Following the Resistance Ecology Conference, attendees boarded Portland's famed "cool bus" (a blue school bus that has a long history of transporting people to demonstrations) to travel to the home of David Schmidt, the Skanska COO who signed the contract for the Animal Research and Care Facility on behalf of Skanska USA -- willing to use his name to make a deal to facilitate the torture and death of thousands of animals in an underground lab. But when people come to his neighborhood to hold him accountable for that signature, he won't even show his face.
About 50 people gathered in front of Schmidt's house and immediately announced to him that there were there because of his integral role in the building of the new underground animal lab -- and people are dedicated to making sure that doesn't happen. People chanted and covered the cul-de-sac in front of his house with chalk that exposed Schmidt's support of animal torture. Not long into the protest, Beaverton police officers showed up to try to silence the protest, saying that it was violating a noise ordinance. A total of 13 police vehicles rolled into the neighborhood, a ridiculous show of force to tell people to not use bullhorns. But the police vehicles weren't the only ridiculous show of force that evening. A neighbor who lives across the street from Schmidt came out of her house and began unwinding her garden hose. People expected her to just spray down the chalk that was on the street as neighbors sometimes do after protests. But she quickly moved from spraying the ground to walking up to people and spraying them directly in the face with the hose on full force. With a maniacal grin on her face, she went from person to person -- chasing some people -- to spray them with the hose; she even hit a young girl in the head with the hard nozzle of hose, and the girl spent the night with a horrible headache. In response to someone approaching the neighbor to calmly let her know that -- while she could spray the ground if she wanted to -- it is not legal to maliciously spray people in the face with a hose, the neighbor repeatedly sprayed the person's small dog in the face with the hose. The dog sputtered as another demonstrator took care of her and rushed her away from reach of the hose and the neighbor's focus on spraying everyone she could -- including a little shaking dog -- in the face as many times as possible. She once even sprayed her own neighbor in the face. As Schmidt's neighborhood spectacle continued -- with the thirteen police vehicles lined up down the street, several cops detaining protesters, the arrest of an activist on charges of malicious mischief and trespassing, and the neighbor who instigated the scene and injured people prancing around still grinning -- Schmidt hid in his house. In the typical fashion of Skanska USA, executive leadership shields themselves from scrutiny with anything available to them -- even their own neighborhood. As the protesters left, David and his wife stepped outside the house to peek at the spectacle, but instead saw the writing on the wall -- pressure is indeed increasing, and will only continue until he terminates the contract with UW.