On August 4th, at the main entrance to UC Santa Cruz, faculty members held a demonstration in support of their colleagues who were targeted with firebombs on August 2nd in what authorities are calling attacks by animal liberationists. Corporate news reporters, and their flock of more than ten white vans, were all over the scene to quickly sensationalize the story.
I spoke with numerous people to listen to their feelings, document why they chose to attend the demonstration, and in some cases to inquire about potential consequences to student privacy when organizing future events. The people I spoke with included researchers, a lecturer, professors, UCSC students, a Santa Cruz High School student that lives in faculty housing, UCSC’s Executive Communications Coordinator, Guy Lasnier, and finally with UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal.
An email sent by a UCSC faculty member calling for the demonstration, which was organized in less than 24 hours, states, “Regardless of one’s personal views on research involving animals, this has now become a very different kind of discourse, about more fundamental aspects of society.”
A full online announcement for the demonstration states:
“On Monday, 4th August, at 5pm at UCSC main entrance, there will be a gathering of people in demonstration for the support of the fire-bombed faculty and against terrorist tactics.
The demonstration is not about whether or not research on animals is good, bad, etc. This demonstration is about fundamental aspects of society, about peaceful tactics towards things/situations we do not like.
Violence is not the solution.
Please come to the base of UCSC campus on Monday 4th August at 5pm to show your support for peace and to show that terrorism needs to be put to a stop, no matter where it occurs and for what cause it is.”
Crossposted at Indybay.org.