World Week demonstrations go ape
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1997:
Rowdy World Week for Laboratory Animals protests made headlines
in four nations––but only the April 25 sledgehammering of a steel
baboon cage at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa seemed
to draw broad public sympathy. Isaac Mavundla, 16, struck the first blow
after spending 17 days inside the cage to publicize cruel experiments.
The London Daily Telegraph and London Times headlines on April
21 read, respectively, “Pro-animal activists smash family home” and
“Mother and two children cower as house is stormed,” after brick-and-bottlehurling
hooded demonstrators the previous day broke just about everything
that could be broken and extensively vandalized the family car at the residence
of Consort Kennels manager Adam Little, 30, his wife Alison, 28,
four-year-old son Lawrence, and seven-month-old daughter Amber. Consort
Kennels breeds beagles for laboratory use. Adam Little was at the kennels at
the time, beseiged by about 250 demonstrators who managed to take one
puppy, later recovered, before police cleared the scene with tear gas. One
officer was knocked unconscious, several others were injured, and 24
demonstrators were arrested.
Later the same day, 32 protesters were arrested for various offenses
including vandalism in a protest led by In Defense of Animals at the
University of California in Davis. IDA staffer Cres Vellucci accused riot
police of beating demonstrators. Neither Associated Press nor the
Sacramento Bee reported seeing supporting evidence.
About 30 members and supporters of the Wellington Animal
Action Group burned a laboratory technician in effigy, also to largely negative
reaction, on April 24 outside the Malaghan Institute of Medical
Research in Wellington, New Zealand.
The week of confrontation ended with the arrest of as many as 70
demonstrators on April 27 at an IDA-led protest outside the Yerkes Regional
Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta. Allegedly trying to
batter their way inside, demonstrators reportedly slammed a barricade
through the back windshield of DeKalb County Police Chief Robert Burgess’
cruiser, and stole police equipment. One officer was treated for inhaling tear
gas fired at the protesters. Several demonstrators claimed minor injuries.