From Portland activists:
Ever since the No New Animal Lab campaign revealed that Skanska would be building the Animal Research & Care Facility, advocates have been pressuring executives to withdraw from their contract with University of Washington. Every passing day in which Skanska refuses to do so only invites further pressure.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Portland activists wanted to illustrate that pressure can take unexpected forms. Instead of the usual home protests at David Schmidt's residence, a group of activists decided to set up a bake sale and information booth on the public sidewalk it front of his hosue. Billed as a "Bake Sale 4 Animals!", the activists provided the neighborhood with cookies and juice, as well as information about David Schmidt's authorization of the ARCF project as the company's COO.
Meanwhile animal advocates filled the neighborhood with chalk promoting the bake sale and also calling on David Schmidt to terminate the ARCF contract.
Despite only having a quiet bake sale in front of Schmidt's house, there was still heavy presence from Beaverton Police. That presence carried to the neighborhood of Tim Baugus, Senior VP of Skanska USA Building.
When the protesters arrived near Tim's house, they were greeted by Sherwood Police and a list of ordinances with which they were directed to comply. Sergeant Nathan Powell told protesters that using chalk on public sidewalks is illegal. When asked then whether the Sherwood Police Department would stop children from using sidewalk chalk to play hopscotch, Sergeant Powell simply stated, "Yes."
Chalk or no chalk, the protest commenced. The 15+ protesters chanted loudly about Skanska USA's role in animal captivity and suffering, as well as the complicity of their executives like Tim Baugus. An onlooking crowd assembled across the street at Snyder Park.
Whether cookies, juice, chalk, or bullhorns, Skanska USA executives can continue to anticipate this campaign becoming an aspect of their lives. Pressure will not always look the same, and we will not always come as expected.