Four weeks earlier, 16 year old Laurie Pycroft had been shopping in Oxford when he witnessed a SPEAK protest and decided to stage one of 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.

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

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

Evidence was submitted during Broughton’s trial of a recording in which Oxford police discussed a “dirty war” against him, and how they were going to “get him.” Broughton told the court that he was constantly watched, filmed and followed by police and their actions made him completely paranoid.

Have a look at my ipernity album for more images from the day.