Reportback from Seattle activists:
This morning activists held a protest at Skanska's Seattle office, located at 221 Yale Ave. N Suite 400, to start the work day. Other office protests at this location have been rather uneventful...but the mood seemed to be changing today. As activists made some noise with sirens and chanting through bullhorns, people trying to work in neighboring offices kept coming out of the building to talk to them. The people told the activists that they support the demand for Skanska to not build a new animal lab, but that they wanted it to be quiet so they could work. The activists explained that they were only out there because Skanska has so far refused to terminate their contract with the University of Washington, and the activists asked the people who were concerned about the noise to go talk to Skanska about it -- because activists are going to be loud until Skanska cuts the contract.
Some people tried to go talk to Skanska, and then held up a sign to the window to let us know that the 4th floor was locked. Rather than talk to their office neighbors or come out to talk to activists, Skanska chose to lock their floor, as they've been doing at other office locations. But Skanska, you must understand: locking your floor, planning to build a lab underground, trying to keep your involvement in this lab quiet...none of it will work to stop activists from finding out about your bloody contract and holding you accountable.
Because Skanska's neighbors were so supportive of the protest and tried to go talk to Skanska (and we encourage them to try to talk to Skanska again when their floor isn't locked!), activists respected their request for a 5-minute break from making noise so they could finish a meeting. And then the protest got loud again, and activists broadcasted the names of the people working at the Seattle office who have blood on their hands.
Activists closed the protest by reminding Skanska that the pressure is still increasing, and coming up soon is #StormSkanksa, a week of action that they'll never forget as they feel activist pressure from all over the world.
Skanska, activists will continue to be at your offices, at your homes, at your construction sites until you back out of building a new animal lab for the University of Washington. Things are only going to get louder...