Silent Vigil (Rob Pliskin)

Today a friend and wild horse advocate will make a solitary, silent stand for our wild ones.

Rob Pliskin will begin a silent vigil in his current home town.

His idea is born of frustration. This frustration is shared by so many that I have been speaking with. This frustration has given rise to this statement.

This week, despite thousands of comments and requests by Americans throughout the country and pleas by informed and concerned wildlife scientists, the BLM in its “Summer Season of Discontent” is rounding up and removing American wild horses from their home ranges.  Horses the BLM is ironically mandated to protect, including foals days or weeks old, will be killed or injured.  Family bands scattered.  Herds decimated.

The horses have no voice, no say in this.  There will be hooves striking rocks, sweat flying off summer coats, and wide eyes seeking escape.  Heads will be hung in the desolation of capture and captivity.  But there will be no voices.

As a 12 year volunteer for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, and as an American, I can no longer abide this.   With a degree in Natural Resources and the heart of a citizen, I believe it is unjust.  I believe the arbitrary use of “Appropriate Management Level” as it stands now is just one of the cowardly acts perpetrated on the horses and on all Americans.

So I am standing up for all these horses.   I am beginning a Silent Vigil, outside the Federal Building closest to my home in Cleveland, Ohio.  Silent, because the horses have no voice.   Close to home, because today Americans can stay close to home and have a strong voice.  America’s wild horses can’t.

Because the horses have no voice, for the horses,

Rob Pliskin

Join him. Go to your school, place of work or federal building. Ask for a permit to have a silent vigil.

Stand with a lantern or candle as a beacon to guide those in power to the truth… as a beacon to guide those loosing their freedom to safety… as a beacon of peaceful resolution.

Rob made these flyers to hand to people. Use them as a template if you like.


Wild Baby 2010

Hang in there… don’t give up.


22 thoughts on “Silent Vigil (Rob Pliskin)

  1. We all must find ways to express our disappointment and the need to change the entire Wild Horse and Burro Program.

    I am hoping that where there have been protests before there will be new ones. Maybe if you have not been to one you can create one for your region.

    Ask your reps to get an investigation up and stop the roundups. Our wild herds are disappearing so fast. mar

  2. Tara Bruning says:

    Speaking for our quiet mustangs…

    I cannot comprehend this cruelty and how it is justified. It makes me sick at the thought of the innocent mustangs being driven once again by this particular group of wranglers. They already have been proven to be inhumane – why is it OK for them to continue to work this way? It is 2010-BLM please look at the big picture. The mustangs are wild herd animals. These large 1000 lb animals are big boned & well-muscled & definitely not malnourished. Treat them as such. The horses do not understand-it is not fair-they are not zoo animals, food for peoples plates nor easy money.

    Being part of our western heritage these magnificent horses are very important animals. PLEASE Save them for our future generations to enjoy. These gorgeous mustangs belong in the wild, running free with their family bands.

  3. Jo De George says:

    We are all grief stricken and no longer have any stomach for the tragedy that lurks on the horizon. George Knapp’s hard-hitting report tells it like it is. BP, El Paso and BLM are all in bed with each other. These are individuals who care nothing about the welfare and safety of our wild ones. I don’t have any answers. I wish I did. I am with you, Rob, let’s turn this over to a higher power and pray for our beloved horses. God watch over them and keep them safe from harm and fear.

  4. Laura Houston says:

    Thank you Rob Pliskin.

    There are thousands and thousands of people standing with you in spirit. The BLM no longer can hide with just the wild horse captives watching them.

    BLM you have the eyes of thousands of humans watching your every move. You can no longer hide what you have done and contine to do.

  5. Rob Pliskin says:

    Here are a few notes from yesterday:

    I was there for about 4 hours today. It felt valuable — inside and out. Two govt employees asked for info after watching me on their outside lunch break the whole time. A couple visiting the city saw me from their hotel room window overlooking the plaza. When they came down they came over to ask and talk. They all got flyers. A visitor to the Fed Bldg talked and took a flyer. I think someone took a photo on their handheld device but I’m not sure. Lots of people eyed me who were going in and out. The Security Detail knows me already as the wild horse guy. I think it will raise awareness on the plaza just cause they will see me there again and again as they cross it. Maybe more if the word gets out, somebody calls the media, etc.

    I was surprised when Laura said to send her a little piece for the blog. It is strange seeing it online, because it comes from a personal place inside me.


    On the Vigil I hold a coiled lead rope with an open rope halter. No horse in it, the BLM stole them all. That’s how I start talking to people. I’m wearing what I’d wear around the corrals. I’ve got my flyers in a folder tucked under the folds of a horse blanket against the wind. And some water. That’s it.

    The nice thing about it is — 1 person, me, standing silent — increased their presence 5 times by doing this. And who knows how much more, if those 5 folks use the links on the flyers and send them to their friends?

    G-d helps us with our powerlessness. But we have to do the footwork. We take the steps, and feel the freedom. For the horses. If one of you takes your turn now, it becomes their turn. Everything we do is important. Not doing is a choice. WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH OUR FREEDOM TODAY?

    Yesterday was one day. Tomorrow I will go out again. Today I’ll take flyers to a local AHC chapter meeting.

    G-d Speed to you all. Rob

  6. Monika Courtney says:

    Rob, I am with you in spirit too. Only goosebumps and anger and frustration are the overwhelming sense I feel on what is done by the horse gestapo with no concern, ethics and all moral values lost. BLM. Getting away with murder and corruption. What is becoming of this nation ? Please share my story on the event that changed my life and my perception on this corrupt government:

    I am so sorry for these crimes inflicted on the ones who deserve our protection, for they gave us so much. May BLM rot in hell.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Monika; from Anne in Conn. thank you very much for your comments and pix on the RTFitch website; comment:

      Jul 11, 2010 @ 05:40:28

      thanks for the excellent pix at the top of the page; I have been collecting “PIX OF DOWNED MUSTANGS @ Fallon and other BLM Corrals; to see a young Filly “down on the sandlot; what a pity

      but my comment is this: when a mammal is run to exhaustion like the pix at the top of this page depicts; when a mammal gets to the state where the Mammal falls and cannot get up; this is a bad sign

      see the Filly is not “just resting; as some have said to me…NO; the Filly is experiencing what is known as “Cardiac Injury…so even though this Filly and another Mustang a Mare who fell like that

      may have gotton up later and appeared to be just fine; this is not true; once a mammal “goes down like that…the animal may be having “a mini stroke or another type of caridiac injury…and imo

      unless this Filly and other mustangs who “were down at Fallon etc
      unless these animals received special minerals vitamins salt etc

      these animals like this filly could have suffered “permanent injury;

      so don’t any one say: the mustang is resting…”not even close! IMO
      ps I collect the pix to make a slide show for my Rep. ! @

  7. Anna says:

    Thank you Bob…good to see the a light in the dark forest (of corruption…instead of me ranting and raving about the BLM

    I should consider how many others there are such as you; Laura and the whole gang !

    thanks for making my day a little brighter my friend ! anna

    ps Laura: any news on the 174 Mutangs @ Fallon Auction ?

    if the BLM does sell these; the BLM will be in “direct violation of their own laws by “NOT making these Mustangs avialable for adoption 3 times before being sold!

  8. Rob Pliskin says:

    4 hours Friday in front of the Federal Bldg. In the rain., squalls off Lake Erie just 2 blocks north. There is a bronze statue of George Washington on the plaza about 15 yards away. I figured, well, he doesn’t look like he’s been hit by lightning yet, and he’s really old….

    One of the guards on Security came out to stand under the portico and talk to me. He asked questions and wanted information about the horses. When I went in to complete my next Permit form for next week, he took a flyer.

    Two other folks, a man and a woman, came up for flyers. One employee came out to light up and from under her umbrella asked, “are you ok?” Another came up and said. “Where did you get the hat?” I named a store in Paso Robles, CA, and she said, “Too far to go” and walked away.

    With a rainy lunch hour, people in the building were lined up by the windows taking a break, pointing me out and watching me. So being out there prepared for rain definitely had its merits. Lots of people know I’m there and “not going away.” I bet it makes the Cause look more valuable.

    Sparrows come and go on the plaza, on the move constantly. One knocked down a butterly in the wind, one of those little orange butterflies. It got up to flee, bolting erratically across the tablelands of the plaza, but the sparrow was relentless in its pursuit, and knocked it down a final time. I couldn’t help but see, the BLM is like that sparrow. Relentless, never enough.

    I like the clarity that comes from making this vigil. It offers the reason to go on. And I’ve been provided a parking spot at a meter about as close to the plaza as I can be time I come. There’s a reason there too.

    Go out and do something good folks. Best to you, Rob Pliskin

  9. Anna says:

    Hi Bob:
    from Anne of Conn.
    message: I just had a chance to look at your flyer; that is “excellent: the pix of the Foal out in the wild; compared to the Foal born inside the pen @ Fallon is “incredulous; hard to believe; and I thank you for the flyer which I will print out and hopefully bring down to my Congressman and Fed.bldg.

    Your flyer “hits the nail on the head; Overt Animal Abuse ! thx!
    (ps the reason the Feathers “starved is: BLM did not offer Feathers the Foal any sustenance after her Mum milk dried;

    they did the same thing to Hope the Foal…left her in sandpit
    amazing no law enforcement officials have shut the BLM yet

    Thank you for a most excellent flyer: “perfect ! thanks; Anne

  10. Anna says:

    ps to Laura:

    I just read you have filed a “lawsuit in federal court; EXCELLENT NEWS…

    my feelings exactly…

    The BLM “violates their own laws ! for example; rounding up 174 Mustangs and then claiming feral and selling those “Stangs without offering them for adoption 3′ times!

    you go girl…! ps be sure to give examples of pix. of foals !

  11. Anna says:

    what my mission is: as an American citizen who sees the “atrocities of the BLM being conducted against the Mustangs; I shudder to think of the Tuscarora roundup

    will they “slam living foals into closed gates and narrow ways?
    will they “run the hooves from the young foals?

    will Mustangs fall down and get injured as they are being rushed over volanic sharp rocks; separated from Mum?

    WILL THE BLM FEED FOALS? or “let ’em perish in Sand Pits ?
    be sure to tell your lawyer: how the BLM “left Hope to perish

    oh and ps: the reason the BLM “literally destroyed Hope the Foal; LilOneDay; Feathers and God only knows the others…

    IS “to destroy the evidence: BLM DOES NOT FEED FOALS ! imo(see if the Foals mum milk dry; and IF THE FOAL CANNOT REACH THE ADULT MUSTANG HAY RAILING (most cannot; and I have a pix from Cat Kindsfather proving most foals CANNOT REACH HAY…); the BLM does not offer foals any Hay; the BLM does not Scatter Hay or place Hay INSIDE PENS!

    Who: i ask you; who ever heard of PUTTING HAY ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE CORRAL…


    who would design a stupid corral like that I pray ask you !
    (Feathers prob. lived on “the fiber in manure for weeks ! imo
    Feathers was prob. closer to 2 or 3 weeks; judging by the size of her physique and esp. her Head; she is no newborn !

  12. Anna says:

    ps forgot to say what my mission is; heh heh;

    my mission is:

    To have the BLM wild horse and burro program either;

    temporarily shut and revamped to protect the Mustangs and Burros

    or have the BLM wild horse and burro program

    Shut completly and close the rodeo clowns down for good

    based on “over animal abuse including but not limited to:

    a. overcrowding b. no forage inside corral c. no forage for foals inside corral and they cannot reach the outer hayfeed
    d. intentional injury to mustangs e. causing intentional stress (flag waving; whipping etc. f. causing physical injury;(such as the mustang with the big gash on his head (Fallon

    g. not providing sustenance to foals and weak mustangs
    h. not providing shade to newborn foals born on hot sand
    i. not giving proper nourishment such as Salt and Minerals
    j. castrating older geldings which is not necessary…
    h. separating Foals from Dams so some Foals perish…
    i. shaving manes way too much j. way too big freezebrands

    QUESTION: What makes John Neil; Dean Bolsted; and alan shepard qualified to run a corral of over 1,000 Mustangs?

    does John Neil have a degree in Ecology; Natural Resources or Animal Husbandry ? does Oneil have a degree? where do these people get their qualifications?

    is Doc Sanford an actual Vet. or “is doc Sandord the leader
    of “the invasion of the Mustang snatchers?

    Why does Doc. Sanford get off on: “Shooting Mustangs ?
    Is that why Doc. Sanford went over to the Fallon Corral on either Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday 2010 (forget which

    and did Doc. Sanford shoot a “LIVING MUSTANG 5 YO STALLION ?

    Yes; he did ! all by himself Sanford shot a Stallion on a Sun.

    Why; why did Doc. Sanford go out to Fallon and “shoot himeself (with weapon) a 5 yo old stallion ?

    who knows? maybe Doc Sanford was “short on pocket change so he “shot the Stallion on a Sunday;

    transported the Carcass to the Rendering plant in Fallon
    and then mabye Sanford retrieved “30 sheckles of Silver!

    you do understand BLM sells mustang “carcasses to Render
    (in fact; imo; the very reason the BLM chose the small town of Fallon Nevada (where i have traveled thru many a time)
    IS because of the proximity of the Fallon Rendering Co.

    you could see this pattern if one took the time to research
    you could see a pattern of the blm choose corrals in towns nearest to the rendering plant; they do this purposely; IMO

    the BLM are the “Invastion of the Mustang Snatchers; S-A-D

    to Feathers; Hope lil one day; Rest in the arms of your Creator oh little ones and know one day this will be over
    and your perpetraitors will be closed and shut for good !

  13. Anna says:

    2010PliskinVigil “this is Bob’s Mustang flyer page; if anyone wants to print the flyer out and or send the flyer to “officials;

    you can send mail to your Congressional Rep. thru their local office; most Reps. have a local office outside of D.C.

    Representative Jim Himes of Conn. is Co sponsor Roam Act

    so i usually send or email Jim Himes; and Senators! thanks !

  14. Linda H says:

    Rob–you are a great inspiration to all of us. I was first inspired by your moving speech in front of the White House in March, and your summer vigil now keeps me at it! I have begun going to our town’s Farmers’ Market each week with a booth, and I particularly like your handout and will modify one to fit my situation. Thank you for your insight, your passion, and motivation to work harder to educate and motivate the public!

  15. […] Silent Vigil (Rob Pliskin) ( […]

  16. Rob Pliskin says:

    This morning, Tues. July 13, sky opaque and gray, it almost felt like people had fangs, but I stayed. Glad I did, in the afternoon about a dozen federal employees came out. Some wanted photos, one standing with me. I traded them for a conversation and a flyer. I gave them all flyers. When one went back in, he called me by my first name.

    The hardest part truly was being near the Burke Lakefront Airport. There was a helicopter in a flight lesson doing touch and go’s and circling over the plaza again and again. I could see its reflection in the Fed Bldg windows. Its endless drone was really hard to take. It was hard to watch it flying.

    One of the Security Detail suggested the Federal Court House as a possible location too. For those of you who have these, it might be a possibility.
    Especially since there are lawsuits.

    See ya, Rob

  17. Anna says:

    Hi Bob:

    You are a trooper brother ! hey listen I have been having trouble downloading the flyer with the pix of the foals in wild compared to “the emaciated foal named Feathers; whom you have the pix of on your flyer…

    The pix of Feathers is the “straw who broke the blm’s blasphemous roundups with pix of Hope; one day; the foal who perished due to the anitbiotics fiasco; and on and on…

    Would you please be so kind as to send me A COPY OF THE FLYER TO MY EMAIL BOX @ maybe I can copy that;

    I want to begin crossposting the flyer but cannot “copy…

    any thoughts? ps you are doing a great work ! peace friend!

  18. Anna says:

    no problem Rob; I found the link to forward and crosspost of your flyer; the only problem is: most people will think:

    the thin foal is the foal the BLM rescued
    they won’t know this foal was born in the blm corral…

    a tragedy…anyhow I got this from Front Range Equine Rescue

    Nevada Federal Judge Blocks BLM Death Stampede

    July 15, 2010

    By Steven Long

    HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Horseback Magazine was informed late Wednesday by activist author R.T. Fitch that a Nevada federal judge has enjoined the federal Bureau of Land Management from further roundups of the Tuscarora gathering of wild horses in northwestern Elko County, Nevada.

    The order follow an initial status conference on a lawsuit filed by longtime animal welfare advocate Laura Leigh on her lawsuit filed against the BLM. After an initial roundup there in which more than 200 horses were stampeded by helicopter, 12 of the animals died, most of heat stroke. The agency temporarily halted the roundup. An avalanche of bad press followed.

    U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, (D) Louisiana, has given the agency one year to clean up its act or face losing its Wild Horse and Burro Program. During its last Nevada roundup in the remote Calico Mountains of northern Nevada in the dead of winter, the 150 horses and unborn foals died after a helicopter stampede. Two foals shed their hooves in an excruciatingly painful death.

    The one day Tuscarora roundup was held in Nevada’s searing July heat.

    At the preliminary hearing, the BLM told the judge that there would be no roundup of the Tuscarora horses until Sunday at the earliest. Yet late Wednesday afternoon, Judge Larry R. Hicks of Reno was told that BLM Director Bob Abbey authorized an emergency “gather” of wild horses to begin the following morning at 6 a.m. prior to the court’s scheduled hearing that day on the motion for the temporary restraining order.

    The judge granted an immediate injunction preventing the Tuscarora roundup until further orders from the court. In the injunction, Hicks prohibited the agency from rounding up wild horses from within the Owyhee, rock Creek, and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas in the northwest of Elko County, Nevada.

    The BLM carried out the Calico “gather” against the advice of Washington federal judge Paul Friedman who held that holding the wild horse in captivity was probably illegal in an earlier suit.

    “sounds like a winner to me ! Remember Feathers the Foal !

  19. Mike Pliskin says:

    Brother Robby,
    I am so very proud of you, your caring, and especially your literate and poetic way of dealing with this issue. You are not acting secretively, obnoxious, or self serving.. You are a wonderful soul and are garnering repect across America and from the concerned judges and politicians because of your gentle process. I know rthe horses are very fortunate. Thank You.

  20. Mike Pliskin says:

    Brother Robby,
    I am so very proud of you, your caring, and especially your literate and poetic way of dealing with this issue. You are not acting secretively, obnoxious, or self serving.. You are a wonderful soul and are garnering repect across America and from the concerned judges and politicians because of your gentle process. I know the horses are very fortunate. Thank You.

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