Fur Protester Delivers Big Dose of Inspiration

Published by PETA.

Back in the 1950s, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus in the segregated South. After learning of Parks’ arrest, an African-American resident in Montgomery declared, “They’ve messed with the wrong one now.”

Let’s fast-forward to Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2009: Longtime PETA member and ardent animal defender Sheila Rybak was arrested outside a fur store where she’d been peacefully protesting. She was accused of causing an illegal ruckus by Maria Folch, who had “happened by” this off-road site in a full-length mink coat.


Sheila Rybak with PETA president, Ingrid E. Newkirk.
Sheila Rybak


Unfortunately for Folch, Rybak doesn’t take any injustice lying down. After Folch failed to show up at the first court hearing, Rybak sued for malicious prosecution. Makes sense right? Protests aren’t illegal, and Rybak was only trying to spread the word about the hideously cruel fur industry.

Earlier this week, a jury found in Rybak’s favor, and the court has ordered the defendant to pay $12,500 in damages. Here’s the kicker: Rybak has declared that if Folch will hand over her full-length mink coat for use in PETA anti-fur displays and events, she’ll call it even!

Talk about inspiring. What do you think?

Written by Karin Bennett

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind