The Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF) is a proposed expansion of the University of Washington’s animal research program and would increase UW’s capacity for animal research by up to 30%. UW already uses thousands of animals--dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, Guinea pigs, rabbits, pigs, mice, rats, and countless unlisted invertebrates. Concurrently, the grassroots animal advocacy movement is recovering from decades of escalating political repression after the effects of the so-called “Green Scare,” and has become fragmented, isolated, and lost generational diversity. No New Animal Lab started in response and has two primary goals: to stop the construction of the ARCF and to build a networked grassroots animal advocacy movement through face-to-face communication, support networks, and sharing skill sets, critical analysis, and resources.
Animal research is a lucrative industry connected to many economic sectors--equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agriculture, chemicals, architecture, engineering, and more. Animal research is rooted in economic profit, and the entire system is built upon the bodies of animals who suffer invariably through their captivity, suffering, and death. We envision its collapse through unrelenting pressure from a strong, grassroots, and mass movement for animal liberation.
Our goal is to stop the construction of the Animal Research & Care Facility, and to rebuild a movement along the way.
The Regents only marginally approved the lab amid concerns over the excessive project budget. It was only approved due to increasing pressure from the animal research program, faculty, independent industry analysts and consultants, and other vested interests.
The future of this facility is tied to many points in the animal research industry and No New Animal Lab exploits the weak links of this system. The construction firm Skanska USA presents one such weak link. Currently, No New Animal Lab is pressuring Skanska to terminate its contract through grassroots pressure (protest campaigns, letter writing, non-violent direct action). Pressuring this weak link will force UW to increase expenditure on the project in a search for a new contractor, something that the Regents do not want or have the capacity to absorb.
The No New Animal Lab campaign employs a diversity of tactics to apply pressure to decision makers at UW and Skanska, ranging from litigation, action trainings, letter writing, petitions, public comments, meetings, vigils, protests, rallies, marches, office disruptions, lobby invasions, home demonstrations, and nonviolent direct action. Campaign organizers are all over the US, as there are Skanska offices in over 30 US cities. We are also working with organizers in Sweden and other parts of the EU, where Skanska a major market player. In order to illicit tactical diversity, we encourage organizers on the local level to develop this campaign on their own terms (local timelines and strategy), while supporting the work and strategy of organizers in the Northwest during calls for international days/weeks of action.
The lab project will take several years and it will not be occupied until well into 2017. The campaign will not stop over the course of that time, and will only to continue to escalate and diversify the tactics it uses to stop construction, including developing campaigns against tertiary targets like subcontractors, equipment suppliers, etc. We are preparing for necessary direct interventions months down the line, and other potential legal challenges to subvert business as usual for UW and Skanska. No New Animal Lab has vowed to do anything and everything that it takes to stop the lab and we will grow this campaign into a multi-year effort if necessary. We have been growing communities and networks over the last year, promoting grassroots movement building, offering trainings and resources to activist communities, and preparing for a sustained pressure campaign.