23 Animal Activists Arrested at UCLA

From Times Wire Services

At least 23 people protesting the use of animals in medical research were arrested Friday at UCLA after they stormed the office of the dean of the medical school and refused to leave.

About 100 of the nearly 1,000 demonstrators participating in World Day for Lab Animals pounded on glass doors of the building that houses the office and shattered some panes while campus police who were inside in riot gear kept them out.

No injuries were reported, but campus spokesman Harlan Lebo said 23 people were arrested when they refused to leave the first-floor office of Dean Ken Shrine, who was not there.

At university campuses throughout California, nearly a hundred people were arrested as hundreds of demonstrators joined the protests. At the University of California, Berkeley, about 50 people were arrested for trespassing when they barred the entrance to school headquarters.

The rally and march to the steps of the medical facility at UCLA were among 70 demonstrations scheduled nationwide Friday by anti-vivisectionists.

The UCLA demonstrators, a mixture of students and non-students, chanted "No Animal Research" while blocking the front entrance to the medical school and forcing students to enter through alternate doorways.

"This university refused a dialogue with us," said Javier Burgos, leader of the animal rights group SUPPREE. "The leaders of this movement have tried to defuse a confrontation, but we can't be responsible if something happened."

Danger to Humans Claimed

Burgos told the gathering of activists, some who carried signs reading "Animal Research, Animal Auschwitz," that animal experimentation endangers people because research on animals that appears safe may have potentially fatal side effects when tried on humans.

In a prepared statement UCLA officials said: "The value of animal research has been proved beyond any doubt. . . . UCLA is committed to the humane care and use of animals and pursuit of the research mission given us by society--to alleviate human suffering by pursuing studies that advance our knowledge in the prevention and cure of disease."

Cindy Jelkmann, who received a heart transplant in 1977, said she would not be alive today if research was not done first on animals. "I'm living proof of the benefits of animal research," she said. "I received a heart transplant that would not have been possible without research on dogs."

March Through Campus

The Berkeley demonstration, which included a march through the campus, lasted about an hour, campus spokesman Ray Colvig said. Only three of those arrested were students, and all were released shortly after they were taken into custody, he added.

At least nine demonstrators were cited at Stanford University after they climbed onto the roof of a psychiatry lab, according to campus spokeswoman Eileen Walsh. They were part of a larger group of about 90 protesters on the campus in Palo Alto, she said.

Nine more protesters were arrested in San Francisco at the university's medical school campus, officials said. And at UC Davis, seven people were arrested for trespassing during a sit-in at the chancellor's office.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
60°