Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Rats! Animal activists keep up the harassment, says UC Berkeley

By kbender
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at 12:50 pm in Uncategorized.

Three months ago, the Oakland Tribune ran a story about UC-Berkeley’s hope to get a restraining order against animal rights activists accused of harassing university animal lab researchers _ at their homes.

Since that March story, the weekly attacks on more than a dozen researcher’s homes have continued. “It really hasn’t changed. They are there once a weekend,” said university spokesman Robert Sanders Wednesday.

Reading Matier and Ross at the top of SF Gate this morning one might think this harassment is something new. “Officials have been trying to keep the protests quiet, in part out of concern that publicity will only cause more incidents and an escalation in violence. At UCLA, animal rights protests have included attempted firebombings and one instance in which a researcher’shome was flooded with a garden hose,” the SF Gate story says.

“Looking at the numbers, it’s pretty clear that keeping things quiet in the press hasn’t toned down the protesters much. It’s just as clear, however, that the protesters aren’t reaching their goals, either,” the SF Gate story says.

The group, which calls itself Stop UC Berkeley Vivisection, began showing up at the homes of UC-Berkeley researchers in the East Bay on weekends last fall.

UC Berkeley clearly wants to put an end to the harassment _ but it’s not easy.

“We don’t have enough to go to court with a restraining order and since they wear masks it’s hard to identify who they are,” Sanders said Wednesday.

 The group claims that more than 40,000 non-human animals are housed on the UC Berkeley campus for research purposes. Roughly 50 percent are mice, 40 percent are cold-blooded animals, 9 percent are other rodents, such as voles and wild mice, while the remaining 1 percent are  primates, cats, coyotes, hyenas, ferrets, rabbits, and invertebrates.

 The activists usually show up with bullhorns late at night, and call the researchers murderers and torturers. They have broken flowerpots and used chalk to write demeaning messages on sidewalks outside the homes, police said. Cars have also been vandalized. Earlier this month, Sanders tells us, someone threw a rock through a researcher’s home window and the window of a nearby neighbor during the day. No one was injured.

San Francisco FBI Special Agent Joseph Schadler has said the FBI is working with police, and has sent agents to UC-Santa Cruz following an attempted home invasion of a biomedical researcher there in February. He could not say whether the events in the East Bay and Santa Cruz are related.


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4 Responses to “Rats! Animal activists keep up the harassment, says UC Berkeley”

  1. Dick Says:

    Check out the campaign for the website in opposition to UC Berkeley vivisection, where 40,000 non-human animals are being exploited in the name of theoretical research:

    Get the other side of the story, before trusting the lies of UCB spokesman Robert Sanders, who has compared animal rights activists to Al-Qaeda

  2. Vix Says:

    Keep up the great work against the vivisectors. They are honestly monsters! This is so pleasing that so many people care enough to show up and show that animals are not ours to use and abuse. There is no *science* in what these human animals are doing to the defenseless animals who live in a HELL 24 hours 7 days a week.

  3. BlQ Says:

    This anti-vivisection movement has exposed radical animal-rights protesters at UCB to be just as reactionary as their “pro-life” counterparts on the right.

    Researchers are being harassed, plain and simple. They are being harassed on account of some inflammatory propaganda, full of overblown statistics and “facts” pulled out of thin air.

    I do support independent media, and I am certainly not a pro-torture, right-wing shill. However–and I address the protesters when I say this–DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH ON THE ISSUES (that means even perhaps calling or e-mailing the “monsters” you decry, and checking the veracity of these torture allegations yourself) before you go ruining others’ lives.

  4. Jenny Says:

    This is absolutely stupid. These animal-rights protesters are doing contradictory works that violates their own envisioning of a world without torture. Use of violence (such as firebomb) to reduce animal torturing is plain stupid and non-sense.

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