Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 9:54 PM
Subject: RE: HLS MOBILE DEMO WRAP - 12/09/06
TO VIEW MORE PICS OF SATURDAY'S DEMO, CLICK ON http://s137. photobucket. com/albums/ q229/YOUR_ protest_pictures /12-09-06/
HLS MOBILE DEMO WRAP
RANCHO PALOS VERDES (LOS ANGELES)
RANCHO PALOS VERDES - Forty animal rights activists met at "House of Vege" Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway for a vegan lunch, to hear speakers and view films on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) and the Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) campaign, and to participate in mobile demos against HLS in honor of the SHAC Week of Action. We enjoyed the beautiful, warm, sunny day as we drove alongside the Pacific Ocean to the location where we would join our comrades and fellow activists.
Our first speaker was a lawyer who explained the AETA and then opened up the floor to questions, observations, and discussion. He explained that the AETA should not affect legal, above-ground activism protected under the First Amendment. It is aimed primarily at underground activity - especially that which crosses state lines. The reason for the interstate specification is to bring it under federal - rather than limit it to state - jurisdiction. One cannot "conspire" to "commit" a legal action. All the fear about legal, above-ground activism being labeled "terrorism" has been blown out of proportion. A few extra precautions like toning down some of the "edgy" chants and taking care to obey all local municipal ordinances should keep above-ground activists safe and comfortable at demonstrations. Having a videographer and legal representative present at demonstrations protects activists and promotes constructive interfacing with law enforcement.
Huntingdon Life Sciences is a product-testing lab that poisons to death 500 animals a day. It is the target of a worldwide campaign by animal rights activists in eighteen countries. It is currently $100 million in debt and has been de-listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It drips bleach into bunnies' eyes; dissects primates who are alive and conscious; tubes oven cleaners, pesticides, and petrochemicals down animals' throats; punches baby dogs in the face; simulates sex with animals; falsifies data; and has been caught multiple times violating the Animal Welfare Act. We talked about some of the current philosophies of the animal rights movement. Modern activists feel that we should work locally on "winnable" issues. While we may care about something occurring in New York City, there are activists on the East Coast who can address it. We need to be focused on what we can accomplish in our own city of Los Angeles. It is better to pick a few campaigns and work diligently on them rather than to "spread ourselves too thin on several, which just dilutes our effectiveness.
First up on the demo circuit was Mrs. Zargarpour, mother-in-law of Farajollah Mahjoor - CEO of Phenomenex which manufactures the stereotaxic (restraining) devices that immobilize animals for torture. Armed with four bullhorns and empowered by the presence of forty of our fellows marching shoulder-to- shoulder to stand up and speak out for the animals brutalized and murdered by HLS, we recited familiar chants and explained to the neighbors how the perverted Mahjoor family makes its dirty living off the blood of innocent animals. Neighbors came out to ask us what the protest was about and to take our educational leaflets on vivisection in general and HLS in particular. Of course, there was the requisite resident who was angry about the noise - showcasing his shameful indifference to the torture of other sentient beings while exhibiting an acute sensitivity to his own trifling discomfort.
As we pulled away to our next destination, several police cars came speeding up the hill in the opposite direction. They spotted us, turned around, and followed us to the home of Flora Sadeghi - sister to Farajollah and CFO of Phenomenex. Activists lined up outside Flora's house and began their familiar chants. "Hey, Flora, what do you say? How many animals have you killed today?" and "Vivisection is a lie! How many animals have to die?" As protesters began to march around the block, neighbors emerged from their homes to question us about the demonstration. We handed out leaflets and explained about Phenomenex and its connection with HLS. One neighbor, again, was angry that we were making noise on his street, but activists explained to him why we were there. Soon, several police cars arrived on scene. They lined up their cars in an attempt to "corral" activists in a small area, but we navigated between and around them. They photographed us but did not interfere with the protest. Flora was asked to drop her ties with HLS.
Activists departed for the final venue - the mansion belonging to Farajollah Mahjoor and overlooking the Pacific in Rancho Palos Verdes. Police followed us to the location and more were already waiting there for us. One carload of activists was pulled over and the driver cited for making an illegal U-turn in a business district. Ironically, the driver had purposely pulled into a shopping mall parking lot to avoid making a U-turn on the public street. "I got ticketed for the very thing I tried to avoid!" he exclaimed. Well, he's now obliged to explain it in court!
Farajollah pulled up to the house just as activists - surrounded by police officers on foot and cruisers with flashing lights - began their demonstration. The _expression on Fasha's face was priceless. We hope the videographer captured it! He sped down his driveway the length of an airport runway while activists chanted and took him to task before his neighbors for being complicit in horrific animal abuse at HLS. Again, the police looked on at - but did not interfere with - our protest. After chanting; marching; and educating the neighbors, we felt that we had effectively delivered our message - and we departed for our restaurant rendezvous. Congratulating ourselves on a successful day of getting the message out for the animals, we shared some comradeship and took off into the night to connect with the San Diego Freeway North toward home.
"Unseen they suffer, unheard they cry; in agony they linger, in loneliness they die."
STAT SoCal DISCLAIMER: STAT SoCal is not an official "organization, " but rather only a posting group announcing demonstrations against vivisection (although we will gladly publish those for other venues) in and around Los Angeles. STAT SoCal does not advocate or encourage illegal activity and assumes no responsibility for written content it receives or occurrences at demonstrations it announces.