliers passed around outside schools.

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