The beginning of the end…

For more than a decade, the streets in front of the homes of UCLA researchers have been the scene of regular, brutal, vitriolic and hate-filled campaigns by animal rights hooligans. With little direct knowledge of the truth, as well as a exceptional willingness to lie and deceive, they show up with signs and dated chants and disrupt our neighborhoods. Their stated goal is to make us and our neighbors uncomfortable in the conduct of these insane and sometimes illegal protests.

As I have written before, their behavior and conduct is really no different than that of Fred Phelps and his family when they are on their bigoted campaign against LGBTQ individuals or Operation Rescue when it targets women in need to legal medical care. The parallels with the antiabortion protests are, in particular, remarkable. They are, in every way imagineable, a hate group to be classifed right alongside racists, misogynists and homophobes, alike.

Since the inception of these protests, researchers have had little respite and few tools to call upon to address the harm done by these protests.

This weekend, we created a new tool, and it’s one that we plan to use again and again until these demonstrations are over. We have decided to act, with our voices, our messages of scientific progress and – most importantly – with the unity of our community.

UCLA affiliates meet up on campus, in preparation for our march

UCLA affiliates meet up on campus, in preparation for our march. We are NOT afraid.

When the ironically named animal rights group, Progress for Science, appeared at the home of my beloved and treasured colleague this Saturday evening, they encountered something they neither expected, nor knew how to deal with.

Conveying our message to the neighborhood and to the protesters

Conveying our message to the neighborhood and to the protesters.

They found 40+ UCLA researchers, staff, students and friends who were waiting on the streets of Westwood. We outnumbered them 4:1, and the look on their faces as we marched towards their meeting site and intercepted them was priceless. It was unregulated surprise and confusion.

As they began to collect themselves, we broke out in our chant:

Progress for Science, LEAVE NOW!
Carol Glasser, LEAVE NOW!

They were, in a word, speechless.

No chants and threats from the extremists when surrounded by researchers! One wonders if Carol Glasser's constant text messaging were panicked calls for help.

No chants and threats from the extremists when surrounded by researchers! One wonders if Carol Glasser’s constant text messaging included panicked calls for help.

How does this differ from their usual behavior? Like night and day. Here’s a video I captured last fall when they protested out front my home.

During this current weekend’s demonstration, they took up a position in a normally peaceful cul-de-sac for about 45 minutes, while our group let them know – in no uncertain terms – that they were not welcome. Their lies, threats and hypocrisy (leather shoes, really?) were all addressed, front and center.

In the end, they turned back in the direction that they came and retreated. Determined to make it clear that they were unwelcome in this neighborhood, our members pursued them. When the extremists approached neighbors and people on the street with their rhetoric, our students and researchers swept in and countered the lies at every opportunity. Progress for Science was flushed right out of the area.

Our message was simple. "DON'T COME BACK!"

Our message was simple. “DON’T COME BACK!”

Later that evening, when the victorious UCLA group had broken up and gone back home, the hooligans showed up once more . It seems that they were determined to have the last word, if only after we left, because their lack of courage made it impossible to speak in our presence. They chanted for 10 minutes and then left again. Big deal!

Here’s our message to those extremists and to anyone affiliated with them:

This wasn’t the last word.

It was the beginning of the end for you and your tired and useless group.

We are watching and waiting. When you come back, you will find us waiting for you.

The reign of terror you have brought to our neighborhoods is over.

POSTSCRIPT: Another telling of events just appeared the Speaking of Research website, here. Thanks to Dario for his take on the events of Saturday.

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49 comments

  1. I’m glad to see you showing yourself for the fool that you are. You claim animal rights people are violent, hateful and protesting is wrong. So you protest to prove your point? Actually, anti-protesting is what you should have been doing all along, but to do so while saying anyone else protesting is full of hate is what we would expect from a fool. As for violent, we have no clue why you were targeted by anyone YEARS AND YEARS ago- could have been a random criminal or ex partner. You simply claim it was an ARA. Look in the mirror. You are the exact likeness of the people you say are bad. People who disagree with something so horrible that they feel the pain and exercise their right to free speech. Its no different when you feel it or when you speak against something. And if you’re going to keep whining and pulling the everyone is out to hurt me because I’m so important card- you’re going to loose protesters or people who believe in what you SAY that you do. You are indeed a fool.

    1. Looks like ole Jane is not a happy camper! Full of lies and more hateful rhetoric. I APPLAUD you researchers for taking to the streets after these ignorant protesters…They need some of their own “medicine.” It is indeed hate that energizes these animal rights ideologues. Often they don’t even know any facts on an animal issue, but they come forward with their lies and imaginings and look for people to hate and harm. Shameful behavior.
      I am SO glad you researchers, students and all are fighting back.

    2. To the anti-research activists: The right to “free speech” is not a right to ‘any’ speech, ‘any’ where you choose. Going to residential neighborhoods, to the homes of scientists and their families, is a very different action than protesting at the laboratory or at the academy. Activists show themselves to be the antithesis of their self-characterization as caring when they involve the families, neighbors and homes of those with whom they disagree philosophically. Perhaps when large, vocal groups of scientists picket and protest at anti-research activists homes, some may come to understand which free speech is appropriate and which is in fact soft terrorism. No “fire” in crowded theaters for thee, if not also for me, eh?

  2. you might be surprised to know that most animal rights fanatics are liberal Democrats. There is Mark Manendo of Nevada and David Gomberg of Oregon. Even the Obama administration is accused of protecting the HSUS. The HSUS is not your local animal shelter. It is a multimillion dollar corporation that spends almost every dime it gets on obscene salaries for its hierarchy and filing lawsuits. It raises money by showing ads of cute dogs and cats, but it spends less then 1 cent on the dollar to feed and shelter cats and dogs. More and more members of congress are questioning the tax free status of the HSUS because of its political activities. The HSUS is against rodeo and western traditions. The HSUS pro vegetarian and anti meat. The HSUS is part of the vegan revolution that wants to change our eating habits and standard of living by outlawing factory farming. Be afraid of the HSUS and don’t applaud its lackeys.

    1. Not all ARAs are supportive of HSUS. Your argument is an excellent example of why HSUS doesn’t deserve support (and I agree with you there, as many other ARAs do), but nothing to do with animal rights as a whole.

  3. Thank you for taking a positive step against this bullying. I have bred, shown, and trained dogs for over 4 decades, during which, I have watched the animal extremists grow in wealth and power, threatening every aspect of animal ownership from agriculture to pet ownership.

    I owe my life and my children’s lives, and just as importantly, my dogs’ lives to the availability and efficacy of medicines and medical practices. Very little of this would be available without medical research. I’m pretty sure any of these folks would be accepting treatment if they were diagnosed with something like cancer so their hypocrisy and ignorance are just inexcusable.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. How do you know it was real leather? I am not sure if I agree with vivisection or not, but I do know that man-made leather can look VERY real these days. I very much doubt animal activists would ever wear real leather.

      1. I don’t think the naked eye can tell. I work in retail and can tell you that man-made leather can look identical.

      2. It serves your argument to believe it was real leather, but vegans don’t wear leather. I have “leather” boots that look surprisingly real and people always point at them and say “you’re a hypocrite!”. I just show them the bottom of my shoe where it says in silver letters “all man made material” and tell them where they can purchase some of their own.

      1. I have never taken a pharmaceutical or vaccine in my life and was always the healthiest kid in school with perfect attendance. Today, as a senior, I still have never missed a day of work (highly physical) over decades. I attribute my radiant health to diet, lifestyle, mind/body/ spirit connection and a clear conscience. There is no animal in some sub-basement who can save humans who spend a lifetime ignorantly and willfully sabotaging their own health. I do not take or need your toxic potions and I never will.

  5. Well done for standing up to these bullies. We won the battle in Oxford, and the animal lab is now built, providing life-saving treatments around the UK and the world. These people can be beaten.

  6. Great to see UCLA scientists and their friends standing up to the thugs who think it’s OK to harass people in their own homes. Enough is enough! 

  7. Hooray for AMP! You people are the heroes for so many of us in the dog world, you have been fighting this battle for a very long time, I can only imagine what your lives are like on a daily basis. I am sickened by the hypocrisy of these people, who, every SINGLE DAY of their lives benefit from the very research they want stopped. There is no one so ignorant and hateful as your typical animal rights protester. They hide behind the perfect shield – animals – and lash out at the world. Many seem to thrive on protests for their own sake, using them as an outlet for their rage and disappointment in life, having probably been let down or abandoned by important people in their lives. If you don’t have any friends or healthy relationships, you might gravitate to these groups for a false sense of ‘family’ – but in the end, where ever you go, there you are, so I imagine the turnover is high, and the reason this group was outnumbered. The text messaging was probably exactly as you noted – begging for reinforcements. I’ll bet she used guilt to motivate. That’s the single most useful tool for these organizers.

    Leather shoes – HAH! Perfect. Typically, these people frequently turn on each other for any minor breach of AR etiquette. I was reading a particularly hateful Facebook page awhile ago, a group protesting the NYC carriage horses, and when one of their group apologized for not being able to attend a last minute protest ‘for the animals’ because she couldn’t get a baby sitter, she was viciously attacked for “breeding” babies in this horrible awful sick world overcrowded with hateful animal abusers – in other words, you and me. That is the “there’s just enough of ME, and too many of YOU” kind of sicko. The post was full of profanity and insults, and it didn’t stay on the page long, but I was fortunate to have made a screen shot of it, as an example of how these people behave. Against each other, for heaven’s sake!

    Your positive message is the best response to hate. It may not seem as dramatic and attention-getting at first, but it will work in the long term, as people will soon realize that these protesters have cold and black hearts. Everyone everywhere has experience with illness or disability, everyone will eventually understand what is at stake here. A little sunshine is the best disinfectant against these groups.

  8. Most research does not require animals. Much research is nonsense and provides little except salaries for vivisectionists. STOP TORTURING ANIMALS. Most animal research has little or nothing to do with humans since the systems are so different. The jails are full of pedophiles, use them. Or use computer models.

    1. You are absolutely correct that a great deal of research does not require animal subjects. Only a portion does. But the portion that does is so fundamental that much of the research on human subjects and on computer models is impossible to conduct or understand without it.

      Our work is crucial, and it is not torture.

      Once again, I’ll just provide the words of the former director of the National Institutes of Health – a physician with decades of experience in treating human patients and conducting biomedical research. If you had any sense at all, you’d read, understand and internalize his words, rather than clinging to your baseless beliefs.

      http://www.nih.gov/about/director/04172009_statement_terrorism.htm

      “Animals used in federally-funded research benefit both human and animal health. Recently, domestic terrorists have targeted researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with acts of violence, including firebomb attacks against biomedical researchers and their families. Homes and vehicles were burned. These acts against researchers and institutions who use animals in their research are intolerable. Research using animals funded by NIH is based on the health needs of the nation and is held to rigorous standards. These senseless acts not only threaten the individuals and their families, but endanger the health of the entire nation.

      In order that scientists can provide effective and essential treatments for people who suffer from psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and addiction—diseases that can devastate patients, families, and communities across the nation—scientists need to study brain function. Sadly, the scientists working on these devastating diseases are the most often targeted by terrorists. These scientists are investigating the underlying complex processes of addiction, impulsive behavior, learning, memory, and attention in animals, in order to help discover treatments and cures. Mental illness and the illnesses of addiction to alcohol, nicotine and illegal substances have a huge impact on individuals, families, and coworkers, costing America more than half a trillion dollars a year in combined medical, economic, criminal, and social impact.

      It is important that everyone know that all animals used in federally-funded research, are protected by laws, regulations, and policies to ensure they are used in the smallest numbers possible and with the greatest commitment to their comfort and welfare. The search for cures for devastating diseases depends on cumulative evidence gained from quality research. The appropriate use of animals in medical research has enabled the development of successful therapies and preventive measures for a wide- range of human diseases such as polio, Parkinson’s disease, and hepatitis A and B.

      Federally-supported scientists are accountable, from the time they first plan their research to the time the research is completed, to protect the welfare of animals in their research. NIH insists on the highest standards of animal care and scientific merit in all activities it supports, and oversees federal regulations protecting the welfare of laboratory animals.

      Terrorist acts against our nation’s biomedical researchers, the men and women who devote their lives to biomedical research are unconscionable. The NIH stands firmly in support of the biomedical research it funds to advance the health of the Nation and the world.

      Terrorism is not expression of opinion nor point of view—it is a violation of law. Terrorism at its most obvious and visible immediately destroys life and property. However the more subtle but devastating toll will not be realized for some time—if more scientists, fearing for themselves and their families, leave their research. Irretrievable time will be lost in finding as yet undiscovered treatments and cures.”

      1. The laws in place to protect these animals you speak of are non-existent and a bunch of baloney. Also- replace animals with humans in this context, and it most certainly would be considered a most vile form of torture. But, change the species, and all the sudden your standards drop dramatically; you continually fail to make this connection.

      2. You, sir, are either misinformed, or you are a liar.

        First, as you well know, humans are involved in many kinds of research. Every possible kind of research that can be humanely performed using a human subject is done.

        Only when there is no other option are animals used, and enormous amounts of research involve basically no pain at all. They may involve death for the subject – a painless death, but then, there is a million more times of animal death (often far more distressing/painful) in the food industry, clothes industry and natural world. Of all the roles animals play in our society, their use in research is the most noble and the most regulated.

        There are a long list of laws and regulations that were created by veterinarians, animal researchers and animal welfare advocates. They are in place at my University, as they are at others. The SR blog did a nice job of summarizing them here: http://speakingofresearch.com/facts/research-regulation

    2. How would you know? Have you got an MD, PhD, worked medical research, a hospital or just shot your mouth off like the rest of these fools. Do you know what the FDA requires for new meds before Phase 1 clinical trials? Clearly not. Stick with dope and bullshit, and pray you never need medication or hospitalization.

      1. Isn’t it amazing how ignorant people never let the facts get in the way of their opinions? “Most animal research has little or nothing to do with humans since the systems are so different.” What planet do you live on?

    3. No research requires animals. Actually, even humans react differently from one another to chemical substances and procedures and are in various states of physical and psychological health, so using criminals is not scientifically relevant either, in addition to the ethical ramifications.

  9. I’m curious… why not picket against animal rights activists with actual photos of your research that you claim to be so proud of (but conveniently not proud enough to show to the public)? Animal rights activists have signs with photos of vivisection labs. Why don’t you?

    1. We’ve tried educating your ilk about facts and science, but – like science deniers everywhere – you don’t listen. You’re no different than those who believe the earth is only 7000 years old, dispute that evolution is the origin of our species or deny that humans are causing the warming of our planet. All charlatans.

      FACTS are not on your side, and so any signs are meaningless.

      1. Actually, that is an opinion. It is not a study. It is an opinion based, at least in part, upon scientific research, but it’s still a hypothesis.

        And, many of these same individuals themselves study animal models in their lab. Their conclusion is not one many of them believe endorses the view of animal rights or of moral equivalency between humans and animals.

  10. PS: Vegans don’t wear leather shoes. The fact that their non-leather shoes fooled you into thinking they were actually leather only proves that leather is completely unnecessary.

    1. Want to distract from the fact that these vegans are all about terrorism, threats, intimidation and harassment? Make a comment about leather shoes.

      Want to avoid directly addressing the scientific impact of animal models in biomedical progress? Focus on the shoes.

      Nice job, but we’re not distracted. This is about the violence, hatred and misanthropy propogated by Progress for Science.

      1. Uh, she only made this (extra) comment about the shoes because all of you were commenting on it first.

        “Their lies, threats and hipocrisy (leather shoes, really?) were all addressed, front and center.”

        Also- hypocrisy* (fixed that for you).

      2. No. She made the comment because this little group wants to make themselves the victims. Watch the video from out front my house again. It’s pretty clear who is spewing the hate on a regular basis.

        (Thanks for finding the typo).

  11. If you call those who wish to cease the violence against animals the “extremists” then you obviously have not witnessed the suffering these poor creatures endure in labs. One day our society will look back upon the massacre against animals as we now look at human slavery and segregation. You may say that the protestors are disturbing the peaceful lives of these “scientists,” but when there is injustice happening to those without a voice in our own backyards, we must be their voice. Contrary to the angry accusations below, I am not a hateful, outlandish hippy. I have love for every one of God’s creations and I feel helpless that I cannot protect those who are being abused simply because they are of a different species. All I want is for these researchers to think about the pain inflicted on the “test subjects” they have captive and to choose a different route for research. I may not have ever participated in a protest in someone’s neighborhood, but as I’ve stated before, knowledge of unrelenting injustice will cause many to do whatever they may to try to put an end to it.

    1. You’re right. I have not witnessed suffering of “poor creatures” in labs. But that’s not because I haven’t been there. I spend every day in labs, and I’ve visited biomedical research labs all over the world. The only angry accusation is yours.

      Here’s the reality:

      Animal rights advocates lie about, totally misconstrue and fail to comprehend research. They believe salacious mistruths told to them by extremists.

      In turn, they turn up in our neighborhood and threaten our neighbors and us, they frighten children and then scream their hate.

      Lies beget hate. That is the animal rights creed, and I’m sick of it.

  12. I’d like to thank researchers for the work that has provided treatments for diseases in my family and animals, as well as has prevented many deadly diseases. No one wants to harm animals, but testing sometimes must be done to benefit the greater majority. Without research and testing, my dogs and cat would be subject to rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and many other diseases that we can vaccinate against, thanks to research. I’d likely be dead due to diabetes without research.

    If you don’t like something and want to change it, fine, but targeting people doing legal work at their homes, and terrorizing their family isn’t the way to go about it.

  13. The so called long list of laws and regulations created by veterinarians were created to benefit themselves, as veterinarians do not take the Hippocratic oath. They’re job involves Harming Animals.

    1. Seriously? Am I to take your comment as merely uninformed, misled, intentionally hateful? Is that really what you think of animal doctors?
      How do you suppose those who care for ill animals obtain the medicines and methods we use to help them? Research is the answer. Researchers are heroes not villains. You’ve got it exactly backwards.

  14. Most animal extremist movements thrive on guilt. You don’t like something what have you done to change it? They are not interested in being educated they oppose the use of animals period. They will invest every cent, dime and dollar to stop an activity they do not like. What they need though are donations and 501 c charity with tax deductible status. What are politicians doing to change this picture? Our health systems aren’t coming out of thin air or compassionate spin. Enough bullying and harassment. Let research save lives and researchers find answers to diseases and malfunctions. That these extremists wont do !

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