On Tuesday afternoon, activists (including two dogs who joined to advocate for their animal friends) gathered once again for a protest at Skanska's Portland office--workplace of Dave Schmidt, who signed the construction contract for the underground Animal Research and Care Facility on behalf of Skanska. The activists' chants caused people walking down the street to stop in their tracks to watch the protest, and people inside the Koin Center in which Skanska is located watched through the windows.
While the loud chanting echoed down the street and into the building--reaching the ears of the Skanska executives who are profiting off of the facilitation of animal torture--the activists also chalked the whole sidewalk in front of the Koin Center, despite Skanska's attempt to prevent them from doing so by wetting the sidewalk before the start of the protest. People stopped to read the messages about saving animals from the plans of Skanska and the University of Washington to bury animals in the grave of an underground lab. At the close of the protest, the activists reminded Skanska that they will be back--this campaign has quickly grown into a movement against the construction of the new lab, and this movement is exposing Skanska's bloody hands to the world.
Last Friday, activists closed Skanska's work week with a protest at the Seattle office, which is overseeing the construction of the lab. In addition to taking turn leading chants, the activists in Seattle also left chalk messages on the sidewalk outside the office building--making sure that the message against the new lab could be both heard and seen, and last even after the protest was over. With the plans being to build the new lab on the University of Washington's Seattle campus, Seattle is at the center of the campaign, and activists in the city are continuing to show Skanska that they will being attention to them. And from Portland to New York to Sweden, Skanska's global presence and reputation can expect to continue to be brought into the harsh spotlight that has been created by the Seattle office's continued contract with the UW. That spotlight can be diverted through the simple decision to drop the contract.