For the National Day of Action against Skanska USA, activists in nine different cities all over the U.S. held protests at Skanska offices. The overall message of the day was clear: Skanska needs to end their plans to build a new animal lab for the University of Washington, and this day was just the beginning of the campaign to convince Skanska to do so. Please check out the wrap ups from each participating city, and get involved! This is a rare chance to stop a lab before it’s even built. The time is now to work together, show how we can fight for the animals, and build the pressure to make sure that there’s NO NEW ANIMAL LAB!
Activists with Don’t Expand UW Primate Testing kicked off the National Day of Action at Skanksa’s Seattle office, which is just a fifteen minute drive away from where Skanska is planning to build the University of Washington’s new underground animal lab. At the beginning of the protest, an activist walked past security into the office building, went up to the 4th floor where Skanksa’s office is located in Suite 400, and someone kindly held Skanska’s door open for her to walk into the office. She gave flyers to a receptionist and explained the protest, and then she saw that a meeting was taking place around a full conference table, so she interrupted the meeting to tell all of the office employees to not build the new animal lab for the UW. Throughout the protest, the activists continued with this simple message of NO NEW ANIMAL LAB. Loud chants echoed through the building complex—people from all offices hearing that “Skanska USA has blood on their hands”—and people filled the windows of the building to watch. Many employees from other offices, as well as passersby, came to tell us how much they supported our work; not a single negative comment was heard. An employee from another office revealed that Skanska had sent a memo out to all the offices in the building to let them know about the protest, and so they looked up information about animal testing—their research apparently showed them what Skanska needs to learn: animal testing is animal cruelty, and no one should help facilitate it. Activists closed the protest by telling Skanska that this National Day of Action was just the beginning of the campaign against them…
Portland Animal Liberation has been working regionally on the No New Animal Lab campaign since the beginning. Today was the first of many successful protests against Skanska USA, not only in Portland but across the entire country. Our arrival at their downtown offices made it very evident that Skanska's corporate machinery feels the pressure already. We walked into their offices to deliver the message to Skanska by hand, but were swiftly turned away as the entire building—security, project managers, front desk staff—had already been alerted to our presence. Either acting out of panic or guilt, Skanska corporate had a clearly defined protocol—all protesters are to be trespassed and no one is to engage them except for the police. Being within our “rights” to free speech and assembly, PAL activists continued with our loud demonstration and called out their “business as usual” corporate behavior. Skanska thinks they can hide behind a “green” image or high profile global projects, but we know the truth. They have chosen to build a controversial new animal lab and tried to cover their tracks. Their contract with UW is what binds them to this campaign. They have blood on their hands. We will continue pressuring Skanska until they heed our demand: NO NEW ANIMAL LAB!
BAY AREA, CA
The Bunny Alliance and Animal Defense League San Francisco went to Skanska’s Milpitas office today in the South Bay Area to let VTA/ BART and Skanska employees know that Skanska is involved in torturing animals through building labs for vivisectors. We were met by police and security waiting for us. Activists went into the building to meet with Skanska management, and learned from the security guard at the front desk that managers mainly work out at their field offices. This means that the next time Skanska sees Bay Area activists, it will be out in the field at their construction sites. The world and Skanska’s employees and contractors will know that Skanska helps kill animals for needless experiments.
LOS ANGELES, CA
On the afternoon of December 8, several activists held a demonstration outside of Skanska's office in Los Angeles. The activists used megaphones to chant and communicate with the occupants of the office building and carried signs with slogans urging Skanska to pull out building the new primate laboratory at University of Washington. Many of the employees from other offices in the area were supportive of the message of animal freedom and humane science. This will not be the last protest that Skanska will see in LA if they don’t cut their contract for building the new primate lab at UW.
SAN ANTONIO, TX
Before even arriving at the protest, an activist received a call from a local radio station wanting to know more information about Skanska’s involvement with animal testing and the national campaign against the company. Activists were prevented from going inside the office to talk with employees, but stood outside with signs for everyone in the business complex to see. This will not be the last time that Skanksa and their neighboring offices see activists’ message telling them to not build a new lab where thousands of animals would be tortured.
NEW HAVEN, CT
For our first demonstration against Skanksa, we decided on doing a photo op to show our support for the nationwide campaign and to give us an opportunity to become familiar with the location. We will be planning future actions, and we are looking forward to seeing you there—for the animals!
Today activists from the new group, DC Stampede, joined the national call for action against Skanska USA. We chose to protest the office of a project Skanska is working on locally. We delivered a letter to a Skanska rep, who said she'd pass it along to her boss in Virginia. We also put leaflets around the building, on all the cars in the lot and surrounding area, and spoke to a bunch of the Skanska workers and other people walking around in the area.
We arrived at the Skanska building at 12:30pm and began to hold our signs and hand out flyers and read from our prepared speeches. We addressed both the Skanska employees as well as anyone who saw our signs or took a flyer from us and wanted to take action. Things went well. Flyers were and will continue to be handed out and posted around the city. No one approached us in order to give us any trouble today. People did take photos and capture video and those who received flyers examined the flyers as they walked away. We stayed until 2:30pm and plan to keep pressure on Skanska. We are also considering going to Seattle should it become necessary to stop the construction physically.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Today, South Florida activists took part in a nationwide day of action against Skanska USA. Skanska plans to construct a new animal research lab at the University of Washington, where countless animals will be tortured and killed under the guise of science. Folks all over the country are speaking up! Join us in being a part of it, and watch for more protests to happen against Skanska in South Florida.