Fur Seller Neiman-Marcus goes bankrupt, fate of Mazza Gallery store unknown

About a decade ago Andriana's Furs closed in the Friendship Heights "Furrier's Row." Now the Washington Post is reporting that the infamous fur-selling department store chain Neiman-Marcus AKA Neiman-Carcass has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close "some stores" due to pandeic-induced losses. Hopefully this will include their Mazza Gallery location on furrier's row.

Neiman-Marcus became a tough, dug-in enemy of the animal rights movement over 20 years ago, after Macy's West stopped selling fur(for a while...) and campaigners planned to refocus on Macy's East. Events intervened when Neiman-Marcus security guards in Texas assaulted and beat activists who were peacefully passing out anti-fur fliers. The whole campaign that would habve targetted Macy's East was reset to target Neiman-Marcus instead as they were just as big a market influence and activists could not let the violent assault on their own go unpunished.

Here in DC, Neiman-Marcus faced two rounds of intense protests demanding they stop selling fur: one from 1998-2002, and another from about 2007-2010, both rounds going nearly every week during the fur season. One of these protests was on Jan 27, 2001 a week after G W Bush's first Inauguration. The National Conference on Organized Resistance(NCOR) was going on at American Univiersity, and nearly half of rich Republican women at J20/2001 were seemingly wearing fur. NCOR normally featured about 200 animal rights protesters picketing Neiman-Marcus over the fur issue.

That year, the NCOR fur protest at Neiman-Marcus swelled to 400 or so with a substantial anarchist contingent. Protesters stormed the building, perhaps half getting inside before security guards and police desperately managed to baton them back out, using clubs as pushbars. Police alleged that a rotating door was pushed off it's track and a window was smashed. A chant of "for the mink, for the fox, smash the windows! Glue the locks!" rose about half an hour later. As soon as an Indymedia reporter joined the chant, police attacked. While cops sought to arrest the reporter, an arm-locked semicircle of protesters surrounded the cops against theb Mazza Gallerie walls. Police begged the reporter for permission to cross the crowd an were denied. They then slid laterally along the Mazza Gallerie doors before dragging the reporter inside and out the back to a wagon. At that point they screwed up: they filed a felony inciting to riot charge which requires property damage or injuries-but for the victory chants half an hour AFTER the damage! It is not possible to incite a riot(or anything else) that has previously taken place, but it took until June to force dismissal of the charges.

Now we hear that Neiman-Marcus is going backrupt and at least some stores will close. Hopefully this will include both the Mazza Gallery location and the Texas location where protesters giving out leafets were beaten, We know where Neiman-Marcus stands on fur, though their parent company declared in late 2019 (pre-pandemic) that Macy's (which they also own) will stop selling fur in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic might take out Macy's as well, as all brick-and-morter retail is now in danger as fear of contagion pushes so many to online shopping.

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