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Activists Take The Fight to London – WDAIL 2010

Today, Sat 24th April, saw the annual World Day for Animals in Laboratories (WDAIL) march through the centre of London. Attracting animal rights campaigners from across the country, the march is considered the most important of the year following it’s return last year after a lengthy absence.

Around 1500 campaigners turned up to voice their support. The marchers were calling for an end to animal exploitation in laboratories, and events around the world were held to mark the event.

The march assembled in Cavendish Square at around midday where speeches were given by members of campaigns around the country including SPEAK (campaign against the Oxford University Lab) and SAEAB (Stop Animal Experiments At Bradford). At around 1.30pm, the rally set off under heavy police escort and the customary FIT (Forward Intelligence Team) presence. The route took in Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square (where the marchers passed in absolute silence save for a single slow drum beat) and onwards past the Houses of Parliament where the police presence was noticably larger.

After reaching the finish point of the march, the activists then made their way to St Pancras Station, site of a huge proposed new BioTech laboratory opposite the main entrance where a vigil was held and the ever present Veggies Catering Campaign fed the now hungry marchers. The crowd was told that planning permission had yet to be approved for the laboratory, but vowed to return in greater numbers with a sustained campaign should the plans go ahead.

The mood of the march, as was the case last year, was positive but sombre and attracted many sympathisers from the normal saturday London shoppers, many of whom joined the march in support meaning the numbers by the time parliment was reached were almost double.

Despite the heavy police presence, no arrests were made of the marchers and all are now on their way home, hopefully to return next year.


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