UCLA Pro-Test … in 3 minutes (video)

I recently found a second video of the UCLA Pro-Test in April 2009 (in addition to the 1 minute video) which we hadn’t previously put up.

This video was produced by FPS productions and covers more aspects of the rally than the 1 minute version (surprisingly).

The video includes clips of committee members Prof. David Jentsch, and Tom Holder, as well as Scott Waugh (Executive Vice Chancellor Provost for UCLA), Gerald Levey (Dean of the Geffen School of Medicine).

Enjoy!

9 responses to “UCLA Pro-Test … in 3 minutes (video)

  1. Dear Reader,

    Unfortunately, virtually all of your claims involve hyperbole and (at best) incomplete information. Over the tens of thousands of biomedical research scientists that are involved in the effort to expand knowledge, develop new treatments, make the ones we already have work better and maintain our readiness for the emergence of new diseases, a minute few “change course” … many for lifestyle reasons (science requires hard work and long hours), many for career reasons (they were not sufficiently competitive to sustain a high impact research program) and some because they are uncomfortable with animal use. Of the latter, the majority remain convinced that animal research achieves precisely those aims it is designed to do, but they make a personal choice to leave the work to someone else. I respect those people and their decisions.

    You are also quite wrong about the fact that most researchers develop a “mental/emotional block” regarding euthanasia and death. It’s simply not true. Most (though I would agree not all) scientists will try to avoid an approach or context in which animal euthanasia is used if at all possible. In my own lab, I have always felt it important to reassure people that it is absolutely acceptable to feel a negative emotional response when an animal is killed. It should never be taken lightly. That being said, if science depends upon it, if the value of the outcome is high enough and if the procedure can be done painlessly and instantaneously, it is undoubtedly justifiable.

    Regarding your final social and legal commentary, the rule of law is designed to constrain antisocial and inappropriate behaviors. The law does not (and cannot) stop murder, but it inhibits it in a socially acceptable way that we broadly welcome. The same is true of laws that are designed to inhibit the NON-protected behaviors of those that use criminal stalking, harassment, arson and violence against others. No human should insanely stalk another, and the law infringes no natural right when it says stalking, hate words and threats will be punished. I have listened to your perspective in several virtual locations, and I am thankful that I live in a society where most people share a more civilized and reasoned perspective – and that is the the law should be used to protect society and the individuals that make it up. The individual right to be a maniac does not loom large when compared to the broader social right to peace and harmony.

  2. There are activists who give up, mainly due to lack of results, commitment, mental strength, etc. Similarly there are researchers who realise animal research is a waste of time and slows down medical research, so leave and have become animal rights activists.

    In some cases you are right, a mental wall prevents them from changing, in the same way researchers who kill individuals for maybe 10 years of their life create a mental/emotional block (scientifically similar to other serial killers in society, past and present).

    Furthermore, your view that when actions are frowned upon and condemned they will decrease couldn’t be further from the truth. Throughout history public hostility hasn’t decreased extremism, it has only increased it – serving as an example of success. Whether it was shooting cops, rioting or burning down buildings, public hostility only encouraged such activity.

    Finally, the recent decrease of extremist activity is not due to public hostility, but repressive new laws drafted. As the past has shown (in the 80s and 90s), this doesn’t stand as a sufficient deterrent for very long.

  3. David & Jack.

    The point I am making is that any brief glance at history will tell you that social change comes from direct action, of which is usually a violent insurrection, so how do you intend to make this social change?

    David:

    You talk of “shifting the discussion”, but using which revolutionary means are you intending to do this?

    Jack:

    If the goal is not to convince activists they are wrong, but to convince those with an open mind, then how on earth is this going to stop the activists??

    You are clearly not aiming to stop direct action from the animal liberation movement, but to try and slow down the radicalisation of the movement.

    Unless you are attempting to gain enough support from the public to encourage a violent crackdown from the state and police? If so, then you’re just as bad as the activists you oppose; you are willing to advocate violence for your cause (just a state form of it).

    • Plenty of social change has nothing to do with violence. Teaching people to use condoms, sanitation, a move away from council housing in Britain, free education and healthcare in the UK, roe vs wade (abortion allowed) in the US … the list goes on.
      Education is not a social change that needs violence.

      Secondly we will not manage to convince activists who have been AR activists for years, that the are wrong. They have built a mental wall around the idea. To admit they are wrong is to say they have wasted, maybe, 10 years of their life. We want to prevent the next generation of activists, and also to foster an environment where such actions are frowned upon and condemned – then we will see the downfall of extremist activity that we have seen in the UK.

  4. Mimicking the tactics of the animal rights activists merely gives them the publicity they seek. They will not suddenly come to an epiphany and claim, “Wow, we were wrong all those years to terrorize people.” The goal is not to convince the animal rights activists that they are wrong, but rather to convince those that still have an open mind and are willing to listen that animal research is valuable and why.

  5. PS: Revolutionaries make revolutions, liberals make liberalism.

    • The revolution we need is one that pushes us from a discussion spurred by hate, mistrust and violence to one predicated on mutual respect, civility, virtue and reason. Ultimately, the most important “core feature” of the pro-research movement is that it is based upon a balanced, considered and empirically-sound analysis of the practical and philosophical issues related to the use of animals in research. It is imperative that we not mimic the heinous and (often) ludicrous “direct actions” of the other side and that we not mirror their use of insults, name-calling and deceptions.

  6. That’s so cute. How do you expect to stop the threats and the fear though? Last time I checked, public opinion changes…absolutely fuck all!

    Social change comes from militants like Malcom X, extremists like MLK, arsonists like the suffragettes.

    “The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be….” – MLK

    What’s speaking of research going to do to radicalise people into creative extremism and militant actions?

    • The MLK full quote reads:

      “Was not Jesus an extremist for love — “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice — “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ — “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist — “Here I stand; I can do none other so help me God.” Was not John Bunyan an extremist — “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist — “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice–or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill, three men were crucified. We must not forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.”

      So much for implying that he was advocating for violence.