From the NNAL Tour:
The No New Animal Lab Tour set off about one month ago as a long and winding trip across the United States with the purpose of pressuring Skanska offices and executives and rebuilding grassroots animal liberation networks nationwide. City by city, we found executives at their offices, their homes, and their country clubs. All of this culminated towards our arrival in New York City--headquarters of Skanska USA and its subsidiaries, and home to the company's most powerful and culpable executives.
The campaign in NYC started months ago with office protests, phone blockades, and home demonstrations. The campaign has helped to establish a new grassroots group--New York City Animal Defense League (NYC ADL)--a strong collective now organizing against Skanska USA's corporate nexus and working to build their own presence locally and regionally.
NYC ADL and New York City Anarchist Black Cross (NYC ABC) coordinated to set up our presentation at The Base, an anarchist organizing and community space in Brooklyn. The presentation was well organized and well attended, and was followed by a coordination discussion regarding upcoming campaign events in the city.
The next evening, a group of over 15 activists, clad in all black, carried flickering candles in procession into the lavish Huntington Bay neighborhood of Richard Cavallaro, the President/CEO of Skanska USA and Executive Vice President of Skanska AB. No other person in the country has as much influence as him to bring this madness to a halt. Guarded by private security and local police, Rich waited inside of his home with all of the lights turned out. It was appropriate, as the crowd assembled to hold a vigil for the animals already captive and dying inside of UW labs and for all of the animals that Richard, Skanska, and UW are planning to bury and erase for profit and prestige. After a period of silence, the crowd erupted with a call out of Richard to his neighborhood and community. Still shroud in darkness, saved by the soft glow of candlelight, the protest continued with resounding fury--chanting and screaming for the end of the Animal Research and Care Facility. Eventually police intervened on behalf of an unsettled neighborhood, but the protest remained with still silence and strong resolve. The procession of candles slowly left as crowds of residents looked on. Richard cannot hide within the boundaries of Huntington, a town designed as a quaint hideaway for the affluent and elite, and we will not let him revel in the comfort of his power and status.
The following day about 17 protesters converged at the Empire State Building. Though it seemed a challenge to protest in the middle of bustling streets in Midtown Manhattan at the street level of one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world, we still made our presence known. The chants could be heard from blocks away, and dozens upon dozens of passersby engaged with the crowd, took photos, and accepted flyers about Skanska USA, sitting all-too comfortably on the 32nd floor.
From Long Island to Manhattan, the growing NYC animal liberation community is going to confront Skanska and their people of influence across the landscape of one of the most powerful global cities in the world. They have only just begun. A message to Skanska, Richard Cavallaro, and other powerful US executives: You have not seen anything yet.