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?
Imagine a society in which animals are no longer exploited for human use. Where the rights and needs of animals are respected and taken into consideration. And where our relationship with them is one based on compassion and understanding instead of domination.
The End of Meat is a feature documentary that explores the idea of a post-meat world. It will include interviews with philosophers, scientists, artists and activists who offer their insight and progressive ideas about the role of animals in our society. Watch and learn how you can help make this film a reality
Hundreds of animal rights and animal welfare activists took to the streets, and the University of Washington to protest the building of an underground vivisection laboratory. Learn more about the campaign here.
As law enforcement officials and national media gear up for a St Louis County Grand Jury’s announcement as to whether it will levy charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown Jr., activists have issued a 9 minute video communiqué providing an intimate look at the climate on the ground.
The video communiqué displays a cross section of the myriad groups activated in the region and includes exclusive footage of Vonderrit Meyers Sr., Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III, celebrated artist and HandsUpUnited.org cofounder Tef Poe, Taurean Russell, Lost Voices organizer Low Key, Millennial Activists United co-creator Ashley Yates, activist and Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams, Damon Davis — a volunteer with The Don’t Shoot Coalition, Canfield Watchmen founder David Whitt, as well as local Ferguson business managers.
Viewers are encouraged to tweet, share, and embed the video using the accompanying hashtag #FergusonSpeaks —extended raw clips of each of the video’s subjects are available upon request.
Grassroots Mobilizing for Animal Liberation
Animals in captivity or whose habitats are being destroyed live in a constant state of resistance. When their lives are threatened, they kick and bite and scream. When their homes are taken, they attempt to rebuild and regroup. When they are confined, they desperately grasp for an existence beyond captivity. Animals fight to live, to be wild, and to be free, and their fight is always urgent. If we are fighting in solidarity with animals, where is our urgency? What are we missing in our movement for animal liberation?
An effective movement for animal liberation must challenge the systems in which animal use is rooted — capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Our organizing must be informed by solidarity and inspired by the passion with which animals fight. We need a path forward that is forged through on-the-ground actions, movement building, strategic campaigning, a diversity of tactics, and coalition organizing. We need a movement that is grounded in the urgency of the animals’ own resistance.
Join us for a presentation and discussion about effectively resisting the use of animals and embracing the urgency of the fight for animal liberation. We will explore the recent history of animal advocacy and share our experiences of organizing within the context of the current state of the movement, and discuss ideas about how we can work together for a stronger animal liberation movement — a movement that is driven by grassroots activism, resistance against all of the systems that support animal exploitation, and solidarity with the animals and others who fight for liberation and self-determination. We will also share our plans for next summer and invite you to take part. We are working to create a summer of regional campaign development and nationwide mobilization of grassroots activists, and we look forward to talking with you about how your community wants to be involved.
Dec 13: Bay Area
Dec 14: Southern California
Dec 16: Phoenix, AZ
Dec 18: Denver, CO
Dec 20: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 22: Reno, NV
Dec 31: Florence, MA
Jan 2: Philadelphia, PA & Washington, DC
Jan 4: Charleston, SC
Jan 5: Gainesville, FL
Jan 7: South Florida
Jan 9: Dallas, TX
Jan 11: Seattle, WA
For more info