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HLS & ASTRAZENECA PROTESTS IN LONDON & AT PHARMA SUMMIT
Thursday, 10th February
Activists in London got out onto the streets to fight vivisection at Huntingdon Life Sciences and bring a focus on their key customer, AstraZeneca.
First of all, we went to Black Rock (33 King William Street, London EC4R 9AS) who are the largest shareholder in AstraZeneca. They have been told about the animal abuse, but do not care. As security guards paced around the front of the building, their staff were informed of the true face of the company's investments and the sickening result.
Axa's UK HQ (5 OLd Broad Street, London) was next up as a major shareholder in AZ too, right in the heart of the city where many stock traders, market makers and influential business people could see. Upon arrival security staff as usual locked up the whole of the front entrances, leaving a tiny gap for workers to squeeze through when going for their lunch break. How embarrassing! Everyone around was informed of Axa's holding of shares in AstraZeneca and informed about why we continue to fight the vile laboratory HLS. Many business folk stopped to discuss the poor record of investing in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in the current climate and wishing the campaign good luck.
Then it was onto The Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA who were hosting the Pharma Summit 2011, which featured various talks including the focus of the day being on AstraZeneca's Global President of Research & Development - Martin Mackay. Many of the top names involved in vivisection were in attendance, including HLS and many of their customers, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis, Astellas and one of our priority targets, AstraZeneca.
Extra security provisions and guards had been put on, however this was nothing compared to the determination of activists. Whilst a number of campaigners staged a noisy demonstration outside the hotel urging the hotel to stop hosting these disgusting events, two activists made their way inside, the activists managed to reach the ballroom where the discussion panel was taking place. Mackay, who controls AZ's R&D contract, was told that there is no excuse for dealing in animal abuse at HLS. As security guards dragged activists out, bundling them into a cupboard on the way out by mistake, the conference were left with one clear message - stop dealing with HLS!
Ironically, the conference was themed around getting the industry back on its feet and improving its image whilst companies are closing down sites, suffering loss of profits and laying off workers to save money. As the day was drawing to a close, campaigners moved onto the Irish Embassy at 17 Grosvenor Place, where the Pharma Summit attendees were scheduled to arrive at 5pm for a drinks reception.
However, upon hearing about the presence of the activists there, the conference-goers were almost an hour late arriving and had to be escorted in by around 15 diplomatic and Met police officers. There's nothing worse than turning up late to your own party.
The protest continued outside the embassy for almost 2 hours until 7pm, much to the dismay of the pharmaceutical executives inside, who could be seen staring out of the windows as activists used megaphones and placards to remind them exactly why they would not be allowed to relax at their party, whilst animals were being electrocuted, poisoned, irradiated and cut open inside the laboratory walls.
This day had been intended to be about discussing the future of the pharmaceutical industry and improving their image, but we have shown them their future – if companies continue to prop up HLS, we will continue to remind them of all the victims of this fraudulent science, of all the lives that have been ended because of greed and ignorance.
We must fight like we never have until HLS is closed once and for all.
Until all are free!