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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

7 November 2001 Issue

REPORT OF HUNTINGDON LIFE SCIENCES PROTEST

w-mouse4.jpg (50802 bytes)WE WILL NOT STOP TILL HUNTINGDON IS CLOSED FOREVER 500 Animals Killed Daily.  Let us applaud these our fellow activists and continue to do what we may to end this horror perpetuated on 500 help end this nightmare where money and greed reign supreme

ANIMAL LIBERATION IS A MUST

AND WE SHALL PERSEVERE!

WE SHALL PREVAIL

IN THE NAME OF COMPASSION ANIMALS IN PRINT PROUDLY PRESENTS THIS HEROIC ENDEAVOR

SOURCE: caftutah@hotmail.com  (CAFT Utah)

(This is a photo of the way mice should live - Free!  There is no such freedom for the animals at Huntingdon Life Sceinces and similar laboratories around the world.
~Photo by www.all-creatures.org )

Just one week ago animal rights activists from around the country and around the world made history. Here's the wrap up.

First and foremost, THANK YOU to every single person who came out to make the weekend of action against Stephens Inc. a success.  We could not have done it without you!  The energy, motivation and commitment witnessed in Little Rock sent ripples of inspiration around the world.  Huntingdon Life Sciences is on its last leg and Stephens is teetering and cowering in the face of activists who vow to be in their offices, on their phones, at their doorsteps and at the offices of their most significant business affiliates until they sever their ties with HLS.

It would be criminal not to up the ante now.  Take everything you felt this weekend - outrage at the deaths of 500 animals every day, the drive to end it, and assurance that we will do so - bring it home and smash Stephens's bloody investment in your own community.

nl-7nov2001-beagleheadwound.jpg (22809 bytes)SHAC-USA is ready and willing to be a resource center and information clearinghouse to help you in any way we can.  For the 500 animals who die every day at HLS, there is no time to waste!!   Saturday, October 27 animal rights activists and members of the Little Rock community attended a Town Meeting addressing Stephens Inc.'s investment in Huntingdon Life Sciences and how Little Rock residents could take action against this blight in their own backyards.

Speakers included Rich McLellan, M.D., a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician and representative of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, who denounced animal research on scientific grounds; Tom Regan, University Alumni Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University who spoke on the philosophy of animal rights; and Kevin Jonas from SHAC-USA, an animal rights activist whoıs been with the HLS campaign since its inception in November 1999 as he spent a year in England working with one of the worldıs most effective and furious anti-vivisection campaign organizations, SHAC-UK.

The afternoon's premiere speaker was Michelle Rokke, a former undercover investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who worked inside HLS from October 1996 to May of 1997.  Her stories of horrific animal cruelty and scientific fraud from inside the lab, coupled with the undercover video footage she took, drove home the dire situation at HLS and reminded us all what we are fighting for and why we cannot and will not lose!

Following the Town Meeting SHAC-USA held activist workshops.  In a more interactive setting, activists discussed experiences, tactics and ideas to take home and destroy Stephens's investment in their own area.  Workshops on civil disobedience, direct action, undercover investigations, police repression and government harassment were held.  Chris DeRose, president of Last Chance for Animals, spoke on his experience as an animal rights activist for 20 years and a legal team led a workshop in preparation for the protest on October 29. 

Attendees also picked up campaign resource materials, including "Diary of Despair," a collection of the diaries Michelle Rokke kept during her time inside HLS.   The workshops ended with a showing of the UK and US HLS campaign videos - documentaries capturing the fury of the HLS campaign thus far and inciting that fury to continue until that vile lab is closed for good!

**Sunday, October 28**

The day began with a vegan BBQ hosted by the Society for a Peaceful Coexistence where activists who'd traveled from all parts of the country came together to socialize and form regional coalitions that will unify the movement and pound HLS that much harder.   Media was present throughout the day and SHAC members did interviews with national radio shows, local news stations and HBO.

Over 150 activists were fired up for the "Parade of Homes" that followed the BBQ as they marched through Warren Stephens's neighborhood, visiting Warren's home and the home of Michael R. Smith, Warren's neighbor and soon to be promoted Executive Vice President.  Neighbors filled their front lawns and the media captured the fury of these activists who vowed that as long as those animals inside HLS don't get to check out for the weekend, neither will the hot shots at Stephens Inc.  The home demonstrations were a mere glimpse into what was to come on Monday, October 29 - D-day for Stephens Inc.

**Monday, October 29**

nl-7nov2001-police.jpg (35947 bytes)Finally, the day we'd all been waiting for.  Over three hundred activists converged at the headquarters of Stephens Inc. in downtown Little Rock for a massive demonstration at their doorstep.  For days prior we'd heard Warren Stephens vowing it would be "business as usual" on October 29 and the police claiming they were "ready for anything". 

Actions, however, speak louder than words as Stephens Inc. worked furiously to get SHAC to settle the RICO lawsuit they've been handed before October 29 so that restrictions on demonstration behavior could be enforced.  When SHAC told Stephens to take a hike, that we were not settling and would fight the lawsuit, Stephens and their disproportionate political hold on the city of Little Rock, bought and sold a blatantly unconstitutional ordinance placing stipulations on protests in the city. Passed in one night without an opportunity for public comment, the ordinance required that organizations sponsoring demonstrations pay $25 to apply for a permit, provide adequate sanitation, parking, etc., and stay in a designated "protest zone".

 

Upon arrival, activists were searched before entering the protest zone and those with gas masks, to protect themselves from tear gas and pepper spray often used by overzealous police, were denied entry.  Refusing to be caged like the animals we are fighting for, the protest quickly turned into a march around downtown Little Rock as protesters refused to enter or remain inside the protest zone. The police quickly realized they were not "ready for anything."

They stood there in disbelief as we literally took over the city - streets were for protesters, not cars; local businesses closed down as streets and sidewalks became wall to wall protesters; and downtown business men/women left their offices to view the spectacle outside.  It was not "business as usual" by any stretch of the imagination as employees inside the Stephens building remained glued to the windows watching the activists below.  Returning to the Stephens building, activists lead impassioned chants and speak-outs as the crowd let forth its anger over Stephens's vocal and fiscal support of a company that kills 180,000 animals every year testing agrochemicals and household products. Soon the barricades, designed to contain the protesters but now holding the police, came down.

Over and over in this campaign we have seen people refuse to sit idly by while HLS poisons and kills helpless animals; likewise, the attendees of Mondayıs events refused to let metal barricades keep them from the Stephens building.  The police, who, just days before had been "ready for anything," reacted with unnecessary violence towards the protesters firing rubber bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades into the crowd.  Ten protesters were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, obstruction of governmental function and violation of a city ordinance.

Always one step ahead of the police and Stephens, and never deterred by arrests, the protest again marched around the Stephens building and headed for the Bank of America - a move entirely unexpected by the police who were "ready for anything."   Beating the police to the building activists protested the Bank of America's business relationship with Stephens, encouraging the bank to sever ties with Stephens and send a clear message that they are unwilling to do business with companies who fund animal torture.

The protest rounded up in the back of the Stephens building at the parking garage exit as protesters informed dozens of employees peering down over the ledges of Stephens's investment in animal cruelty.  In one last show of brute and unthinking force, police on horses charged into the crowd beating protesters and arresting those they suspected as leaders.  Numerous activists received injuries and one person's wrist was broken by police as they carried her away.  All in all it was an exciting, effective demonstration, sending home a very clear message to Warren Stephens that it will NOT be business as usual as long as Stephens continues to fund animal torture!

**Jail Support/After October 29**

Following Monday's event, the protesters moved to the jail where their comrades were being held.  All of the arrestees were released Monday night but their freedom was short-lived as the judge threw them all back into jail after they plead "Not guilty" at arraignment Tuesday morning.  A jail support camp was set up outside the jail and remained until all the protesters were released Thursday afternoon. (EXCEPT WHITNEY)  Media coverage continued with press conferences and events refuting Warren Stephens's claims that HLS is a sound, ethical company and denouncements of the police brutality that erupted Monday.  Civil suits will be in order for those protesters who were injured by the Robocops on site Monday.

Passing the time in Little Rock, while their fellow activists remained in jail, activists remaining in Little Rock were sure not to forget the reason they came - 500 animals died each day we remained in Little Rock and we were determined to do something about it.

A protest at the Bank of America in North Little Rock was held Wednesday, conveniently avoiding the Stephens-sponsored ordinance in Little Rock.  Later that night, Halloween, a candlelight vigil was held at Warren Stephens's home in remembrance of the animals who die at HLS every day.  It was then that we fully understood just how effective this weekend of action had been. 

While walking to Warren's home, 16 protesters were surrounded by 12 cop cars, dozens of uniformed and non-uniformed officers and a helicopter followed overhead.   The activists were detained, illegally searched and told they could not continue with their event.  When the police were done with their ordeal, activists questioned the commanding officer on video about the notion of continuing their event. 

They confronted the police about their constitutional right to engage in a vigil outside Warren's home and were told that according to the ordinance, it was too late to do so.  Always more familiar with the law than the police, the protesters pulled out the ordinance and showed that they were in fact well within the prescribed times in which home demonstrations were permitted.  Forced to acknowledge their wrong, the officers had no choice but to allow the protesters to continue.

Sixteen activists bearing candles and signs were met with an image reminiscent of Fort Knox at Warren's home.  Dozens of police vehicles and officers blocked the driveway and the yard, and a helicopter with a searchlight followed our every move.   It seems we've had an effect when a candlelight vigil warrants the money and protection Warren feels he needs from the animal rights movement.  I guess it's a valid concern when you've pissed off thousands of people around the world by funding animal torture.  Clearly, every time action is taken in the campaign to close HLS, we hit the abusers in their pockets, forcing them to pay for heightened security for something as peaceful as a candlelight vigil.

Meanwhile, reports started to come in from around the world.  October 29 was a global day of action and an amazing few days of action were held all over the world including Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, Ireland, Jersey, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and many more.   Check out www.shac.net  and scroll down to the 10/31/01 Demo Roundup for a report.

**Media/Photos/Video**

Media for this weekend was better than anything we could have expected.  For weeks, and just about every day, before the demonstration, local Little Rock media covered the upcoming events.  They were present from the moment the Town Meeting started through until the last activists left Little Rock, vowing to return.  Video footage from inside HLS was shown - beagle puppies being punched in the face with a note that Stephens Inc. is the largest investor in this lab.  Following Monday's demo, media reached as far as The New York Times, the Boston Globe, CNN, L.A., Chicago, Portland and elsewhere.

SPECIAL REQUEST: if you have hard or electronic copies of any media, if you have any video or still images SEND THEM TO SHAC USA!! You can email them to shacusa@envirolink.org  or mail them to P.O. Box 22398, Philadelphia, PA, 19110.  Then, wait for an online photo album that will be up soon! You can find a few photos from the demo at: http://www.search.news.yahoo.com/search/news_photos?n=20&p=little+rock+animal+rights    But send us your photos and there will be more up soon!!

**Lastly**

And so this tirade comes to an end, but let us make certain that this is the BEGINNING of the pressure Stephens Inc. will feel until they pull out of HLS.  Let the energy we all felt this weekend flow into constant, consistent pressure from here on out. (I hear Dallas is already planning something for the end of November!  Stay posted for details and feel free to contact SHAC-USA for more info). Lastly, and certainly not least, we must give credit where credit is due.  As mentioned above, this weekend was amazing in terms of media coverage.  I'm sure we could not have done it without the help of Mr. Warren Stephens himself - running full page ads denouncing our events and our campaign, calling last minute press conferences, pushing an unconstitutional ordinance that deterred no one but got civil rights advocates and the media all riled up.  If anyone would like to express their thanks for Warren's help in making this weekend a success:  Warren Stephens; 1 Longfellow Place, Little Rock, AR 72201- we hear his phone number's been disconnected - letters and thank you cards will have to do J. (send us copies of your cards/letters and maybe theyıll make another appearance on our website or in a newsletter!)  Until Next Time - SMASH HLS!! SHAC-USA

You can help us to close Huntingdon Life Sciences permanently!  Contact the following companies that invest in HLS and let them know you will not bank or invest in their company and that by supporting HLS, they are investing in animal torture:

• Stephens Inc. This investment firm is the number one investor and financial savior of HLS. ( www.stephenskills.com ) Warren Stephens, President; 111 Center St. Little Rock, AR 72201-4402; Phone: 1-800-643-9691; Fax: (501) 377-2666.

• Bank of New York. This prominent northeast bank controls the American Depositary Receipts (ADR) program that enables American firms to invest in the British-based HLS. Without the Bank of New York, HLS would not be able to trade on the American stock market. (See www.bankofnykills.com ). Thomas Renyi, President, Bank of New York, Inc., One Wall St. New York, NY 10286; Phone: 1-888-LINK-BNY; Fax: (212) 809-9528. (See Update 7 Nov 2001)

• Oracle Partners. This company holds 23 million shares in HLS. Larry N. Feinberg, President; 200 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830; Phone: (203) 862-7900; Fax: (203) 862-7996. (See Update 7 Nov 2001)

And we must not forget those who are actually performing these horrific experiments on the animals at HLS.  Huntingdon Life Sciences, Inc. PO Box 2360 Mettlers Road, East Millstone, NJ 08875-2360; Phone732-873-2550; Financial Office phone 201-525-1819 Fax 732-873-8513; Finacial office Fax 201-525-1331

Please visit: http://www.shacusa.net/

See Update 7 Nov 2001

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