UCLA Pro-Test – Post-rally Print Coverage

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Well we covered the video footage from major television networks, now onto the print media (and web coverage).

Just in case you have been living in a box and want happened you can read our comprehensive report here. Also make sure you sign The Pro-Test Petition. Go on, do it now, then come back and read the rest of this… Signed it yet? Good, read on!

To start, NBC Los Angeles News covered the event, explaining the size of the rally:

The Pro-Test demonstrators started to gather across the street. Their numbers grew larger and larger by the minute.The two sides shouted back and forth at each other. It was emotional, but not violent.

As the number of Pro-Test demonstrators grew, the animal-rights protesters quickly disappeared.  The Pro-Test group swelled to 750 people by one estimate. They carried signs that read “Say No To Terror,” “Stop the Bombing,” “Animal Research Cures Cancer” and “Research Benefits Human & Animal Lives.”  The Pro-Test group marched across campus and held a rally in front of the Court of Sciences. The crowd cheered and applauded as researchers talked about the medical advances that have been made, in part, due to animal testing.

Greg Miller from Science Journal posted a fantastic news blog post that covered many interesting points. One interesting interview:

In the crowd I spotted UCLA neuroscientist Dario Ringach, who announced in 2006 that he would give up his animal research if activists would stop harassing him and his family. “I came because I don’t think people should have to face a choice between the security of their family and their research,” he told me later. “I came to defend academic research and academic freedom.”

Miller also produced a longer story for the print version of Science Journal.

LA times produced a positive story, although  the original 300+ word blog article was written and published before the rally had even finished which might explain why their estimated turnout numbers are lower than everyone else’s (including the police estimates).

Jentsch said his rally’s comparatively large turnout showed that many people wanted to speak out against the attacks and for the medical advances that he said animal research produces.
“Look around you and you will see the brightest minds on the West Coast on this street, right now. They are all here to support this cause,” said Jentsch, who recently founded UCLA Pro-Test, which backs what it calls humane, regulated animal research.
Among the marchers was Dana Gant, who carried a placard that read, “Animal Research Saved My Mom,” a reference she said was to new medicines that helped her mother survive breast cancer.

The UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, ran not one, but two (see what I did there…) front page articles on the Pro-Test rally. These pieces showed a mix of the feeling of the rally and the reasons that researchers consider animal-models so crucial.

Hundreds of people carried signs proclaiming, “Stop the Violence” and “Animal Research Saves Lives.” Many also joined in chants of “No more threats! No more fear! Animal research wanted here!”
Pro-Test supporters filed into the Court of Sciences. Tom Holder, a member of the first Pro-Test group, which was founded at Oxford University in 2006, walked up to the microphone.
“Today is going to be remembered as the day scientists stood up and said ‘No more’ to the fear and harassment of researchers who practice life-saving research,” he said. [Article by Daniel Schonhaut]

Wyeth works with mice in her research on epilepsy – right now, she said, scientists don’t know how seizures start or stop, or how the disorder develops.
By studying mice, her team may be able to figure out the mechanisms of epilepsy. Scientists know people with head trauma are vulnerable to epilepsy – so veterans returning from war are susceptible – but there are no interventions to prevent it yet.
Wyeth said the public generally doesn’t realize how much training researchers undergo before they are even allowed to touch an animal. [Article by Audrey Kuo]

More reports came from the San Franciso Chronicle (AP article), CNN and the UCLA Newsroom.

Check back soon for our report on the blog posts surrouding the event.

Cheers

Tom

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