has always been one of the hardest issues to campaign against. Most vivisection
is government funded so people can't "boycott" it unless they are willing
to risk arrest for tax evasion. The public have been misled by the slick, glossy
propaganda of our opponents that says animal research works; and many institutions
that partake in vivisection can easily ignore public outcry because they continue
to get white coat welfare from Capitol Hill. And to them, as long as the money
rolls in, who cares what the people think? However, vivisection is far from invincible
and we must find its weak spots and attack.
Vivisection protests often
consist of pickets outside of a monolithic brick and concrete building that looks
as strong as Fort Knox. During these protests, the sadists of science sit smugly
in the building, protected by their fortress. They can easily ignore the protest
and continue their butchery, although sometimes they will come to the windows
to joke with their colleagues about us.
Now, the protest might help educate
some people if it gets media coverage, and it certainly is better than doing nothing,
but by and large, you have to ask yourself, what can we do to be more effective?
One possible answer is "micro-targeting". Instead of targeting
the "institution", you reduce your focus to the smallest possible component.
In this case, that would mean an individual vivisector.
Let's face it,
the animals never get a break, so why should those people who imprison, mutilate,
and murder animals get one? We need to stop protesting outside of the torture
labs, and start protesting the vivisectors homes! They need to be held personally
accountable for their barbarity.
Print up literature specific to the vivisector
you target. Be sure to include their home and work address, phone and fax number
on it. Distribute this literature to their neighbors. Hold vigils and protests
outside of their home. Get photographs of the vivisector to use on any literature,
posters, or t-shirts you make up. Circulate the posters and literature everywhere.
If you do this, you can bet that the vivisectors will now sit up and take
notice. And these protests won't just impact the targeted vivisector, but all
of them and the institution as well. Because once one vivisector is intensely
targeted, the other vivisectors start wondering if they will be next, and they
clamor to the higher-ups to "do something about those protesters!" The
institution then needs to take measures to ease their researchers concerns. This
typically includes increasing security, which ups their costs. However, increasing
security at work does nothing to allay the paranoid fears of the vivisectors because
they are being targeted at their homes! So the vivisection institution needs to
protect their homes or risk alienating their workers.
All of this has happened
at the University of Minnesota, where concerned citizens have protested the home
of Marilyn Carroll -- a researcher who starves primates to 85% of their body weight
and addicts them to cocaine, PCP and other drugs using food rewards. One day after
the home protest the Institutional Officer for the Animal Care and Use Program
e-mailed a message to the deans, faculty, directors, department heads, chancellors
and the President of the University warning them about "animal rights activity"
(see "University E-mail") Later an e-mail was sent explaining their
increased security measures (see "E-mail Update: Security Measures Taken").
Obviously, these vivisector visits have made an impact!
And because vivisectors
like to play victim, they often exaggerate or make up ludicrous claims about what
protesters have done. On e-mails posted on vivisection list-servers, it has been
claimed that activists "egged" her home (presumably with egg-replacer),
threatened to burn down her house, and -- I kid you not -- kill her dog! Despite
the fact that these allegations are untrue, they have been circulated far and
wide both inside and outside of the University. These rumors inevitably filter
down to the up-and-coming medical students, influencing them to steer clear of
becoming a vivisector, instead opting to join a less controversial field.
individual vivisectors at their home and work is one of the most effective ways
to combat vivisection. It takes little effort, but it affects the vivisector,
their institution, and discourages potential vivisectors. I hope all activists
add this tactic to their arsenal so that one day the labs will be emptied!
Vivisector: Marilyn Carroll Santi
Victims: Rhesus monkeys
and rats used in drug addiction experiments
Cost to Taxpayers: Over $4 million
Address: 621 Park Ave, Mahtomedi, MN 55115
Home Phone: (612) 426-4603
Office Phone: (612) 626-6289 or (612) 624-8935
Fax: (612) 624-8935
Employer: Nils Hasselmo, President's Office, University
of Minnesota 202 Morrill Hall, Church St., Minneapolis, MN 55455. ph: (612) 626-1616