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Speak Join in Week of Action – Oxford

Anti vivisectionists from the Oxford area spent four days demonstrating against universities and other institutions in this vivisection week of action. First up was the Biotrinity Conference being held at Newbury Racecourse.

The Biotrinity Conference of 2010 was met with three days of protests from those opposed to the atrocities carried out on animals by the companies, institutions and universities taking part in this life sciences conference, one of the largest in the UK.

The conference aims was to bring together pharmaceutical companies, investors, and those involved in research and development, and was attended by over 600 delegates from 300 world-wide companies and institutions during the three-day event, including many universities.

Monday evening saw protesters there to meet those attending the grand opening reception dinner, reminding them that while they enjoyed their dinner, all the animals imprisoned inside the labs can look forward to is death to remove them from the torment that is their lives.

When the conference officially started on Tuesday morning, protesters were there from 8am to greet the attendees as they arrived. Using placards with very large photos of laboratory animals on them, the delegates could not fail to see the suffering caused by those involved in the shameful business of animal torture.

The end of the three day event saw demonstrators breaching the security to take the message to those inside Newbury Racecourse complex that animal abuse is not acceptable. Megaphones were in use as the delegates left Biotrinity 2010 and informed them that as long as animals are imprisoned and suffering inside laboratories, compassionate people will fight to free them.

No doubt there will be another Biotrinity conference in 2011 and they should be in no doubt that yet again, those against animal experiments will also be attending.

Thursday saw around twenty SPEAK supporters gather opposite Oxford University’s animal torture lab to show their disgust at this institution of so called academic excellence Рbut there is nothing excellent about brutalizing living breathing creatures. There was a lot of support from passers-by who still find it hard to believe that animals are still used in experiments in this day and age.

For four hours protesters chanted loudly, held up banners, gave out information and debated and talked to those interested in why the demonstration was taking place. There has been a presence of SPEAK supporters outside this new lab every week for the last six years, leaving Oxford University in no doubt as to our determination to put an end to the vivisection they insist on continuing with.

The university vivisection week of action maybe over, but we will continue to fight against the animal experiments being carried out at Oxford University every week, every month, every year until this medieval practise is no more.
info@speakcampaigns.org // www.speakcampaigns.org


Activists Confront Cambridge Uni Over Animal Tests

On Friday 16th April, activists took part in the national University Vivisection Week of Action by walking around Cambridge University’s Downing Site, where animal research takes place, holding posters, giving out leaflets and speaking on megaphones much to the annoyance of Uni Security!

A reporter from the Cambridge Evening News attended and was shocked by the Security’s attitude towards him. The Security were very rude and antagonistic toward the journalist and he says he plans to make a complaint. A reporter from the Uni’s student paper also took an interest and some pictures.

Police attended and protesters left the site to leaflet passers-by. The level of interest from the public and University members was high and activists managed to get a lot of leaflets out.

Some protesters returned a few hours after the protest and attached a banner to the railings of the Downing Site to re-enforce the message still further.

Campaigners make clear that these painful, cruel tests and baron sterile animal housing that cause animals to literally go mad with boredom belong firmly in the past. The protesters urged Cambridge University to divert all funds currently being squandered on animal research to funding human relevant testing, such as micro dosing, DNA chips and computer modelling.

Protesters wished to highlight not only the animal rights objections to using animals as human models in research but also the scientific communities own concerns. The public, as well as University staff and students were told about the scientists, such as those from the Safer Medicines Campaign, who are telling us that non-human animals are not predictive of outcome in humans.

Week of Action Takes to Dublin Uni’s

Tuedsay 13th April
Campaigners held a leaflet drop at University College Dublin, handing out information to students and staff. We also leafleted campus buildings, including the laboratories.

Thursday 15th April
A demo was held outside the Genetics Laboratory of Trinity College, Dublin.

We thank the National Animal Rights Association (NARA) in Ireland for taking part in the Week of Action.

Week of Action Demo’s in Leeds

Activists in Leeds today held a mobile demo against organisations involved in academic animal experimentation in our area.

We begun during lunch hour on the busy steps of the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds, holding large banners and giving out information to students, staff and passers by. The UoL didn’t really seem to like this after they issued ‘banning orders’ to campaigners, hoping we would simply go away. The fact is whilst a single animal is being tortured in their perversion of science, we will not back down in exposing them.

Next of all, we moved onto the Worsley Building which houses the university’s animal unit on the top floor. Here is where wild caught birds, rodents, rabbits, dogs and other sentient creatures are used in experimentation. The Home Office Inspector has adversly commented on the unit’s standards of housing birds here, saying that cages are too small and the vivisectors themselves stated that they don’t think the animals get enough exercise. Following a short demo, we moved on as it was reletavely quiet.

Covance’s CRU was the next port of call. Not only do Covance conduct their own animal testing, they also breed for others and own a 47% stake in Noveprim, a farm who capture primates in the jungles of Mauritius to be supplied to labs worldwide. They are also heavily involved in vivisection at Leeds, Birmingham and other universities – a truly sick company. A noisey demo was held outside the main entrance to the building, with staff looking out of the top floor windows to see what was happening.

Our next stop was Yorkshire Universities (Yorkshire Concept Fund) who provide money to the University of Bradford’s animal unit for the planned privatisation. Mark Cleary, Bradford Vice Chancellor, is also on the board of this company. They were informed of the experiments testing Cocaine, Ketamine and PCP at UoB in a visual demonstration which could not be ignored. Passers by stopped to listen to megaphone speeches, showing keen interest whilst YU/YCF were shamed.

Last of all was the Techtran Group, who are invovled in breeding rodents, horses and other genetically altered animals for labs and also fund research at the University of Bradford.

All in all, the day was extremely succesful with lots of support and companies complicit in animal abuse exposed.
[Photos coming shortly]
Leeds Animal Rights

Lufthansa Airlines End Lab Animal Flights

Lufthansa Airlines have in the past transported animals from various breeders, including Marshall Farms in the USA, to laboratories in the UK, including those of university departments. There are simply not enough companies in the UK breeding animals for vivisection to supply the demand, especially when it comes to larger animals such as beagles and cats. At current, there are no cats being bred in this country for vivisection and less than a handful of beagle companies. To meet the demand, Marshall Farms are flying dogs into the UK as Harlan simply cannot handle the many thousands ‘needed’ each year. We also have leaked documents revealling AstraZeneca at Alderly Edge and Huntingdon Life Sciences are supplying beagles for vivisection, although not a sufficient amount meaning others have to be imported.

A major blow has been hit, with Lufthansa Airlines caving in after 24hours of email alerts going out. They were transporting beagles and cats from Marshall Farms to UK facilities, including Charles River and various universities. After Pakistan International Airlines pulled out last year, this will have a large impact on the supply of animals for experimentation.

Banner Drops and Demo’s at Bradford Uni

As part of the Week of Action Against University Vivisection, activists in West Yorkshire focused a day on the University of Bradford and their associates.

First of all, whilst protesters stood outside with banners and handing leaflets to students, two activists gained entry to the Hub (large student social area and cafe), despite security staff being on every door. A large banner reading “Stop University Animal Experiments” was hung off a balcony inside, gaining lots of attention from students and staff. After about five minutes, campaigners were removed from the building and joined the protest outside.

Next stop was the School of Health Studies campus on Trinity Road, where a number of security staff stood in the driveway and blocked campaigners from getting next to the building. Large banners were held outside and everybody was informed over a megaphone about Bradford’s track record of animal abuse and scientific incompitence whilst performing vivisection. Every person entering and leaving took information.

It was then back to the main campus, where leaflets were given out to students and banners were held alongside the busy main road. Police threatened protesters with arrest for standing on a wall with a banner, apparently after the university objected! oh dear!

Last stop was Yorkshire Forward’s Manchester Road office, who provide key funding to the University of Bradford and their animal labs. Everybody around was informed of YF being involved in animal abuse and leaflets were given out to those passing by.

The day was succesful and we will not back down until the University of Bradford ends all vivisection practices.

London Activists Target Vivisection at UCL

As part of the Vivisection Week of Action at Universities, London activists had a day of protests on Wednesday 14th April. We started off at Kings College Waterloo Campus, which is now part of the massive University College London UCL umbrella.

We were outside the Franklin-Wilkins Building (150 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NH), where the Pharmaceutical Science department carries out experiments on primates and rodents. Here we displayed placards and banners calling for “Science without Violence” and “Progress without pain”. We also gave out various leaflets, from groups including Vivisection Information Network, Safer Medicines Campaign and Animal Aid.

We decided to make the protest quiet and to try to engage the students in debate rather than shout slogans etc. This had some success, and there were some interesting encounters with students who were both for
and against experiments. We tried to push the idea of holding a debate on the subject of animal experiments at the Student Union, we’ll have to wait and see if this bears any fruit.

A very large group of dozens of prospective students arrived for a tour of the college while we were there, and they were all given leaflets and info about animal experiments, which we hope will inform them before
they start their academic career.

In the afternoon the protest moved to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT) yet another part of the UCL brand, where experiments are carried out on rodents and ferrets. Here again we managed to give out hundreds of leaflets and hold some interesting conversations with the students.

All in all it was a worthwhile day, and we managed to take the anti-vivisection to where it’s badly needed, to the next generation of prospective vivisectors starting out on their academic carreer.

We’ll be going back for more soon, so we hope you’ll join us.