From DC Activists:
DC-area activists weren’t surprised to meet grumpy neighbors when we went to the home of Stephen Skinner, Executive VP and General Manager of Skanska’s DC office. These folks have met No New Animal Lab protests before, responding with angry chants and phone calls to the cops.
Saturday morning, we were immediately confronted by a man we’ve met before, filming from his van and asking where we are from and what we were doing in the neighborhood. He grabbed his phone to make a series of calls. We ignored him and marched directly into Skinner’s cul-de-sac.
Skinner himself came outside, but only long enough to put his usual Skanska “No Trespassing” sign in the yard. Even inside, he certainly heard us call him out for his company’s role in building the UW’s new animal lab and helping that university condemn thousands more animals to captivity, torment, and death underground.
Other neighbors quickly assembled, with one man aggressively putting his video camera in our faces as we chanted. Another used his own chalk to scribble over our messages to Skinner on the street. Other neighbors just stood back on the sidewalk and heckled. It is sad to see that this community is more interested in organizing to protect a corporate executive than animals like the cats and dogs with whom they share their home. Our group, however, kept our cool and didn’t engage with the neighbors.
With every action, we are building our own skills as organizers, growing in numbers, and strengthening our ties to one another and to the larger grassroots movement for animal liberation — until ALL the labs are shut down!