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Activists prevent University of Washington lab construction


An animal rights activist, Oliver McCaughran has climbed onto a hydraulic lift and chained himself to the machinery to prevent ongoing work on the construction of an Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF) at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. A second, unidentified activist is up there with him. The pair are part of the “No New Animal Lab” campaign being waged by animal rights activists against the university.

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They have unfurled a banner announcing to the university and construction company, Skanksa USA, that “You Will Not Build This Lab”. This event comes after months of escalation which have seen activists protest in front of official’ homes, disrupt meetings and attempt to sue to the Board of Regents.

According to UW Police, both individuals are trespassing, though it is not clear what course of action the police will take.

Quoted in the Seattle Times, Dave Anderson, executive director of UW’s Health Sciences Administration (who has seen protests outside his home), said:

“From our perspective and experience, it’s solely an intimidation tactic […] There’s just no way an intimidation tactic like that is going to move us off our current commitments to get this building built.”

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In May 2015, No New Animal Lab campaign held a noisy protest at the UW campus, culminating in the occupation of Gerberding Hall where they barged into the UW President's Office. It should be noted that most of the activists were not students. According to the Seattle Times, the campaign has links with Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), the Bunny Alliance, and PETA.