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News :: Environment : Globalization : Human Rights : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare
Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
On Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, April 30 members of animal rights groups such as The Animal Defense League of Boston (ADL), The Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition (MARC) and Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) marched, rallied, chanted and otherwise expressed their disdain for the animal experimentation that happens with help from their tax dollars in their own home state.

viv·i·sec·tion - n. -The act or practice of cutting into or otherwise injuring living animals, especially for the purpose of scientific research. [from dictionary.com]

Harvard Medical School's "New England Regional Primate Research Center" or NERPRC was the focus of these protests although many universities and private companies in Massachusetts experiment on animals, including M.I.T., Tufts University, and Charles River Laboratories.
The NERPRC is located in Southborough, Massachusetts in a wooded area on a secluded road far away from travelled roads and the general public. It is surrounded by much land and many trees decorated with "No Trespassing" signs. Security cameras, gates and yellow lines on the ground marking the property keep unwelcome guests from approaching the building where primates are experimented on. This was the location of the protest on Saturday, April 30 where protestors brought attention to the fact that there are primates being tested on nearby. When a member of The Animal Defense League of Boston shouted to a passing jogger, "Did you know they test on primates in there?" he responded "Yeah, it's creepy." When a woman driving by spotted the activists' signs she stopped abruptly and backed up to ask questions because she and her children had heard rumors of animal research happening up the hill, but had trouble finding out information to confirm that it was true. She showed concern and accepted brochures from the activists stating that she was going to look into the issue and communicate with her friends and neighbors who she mentioned were also concerned.

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On Saturday, April 16, a group of thirty anti-vivisection activists from ADL and MARC gathered at M.I.T.'s Rogers Building at 77 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. They marched up Massachusetts Avenue, accompanied by seven Cambridge police escorts on bicycles. Holding banners and signs and chanting slogans like "Vivisection is a lie, how many animals have to die?" and "One Struggle, One Fight, Human Freedom, Animal Rights!" the long line of people was witnessed by hundreds of Cambridge residents and others passing by. They marched through Central Square, past Cambridge City Hall and then 40-50 activists rallied for hours at Johnson Gate in front of Harvard University, across from the Harvard Square subway station, a short distance from William James Hall where animal research takes place.

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A recent article in the online version of The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University's daily newspaper, quotes Harvard College Professor Marc D. Hauser (who's laboratory is in William James Hall) as stating, "We are very open about what we do in the lab, which is non-invasive behavioral work. Our website makes clear what we do and where we are and so there are no secrets." [http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=507449]

Helen Rayshick of MARC wrote by email, "We know that researchers at the William James Halls labs are using animals in invasive experiments. For example, recently Dr. Ken Nakayama implanted coils in the eyes of macaque monkeys and implanted headposts into their brains. He then restricted fluids and used the animals' need for water to get them to comply and perform. Nakayama also used primate chairs for these experiments, and the animals' heads were fixed in place. He also performed craniotomies, penetrated through the dura mater with electrodes, and affixed recording chambers to the animals' skulls. For more information see:
http://visionlab.harvard.edu/Members/Ken/Ken%20papers%20for%20web%20page;

Mrs. Rayshick adds "We consider this to be egregiously cruel, especially when done to our closest genetic relatives, the primates."

Boston Indymedia spoke with Stephanie of the ADL. "We are here to let Harvard know that there are many people who are concerned with their treatment of animals in labs, paid for by our taxes! Tests are being done over and over again, non-human primates are addicted to heroin and cocaine, the mortality rate of infant primates is 55% because of forced abortions and diseases. It's gone on far too long, and Harvard needs to shut their vivisection labs down, and lead us in medical advancements without the use of animals."

Steve Rayshick of MARC stated, "We feel the benefits of animal experimentation are greatly exaggerated by the multi-billion dollar industry that profits from it. The actual use of animals is increasing even though there are multiple alternatives to replace animal research. It is brutal, and often times pointless. Dr. Leo Pine, a microbiologist at The National Institutes of Health and Center for Disease Control, started his career as a vivisector, quit, and is responsible for a number of key developments in science, such as ways to culture bacteria. Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic is also opposed to animal research."

Another protester, Robyn Flynn, who is confined to a wheelchair after a car accident stated emotionally, "If someone told me that by testing on animals I would walk again, I would tell them not to bother."

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April was a busy month for Massachusetts animal rights activists, in addition to fighting for animals in laboratories they fought for animals in circuses as well as ducks and geese who are force-fed to produce foie gras. On Saturday, April 30, MARC members were providing leaflets at Boston's Harch Shell event "Earthfest" to educate environmentalists about the connection between meat-eating and the devastation of the earth. On Sunday, May 1, ADL members will be pointing out the connection between the worker's rights movement and the animal rights movement at the May Day Rally in Copley Square, Boston. Working in a slaughterhouse is considered an extremely dangerous job, possibly the most dangerous in America, and a majority of slaughterhouse workers are undocumented immigrants who are severely exploited in these jobs.

"All social change agendas are rooted with the parallel goal of liberation and equality, and it's amazing to see these struggles tied together right here in Boston," said Stephanie of the ADL, "The only way to progress is to join forces with your local allies, keep the pressure on, and get involved."

********************************************

9 minute audio documentary with related story by Homefries:

Your browser does not support embedded sound files. <a href="http://boston.indymedia.org/usermedia/audio/2/35982_1629-1-20050417-labs-demonstration.mp3">Download the file.</a>


also available at:
http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=12061

********************************************

Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition
http://massachusettsanimalrights.com/

Animal Defense League, Boston Chapter
http://www.animaldefense.info/boston/

Stop Animal Exploitation Now!
http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/

"A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation" Website
http://www.mrmcmed.org/Critcv.html

Harvard Medical School's New England Regional Primate Research Center
http://www.hms.harvard.edu/nerprc/

Harvard University's Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~mnkylab/

World Week for Animals in Laboratories Website
http://wwail.org/

World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week Website
http://www.all-creatures.org/wlalw/index.html

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See also:
http://www.animaldefense.info/boston/
http://massachusettsanimalrights.com/

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
AR activism is still for yuppies. sorry.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
that comment above is bogus. what have you done lately for ANY social change progress? i agree that it's a shame that not more liberal-minded activists take part in animal rights in Boston nor see the connection between other social change agendas, but it's a very progressive movement worldwide, with many levels of activism from legistaltion work to actual liberation. denouncing a hard working movement by calling it a "yuppie movement" just shows that you have not been paying attention, and are all too eager to speak about something that you don't have revelance nor facts!
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
It's a question of priorities. We have genocide happening in our world today. Human slavery still exists. A large fraction of the world's population lives in extreme poverty.

There are a million and one better things to spend our time on than impeding scientific research for the sake of a few animals.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
It's true that there are so many horrible events happening in our society to all animals in general, billions more numbered non-human animals than human-animals. Spreading yourself too thin is not going to save the world. Because one chooses her/his specific battles, does not mean they don't also agree with/fight other battles as well. I hope you are out there on the streets fighting against genocide, human slavery, and poverty as your priorities, instead of just complaining about someone else's choice actions of progress from your computer. See you on the streets, asshole!
Power to You All!
02 May 2005
it sounds to me that the opposition to this cause, as stated before, is not informed about animal issues and struggles. it's not just a few animals dying to vivisection, it's millions. it's cats and dogs and domesticated animals, too. and it's also because of poverty, that people capture animals from their habitats and sell them to researchers. i see the connection. thank you for being the voice when others refuse to!
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
"Because one chooses her/his specific battles, does not mean they don't also agree with/fight other battles as well."

Well said.
Build Bridges Instead of Wasting Energy Putting Up Walls
02 May 2005
When we decide that the interests of one groups are more important than the interests of another, we are using the most basic logic of the oppressor. It is a logic that is antithetical to all justice movements

It is entirely possible to support human and animal liberation at the same time. One does not cancel another out. We do not need to be divided further by wasting our energies trying to prove that a certain group is The Most Important Victim. There is enough justice and compassion to go around for everybody, human or non. To believe otherwise is a fallacy. Compassion is not a limited resource, it is like a muscle which gets bigger every time we use it.

Furthermore, so much work now has been done which shows the intersections of human and animal oppressions, and it is something that all of us would benefit from reading about.

Build productive bridges which make all of our movements bigger instead of putting up counterproductive walls. We will never stop creating "others" and oppressed groups in society if we can't stop "othering" and repressing one another's movements.

Good work at this protest, everybody.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
clearly boston indymedia has its priorities straight.
(sarcasm)
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
Last time I checked, anarchism meant opposition to all forms of oppression. It took nearly a century for womyns liberation to be accepted and incorporated into the anarchist struggle, while many so-called anarchists were saying much the same thing as "." is above: "workers struggle should take immediate precedence over womans struggle because it's more fundamental, thus we can ignore the oppression of women." This is bullshit, and anyone professing that today would (rightly) be called a sectarian party-communist or a sexist. Yet these sentiments are still widely accepted when it comes to the oppression of animals, while literally millions of animals die every day because of capitalism. The question is, when will foux-revolutionaries give up their false pretenses to the name "anarchism" and actually fight for what it means, fight against all forms of oppression?
Anarchism is always in transition, it is never a stagnant force. Will animal liberation continue to be incorporated into the anarchist struggle, in spite of forces of reaction? I'd like to think so.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
while i too would rather spend my time working on other causes, i think that this is a very valid cause and that a big difference could be made if animal testing was stopped- even at just a few facilities it would make a difference. it's pretty sick if you think about it, that we just assume that people rule the world and we can do whatever we want with animals. the idea that those in power can do what they want is what we need to do away with- that means realizing that we aren't free to exploit the environment, animals, or each other. i wouldn't argue that a human life and an animal life are equal, but animal testing is SO extremely unnecessary and inhumane. these struggles are interconnected because we want a more conscious society- realize where your products are from, whether its a free trade sweatshop or was tested on animals.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
No matter what form of political process one "does" animal activism with, the cause as a whole will always be plagued by liberals, because it's the ultimate form of liberal "advocacy" politics--the objects of charity literally cannot speak for themselves. Wealthy and middle-class liberals who for therapeutic reasons want to help people of color, working class people, etc., etc. run headlong into the fact that the would-be "objects" of their charitable activism are rude enough to call them on their bullshit and question their leadership and prioritization, and then drift to animal activism because animals can't do the same. No matter how many people "do" animal liberation for better reasons, their cause will always be plagued by these self-centered flakes.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
02 May 2005
"I hope you are out there on the streets fighting against genocide, human slavery, and poverty as your priorities, instead of just complaining about someone else's choice actions of progress from your computer. See you on the streets, asshole!"

At the end of the day, I know I've saved and improved human lives. You're waving a sign. Big fucking deal.

What's worse is that you're being self-righteous about it and hold yourself above criticism. So. I'll sit behind my computer and complain again:

You're accomplishing nothing. You're not helping anything. You're hurting people by impeding research without offering viable alternatives.

Someone who knew what the fuck they were talking about would develop simulation models or tissue cultures that would make vivisection obsolete. Instead, you stand on a corner holding a sign and yelling at people.

Way to go, sporto.
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
03 May 2005
To those who think that scientific research is being impeded by activists who care about animals - it might interest you to know that modern vivisection has existed since the 1840's and that today, over 160 years later, not a single cure has been effected for a single disease. This is significant failure. The reason for this lies in the fact that animals are different from us biologically and physiologically; and that artificially creating a disease like ours in an animal is not the same as naturally arising disease. We oppose animal research for practical as well as ethical reasons, ie, it doesn't work. Also,
over a hundred million animals a year are experimented on worldwide, not just a few.
I found the comments of the person who thinks that people who try to help others, whether human or animal, are self-centered flakes. I thought the opposite was true.
sorry, i think you all missed my point which was my fault
03 May 2005
while i obviously support liberation, harmony and respect among all living things, i don't believe the AR movement is advancing the world in this direction. for most AR activists there is no critique of capitalism or industrialism, or of the links between the worldview that objectifies non-human sentient beings as resources and test subjects, and the objectification of women, indigenous peoples, the two-thirds world, et cetera. peta for instance are staunch supporters of corporate capitalism. the AR movement is a single-issue fad for consumerist yuppies and the more i see of them the more i become convinced there are only a tiny handful of people involved in it who have any deeper radical analysis or comprehension. sorry.

next time you're buying soymilk at a union-busting supermarket, just think of the wild ecosystems that were replaced with monocultured soybeans, and the trucks burning oil that brought it up to boston from california, and the fact that you sold an hour of your life to pay for it, and etc etc etc.
Solid@rity
03 May 2005
"Doing something to someone else's body, without their consent, for personal satisfaction or gain, is immoral and must be stopped."
-Pattrice Jones (Ecofeminist, Animal-Liberation Activist, Chicken Sanctuary facilitator, Author in "Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?") And probably the most AMAZING activist I've ever met.

This statement holds true to the oppression of Animals, Womyn, workers, co-workers, slaves, immigrants, friends, GLBT, lovers, children, (etc.) the connection of our society and the struggles we face as a whole.

Besides the few that have a lot to say, but are taking no actions, we've seen more solid@rity in the comments of this site than we've seen in the actual fight for animal liberation here in Boston. Thank you for the support! Once again, though, we're not out there for us, we ARE saving lives. We've witnessed labs close down because of dedicated activists, we've seen people go veg/vegan because of activist outreach, we personally know vivisectors whose changed their minds, we've seen a huge growth in the movement in the last few years. Change happens through education. And if not us, who?

I support anyone that takes the inniciative to act out and fight for a cause that they believe in their own hearts to be most worthwhile (unless, of course, you're a fascist, racist, sexist, speciest, and other oppressive -ists.) I don't support others that take on an elitist stance to point out mere weaknesses in movements MEANWHILE doing NOTHING to contribute to the cause nor offering any suggestions or solutions. No movement will ever be perfect to everyone. Actions speak louder than words, and that's why people take to the streets in protest, including anti-vivisection doctors, researchers, educators, biologists, etc. who have dedicated their lives to producing alternatives.

Just this one string of events provoked reaction, whether it be good feedback or not, the issue is still the morality of vivisection, and we are still talking about it! That one march- by the way- is not the only actions we take in our outreach in education.
BUT...
If you'd like to know more about the animal liberation movement, have questions, can offer worthwhile/meaningful/progressive suggestions, know who we support and don't (i.e.-peta- using sexist tactics to promote veganism- replacing one -ism with another), want to get involved, OR attend one of our bi-weekly workshops in social change connections and tactics, get in touch with the collective Boston Animal Defense League.
Solid@rity and Great Job Comrades!
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
03 May 2005
I agree with Legind. Seems like the basic disagreement happening here is a social v. natural outlook. One world: all things are connected in nature--humans and animals and plants and land and water. Fighting against oppression of one aids in the fight against oppression of the next.
pfft
03 May 2005
because i criticized your clique that means i don't do any activism? wow. also i don't know about "mere weaknesses", fundamental flaws is more like it in my opinion. it is awesome that there are AR types who see the connections and work on more than one issue. unfortunately lots don't. vegan capitalist consumers are still capitalist consumers and capitalism is still fucking evil!
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
04 May 2005
yah and yer still on your capitalist produced computer x....

jeesh most vegans i know are poor , working class, or middle class (read: edjucated workers who have reached middle age) people. Then i guess i dont know all that many yuppies. But from my experience the "yuppie" vegans are not the animal liberationist demonstrators.
So first commenter feck off. and oh snap your the last jack ass too. SOmeone forgot his beef eh?

So again explain to me how stopping up scientist techno crat bastards of babylon is "yuppy". THEY are yuppies they work for fuckin harvard and i guarentee they aint pushin no broom.

Animal testing is faulty and idiotic. It kills and just doesnt help. Can you say thalidomide.

Yah.... and there arent any self centered flakes in the union movement or anti glob or ect ect focused on humans. ... ahahahahahah fucking hillarious.
(while i concede your point that AR my have an easier appeal for these people.) Having said that the most dedicated anarchists i meet are allways animal lib too.
There is no fuckin movent for class war in this country . Just a bunch of fringe groups looking to get the vast majority of working people in this country to give up their bread and circus.

Fuck who cares about the war in IRaq the sox won the pennant. !

So bottom fucking line! here it is .
ONE STRUGGLE ONE FIGHT ANIMAL LIBERATION HUMAN RIGHTS! They are mutualy complimentary not mutual exclusive or contradictory. So get off it and start fighting for someone and stop tearing down those who put forth time to make a change.

What would ever fucking happen if we actually got a workers movement that threatened capitalists off the ground. The vast majority rank n file would be alienated and discouraged by our fuckin professional class war anoks till it died.

nuff said! CLASS WAR AND ANIMAL LIBERATION NOW
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
04 May 2005
xxxx says: "the AR movement is a single-issue fad for consumerist yuppies and the more i see of them the more i become convinced there are only a tiny handful of people involved in it who have any deeper radical analysis or comprehension."

I'd rather actually be fighting against oppression instead of arguing pointlessly on indymedia, but there's something of a clarification that should be made. What 'xxxxx' is saying, is that since some advocates of animal liberation lack a radical social analysis of capitalism, the animal liberation movement supports capitalism or a particular consumerism. Certainly, there are advocates of gay liberation that lack such a radical social analysis. Assuming that xxxx is a resonable person, and she applies the same criteria, then since there's a large number of gay liberationists that lack a radical social analysis, (not to mention buying into gay marketing) gay liberation must be counter-revolutionary. I mean, the Gay Business association proves it, right? Well, there's a fair share of anti-sexists who also lack class consciousness. Therefore, womyn liberationists must be counter-revolutionary too. How about anti-racists? Most of them are counter-revolutionary too, according to xxxx.

The struggle against the oppression that capitalism wreaks upon the animals is still relatively new, and so there are elements of the anticapitalist movement which still have their heads stuck in the sand and havn't developed a critique of animal oppression. (read: most sectarian parties and even some so-called anarchists) So it's time to say "fuck them" and ignore them. They're a dieing breed anyway. Let the dinosaurs die of analytical old age, and let the new, true anarchist see the light of day!
Lessons from the Abolishionists
04 May 2005
If you're motivating a cause- your goal is to change minds that don't agree with you, or at least give them the information to make an educated decision on what to support- products to use and boycott.

by the movement attracting so called "yuppies" and others, the movement is actually achieving their goal by bringing in those outside the "-ultra left-PC-movement-" who are mostly all vegans and animal liberationists anyway.

ablolitionists weren't trying to convince themselves, they were trying to reach everyone else. the only way to abolish slavery in america was to bring the issue to all walks of life- politicians, lawyers, soldiers- "the yuppies" of the 1850s. slavery wasn't abolished by convincing other abolishers, who already knew the issues.

to create a change on a major level, one must educate and convince enough people to change the tide of public opinion. a movement is successful when they have activists of all "social classes", "economic structures," students, squatters, mothers, lawyers, doctors- and are seeing results.

i find it hilarious talking down on the "yuppies" taking action because they're not anarchists- mostly because where are all the active anarchists in the animal liberation movement in boston? there's like 4! and i've seen those "4" at other support rallies and events too.
the most successful animal liberation movements in bigger cities-NYC,-SF-, are packed with anarchists, and "non-anarchists."

maybe it is we who are falling behind
whos not doing their homework?!
04 May 2005
yeah- i find this is fucking funny because we know the organizers of this anti-vivsection march-the (A)DL- and they just marched in the anti-capitalism march and stood in support of the pro-immigrants rally
so keep talking your shit- i;m pretty sure no one cares anyway
Re: Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
11 Dec 2005
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha