The animal rights kooks were crowing about their ‘victory’ in intimidating one student, but that’s no victory at all. Alena Rodriguez is a real person who was targeted with an intense campaign of harassment and threats, and who was made to fear for her life; all they accomplished, though, was to reveal their hand and show what kind of contemptible terrorist tactics they will use. They’ve engaged in a little consciousness-raising of their own, but it’s all going to work against them.
Speaking of Research has a new article on their opponents’ recently invigorated embrace of terrorism, and all it has accomplished is to strengthen researchers’ resolve.
Though NIO may refer to students as the “Soft bellied target of the vivisection complex” who “can be shut down with relative ease,” they should study their history. In the winter of 2005, the ALF launched a campaign that targeted students at Oxford University in the UK, declaring them to be “legitimate targets”. Did the students bow to the threats and arson attacks on their facilities? Not a chance! The students responded by launching the Pro-Test movement in support of animal research, and gave the ALF a drubbing which helped to turn the tide against AR extremism in the UK. The hate and lies of the ALF were simply no match for the solidarity shown by students and scientists at Oxford.
Similarly, the extremists at NIO may claim one victory, but they fail to see how much dedication they create at the exact same time.
At UCLA, faculty and students alike have been the target of a heinous and criminal campaign of violence and harassment. How many students have quit animal research and/or changed their careers? To our knowledge: none. Indeed, students at institutions like UCLA have become some of the most passionate and committed defenders of animal-based research.
At NIO, they see victories in stories like these. We say those victories are hollow and pathetic. If you share our view, leave a comment below showing support for Alena and other students like her. The scientists of tomorrow need to hear our voices.