As less than 40 animal rights activists came together to denounce animal researchers a rather bigger crowd began to grow on the other side of the road. Shouting chants like “Stand up for Science! Stand up for Research!” this group, with almost 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the rally, began to grow.
One hundred. Two hundred. Four Hundred. By the time we reached our final destination we numbered around 800 people. Making their voices heard, scientists and students marched along Westwood Avenue up to the Court of Sciences in the heart of UCLA.
At the Court of Sciences we heard inspiring words from researchers and administrators alike who added their voices to ours. Professor Lynn Fairbanks spoke of her son (Type I Diabetes) who’s life has been saved by the animal research that went in to developing his treatments. Dr. John D. Young went as far as to say that if there was any use of animals that can be described as vital to humans, it was the use of animals in research.
It was amazing to see the energy run through the crowd – and I thank everyone there for being a part of it. It was also announced that the Californian-based Pro-Test Petition would start accepting names of people who believe in research. Go sign it now.
Professor David Jentsch, Founder of UCLA Pro-Test commented:
The rally at UCLA showed the best side of the researchers and individuals who support biomedical research and forcefully made the case for the benefits of biomedical research conducted on our campus. This is the beginning of a forwards-looking process that we hope will successfully counteract the environment of fear caused by extremist attacks.