You probably know Liam Neeson for his Taken movie series, but now the actor has taken a starring role in the fight against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed horse carriage ban. Last Sunday, the action star toured the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street in support of keeping NYC’s horse-drawn carriage industry going. The event included members of the City Council and Teamsters Union, and was organized to raise awareness of the carriage drivers that de Blasio’s plan would put out of work by shutting down their business.
“I know some of the drivers and I’ve seen the joy these tourists get,” Neeson said to NBC News in an interview. “We can’t put a dollar amount on what that does for the tourist industry.”
Since first defending hansom cabs on The Daily Show last month, Neeson has become a public advocate for Central Park’s horse carriage drivers. He has repeatedly supported the industry, and argues that the horses are all well cared for. Another reason Neeson gives for keeping the cabs is that NYC would lose part of its history and identity.
“This is an industry that’s been around since before Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration,” he said.
The Non Stop star also invited the Mayor to attend the tour, but de Blasio turned down the invitation in solidarity for his plan to remove the carriages from Manhattan’s busy streets. De Blasio said he has his own plans to help carriage operators find new work. The Mayor imagines the drivers could find a new living by driving antique replica electric cars.
via NBC News