Britches and the Great Imagining

Britches and the Great Imagining

by Roxanne Galvan          As we approach World Week for Animals in Laboratories, I want us to take a few moments to remember the tragic story of Britches. In 1985, a baby macaque monkey was born in a laboratory at the University of Riverside. Shortly after, he was stripped from his mother’s care and subjected to unimaginable cruelty under the guise of ‘scientific research’. Some would prefer to call it for what it truly is: torture. Britches was forced to be the subject of a study surrounding human blindness. His fresh, tiny eyes were sewn shut with oversized sutures, such that he suffered permanent corneal damage once they were removed by his liberators. A sonar device that emitted piercing sounds was strapped to his head. The baby macaque was left alone in a small metal cage where he spent the fir st 5 weeks of his life terrified and devoid of any compassion or solace. The story of Britches has a happy ending where anonymous ALF activists, with the help of sympathetic workers within the laboratory, rescue him along with somewhere between 400-700 other animals. Dressed in white lab coats and black balaclavas, they conducted a live liberation, filming and exposing the horror lab. For Britches, we get a sigh of relief knowing he was saved from solitary confinement and spent the rest of his years in a sanctuary with an elder macaque foster mom. For the countless other animals who have died and are awaiting premature death in labs, we cannot feel that relief. Vivisection is a topic that makes almost anyone uncomfortable as they...
P4S Top Hits of 2015

P4S Top Hits of 2015

THE LONG GOODBYE The monkeys are still where they shouldn’t be: still far from the jungles, from the trees, the vines, the flowers, the birds, the butterflies; far from the evening breezes, the sun on their uplifted faces, the moonlight silvering their fur; still far far away from the mothers that gave them birth, from the aunties and uncles who took care of them, from the squawking sisters and brothers tumbling through the leaves, still far from homes they will never see again or, for those born in labs, homes they will never see at all. They are still in their cold neon-lit cages at the University of California but, at least, their head tormenter has flown the coop. The leaving town of drug-study vivisector David Jentsch, one of UCLA’s top money draws, was one of the big events that marked our year here at Progress for Science. It was a year of wins, of losses and of broadening horizons. Working in both Minnesota and Los Angeles we took on new campaigns and new focuses. We created new events and kept on keeping on as well. ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN On February 15 of last year, P4S staged one of our biggest protests ever as we orchestrated an answer to the demonstration of frothing hate that the vivisectors had backfire and bring shame upon themselves weeks before. On the one-year anniversary we returned to Edythe London’s neighborhood with our very own villain! Or rather a towering papier-mâché Edythe specially made for us by one of our talented supporters.  We have it on good authority that Ms. London was not...
And We’re Back!

And We’re Back!

One thing you should know about Progress for Science by now is that we are always trying to be more strategic and we are open to trying new things if we think they might be successful. Recently, you may have noticed we have been doing a few less protests in California. It is not because we are getting lazy, it is because we were trying some new things out. But now it is time to get back to being active for animals. Below we will discuss what we have been up to for the past couple of months and why it is more important than ever for you to join us in the streets again. A few months ago, vivisector Edythe London’s husband, Abe Wagner, reached out to a P4S cofounder, Vida. Vida decided to talk with Wagner and reported that he seemed like he wanted to reconsider the use of animals in experiments. Of course we were dubious. First, Wagner is not the vivisector, London is. Second, Wagner and London are currently legally harassing another P4S cofounder. But if anyone has met Vida they know she would be the one person who could talk sense into someone. We withdrew protests for a short time to let Vida try to work her magic. We had hoped that London might do the right thing. Her career is a perfect example of how animal experiments are not useful or necessary for a career in science or to further scientific progress. London used to do experiments on monkeys for anything addiction related. Her research has regularly been funded by tax dollars. However,...
Dear Edythe

Dear Edythe

By Jo Bainbridge —– I wonder how your Memorial Day went. I spent some of mine sitting in my back room, watching the neon carrot flames of the barbecue lick in hungry frenetic swirls around its circular hood. It was a beautiful afternoon. The breeze was fresh and light, a transporter of warm summer promises, teasing the flames capriciously in all directions. Wind chimes gently spoke. Children laughed and played in the background, musical lilting sounds of delight. It is a day when the insanity of war is remembered and the beauty of liberty and life is celebrated. We gather close to our friends, family and loved ones. We are grateful to be free from tyranny. I embraced the gorgeous beauty of that moment but there was, and remains, an insistent pilot light of pain in my heart that never goes out. My mind turned then, as it does now, to those animal species who do not have liberty. My heart opens in raw solidarity to those beings who suffer out of sight, out of mind. My being turns towards those creatures who languish in steel cages just a few miles from where I sit. These are the condemned animals in your UCLA laboratories. There is no loving parent. There is no friend. They quiver, sight unseen, alone. If they have been stolen from their natural habitat, they will never again know freedom. If they have been bred for the purpose of being experimented on, they will only know the loneliness of captivity and experience excruciating deaths in your facility. I work for a rehab which looks after young...
Vivisectors and the Police: Partners in First Amendment Repression and Animal Torture

Vivisectors and the Police: Partners in First Amendment Repression and Animal Torture

May 9 was a gorgeous summer evening with a beautiful setting sun – perfect weather for a demo SoCal-style. A group of activists, some old hands at this, some new, met up in the neighborhood of David Jentsch a UCLAvivisector who studies drug addiction and impulse control by experimenting on nonhuman primates, mice, and rats. We were there to exercise our First Amendment rights and voice our opposition to the cruelty that takes place in his lab, the resources that his frivolous research takes away from much-needed drug education treatment and rehabilitation, and the waste of our tax dollars for his own personal gain. Upon arrival, the Progress for Science organizers spoke with the UCLA police officers on hand and we agreed to stay 100 yards away from the property, to not block neighbors driveways as they were coming or going and, for everyone’s safety, to be careful of the traffic on the road.The demo proceeded as planned with the no problems. After about 45 minutes we wrapped up and our group walked back to our cars. Together we chatted for a moment and the P4S organizers thanked everyone for coming out and participating in another successful peaceful action and then we dispersed. However at this point things went south. Near the busy corner of Van Nuys and Ventura Boulevards one of the activists’ cars with four people inside was pulled over by the UCLA police, some of whom had been at the demo, with lights flashing. They called out one activist by name and ordered him out of the car. They demanded under threat of arrest the names...
P4S is peaceful and pro-science. Vivisection is violent and anti-science.

P4S is peaceful and pro-science. Vivisection is violent and anti-science.

It is generally our policy not to respond to Internet noise. We are busy women with a lot of work to do on behalf of those for whom we advocate. However, a blog post that was published months ago keeps weighing on us for its gross misrepresentation and misunderstanding of our position and perspective, as well as for its poignant display of hypocrisy on behalf of the community of UCLA employees who support experimenting on live animals. Therefore, we have decided to take the time to respond. In this blog post, Dario Ringach, a former vivisector and current advocate for experimenting on live animals, combed through the Facebook profiles of animal advocates who he believes he has seen attend P4S events. He highlighted three posts—one from a woman who believes in the healing powers of herbal medicine and who does not support vaccines; another of a woman who supports veganism for ethical as well as health-based reasons, underwent gallbladder surgery and chose to take pharmaceutical pain medications, and opposed the claims that animal advocates are violent; and a third by a man advocating prisoner support for two individuals convicted of crimes for actions they took in the name of environmentalism. Mr. Ringach strung together these three anecdotes to develop his concluding argument: “[Members of Progress for Science] are scientifically illiterate, cheerleaders of violence, anti-science and, obviously, dishonest.”   In each of these accusations, he is wrong. Vivisection is anti-science Those who advocate for an end to vivisection come from a variety of perspectives—some are anti-vaccine while others think that vaccinating is an important public health issue. Some will take...