World Week for Animals In Laboratories, celebrated this year from April 19th to April 27th, is an annual week dedicated to taking action for all of the animals enslaved in laboratories and forced to endure a life of pain and suffering greater than any hell we can imagine.
In coordination with Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) and In Defense of Animals (IDA), activists organized protests and events all over the world, accompanied by an International Day in Honor of Britches organized by our friends at Progress for Science.
For World Week, The Bunny Alliance coordinated ten airline demonstrations as part of the Gateway to Hell campaign. In 8 different cities across the U.S., activists had demonstrations inside and outside of airports, cargo offices, and corporate headquarters; and on the other side of the globe, an activist set up an information stall at World Day for Animals In Labs in Nottingham, England. Most of the demonstrations were targeted at Delta Air Lines, the North American representative and business partner of Air France, which is the last commercial airline that ships animals such as primates, dogs, and cats to vivisection labs.
World Week airline demonstrations kicked off in Denver, where the Rocky Mountain Animal Defense Alliance held their second demonstration at the Denver International Airport and educated the public (with great reception) about Delta’s involvement in shipping animals to laboratories through their partnership with Air France. The Rocky Mountain Animal Defense Alliance (RMADA) formed to organize demonstrations against Delta after The Bunny Alliance Gateway to Hell Tour this past winter. RAMDA is off to a great start; they’ve quadrupled their numbers from their first demonstration and already have another one planned for this coming Saturday, May 3rd. The Gateway to Hell campaign is in full swing in Denver!
On April 21st the Bunny Alliance held the first of our Los Angeles World Week events: a loud demonstration outside of Delta’s LA cargo office. A dozen activists with bullhorns and signs urged the cargo workers to take collective action against their bosses and Richard Anderson, the CEO at Delta, and make Delta be a part of ending the transport of animals to labs. After the Delta protest, the activists traveled over to the Air France cargo office at LAX to let the employees know that the company they work for is the last remaining commercial airline involved in the vivisection industry, and they have the power to refuse shipments of primates and other animals that are destined for labs just as many cargo workers and unions have already done around the world.
In Ohio, on April 23rd supporters of The Bunny Alliance protested outside of ABX Air’s headquarters in Wilmington. ABX Air, a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), is an air transport company that has been caught shipping thousands of primates from China and Cambodia to animal testing labs inside the U.S. Airport officials were waiting for activists when they arrived at the office complex, and they quickly sent the activists to the designated “free-speech area” on the sidewalk in front of the building. Activists held signs and chanted as airport and airline employees walked by on their way to the parking lot at the end of the work day. Earlier this month, the Ohio activists held a demonstration at the home of one of ABX Air’s executives. This visit was the second time activists have shown up at the homes of the people at ABX Air who are directly responsible for the import of all primates from China into the U.S. for research.
On April 24th, Portland Animal Liberation (PAL) held their third demonstration against Delta inside of the Portland International Airport. The activists stood between the Delta ticket counters and the airport security check point; this placement allowed activists to been seen by and talk with every Delta passenger that traveled through the airport during the demonstration and outreach event. Again, PAL received overwhelming support from travelers, airport employees, and the employees of competitor air lines, such as United Airlines, that have made a commitment to stop transporting primates to labs.
Activists with Georgia Animal Rights organized a demonstration at Delta’s Headquarters on April 25th. The activists walked up to the headquarters with a megaphone siren blasting, and a large group of Delta employees soon came out of the buildings and gathered to watch, while other employees watched from the windows. “Welcome to Delta, supporters of animal testing and cruelty,” the activists said, and then let the employees, along with everyone stopped in traffic, know that Delta has been profiting off of its partnership with Air France and animal cruelty. The activists made sure to let Delta employees know that this campaign is not against them; rather, we are asking for them to join us in this fight and speak up. Many Delta employees were extremely nice, supportive, and wanted to know all about the campaign, and the activists made sure to take time to thank all the Delta employees that had gotten involved and contacted The Bunny Alliance about the campaign. At the end of the protest, the activists marched around the complex and visited each entrance to make their message loud and clear, and to keep the headquarters buzzing with talk about the protest and the necessity of pressuring CEO Richard Anderson and other Delta executives to convince Air France to stop transporting animals to labs.
On April 26th The Bunny Alliance held a demonstration at Delta’s Seattle cargo office where over twenty activists congregated to hold signs and bring light to Delta’s involvement in the cruel vivisection industry. The signs read “DELTA HELPS MURDER DOGS!” and “DELTA + AIR FRAnCE = PARTNERS IN ANIMAL ABUSE” and attracted the attention of the Delta employees. An organizer of The Bunny Alliance had a long talk with two of the employees who came over to find out about the protest; the employees were horrified by Delta’s involvement in animal torture, took flyers to pass out to other employees, and promised to talk to their manager about their outrage and the need for compassion for animals. At the end of the demonstration, all of the activists, accompanied by a legal observer,entered the lobby of the cargo office to further discuss with the workers how they can make a difference in pushing Delta to make Air France stop shipping primates and other animals to labs.
In Los Angeles, activists returned to LAX on April 27th to hold a demonstration at the Delta terminal, where once again airport employees attempted to drown out the noise of the protestors by disabling the automatic doors, a move which just made it more frustrating and confusing to their customers who were trying to catch their flights. The activists passed out over a thousand leaflets throughout the busy airport and their chants could be heard throughout the terminal as they asked, “Hey, Richard Anderson, what do you say? How many animals did you help kill today!?”
In Philadelphia, a new organization called The Raven Coalition has sprung up, and for their first action they joined the coordinated efforts of The Bunny Alliance to hold a protest against Delta for World Week. The Raven Coalition entered Delta’s ticketing terminal with megaphones, leaflets, and signs to inform Delta employees and customers that Delta makes money off of the shipment of animals for vivisection through their partnership with Air France. After activists were escorted back to the front of the terminal, they were able to leaflet and carry signs throughout the entirety of the terminal and pass by the multi-airline security checkpoint, exposing the message to a broader audience.
The Bunny Alliance’s World Week events ended with a demonstration at the San Francisco International Airport outside of the Air France ticketing counters in the International Terminal. Activists used the demonstration to let the public know that Air France and Delta are in a deep partnership where they share the scheduling, booking, and revue of international flights, including those flights that transport defenseless animals in Air France’s cargo holds. This demonstration was also held in solidarity with the SOCPA 7, and activists held a sign that read “Support the SOCPA 7!” The SOCPA 7 are seven activists in the UK who are being prosecuted for working to close down Huntingdon LifeSciences (HLS), one of the world’s most notorious contract animal testing facilities. One of the SOCPA 7,Debbie Vincent, was convicted and is currently serving a six year sentence as one of the Blackmail 3 defendants, three activists who have been accused of blackmail in relation to the campaign against HLS. Please visit SOCPA7.org and Blackmail3.org for more information and to learn how you can support these activists. We must stick together and resist state repression, through solidarity and an international movement we can win.
Over in England, The Bunny Alliance had a table at the World Day for Animals In Laboratories in Nottingham on April 26th, and thanks to a generous donation from a comrade in England we were able to give out a number of Bunny Alliance shirts for free to supporters as well as distribute information about the global Gateway to Hell campaign and other animal liberation struggles. At this march and rally, as well as at World Day for Animals In Laboratories events in Munich and Berlin, activists held banners and distributed information to support the Blackmail 3 and the SOCPA 7.
Other organizations that organized Gateway to Hell demonstrations for World Week include Last Chance for Animals (LCA) and Friends of Animals United NY/NJ (FAUN), which held demonstrations against Air France. On April 26th LCA held a demo inside the International Terminal at LAX in front of the Air France ticketing counters, and FAUN held a demonstration on April 25th outside of the Air France/KLM Executive Office in New York City.
Thank you so much to all of The Bunny Alliance activists and supporters who made an effective and inspiring week of events possible, and thank you to everyone who refuses to remain silent while animals are being tortured. For every primate, mouse, dog, and bunny who is trapped in a laboratory, we will continue to fight so that no more animals will be flown into hell. Please, support each other in this fight and continue to support and be a part of the work of The Bunny Alliance.
In solidarity for all animals,
The Bunny Alliance