Reportback from Los Angeles area activists:
Skanska Los Angeles probably had started to breathe easy again. They were probably thinking we had forgotten them, that they were no longer going to be the University of Washington’s local fall guy, that they would no longer have to sit up on the 14th floor of their tall, cold building on Wilshire and listen to protesters enumerate all the reasons why claiming to take “their social responsibility very seriously” is so much hot air, why saying they are committed to “the highest standards of human rights and impacts on society” as a joke falls flat, why you can’t build an underground animal research facility which will benefit only scientific coffers not scientific knowledge and call yourself “a role model in ethics.”
Yeah, they may have thought all that, but they were wrong. On Thursday, a dozen activists came back. For the first time since last April when Progress for Science lit up the freeway with the words “SKANSKA = DEATH LABS,” protestors zeroed their attention in on this construction company of despair, lining up on the sidewalk in front with posters and leaflets to let them hear the message again: as long as you keep building, we will keep coming. During the hour and a half demonstration, passing folks stopped and asked what was going on, many shaking their heads in dismay when they heard what was in store for the animals who will be locked away in an underground lab if Skanska continues to move forward with construction. Workers came out of the building to chat or take pictures. Many passing Wilshire motorists honked approval. The police parked nearby and soon left. They’d heard it before.
LA would like to now make it clear that as long as Skanska ignores the lofty words they use in their company PR and continues their participation in this project that will waste the lives of both nonhuman animals as well as the humans who will suffer from bad medical research using outmoded and untrustworthy methods, we will keep coming back. Keep your eye out!