From morning to evening, Skanska executives felt the pressure of the No New Animal Lab campaign on Friday...
In Seattle, the morning began with a protest at Skanska's office. A group of activists of all ages -- even kids who already understand that building animal labs is facilitating the torture of animals -- gathered at the Seattle office for a loud and energized protest. In addition to chanting, they left the sidewalk in front of the building covered in chalk messages about Skanska's involvement in animal cruelty for Skanska executives, their building neighbors, and passersby to see.
In Portland, the day came to a close with an evening protest at the home of David Schmidt, the Skanska COO who signed the contract for the lab. The group of activists chanted for Schmidt's neighborhood to hear about his disregard for the fate of thousands of animals for the sake of a big paycheck, and they covered the sidewalk and cul-de-sac in front of his house with chalk messages. A neighbor came out with a hose to try to wash off the chalk, but one person wrote a final message: You can wash off chalk, but you can't wash the blood off your hands. And as long as Skanska continues to move forward with the construction of the animal lab, David Schmidt and other Skanska executives have blood on their hands.
A strong law enforcement presence gathered in the neighborhood -- police vehicles lined the street, and eight cops stood around watching and filming the protest. But their presence didn't deter the activists, whose chants only grew louder in the face of the attempt at using police intimidation to quiet activists. The growing strength of their chants reflected the growing strength of this campaign. Despite attempts by law enforcement, Skanska, and the University of Washington to quell the campaign, more and more people around the world are saying, We Will Stop This Lab.