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...
Life after Labs and Jails: New Life Animal Sanctuary’s Gina Lynn

Life after Labs and Jails: New Life Animal Sanctuary’s Gina Lynn

Jake: Ask her about getting arrested with her mom. Me: So tell me about the time you got arrested with your mom. Gina: Which time? The sun is finally starting to set after a blistering near 100-degree day out in the semi-arid scrub country of the Elsinore Valley in the Inland Empire. In the lengthening shadow of the newly built barn, Gina beckons in the residents from wherever they have been poking about on the sprawling fenced-in property. They know what’s up and they’re pretty good at hustling to her call: It’s treat time! After they have all gathered around─and by “they” we mean 27 Göttingen mini pigs rescued from a Bay Area laboratory─Gina lifts up the first watermelon and smashes it to the ground. The rest of us humans all grab one as well and, before long, all the pink-skinned sweeties are blissfully─and you haven’t seen bliss until you’ve seen the watermelon+pig equation in action─munching away, eyes half closed. (Now that it is fall we see the same enthusiasm given over to pumpkin decimation.) These folks have suffered horrors we can’t ever really imagine and they have the scars to prove it, but now all that is over. They have finally found their forever home complete with mud pits, wading pools, fresh hay, shelter, toys, and the love that they probably never dreamed would happen. SO JUST WHAT IS THIS FOREVER HOME? It’s New Life Animal Sanctuary and as their website (a work in progress) explains, they are a haven exclusively devoted to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals saved from laboratories. This ground-breaking effort offers a permanent...
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,...
Charged! For standing on the right side of the law

Charged! For standing on the right side of the law

The day ended with a face-off. There were two groups who sat in front of a judge waiting for a ruling. At both tables were two college professors and a lawyer. But the groups could not have been more different. Two were best friends whose lives have been dedicated to teaching and activism. Next to them a lawyer taking fifteen cases pro-bono to advocate for free speech and justice. At the other table, spouses whose careers have been based on repetitious experiments that use live animals as their tools. Next to them a University of Minnesota lawyer, who takes whatever job is thrown at him by the University. Two tables full of privilege—everyone was white, everyone had advanced degrees, everyone was making ends meet and then some—but in the end, two of those professors lost their first amendment right to advocate for justice because the other two had more power—more money on their side, professorships dedicated to experimentation (not teaching), and actively participating in the old boys’ network. At this point tensions were high. The vivisectors had attempted to keep restraining order in place against seven activists and Progress for Science for protesting near their home on public property. Activists had already prevailed; five had the restraining order lifted in court that day. However, the campaign organizers remained. How they got to be in this position is a story of the “good old boys’ network” hard at work. Background. Progress for Science and activists in Minnesota have been stymied by criminal charges and restraining order, all surrounding protest of the research of Marilyn Carroll Santi[1]. Marilyn Carroll’s husband, Peter...
What’s in (Peter) Santi Claus’s Sack?: A Gag Order

What’s in (Peter) Santi Claus’s Sack?: A Gag Order

By Kim Socha, Ph.D. Marilyn Carroll, the Cruella de Vil of vivisectors, has been the focus of people opposed to animal experimentation since as early as 1986. Her work at the University of Minnesota includes such egregious abuses of nonhuman lives and tax-payer dollars that even the popular media—not only these “wacky” animal liberation activists—have made her work the focus of their critiques. By her side through the years is a lesser known but equally callous vivisector: Peter Santi of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He is Marilyn Carroll’s husband, fellow animal abuser, and, with the assistance of the state, exploiter of the U.S. Constitution. (And as an aside, can you imagine their dinner conversations? “What did you do at work today, honey?” Yikes!) Activists with Progress for Science (P4S) are embroiled in legal issues with the Carroll/Santi vivisector duo, which you can read about here. Within these visits to the courthouse, a disturbing prohibition has been leveled against two activists in that they are not allowed to even mention the name “Peter Santi” in any public communications. This is, without doubt, a fully unconstitutional rejection of the supposed foundation of U.S. democratic society: freedom of speech. Those who profit from animal abuse want to do so in secret, lest the public becomes enraged by their actions. They want to make their livings tormenting monkeys and chinchillas without any accountability. For compassionate humans, it boggles the mind. They torture other species day in and day out but fight the inconvenience of anti-vivisection neighborhood outreach in their wealthy lakeside community. They are not bothered...