"Good morning, University of Washington!!" From the top of a giant sequoia in the University of Washington's Red Square, an activist unfurled a 32-foot long No New Animal Lab banner and then announced "good morning" to the campus through a bullhorn. His voice boomed through campus as he called on the UW President and Regents to terminate plans to build a new underground animal lab, highlighting how President Cauce herself has animals at home and asked her how she would feel if they were subjected to cruel experiments. Students stopped in their tracks to look up at the banner and the voice in the tree, turned into a pillar of opposition to the building of a new lab. Consistent with the UW's trend to try to keep this lab hidden, UW Police soon showed up and demanded under threat of arrest that the activist cut down the banner and climb out of the tree.
As the banner fell from the tree, it was not a symbol of defeat, but of triumph. Three different television stations broadcasted stories about the tree occupation and banner to thousands of viewers, the image of the banner rapidly spread through social media, activists across the country expressed their excited support... The UW cannot stop this campaign from igniting the resistance to the lab. From putting our feet to the ground and getting out in the streets to climbing trees and sending a message from the sky, we are boundless.
Seattle activists followed up the tree occupation with an evening of home demos, making it clear to UW leadership that we don't stop. The first demo was at the house of UW President Ana Mari Cauce at 11310 34th Ave. NE, Seattle. Activists covered the street in front of her house in chalk to let everyone who drives down the street know about her facilitation of the torture of thousands of animals, and to encourage people to attend the upcoming March on UW to stop the lab if Dr. Cauce won't.
Activists then headed to the house of Pat Shanahan at 3941 NE Surber Dr., Seattle. Shanahan is the Vice Chair of the UW Board of Regents and was Chair of the Finance, Audit, and Facilities Committee as it considered the Animal Research and Care Facility approval. At a recent Regent meeting, Shanahan announced that he wants the Board to be more open in its operations and to be "in the sunshine"...so activists brought that sunshine to him. As long as the Regents stand by their sham vote for the Animal Research and Care Facility, activists will continue to shed light on the corrupt operations of the UW Regents and their support of animal torture -- and that includes at their homes. The activists had a loud protest in front of Shanahan's house as he lurked around inside...apparently not actually ready to face the sunshine. To close the evening, activists went to the mansion home of Regent Jeremy Jaech. As they began to chant through bullhorns that let their voices fill the neighborhood, the light inside the home went off, as it seems that Jaech too is still trying to stay hidden in the shadows and not be accountable for his vote for the new lab. Five police vehicles showed up to "monitor" the protest, but the activists continued unfazed and many neighbors came out of their houses to express their support. The activists noticed that Jaech has an adorable little dog, and so can't help but ask why he is also not supportive of the campaign rather than the lab. Does he not realize that he is sentencing other dogs, like the one in his home, to an underground nightmare?
Activists will continue to bring sunlight to the dark secrets of the University of Washington. We must make sure that the UW doesn't get to bury animals in an underground lab and stay hidden in the shadows.