SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test

SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test
SPEAK protesters outside the Oxford Animal Lab

On 25th February the stakes in SPEAK‘s campaign against the building of the new Oxford Animal Lab were raised. Four weeks earlier 16 year Laurie Pycroft had been shopping in Oxford when he witnessed a SPEAK protest and decided to stage his own in support of the lab with a couple of friends. They made some impromptu banners and began chanting, “Build the lab!”

Nothing much came of his stand that day, but he decided to go home and write about his experience on his blog. His account was seen by hundreds of people and he decided to make website in support of animal testing, soon he was getting 300 hits an hour and within weeks a movement had been formed and Pro-Test were planning to march in opposition to SPEAK in Oxford.

SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test
SPEAK protester. Oxford 25.02.06.

Despite tensions running high, on the day there were no arrests and no violence. The police presence was high as ever and the press reported that Pro-Test outnumbered SPEAK considerably. Both sides however claimed the moral victory.

SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test
Police protect the unfinished Oxford Animal Lab. Oxford 25.02.06.
SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test
Police surround Mel Broughton, filming his every move. Oxford 25.02.06.
SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test
John Curtin, animal rights activist. Oxford 25.02.06

Ultimately the lab was completed and Laurie Pycroft went on to study Physiology and Neurosurgey at Oxford and even went on to work there, but the SPEAK campaign against animal testing continues.

SPEAK Protest: Pro-Test
SPEAK protester. Oxford 25.02.06.

For more images taken on the day please visit my flickr album.

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