Reportback from the NNAL Tour:
After a stop in the Bay area, the No New Animal Lab Tour headed south to spend a few days in Los Angeles, where we got off to a loud start with Sunday evening home demos against Skanska executives.
The tour met up with local activists to first visit the Long Beach home of Joseph Nogues, a Chief Financial Officer with Skanska. When we arrived at his house, his role in Skanska's hierarchy was apparent: a Lexus SUV bearing the Skanska logo sat in his driveway. Even though Skanska is contracted to build a new underground animal lab, Joseph seemingly has no problem showing off his employment with them. So the group of people helped show him how he should be feeling about his association with Skanska: that it will tie him to animal torture until Skanska drops the lab contract.
Armed with bold signs and five bullhorns, we chanted and called on Joseph to use his power as a CFO to convince Skanska to drop the contract as neighbors gathered to take photos. Several expressed their support, giving us thumbs up and telling us to keep up the good fight. It's nice to know that Joseph's neighborhood welcomes people working to stop the torture of animals in labs, and it's time for Joseph to follow their lead.
Still full of energy, the group of people then traveled to the Pasadena neighborhood of Mike Aparicio, a Skanska Executive Vice President. As we walked towards his house, we saw that Mike and his family were sitting in his front yard. Waiting. Bullhorn sirens blared as the group approached the house, and the sirens gave way to one of the people announcing to Mike that we were there because of his company's facilitation of animal abuse -- and he's going to be held accountable along with other Skanska executives. Mike and his family quickly got up and turned around their lawn chairs, and we then saw that the standard Skanska-issued "no trespassing" signs were hanging on the back of the chairs. They had definitely been waiting for us to arrive, but instead of waiting to talk, they were waiting to make it clear that they are following the Skanska line of avoiding responsibility for the animals who will die in the lab if they continue to build it.
Someone who appeared to be Mike's grown son yelled in the face of an activist, his neighbors screamed at us, and Mike disappeared in his house. But he can't hide, and neither can the rest of Skanska's executives. They can put up "no trespassing" signs and run away, but in cities everywhere, Skanska executives will continue to see that this campaign doesn't rest and is full of surprises.
To finish up our stop in Los Angeles, we followed the Sunday evening home demos with a Monday morning office protest. During the protest, people approached the glass front of the Wilshire Boulevard building and directed their chants and signs at the people inside. People are getting a look inside of Skanska's glass walls, and seeing that this corporation that tries to pass itself off as "green" is actually profiting off of plans to mutilate and kill animals. And that's an image that Skanska surely doesn't want to keep.