Reportback from Bay Area activists:
On Wednesday, January 14th, activists with Animal Defense League San Francisco and The Bunny Alliance stopped by Skanska USA’s Oakland office for a surprise visit.
The activists entered the building through the parking garage past the parking attendant and attempted to go into Skanska’s office on the 19th floor of the Lake Merit Plaza building. However the elevator would not go to the 19th floor without security clearance; the 19th was the only floor in the entire building that the elevator would not go up to. This extra security measure can likely be attributed to a December 23rd action where activists entered Skanska’s Oakland office with ease through the same elevator and disrupted a meeting that was being held on the 19th floor behind a glass wall with “Skanska” etched into it.
Since activists could not gain access to Skanska’s office, they decided to start the protest in the building’s lobby with sirens blaring and activists informing others in the building about Skanska’s plans to build the University of Washington’s new animal lab. Security guards and business people sat looking stunned as leaflets about Skanska’s involvement in cruel animal experimentation were spread throughout the lobby and chants of “If you want some peace and rest! Cut your ties with animal tests!” could be heard echoing throughout the building.
After a short while, the very parking attendant that paid no attention to activists entering the building ran out from the parking structure to physically throw one of the activists out of the building and attempted to throw them down a set of stairs, all while other activists remained in the lobby chanting as security guards balled up and threw leaflets back at them. The increased security at Skanska’s Oakland office, as well as their Portland and Fort Lauderdale offices, shows that they’re paying attention to the No New Animal Lab campaign, but still don’t know what to expect next. This action was coordinated just hours after activists had descended upon Skanska’s Los Angeles office in Southern California.
Skanska USA, activists all over the country are organizing and coordinating, and we will not give up until you cut your contracts and cancel the construction of the UW’s lab.