Reportback from Seattle area activists:
Activists in the Seattle area spent Wednesday evening continuing to celebrate World Week for Animals In Laboratories -- and leading up to the March on University of Washington this Saturday -- with three home demos.
The first stop was the mansion of UW Regent Jeremy Jaech at 1000 14th Ave. E, Seattle, for the second time this week. Activists chanted outside the gates of the property and chalked the street and sidewalk in front of his house -- and a neighbor even joined them in chalking! -- until Jeremy's wife Jacqueline came out to talk with the protesters. Apparently the noise of the protest had interrupted her napping in preparation for a tennis match. She brought their two little dogs outside with her, leading the activists to wonder how someone who shares his home with beloved dogs can sentence other animals to life in an underground lab. She told the activists about how she and Jeremy care very much about animals...but yet Jeremy has a history of supporting animal research and she seemed to be very unclear about types of research are going to be conducted in the lab. If built, this lab will be the site of painful, invasive research. The activists gave contact info to her to have Jeremy get in touch to further discuss what it is that will be happening at this lab, and the need for the Regents to halt construction in its tracks.
The activists next went to the home of UW Vice Provost Paul Jenny at 2534 8th Ave. W, Seattle. On behalf of the UW, Jenny is the person who signed the construction contract for the new lab with Skanska USA. He was willing to use his signature to make a deal for thousands of animals to be tortured underground, so now he can expect to continue to feel the pressure of this campaign. In usual fashion at Jenny's house, angry neighbors confronted protesters, and one even tried to rip a bullhorn out of an activist's hands. They repeatedly ask the protesters to "think of the children"...we are. Children should get to live in a world in which people fight to save animals, not one in which people get to profit off animal torture and expect to never be held accountable. So, for all the children that Jenny's neighbors are worried about, maybe the neighbors should spend some time talking with their children instead of yelling at activists. All of the children in the neighborhood who come out to watch the protests seem interested and understanding -- maybe they could teach their parents something about caring about animals.
The final stop of the night was the home of Peter Maslenikov. Peter works for Skanska USA and is a Project Manager on the Animal Research and Care Facility contract -- making $84.42 an hour to manage how Skanska will construct a facility in which to torture animals. This was the first visit that activists made to Peter's house, so before starting a protest, a couple activists went to his door to see if he would talk with them -- and he did. He seems to not think that he has a choice in the matter of working on the new animal lab. Well, he does. And activists are going to continue to remind him of the choice he should be making. That reminder started last night with a protest in front of his house. Neighbors came out of their houses to see what the noise was in the quiet neighborhood, and when learning, they expressed their support for the protest and told the activists "thank you." Peter, on the other hand, stayed inside, only coming out to step onto his porch for a minute to take photos of the protest.
Pressure against UW leadership and Skanska executives in the Seattle area continues to build.... So far this week, two additional Regents and one additional Skanska executive had the No New Animal Lab campaign at their doors. Activists won't let this campaign be ignored by the people who have the power to terminate plans for the expansion of animal research at UW. As activists told people they protested last night, we will not back down.