Tag Archives: People’s Petition

Activists try “Climate of Fear” approach!

The recent success of the Pro-Test Petition (10,000 signatures and counting) has caused stirs among animal rights activists. Two extremist blogs – the Thomas Paine’s Corner (which we have previously mentioned and is staffed by a number of ALF Press Officers) and the Negotiation is Over blog (which we have also mentioned), decided to encourage other activists to harass scientists who had signed the Pro-Test Petition.

The petition is both a directory of people whose minds need to be changed (and in many cases whose behavior needs to be changed) … Please select as many names from the petition as you see fit and contact these individuals as soon as possible. Some common names may be difficult to trace to the particular individual but many names will not be difficult (particularly if they have listed educational credentials or academic titles with their name).

It is only just the someone who opts to take a public position in favor of violence toward animals receive some negative feedback from more compassionate individuals such as the many dedicated activists who read this blog.

The effect is to create a climate of fear among scientists whereby they do not feel secure enough to speak up about their research or the research of others. Pro-Test for Science and Americans for Medical Progress have responded by emailing signatories and urging them to ignore any harassment (and to report it to us – contact@speakingofresearch.com), a response to which SR adds its name. Thus far we have not heard of anyone who signed being contacted by activists.


The petition is a good example of safety in numbers and the importance of standing up together to defend research – it becomes almost impossible for activists to effectively isolate and target individuals. This is what happened in the UK with the original Pro-Test movement and the subsequent “People’s Petition” which attracted over 20,000 signatories. So if you haven’t signed the Pro-Test Petition there is never a better time than right now!

A couple of blogs have also rallied round in defence of the petition such as Lousy Canuck and Traumatized By Truth:

So please, if you have not signed, now is the time to lend your support. Let these vile cretins know that you support science, you support medicine, you support a better understanding of disease, you support new medicines and improving old ones.

Let them know you support a better future for your parents, your children, your grandchildren, your friends – yourself. Let them know you support the scientists who are helping make that better future and will not tolerate violence against them.

Remember – the actions of the animal rights activists reflect the reasons behind our creation of the Pro-Test Petition. The more they harass us, the stronger our resolve must be to overcome it.


Tom Holder

Are you Pro-Test? Sign the Petition!!

Join over the hundreds of people (1400+ at time of writing) who have signed The Pro-Test Petition! This is a petition of scientists, students and the general public aims to show the world that the majority do support animal research – and moreover they dare stand up and sign their name to it. On April 22nd around 800 people stood up at UCLA in support of lifesaving medical research – now it’s up to you. Tell your friends, family and colleagues to go to:


We the undersigned believe:

  1. That animal research has contributed and continues to contribute to major advances in the length and quality of our lives.  It remains vital to understanding basic biological processes and for the development of new treatments and therapies such as antibiotics, vaccines, organ transplants, and cancer medicines.
  2. That animal research is morally justifiable provided animal welfare remains a high priority and no valid non-animal alternatives are available.
  3. That violence, intimidation and harassment of scientists and others involved in animal research is neither a legitimate means of protest, nor morally justified.
They're Pro-Test, Are You?

They’re Pro-Test, Are You?

This petition is a joint effort between  Speaking of Research, Americans for Medical Progress, and UCLA Pro-Test. This project was also motivated by the successful People’s Petition in the UK, set up by Coalition for Medical Progress (now called Understanding Animal Research) which gathered well over 20,000 signatures – including then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In Blair’s letter to the Sunday Telegraph he wrote:

Announcing that I am to add my name to the on-line petition in support of animal testing … is something of a break with tradition – and a sign of just how important I believe it is that as many people as possible stand up against the tiny group of extremists threatening medical research and advances in this country.

With Barack Obama’s desire to increase funding in science, there has never been a better time for politicians to add their name to the Pro-Test Petition. If you do hold a particularly public post, or you a particularly eminent scientist (Nobel Prizes etc.) and you are willing to have your name highlighted in the petition – please contact us after signing.

I’ll finish with a quote from Obama:

At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science. That support for research is somehow a luxury at a moment defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree. Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been. And if there was ever a day that reminded us of our shared stake in science and research, it’s today.

Never a truer word was spoken.


Tom Holder