Primate Liberation Week Gateway to Hell Actions From Around the World

For Primate Liberation Week this year Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) collaborated with The Bunny Alliance and Gateway to Hell to organize a global week of action dedicated to ending primate experimentation, and resulted in over 20 actions against airlines that transport animals to laboratories and the most active Primate Liberation Week to date.

For a more detailed report back on the goals of Primate Liberation  Week check out the article on the Earth First! Newswire.

ABX Air – ATSG – DHL Actions

ABX Air, a subsidiary of the Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) , is the only known air cargo carrier that is transporting primates from China and South East Asia to research laboratories in the USA. So far this year ABX Air are known to have transported thousands of innocent animals to their deaths, and despite a significant campaign against them they refuse to change their policy to transport these animals.

ABX Air‘s main business is transporting cargo for DHL, the major international cargo company, and more than half of ABX Air‘s aircraft are painted with DHL‘s colours.

DHL has the power to stop ABX Air‘s animal transports, considering they are responsible for over half of all of ABX Air‘s business, so we are demanding that DHL either use their influence to force ABX Air to cease these animal transports or that they end their working relationship with ABX Air.

Primate Liberation week kicked off on October 11th with a demonstration outside the home of Air Transport International (ATI) Vice President John Vestal. ATI is a part of the ATSG air group, sharing a corporate office with ABX Air and ATSG companies, where Vestal has a direct influence over ATSG and ABX Air policies. Activists from all over the country joined The Bunny Alliance at Vestal’s home, letting his neighbors and the local sheriffs know what kind of business Vestal runs, profiting off the death of thousands of primates a year.

Demonstration at the home of John Vestal, VP of ATI.
Demonstration at the home of John Vestal, VP of ATI.

The home demonstration took place during SAEN’s Free the Animals Conference, which also included a large protest at the world headquarters of ATSG/ ABX Air in Wilmington, OH on Monday October 18th. (Full report back from the conference here)

ATSG/ ABX Air World Headquarters in Wilmington, Oh
ATSG/ ABX Air World Headquarters in Wilmington, Oh

In Zurich, Switzerland activists dropped a banner exposing the relationship between DHL and ATSG on the 13th, followed by a banner drop on the 19th over the Freeway leading to the Hamburg Airport in Germany.

Banner Drop near Hamburg Airport against DHL/ ATSG and Air France/ KLM.
Banner Drop near Hamburg Airport against DHL/ ATSG and Air France/ KLM.
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

On October 16th The Bunny Alliance teamed up with Empty Cages LA and Progress for Science to hold three demonstrations in

DHL office in Los Angeles, CA
DHL office in Los Angeles, CA

Southern California against DHL and ABX Air. The day started off with a protest outside of the DHL office in Los Angeles where activists spoke out against DHL’s relationship with ABX Air with bullhorns and a banner that read “DHL & ABX Kill Monkeys!”

Postal Annex in Irvine, CA
Postal Annex in Irvine, CA

Activists then held an outreach event at a DHL Authorized shipping center in Irvine where the owner of the Postal Annex expressed that he loves animals and will be contacting DHL about their involvement in animal experimentation, assuring us that hardly anyone ships with DHL out of his business. After talking with an overwhelmingly supportive public, activists went to the DHL Worldwide Express office in Irvine where the manager refused to speak with anyone about DHL’s policies and business relationships.

DHL Worldwide Express Office in Irvine, CA
DHL Worldwide Express Office in Irvine, CA

In San Francisco activists took to the streets for their second protest at the San Francisco DHL office  where they hand delivered a letter Banner SF DHL Demoto DHL employees expressing why protesters all over the world are targeting DHL and ABX Air, along with information about the primate trade. Activists greeted DHL drivers as they returned from making their deliveries for the day where many slowed down to read our signs – they’ll soon get to know them by heart as activists plan to be a regular presence at DHL in San Francisco.
DHL group shotIn the Pacific North West activists spoke out against DHL with outreach events in Seattle and Portland. On the 18th The Bunny Alliance leafleted outside of The Home Office, a DHL Authorized Shipping Center, while Portland Animal Liberation and Portland Animal Welfare Advocates leafleted outside of The Postal Annex to supportive individuals passing by.

Settle event at DHL Authorized Shipping Center.
Settle event at DHL Authorized Shipping Center.
PAL/ PAWA event at DHL Authorized Shipping Center
PAL/ PAWA event at DHL Authorized Shipping Center

The message across the world is clear, as long as ABX Air transports animals to labs DHL will be held responsible. Join activists around the world next month for a weekend of action against DHL and ABX Air on November 15th and 16th and organize an event in your city today!
dhlweekendofaction1

Air France – KLM – Delta Air Lines Actions

Air France is the leading commercial airline  that continues to transport primates, dogs, cats, and other animals to laboratories around the world. Global pressure against them is increasing with new organizations popping up nearly monthly to take action against the transport of Animals to labs, holding protest and outreach events against Air France, their subsidiary KLM, and their North American Representatives Delta Air Lines.

On October 11th Chattahoochee Earth First! organized a protest at10696412_1500470710208966_4069177377555585746_n the home of Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines, with a clear message that he will be held personally responsible for Delta’s involvement with Air France and Animal Experimentation. Multiple demonstrations have already occurred  outside of Anderson’s house because Delta helps to schedule and book Air France flights that are transporting primates to North America, directly profiting off of the animal testing industry.

Outside of Delta CEO Richard Anderson's house
Outside of Delta CEO Richard Anderson’s house
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San Diego Airport

 Protest also occurred across the North America at airports with Empty Cages Los Angeles and Progress for Science holding an event at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX on October 11th while the Ottawa Animal Defense League held a protest against Delta and Air France in Canada. Progress for Science also organized a protest against Delta Air Lines and Air France at the Minneapolis Airport  on the 12th and activists held an event at the Delta Terminal of the San Diego Airport in California on October 18th. Following the DHL protest in San Francisco Activists held a protest at the International Terminal of the San Francisco International Terminal speaking out against Delta and Air France.

combined p4s
Left- Minneapolis, Right – Los Angeles

 

Ottawa Airport in Canada
Ottawa Airport in Canada

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) relaunched their efforts against Air France with a huge protest on October 18th at LAX in Los Angeles, CA, bringing over 30 activists out in a display of protest and outreach that no international traveler could ignore.

LCA protest against Air France at LAX
LCA protest against Air France at LAX
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Nuremberg, Germany

In Europe activists were busy taking action against Air France/ KLM with a protest in Lyon France on the 11th organized by Air Souffrance Lyon (the full report can be seen here). On October 12th Animal Liberation Network held a protest in Hamburg Germany while Menschen für Tierrechte Nürnberg e.V. protested in Nuremberg, Germany.  Both of these demonstrations brought out dozens of activists in Germany, one of the most active countries in the Gateway to Hell Campaign. The Nuremberg event also featured an activists dressed up as a primate that was being experimented on, strapped to a restraining device, forced to endure implants into their skull, and sliced open before they “died” in a pool of blood on the Airport floor.

Lyon, France
Lyon, France
Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg, Germany
Nuremberg, Germany.
Nuremberg, Germany.

On October 19th Berlin Animal Liberation Action (Berliner Tierbefreiungsaktion – Berta ) held a protest against Air France/ KLM at the BErlin Airport while Tierrechtsgruppe Basel held a demonstration at the Basel Airport in Switzerland where they had large banners and a “primate” and “rabbit” inside a cage to show the public the conditions many animals in labs face.

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany
Basel, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland

This list of actions is just a short list of what was accomplished during a a single week of action across the world with dozens of other protests and educational events that happened at laboratories, vivisectors’ homes, universities, and breeding facilities. Actions against transportation companies and laboratories are happening every single week all over the world, and by working together we can achieve animal liberation and see and end to animal experimentation, but we need the help of the global community. This is a call to action to activists, animal lovers, environmentalists and vegans to get out into the street, make real world connections, and achieve tangible gains for animals and the Earth.   Organize today for a better and brighter to tomorrow!

Primate Liberation Week Reportback on the Earth First! Newswire

From the Earth First! Newswire:

Reportback: Primate Liberation Week

by Amanda Schemkes / Earth First! Newswire

Photo from inside SNBL lab.

For over ten years Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) has organized Primate Liberation Week, an annual week of events dedicated to pushing for the end to the use of primates in research. This year SAEN coordinated with The Bunny Alliance and Gateway to Hell to organize the biggest Primate Liberation Week yet, with 34 registered events that spanned three countries and 15 U.S. states.

Every year in the U.S. over 100,000 primates are caged in breeding facilities, quarantine facilities and the laboratories of large corporations and universities. In these labs, primates are subjected to so-called “research” that includes restraint chairs, maternal deprivation, poisoning and being cut open while conscious. The primates also often suffer from dehydration, starvation, diseases, hypothermia and being alone; many of these animals—driven insane by being away from their families and anything natural—engage in self-mutilation. To the primates, labs are a nightmare. But to those profiting off of the torture that happens in labs, the nightmare has dollar signs placed over it. Primate research is an industry of over a billion dollars a year in the U.S. alone.

Because primate research is a rich and powerful industry that fights off activists’ calls for animal liberation, we have to organize in a way that doesn’t just ask the industry to stop, but that forces it to do so. We have to pay attention to how the industry works and use that knowledge to inform our actions against it—and target the industry at its weak points. Primate Liberation Week highlighted how Gateway to Hell, The Bunny Alliance and SAEN, as well as many other activists, are effectively organizing around weak points.

Almost half of the Primate Liberation Week events plugged into the ongoing international campaign to pressure airlines to stop transporting primates to labs. Because airlines are not wholly invested in animal research as labs are, it is easier to convince them to stop flying animals to labs than it is to convince labs to stop using the animals—and campaigns against airlines have been very successful. Due to the work of the international Gateway to Hell network, Air France is the only commercial airline left that transports primates to labs, and the Air Transport Services Group (a cargo airline company) has the only remaining airlines that fly primates from Asia into the U.S. for labs. In the U.S., The Bunny Alliance launched a national campaign against Delta Air Lines (partner of Air France) and also coordinates protests and other actions against ATSG airlines. During Primate Liberation Week, activists held protests at airports, cargo offices and the homes of Delta and ATSG executives, as well as hosted letter writing and leafleting events.

Home demo at the house of John Vestal, a Vice President at Air Transport International (part of ATSG).

The other Primate Liberation Week events targeted university and private laboratories, as well as breeding and quarantine facilities, and were a reflection of the work that many groups do throughout the year to fight labs through protests, lawsuits, letter writing, and raising public awareness. SAEN works to expose the worst of the worst of what happens in labs to place the incidents in the media spotlight, have citations and fines brought against the facilities and get projects shut down. Groups across the country—such as Progress for Science, Animal Connection of Texas and Portland Animal Welfare Advocates—work locally to target labs in their communities, as well to plug into the work of broader networks such as Gateway to Hell.

While Primate Liberation Week offers a look at how activists are organizing against the primate research industry at some of its weak points, we have to also consistently look to how our campaigns change the industry and be prepared to have to organize at additional angles. For example, the repeated successes of convincing airlines to stop transporting animals to labs helped to shut down Mazor Farm, a primate breeding facility in Israel, but now as that facility approaches its January 2015 closure date, information has been released that suggests that it may be resurfacing in Florida. Mazor Farm has applied for authorization to export primates into the U.S., and one of the Mazor Farm owners is involved in building a new primate breeding facility in Florida. This facility, if completed, would be the world’s biggest primate breeding facility, able to house 14,000 primates—and it won’t have to rely on airlines to transport primates to U.S. labs as the facility in Israel has.

The news about Mazor Farm is a sad end to Primate Liberation Week, but it’s a new reality that we have to take into account when we are deciding how to most effectively organize against the primate research industry. Across the globe, activists are already working to stop the export of the primates from Mazor Farm and considering how to combat the plans for the new Florida facility. At moments like this, we have to realize that we have made a huge impact on how the primate research industry functions and it is attempting to adapt. And now we have to take on the responsibility of showing the industry that we can also adapt and find more weak points—and that we will continue to impact the industry until the only change it is able to make is to end.

The Bunny Alliance at the Free The Animals Conference

Last weekend the founders of The Bunny Alliance, Amanda Schemkes and Jordan Ezell, traveled to Cincinnati, OH, to speak at the Free The Animals Conference. Free The Animals is an annual anti-vivisection conference organized by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! that provides attendees with tools and information to be effective advocates against animal testing and other forms of animal exploitation.

Bob Ingersoll and his best friend, Nim.
Bob Ingersoll and his best friend, Nim.

The conference opened on Friday night with a screening of Project Nim. Project Nim is a powerful documentary that follows the story of Nim, a chimpanzee who was born at a primate research center and then taken from his mother to be placed in a university language study. Eventually, Nim was sold into medical research, a tragedy that is the fate of thousands of primates every year. Through a lot of hard work on his behalf, Nim was fortunately rescued from medical research, but by the end of the screening, most people in the room were in tears. Although Project Nim offers hope, watching the film was also a reminder of all the primates who will never again see the walls outside of laboratories. The film was followed by an discussion led by Bob Ingersoll—who describes Nim as his best friend—that brought the conference attendees together in an emotional understanding of what this weekend was to be about. The conference was to be more than a schedule of speakers, but a rallying point to come together to learn to be stronger advocates for animals—with the animals being our inspiration and guiding light.

The tone that was set by the screening of Project Nim carried through the conference. Speakers and attendees went from strangers to friends, and everyone was eager to support and learn from each other. Amanda and Jordan spoke on a panel about Strategic Organizing for Effective Campaigning, and they talked about The Bunny Alliance’s work as a part of the Gateway to Hell network and the international collaboration to end the transport of animals to laboratories. The next day, Amanda and Jordan spoke on another panel, this time about Building Strategic Alliances for Successful Campaigns, and they talked about how The Bunny Alliance uses cross-country tours to build relationships with other groups—both within and outside the animal rights movement—and continued work to build a national grassroots network. Amanda then presented a “Know Your Rights” Training for Activists to help people to feel empowered in situations of dealing with law enforcement—and to not let State repression be a deterrent from being an effective activist. Finally, Amanda and Jordan talked about Organizing Effective Actions, which included information about how to think and act strategically in planning campaigns and actions so that we can effectively resist the exploitation of animals and the earth.

Demonstration at the home of John Vestal, VP of ATI.
Demonstration at the home of John Vestal, VP of ATI.

In addition to talks, the conference included two protests. The first was a home demonstration organized by The Bunny Alliance at the house of John Vestal, a Vice President with Air Transport International. ATI is a part of Air Transport Services Group, which also includes ABX Air, and this group of cargo airlines is the last to continue to transport primates from Asia into the U.S. for laboratories. Sixteen activists lined the street in front of John’s house and they chanted loudly with bullhorns and called on John to end ATSG’s involvement in the torture of animals in labs. The chants echoed through the neighborhood and John’s neighbors came out of their houses to see what was going on and called the police. But their attempts to silence the protest were in vain; the police sergeant made a personal visit out to the demonstration to tell the activists that what they were doing was fine and that they had the right to do so.

abx headquarters protest
Protest at the ABX Air Global Headquarters.

The other protest was a joint organizing effort between SAEN and The Bunny Alliance and was a demonstration at the ABX Air Global Headquarters. Dozens of activists from the conference gathered outside the headquarters and held signs and banners, and they took turns leading chants. People who had never led chants embraced the opportunity to do so, and they were excited to bring that energy back to their communities. The protesters decided to continue the protest for an hour longer after scheduled, a show of their commitment to holding ABX Air accountable for flying primates to labs where they are tortured and killed.

The voices of activists—whether at the homes of executives, in front of offices, or over the phone or email—will continue to be in solidarity with the animals and loud in demanding an end to the transport of animals to labs, and ATSG needs to listen and get out of doing business with the bloody vivisection industry. We are working for the day when not a single primate or other animal is in a lab, and when all animals may live wild and free.

Thank you to everyone who organized, spoke at, and attended the Free The Animals Conference. We were honored to spend the weekend with you all, and we really appreciated the overwhelming show of support for The Bunny Alliance. If you’d like to get more involved with our work or have us support your work, please let us know. We are also always interested in speaking about our work, strategic organizing, legal resources, or other topics related to being effective grassroots activists and the fight for animal liberation, so please be in touch if you’d like to have us visit your community. Contact us at thebunnyalliance@riseup.net

Primate Liberation Week Protest in Lyon, France

From Air Souffrance Lyon:

On Saturday, October 11th, anti-vivisection activists held a 2 hour protest in front of Air France’s commercial agency in Lyon as part of the Air Souffrance/ Gateway to Hell campaign and the Primate Liberation Week.


At the two entries, one of them was closed, some customers turned around, some others hardly noticed the second door where a security guard was standing. These measures didn’t prevent the activists to put pressure on the airline company thanks to speeches and megaphone’ sirens. To make the employees and customers fully aware of the horror off vivisection, images from laboratories were put under their eyes. Employees tried to ignore the activists and customers turned their eyes away, feeling too uncomfortable to face what they support by buying their plane tickets at Air France.
A lot of passers-by have been informed with many informational leaflets given away, and most of them agreed with the campaign.

This demo mark the beginning of the campaign in Lyon, which will last as long as there will be animals in Air France planes’ baggage hold. We’ll be back regularly to remind the airline company it must stop participating in the vivisection industry. Don’t hesitate to join or contact us for more information.

Until every cage is empty.
Air Souffrance Lyon

Ottawa Animal Defense League protests Delta and Air France

From Ottawa Animal Defense League:

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On Saturday, October 11th activists with Ottawa Animal Defense League held a demo at the Ottawa International airport in support of Primate Liberation Week. Activists held placards at the ticket counter and then in the boarding security check up line up where other potential Delta/ Air France/KLM passengers waited. Comments such as; “Thank you for what you are doing”, “Thanks for this info -I will never fly Delta or Air France”, “You guys are doing a great job”, “I never knew that passenger planes supported this form of cruelty” were repeatedly made. When the last customer left we then proceeded through the airport down the escalator to the security screening area. When the line up was finished there we proceeded to the departure area where we stood again holding signs and educating potential Delta/ Air France customers. Police and the Airport Manager did their best to get us to leave, but we stood our ground and won’t back down.

 

Do you want to be part of Primate Liberation Week? Find all registered events: Click Here

Report back from the first DHL demo in San Francisco!

On Friday, October 3rd, San Francisco activists descended upon the DHL Express warehouse at 401 23rd St, San Francisco, CA, to pressure DHL to cut their ties with ABX Air or convince them to stop shipping primates to laboratories. ABX Air is the only airline currently transporting primates across the Pacific Ocean from China and Cambodia to be distributed to labs across North America. Seasoned activists and activists from across movements–from grand jury resisters, to prison abolition activists, to activists with Stop Smart Meters!–attended.

banner march
DHL is ABX Air’s main customer, with over 50% of their business relying on transporting cargo for DHL as well as leasing cargo planes to them. DHL has become a target of the global Gateway to Hell campaign, with activists speaking out against them all over the world. This effort is an international effort to end animal experimentation across the globe and was highlighted by the presence of an activist wearing an ALARM shirt, a French organization that recently co-organized a march and protest against Air France in Marseille where hundreds of activists attended.

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At the DHL office in San Francisco, activists held signs and a banner DHL Driverthat read “DHL & ABX Kill Monkeys!” while chanting and handing out literature to passersby, construction workers, and DHL drivers. One DHL driver stopped to talk to activists and take information. He expressed his support for the primates and his disgust at his employer’s involvement in animal experimentation.

ALARM
This protest marks the resurrection of the strategic animal liberation movement in the Bay Area, working within global networks to effect tangible change for animals through clear strategic actions and campaigns. Keep your eye out for more actions and join activists in San Francisco for a second protest against DHL on Friday, October 17th, and a protest against Air France on Saturday, October 18th at the SFO International Airport as part of Primate Liberation Week.

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Report back from Animal Connection of Texas – Protest at DHL

From Animal Connection of Texas:
Expanding on recent protests Animal Connection of Texas has had in conjunction with The Bunny Alliance at ATIs Irving office, members of ACT gathered in front of DHL Express in Dallas on Thursday, September 25th, demanding that DHL use their influence – as the biggest customer of ABX Air, responsible for over half of their business – to insist that ABX Air/ATSG/ATI join the ranks of China Southern Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, & Hainan Airlines by enacting a policy against the transportation of animals to laboratories; where they are destined to be used in cruel, archaic experiments.
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We began by forming a line near the front entrance of the building, chanting to get the attention of the employees inside, after a while, a IMG_20140925_182027570protester held the door open as we continued to chant. Eventually, a group of 8 – 10 DHL employees emerged from a loading dock nearby. We explained why we were there, but a particularly huffy employee – loudly and repeatedly declaring that we were wrong about ABX Air – made it difficult. After a few minutes of trying to engage them in a discussion about the barbarism of vivisection and the role ABX Air plays in it, we were informed that the cops were being called, we headed back to the public sidewalk.
At this point there were small crowds of curious people standing outside of nearby buildings. A man from the UPS building across the street approached us asking questions, and requested flyers to share with his coworkers and friends. We saw him handing them to the others standing outside.IMG_20140925_181854841
Shortly after that, about 8 cop cars pulled up, one after another. We were told sternly, that we had to leave because we didn’t pull a permit with DFW Airport. By the time they were done pulling up the ordinance number, as requested by us, the protest was over.
Overall we are satisfied that we engaged many people and brought attention to the issue, and we look forward to having more DFW area ABX Air/ATI/DHL protests in the near future in support of the Gateway to Hell campaign.IMG_20140927_145807
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