from the No New Animal Lab Tour
We woke up in Mississippi on Tuesday morning and hauled it to Tampa, making it in time to protest Fred Hames, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager of Skanska for all of Florida. Chalk messages were left outside his home at 3944 Fontainebleau Drive, as activists chanted and yelled, alerting Fred's exceptionally inquisitive neighbors of the horrors that Skanska is contracted to bury beneath the University of Washington campus.
The next afternoon, the tour made a visit to the headquarters of Fairholme Capital Management, the second largest shareholder in Imperial Metals Corporation. Imperial Metals was responsible for the devastating Mount Polley mine spill, which has been called one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history. The spill occurred on the territories of the Secwempec Nation and has since stirred multiple indigenous resistance blockades and the campaign #ImperialNoMore.
From there, the tour headed to Miami International Airport, where the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and Smash HLS had organized a protest against Air France, one of the last remaining airlines that continues to ship monkeys to animal testing laboratories all around the world. The shouts and chants of dozens of activists echoed throughout the terminal as travelers faced protest signs with images of primates tortured by so-called “research.”
To finish off the day, about fifteen protesters went to the home of McAdam “Mac” Glinn, Senior Vice President and National Director of the Aviation Center of Excellence at Skanska. Neighbors and cops gathered around to hear about Mac's dirty company, as well as his failed campaign for a seat on Miami Shores' City Commission. (Check out his website: macglinn.com. It has his home address on it. He lost by 12 votes.) Though Mac wasn't home, his children smiled and waved at us through the windows as we protested.
On Thursday morning, activists decided to turn up the heat on Skanska by going to their Fort Lauderdale office. Broward County Sheriffs and gang force units were incredibly punctual in their response to the visit. Marked and unmarked police vehicles surrounded the two cars of protesters as they left the parking lot, detaining us for over an hour. Two Skanska employees joined the police, one of whom was none other than Mac himself, stomping his feet, calling us “fuckers,” and furrowing his brow. Get back to work, Mac!
Inspired by Mac's tantrum, the tour thought it would be prudent to return to his Miami Shores home one more time to remind him and his neighbors that animal activists will not back down until Skanska USA ends construction of the Animal Research and “Care” Facility in Seattle. About a dozen activists surrounded Mac's home to spread the word. He was home this time, but closed the blinds and turned off the lights instead of making a public appearance.
For our last day in Florida, the No New Animal Lab Tour joined Everglades Earth First! for three demonstrations against Kolter Group. Kolter is a development company currently destroying the Briger Forest to build upscale housing, all part of a long-term plan to turn the entire forest into a biotech city. Protesters demonstrated at Kolter's West Palm Beach offices, and at the homes of their CEO and COO, to remind them that their paychecks are written in the blood of endangered animals. To learn more about the campaign to save the Briger Forest, see scrapscripps.info.