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BIOTRINITY PROTESTS AT START OF CONFERENCE
Tuesday, 12th April
The Biotrinity conference is the largest gathering for the bio/pharma industry in the UK, and was attended by over 750 delegates during the 3 days from pharmaceutical companies (including AstraZeneca, Merck, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer), investors and those involved in research and development – including many involved in animal experimentation.
We could not miss an opportunity to put our view over to these companies and their investors who attended about the cruelty and scientific fraud of animal experiments. A demo started at the entrance of Newbury racecourse where the conference goers entering were left in no doubt of the strength of feeling against the vivisection industry of the bio/pharma industry. With activists holding placards, posters and banners, along with a noisy naming and shaming with the use of megaphones of those that were going into the racecourse to the pre-conference registration and grand opening reception in the racecourse grandstand.
While the protest was going on at the entrance, other activists decided to go and visit some of the delegates inside the grandstand and by-passing all the security, made there way into the grandstand where the conference goers were starting the reception. Two activists then hid in the toilets, while another two started to chant loudly about why they shouldn't invest in animal abuse and shoddy research. One activists got up on the vacant stage, and with the use of the microphone that was set up continued to explain why it is such a bad idea to continue abusing animals or investing in such cruelty, along with anti-vivisection chants from the other activist there. After a short while some out of breath 'security' turned up asking us who we got in - you may never know! After the activists where taken from the reception, the other two activists that had been hiding in the toilet came out and started the protest again!
Once all 4 protestors were removed from the reception (we hadn't registered or paid the £800, so we didn't stay), who then started to walk out of the racecourse. Thames Valley's finest turned up to 'facilitate' a discussion about the finer points of lawful protest. Despite threats of arrest, activists stood their ground and eventually the police saw sense and they left the racecourse to join others.
While the inner racecourse protest had been going on, the activists at the entrance had moved off to a local hotel that BioTrinity investors were meeting execs...
Just before 7pm, the demonstrators moved on from the racecourse entrance to arrive at the Vineyard hotel in Stockcross where the exclusive restaurant was the venue for an invitation only dinner of investors in biosciences. Protesters ran up to the front doors, megaphones blaring, but were prevented from entering due to the police who insisted that any demo take place off private property. So while some activists stood at the entrance to let all those entering the hotel know exactly who the clientele consisted of, others nipped off around the back down a footpath that ran around the side and back of the hotel. The sound of the different megaphones could be heard echoing around and around the hotel complex.
Next, the activists walked slightly down the road until they were directly opposite the restaurant where the investors were to eat their dinner. Right on queue, just as everyone arrived, the sound of cutlery tapping on glass could be heard as someone tried to get attention before starting a speech. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t quite get the speech they expected as megaphones very clearly informed them about the barbaric fraud that is vivisection.
The organiser of the dinner came out, trying to get everyone to be quiet and go away by arguing that the people attending the dinner were not vivisectors. Unfortunately he seemed to completely miss the point, that those people inside worked for companies that were responsible for causing suffering to thousands of animals every year, and were attending the BioTrinity Conference with a view to investing in projects quite likely to be experimenting on animals in the future. The blood of vivisected animals is on their hands just as much as it is on the hands of those who do the actual experiments.
No doubt there will be another BioTrinity conference again next year, and have no doubt that activists will be there again to get the message across loud and clear – experiments on animals will not be tolerated.