Harassment and intimidation are not forms of progressive, social activism.
Regrettably, it is common for animal right activists, who consistently fail to articulate a cogent argument to the public, to recruit such tactics with the goal of imposing their views on those they disagree with.
This past weekend, the animal rights group ‘Progress for Science,’ descended once again on the neighborhood of a UCLA professor with the only intention of harassing her, her family and neighbors, by brandishing their spiteful language, libelous chants, and false imagery.
Such is the treatment some UCLA faculty, their families and neighbors, have endured for many years now. Everyone’s patience has limits and, on this occasion, a group of ~45 members of the UCLA community, including scientists, students, staff, and supporters, welcomed the group with a simple message —
Your harassment, threats and lies are not going to be tolerated any more.
This time around Progress for Science was placed in the unusual position of having to be on the receiving end. It was a refreshing change, and they did not appear to be very comfortable listening to what others had to say. Their members had been promised the opportunity to scream to the four winds their ignorance and hate. Instead, they were confronted with reason, facts and challenges to their anti-social behavior.
We wondered if the group would make use of this opportunity to engage in public debate. Perhaps they would try to learn the reasons that society has to charge its scientists with advancing medical knowledge and human health? Or maybe they would simply put forward their own challenges in front of us?
None of that happened. They already know that neither science nor ethics are on their side. Instead, the bullies decided to play the role of the victim — a fabrication that will likely be used to justify future abuses. They all stood in a line at the curb, quietly, opting not to engage in any shape or form, stopping only to pray (for the animals in laboratories, never for sick humans in hospitals) and to occasionally flash back a peace sign at us.
A peace sign?! Nobody will be fooled. These are not pacifists exercising their non-violent activism. Such egregious attempt at evoking any comparison with Gandhi is nothing but an additional insult to anyone who has ever participated in serious social activism. Experts who are familiar with animal right extremism find their language and behavior more closely aligned with those of self-righteous, religious fanatics rather than those of progressive, social activists.
So make no mistake — Progress for Science and its members embrace the violence directed towards scientists from within the animal rights movement. The group knows very well that scientists across UC schools have been the subject of animal right extremism that included the firebombing of our homes and threats to our children. Their leader and founder of the group, Carol Glasser, has expressed nothing short of admiration for such criminals.
In the above YouTube video you can see what Carol Glasser had to say about violence from within the animal rights movement [Note: a previously edited version of this video has been removed as filmmaker Denis Hennelly claimed copyright of the video]:
Whatever we are doing as a movement is not working, it is not saving animal lives. I think it is a waste of our time to demonize people who put their own life, their own safety, their own health, and their own freedom at risk, because they can’t imagine another way to help the animals. It is total bullshit of us, to point a finger and demonize them.
In other words, if you cannot be creative enough about your activism go ahead and firebomb a house — she approves. She laters adds:
Nothing we do works. We are losing. The animals are losing. I don’t think anyone of us should be demonizing anyone else who is actually trying to save a life.
It is only the ignorance of their minds and the hate of their hearts that shields them from the truth: it is science and those that support it who save both human and animal lives. Not a coward in a ski mask blowing up cars and homes in the middle of the night. It is people like Jonas Salk who are the true heroes of our society. Only those armed with a corrupt moral theory could equate the work of a scientist who eradicated Polio form the face of the Earth to a Nazi doctor. In the opinion of these zealots, Jonas Salk, who used monkeys in his research, would have been a legitimate target of fire-bombing if he had been alive today.
So don’t be fooled by the misnomer.
Progress for Science is against Science… for only then one can explain their denial of overwhelming scientific consensus (92%) that the use of animals remains a vital part of medical research. Rejecting such strong consensus would be equivalent to rejecting similar ones on evolution or climate change.
Progress for Science is against Progress… for only then one can explain their refusal to acknowledge the clear medical benefits that have resulted from animal research for humans and animals alike, and the millions of lives saved.
Progress for Science is against compassion… for only then one can explain the lack of any moral concern for sick, fellow human beings, opting instead to blame these same patients for what they wrongly argue are mere lifestyle choices.
Progress for Science is entitled to its scientific ignorance and ethical bankruptcy. They have the right to embarrass themselves in public by publicizing their views. But they will no longer be allowed to harass and intimidate the UCLA community and our neighbors without a proper response from our community.
Today, we walk hand in hand.
Today, we are not alone.
Today, we are not afraid.
We shall overcome their hate and threats.
Note: My colleague David Jentsch offers his perspective on these events here.
A family portrait of animal right extremists:
53 thoughts on “‘Progress for Science’ finds itself on the receiving end”
I find it interesting that you open your article with “Harassment and intimidation are not forms of progressive, social activism.”.
I live in Canada and had no idea bout this issue until about 15 minutes ago, when I saw a link to a video on social media. In this video, all of the scientists and pro-animal research supporters were harassing and intimidating other protesters.
Skimming over these comments it also seems that a picture is being painted of ‘extremists’ vs. ‘life saving scientists’. It’s not just black and white, there are many people in this world who are not extremists and still do not agree with the idea ethically.
It’s one thing to disagree ethically with an issue. No one here would deny you the right to disagree with the use of animals in research. Where we make the distinction though is those activists who decide that going to the homes of the researchers, fire-bombing their cars, and threatening them and their families shall no longer be tolerated. All of that has happened to scientists in this country and others that use animal models.
Nobody should have to fear for their own life or the lives of their family because of the terrorist tactics of some individuals. You want to disagree with the use of animals in research? That’s fine. You want to come to my house and threaten me and my family? Not OK. That’s where we’re making a stand.
Only the most foolish and arrogant kind of bullies march around screaming, spreading hate, and frightening children in our neighborhoods and then try to play the victim when they receive resistance. This is what Carol Glasser and her friends are: spiteful and insecure little bullies.
Excellent article, Dario! I’m very proud to be in that group picture with my own lovely dogs, Fred and Barney. I’ve never been more proud to be a Bruin or to be part of this wonderful UCLA community. Kathy
It was nice seeing you Kathy… thanks so much for your support and words.
The picture you guys posted outing almost everyone’s identity makes you guys just look worse. Look how they are PEACEFULLY protesting in that picture.. nothing like what you guys are making this amazing and compassionate group out to be. The pics and videos of you guys, on the other hand… smh!
On one hand you are proud of their ‘activism’, on the other you are uncomfortable with their identities being revealed?
Let me tell you why they are uncomfortable being exposed — they are not really peaceful. Don’t confuse harassment with activism.
HOORAY for the animal rights activists! Happy to say that I know or know of most all the people you guys outed in that picture, even though I am mainly an activist for other causes.. Great compassionate people! PROUD OF THEM ALL! YOU guys on the other hand.. smh..
Attempting to stop live-saving medical research is not compassionate. They are zealots:
I’ll try and say something constructive since there aren’t a lot of nice words in these comments. :)
Vivisection proponents I applaud you for working tremendously hard to help sick people. Truly.
But keep an open mind! There are so many ways to help humans! So many ways that do NOT involve causing death to beagles, ferrets, mice..
If you’re a great scientist, don’t stop!
Thanks to other facets of science, labs are becoming so sophisticated that they provide increasingly accurate alternatives to animal testing.
But they need you to improve. We need you.
Your comment assumes scientists only engage in research with animals. Of course there are many ways to help humans! There is plenty of work on prevention, epidemiology, public health…. reaching all the way to theoretical physics and abstract mathematics that help humans! It is all taking place.
Our argument is simply that some research cannot be done without studying life and disease processes in a living organism and, unfortunately, at this point in time there are no technologies that allow us to do this non-invasively in humans. The work is valuable, highly regulated and ethical.
The animal extremist view is that the work is valueless (rejecting all medical history), that scientists do whatever they do to the animals (proving they know nothing about the hoops you have to go through before you even bring an animal to the lab), that they merely do it for the money (proving that they don’t really know personally who scientists, students and staff really are as persons) and unethical (proving they are zealots that cannot recognize the existence of any moral dilemma). They are flat wrong in all counts.
Oh yes… It is the hallmark of a good scientist to have an open mind. Guess what is the hallmark of a fanatic?
i was thinking what Kelly above said as i read this “opinion” (yeah, anyone with one of those can write and “article”) what if it was you or yours being experimented on? and really, how much of this is about saving lives, and how much of it is about making money?
ps. love the way you interpret Carol’s words in whatever way makes you feel better about yourself.
Derrière, or whatever alias, go vegan raw for a few years, and then come back and talk to us. Your brain will be functioning much more normally and you won’t be as ” disconnected ” .
It is interesting that the people running a counter-demo brought their dogs. What if it were those animals they love in those cages? How is speciesism justifiable while racism is condemned? Why not ask the rat whether he wants to be violently exploited? Why are you condoning violence against the innocent? Any being who desires to be free can be enslaved and I regret to burst your status-quo’s bubble: Slavery is ALWAYS wrong.
Your answer — http://unlikelyactivist.com/2014/01/23/scientists-their-pets-and-research/
But do you really think we owe the exact same moral consideration to a pig and to a mentally disabled child with similar cognitive capabilities? Does it not matter to you at all that if harm comes to the child there is a human family that may suffer as a consequence in a way that is not paralleled in the case of the pig?
Have a carrot it will calm you down? Do you have scientific data to back this claim? :)
Humans with cancer are snubbing your science, and curing themselves with diet. This must really drive you insane. Dave B and Dave Y, you are both failing miserably. In my experience being vegan and steering clear of chemicals and prescription drugs, HAS excepted me from all illness.
Where are the cure for cancer and AIDS……?? That’s right….there aren’t any…..with over 40 years of research for cancer….you would think that all these animals you experimented on would have produced some kind of clues. Radiation and chemo are just retardant s and remission doesn’t mean you’re cured. Many cancer patients relapse. Big Pharma and the Medical Industry don’t want cures because they already know the answer to most chronic diseases and it is not profitable. The FDA and the USDA feed the general public garbage infested with GMO, hormones, antibiotics, neurotoxins in the vaccines, over processed food, carcinogenic preservatives, just to make a buck (just look at the school lunches filled with hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, pizza,….) TV is just spreading Hollywood and bubble land news. The Industries are so corrupt….and all have lobbiests in the government who will promote them and meanwhile Americans are getting fatter, sicker, are taking more useless meds, need more useless vaccines, and are losing their connection with reality by moving away from nature. UCLA is filling its pockets with research grants to test on animals for what….create more pills….?? This country is over medicated and the answer to health is not in a pill, a vaccine, or in a lab. Diet and exercise is the answers for most diseases….of course not all….but most. Most meds just control symptoms because that is the goal….keep profiting from people for life….another lifelong sick consumer….hooray for big Pharma…!!
Wow you call this journalism? more like a twisted, one sided pathetic opinion column. considering there is video supporting the fact that your supporters, those who support vivisection, were the loud, disrespectful, insulting, rude side of the demonstration, and had to be subdued by police. i hope your readers don’t drink your koolaid.
Wait… we may be making progress. Are you saying that this group did not like it when others behave just like them? What conclusion did they take from the experience? Of course, we did not behave like them — doing so would mean we would have to go to their homes instead. They came to us. We simply defended our colleagues and friends.
Absolutely Not! I’m vegan and am fortunate to say I never ” get sick “. Also am in my 40’s and have Never had the flu shot. No need when you are vegan. I’m living proof. My dog was a victim of veterinary Medicine and was having weekly seizures until I educated myself about all the vaccines and drugs, anti parasitics. Stopped being a blind consumer ect. I replaced everything with herbs and haven’t seen a seizure in years. Yes, there is a whole another world, aside from the bubble the drug companies have created. A world of educated individuals who live in harmony with the earth and can think for themselves. I am thankful for holistic doctors who have gone above and beyond their basic medical school training to learn proper nutrition and body nourishment. Not staying behind, and still dependent on the pharma industries. Using medicine as an excuse to cut up innocent animals and deprive them of the life they are entitled to. You are not God. It takes a lot to step away from this abusive industry, and work harder at earning money. I hope one day you will take steps towards a more ethical and compassionate lifestyle, one that involves helping animals instead of hurting, depriving and confining them. It takes Work and more brain power to take this route, than the route you have chosen to take.
Oy vey… Have a carrot Layla, it will help you calm down. Of course, a good diet is part of good medicine, but if you think that’s all there is to it I am afraid that all you have to do is wait… Do you have any children? Are they vaccinated? Of course not… I forgot you are anti-vaccination too.
Being vegan doesn’t exempt you from all illnesses. Many are genetically linked. You’re also extremely naive if you think all biomedical research is related to developing new drugs. The pharmaceutical industry is but one part of the equation. You should really do some research before responding here, You’re comments only serve to prove you’re ignorant about what science is and what research is. You say you educated yourself, but so far I’ve seen no evidence of that.
I know a 6 year old girl who has cancer. It had nothing to do with nutrition, it was genetically linked. She just got unlucky. It’s in remission now because of a new drug developed through animal research,. But I guess according to you it would be better if she had just died. Why don’t you go to a children’s cancer wing and look at all those kids bravely battling cancer and tell them their lives are worth saving because the mouse is more important than they are.
You can easily compare a pedophile to a child molester. Both use manipulation tactics and deception to get their hands on what it is they desire, money, sex, and the rape and torture of the innocent, the helpless and voiceless. Both entrap and imprison the voiceless, for their own greed and pleasure. Perfect comparison.
You can easily compare a pedophile (child molester) to a vivisector (animal torturer and abuser). Both use manipulation tactics and deception to get their hands on what it is they desire, money, sex, and the rape and torture of the innocent, the helpless and voiceless. Both entrap and imprison the voiceless, for their own greed and pleasure. Perfect comparison.
So you have obviously chosen to forgo any and all advancements either ever made or likely to be made in the future, right? No antibiotics if you get sick, no flu shots, no vaccines for you or any children. No treatments for cancer, or diabetes, or any other diseases. No MRI’s or CAT scans or ultrasounds. You’re willing to just risk it and you’ll either get better or die. Same with any children? How about pets? Do you get them vaccinated? Do you take them to the veterinarians if they get sick? Maybe if you’d climb down off that high horse and actually bother to see what areal lab is like you’d actually learn something. As it is you’re just another mouth spouting off about that which you no nothing about.
Perfect example of the kind of vitriolic language that reflects the love and compassion of the animal rights movement.
Nick says it perfectly. Let’s use humans since you selfish wana be scientists think what you are doing is saving human lives. Prove it. Vivisection has never been considered science. Science is what you call it to dress it up, and cover up your disgusting practice and torture of innocent animals. Useless, and everyone sees it. Real scientist invent, create , and work hard to find NEW and EFFECTIVE WAYS of finding cures. Vivisectors cut up animals and murder them, inflicting pain and suffering. Easy money. Vivisection industry is the ONLY industry that needs to defend animal experimentation. Everyone else has to look away in horror and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s how horrible it is, people have to lie to themselves and pretend it doesn’t happen in order to go on with their day to day lives. The rest of the population who has their eyes open, are called the ‘activists’. Continue with your greed and deception, and we will continue to expose you. That is what we are here for.
Entertaining reality has never been a hallmark of the Animal Rights thought process. They all profess to know the horrors being carried out in labs without ever having stepped foot in an actual animal facility.
Nothing these protesters did or likely will ever do can even compare to what the vivisector does to their victims.
But the article just ignores that part and calls the anti-vivisector protesters hateful. And maybe they do hate. Maybe they hate injustice and torture of innocent beings. But what’s wrong with that? Hate is just a passionate position of dislike. Just as others may hate child molesters, these activists extend their empathy to the non human children. That’s admirable.
Advocating to end suffering and to stop torture is the opposite of violence. It’s a position against unnecessary violence.
Did you really just compare scientists to child molesters? More accurately the passionate position felt by certain groups towards scientist and child molesters is comparable??? Scientists develop drugs and therapies to improve the lives of countless millions of people and animals while child molesters sexually molest children. Let’s at least entertain reality here.
If you think the treatment of non humans isn’t bad, then just use humans.
Forcing others to enslavement and torture for the benefit of the species you belong to is selfish.
Your suggestion is based on the notion that we owe the same moral consideration to a mouse than to a human child. We disagree. In any case, there is plenty of human research going around as well. The work benefits both humans and non-human animals. Is your companion animal (or should I say slave?) vaccinated?
This is an eloquent response from Amy Nicole (pictured), who is one of the most caring and non-violent people I know. She was blocked from commenting on this post: “All of the words and phrases used here, “bullies, religious fanatics, ignorance, violence, hate, etc” are all well documented on video (hilariously I might add) being *perpetrated by these “counter protestors”*, some of which clearly had no idea why they were even there, but showed up nonetheless as paid thugs. The video we have from this encounter speaks volumes, especially the images of cops having to physically subdue the “counter protestors” with force. To address the rest of the claims in this little blog one would have to stoop to the level of the stubborn and stunted mind of the author. No one has time for that. And none of Progress for Science attendees are “for violence”. That’s a “golden lie” that’s bandied about desperately by the vivisection supporters to keep padding and propping up their faulty reasoning, faultering support, while evading the negative national attention brought forth from the bowels of their very own “re$earch labs”. We talked to neighbors. They are not supportive of vivisection. They also pointed out some of your signs even mis-spelled “research”. What a classic commentary is that!? You can’t even spell the word, let alone defend and promote it. P.s.: all present that day are vegans- they don’t wear leather or use products tested on animals. But why, might I ask, is that a talking point of yours? Let’s talk about what goes on in the labs, period. Next time your signs should bear witness to the labs and your ethics- show all the pics from your lab$. Why not? ? Yeah, I thought so.”
And I am a UCLA alumna.
It’s very commendable that you claim you don’t use products tested on animals although I don’t believe you. You’ve never needed to take an antibiotic or other medication in your life? You either weren’t vaccinated or have not had your children vaccinated? Or your pets vaccinated for that matter? You’ve never needed an MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound, or other such modalities to diagnose either an illness or injury? Have you, or anyone in your household needed treatment for cancer, lung disease, heart disease, or anything of that nature? While it’s commendable that you choose to live that lifestyle, what about the child suffering from cancer? Should we just tell them its ethically more important that they die so that the mouse doesn’t have to?
I’m guessing you don’t really know what the inside of a lab looks like either apart from the 20 year old pictures often displayed on animal rights protest signs, I bet you didn’t know that biomedical research is the second most heavily regulated industry in the United State? It means there are more regulation regarding how animals are treated in research labs than there are on your vegan products. It also means there are regulations covering how animals are housed and treated that we in the field take very seriously. I bet you didn’t know that many dogs that are used in research are then adopted out, often to the very caretakers that cared for them during their research. Remind me again what PeTA’s adoption rate was last year? Something like 5-10% tops? The rest they killed.
I’m perfectly willing to discuss the conditions within a research facility because I know what they are. How are you going to argue when clearly you’ve never been in one? Being an alumni of UCLA doesn’t make you any more knowledgeable about animal research than standing in my garage makes me a car.
First, Amy Nicole was not blocked. That’s a lie demonstrated by the fact her comment, as published by you, is still here. So long as comments comply with our policy there are allowed. It appears more likely that your friend lacks the courage to own her words.
Second, you believe these people are good. I see no evidence of that. I see some good qualities in them — they are creative, committed and passionate about what they perceive to be a just cause. Sadly, these are dwarfed by the negative I see in them — they are ignorant about the science, they deny the existence of a moral dilemma, they are oblivious about the benefits it produced (Are they vaccinated? Will they vaccinate their kids?), they lacked the courage to debate in public when they had the opportunity to do so (preferring instead to show up after we left and harass, again, those they disagree with), their priorities in terms of helping animals are upside down (97% of the population eats meat, global warming and poachers are decimating entire species but you are fighting those that want to cure disease and develop new therapies?), and yes, their leaders embrace violence within the animal rights movement. Glasser’s words and the fact that she hangs out with people like Jerry Vlasak and Steve Best, who openly advocate violence against scientists, speaks for itself. They cannot paint themselves as something they are not.
3) As I said, they have the right to voice their opinions in public. You think animal research has not produced any benefits? Please be my guest and make your case to the public. Do you think animals have the same right to life and liberty as any other human being? Please be my guest and make your case to the public. Do you think that we, as society, should abolish all animal research? Please be my guest and make your case to the public. But, you see, if you fail to convince the public you don’t have the right to harass, intimidate or use violence to impart your views on the rest of society. Being frustrated or locking the imagination as to how to advance your cause is not a stamp of approval for the use of violence as deplorably suggested by Carol Glasser.
4) Your friends are bad people… (they could be good if they were not so misguided and accepted the ethical dilemma involved in the work.)
“If i took a newborn pig and hung him upside down while i cut off its testicles with a pair of scissors then sent if off to a medical facility to live in its own shit and urine while it developed painful ulcers and is tortured with painful experiments, apparently that is fine. ”
I don’t know what kind of places you are imagining, but that’s just entirely false. As Tom has already pointed out, enclosures are cleaned AND sanitized on a strict schedule.
Research animals are required to have free access to clean water, food, and a clean, dry, comfortable space to live with environmental enrichment.
Also, I don’t think people of any race, gender, or age would appreciate having their struggles compared with this non-issue you are trying to raise.
Bias journalism at its best. Well done.
Some animal rights activists might intimidate. Some muslims and christians intimidate. Some kids are mass murderers. Hopefully you understand the basic difference between some and all.
We are chimpanzees, monkeys, apes. We are not gods chosen ones. We are mammals, we are animals, and that is quite a basic fact. We feel the same pain and emotions as all of the other mammals.
If I tied a kid up and tortured him then that would be despicable. If i took a newborn pig and hung him upside down while i cut off its testicles with a pair of scissors then sent if off to a medical facility to live in its own shit and urine while it developed painful ulcers and is tortured with painful experiments, apparently that is fine.
White man the king. Always thinking they are better. We gave women their rights. We gave black men their rights. We gave children their rights. Its time we learned that we are not better than everything else, its time we gave animals their rights.
^Redon, I totally agree with you man. It’s honestly quite ridiculous how science treats animals in “research” and claim that “it is beneficial to society” when it’s fucking not. I hate how people look at science like it’s all glorious in which faults or questions are never taken into consideration, on any subject. “If a scientist says so then it must be true!”
What on earth?! We are not chimpanzees or monkeys (we are apes). I also think you need to see the inside of a lab, it is clearly not as you imagine it. Cages are cleaned very regularly, operations are done under anaesthetic, and without it we could cut decades off all our life expectancies.
Dario, you’re using footage I shot and hold the copyright for in the vimeo video titled “Carol Glasser.” As you do not have my permission to use it, that is copyright infringement. Please remove it immediately.
Removed temporarily. Please provide proof of copyright ownership.
I shot it. That gives me the copyright. If you want to challenge that and use it anyway, I’m happy to bring proof to the courtroom. I know vivisectors like to play it loose and fast with laws (as evidenced by the many violations of the scant animal welfare laws that protect their subjects, including at UCLA), but if you’re interested I suggest you do some research into copyright laws.
As a point of fact (something else vivisectors seem to like to avoid), Dr. Glasser is not speaking on violence in that clip. She’s speaking about people who commit crimes for the sake of animals. Whether or not property destruction is violence is an ethical and linguistic question. Whether what is done to animals in laboratories is violence is not a question.
And thanks for the promotional link above.
I shot it. That gives me the copyright.
Yes, that’s what you claim… but your name is not listed in the authorship of the YouTube video. Is it?
And thanks for the promotional link above.
You are welcome…
I take that you think firebombing someone’s house is not violence? Is an “ethical and linguistic question”?!
How do you feel about the bombing of abortion clinics? Is that justified as well if those that engage in such activity believe they are morally correct in their views?
Do you think stopping research that will lead to future cures/therapies is not violent?
Are you the spokesperson for Dr. Glasser now? Her words speak for themselves.
I’m thinking that perhaps you should do some research into copyright law yourself. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August of 2012 that embedding a video from a site such as YouTube is does not constitute copyright infringement. So, we’re free to embed any videos you’ve allegedly shot and posted to YouTube without infringing on your copyright protections. Thanks for playing though.
Dave B – What Dario did was edit my video with other video clips to create a new piece which he has taken down. Obviously he has the right to embed a youtube video.
It’s excellent to see UCLA researchers standing up to these animal rights thugs , there really is only so much harassment and intimidation you can take!
This SR post from 2011 shows that the animal rights extremists are fully aware of how their protests are regarded by the neighbors of the scientists they target, and how far from peaceful such “home protests” really are.
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