Just yesterday, the cabal at Negotiation is Over published another laughable “guide” to “exposing vivisection” (the post in question will not be linked directly here, but you can find it via your search engine, if you so choose). The site’s main author, Camille Marino, gives a point by point set of instructions on how to locate biomedical researchers and to make them “targets”. Never straying far from her grandiose self image, she says her goal in recommending these steps is to “destroy the enemy”.
None of this is new. Animal rights extremists have been visiting the NIH database to look for grants, making use of public records requests, engaging in personal targeting and direct action and using threats and harassment for many years now. In that sense, there is nothing unique or innovative about Ms. Marino’s brand of direct action, whatsoever.
So, what is new in the struggle between researchers and activists like Ms. Marino? It’s the strengthening posture of research universities that are determined to not let rabid activists like those at NIO stop crucial basic and biomedical research that the people of this country demand.
Today, state courts in California and Michigan have granted restraining orders against Ms. Marino.
Today, Ms. Marino is on trial in Michigan for harassing scientists, and activists in California have been imprisoned or had to agree to voluntarily stop their activities in order to avoid prosecution.
Today, scientists are saying “Enough is enough”, and our universities are finally following suit with strong and determined stances.
Today, there is no reason at all to read a post like that at NIO and to feel fear. Their power is waning each time scientists come forwards and take a bold stance to confront them.
In her post, Ms. Marino offers a set of best practices, acknowledging that they might be perceived as not internally consistent, but she writes: “Our objective is to win, not to be morally correct…”. Finally, she and I agree on something – there is nothing morally correct about NIO’s agenda or tactics, certainly nothing articulated in her recycled manifesto.
Anyone who shares her point of view and endorses direct action shares the same dubious moral position, and animal advocates everywhere should understand, and reject, Ms. Marino’s approach to “winning”. If that cannot happen, the opportunities for open and honest discussion about the real scientific and ethical bases for animal research may never be had. But in the mean time, her threats will not stop any of the hard work being conducted around the world because it’s contributions to human and animal health and welfare are simply too important.