Less than eight months ago, a small but determined group of people wrote the words “No New Animal Lab” in black paint across a flannel bed sheet. Although they were preparing late into the night, the full impact of their efforts would last well beyond…
The following morning the Board of Regents of the University of Washington prepared to approve the construction of the Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF). This move came after a lawsuit against the Regents for hosting private dinner meetings in violation of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act. It was under this shroud of secrecy that the Regents developed and approved the ARCF contract with Skanska USA. As a hollow gesture towards accountability and transparency, UW decided to produce this spurious re-vote to skirt public criticism. As the Regents prepared to review and approve project construction, the group unfurled the ad hoc banner and began a disruption.
That day marked the beginnings of the No New Animal Lab campaign. In a little over half a year, it has made a transformation from that first small disruption into a high-profile campaign that spans over a dozen cities, multiple countries, and two continents, employing a diversity of tactics–letter writing, petitions, public comment, office protests, office disruptions, home protests, mass demonstrations, and direct action. The campaign’s dynamic tactics, expanding momentum, accumulating pressure, and radical foundations have aroused the animal liberation movement.
Now with the arrival of summer, UW and Skanska leadership likely hope that they have weathered the storm. They could not be more wrong. No New Animal Lab is launching two big pushes in order to escalate pressure even further.
The first is the No New Animal Lab Tour. We will take this campaign around the US with two goals in mind–to stop the lab and to build a movement. We want to distribute the pressure model, build a network, and foster organizational skills and resources. Please watch for further details as we announce them.
Following the tour, please join us for the 2nd March on the University of Washington on Friday, October 2nd. UW will be in its first week of Fall Term, students and faculty will be returning, and freshman will be starting anew. University administration would like the new academic year to kick off without a hitch, and they celebrate this homecoming with their annual Dawg Daze week of events. Public pressure will follow them well into the new year. There is no turning back. The 2nd March on the University of Washington will make that abundantly clear.
On April 25th we had 500 people in the streets showing mass public advocacy for animals and opposition to UW and Skanska’s plans. On October 2nd, we want to increase those numbers, increase the pressure, and employ mass action to stop this lab. There is no distance that is too far to travel. Take off work. Skip class. Join us in Seattle. We will show solidarity. We will stop this lab. Where will you be?