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ANTI-HLS & ANTI-CAPTALIST 'TRICK OR TREAT' HOME DEMOS IN DC
Wednesday, 31st October
Defending Animal Rights Today and Tomorrow (DARTT) and the Anarchist-Alliance DC Network (AADC) teamed up for a night of anti-capitalist trick or treating targeting vivisection, homelessness, and enabling financial institutions. Those visited on All Hallows Eve were Brian Maloney (Global issues management for top Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) customer AstraZeneca), Anitia Eolof (Director of Wells Fargo Government Relations), John Richardson (Vice President of Abbot Fund, a fully owned subsidiary of HLS customer Abbot Labs) and Jack Evans (Ward 2 Councilman).
One major point can be made to unite this mix of issues which provided a reason for the chosen targets for this night of action. While there is talk of austerity budgets after the US election, NIH and the Federal government are spending $12 billion on vivisection nationally, according to SAEN, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, a national anti-vivisection watchdog group. The attempt to close DC homeless shelters in 2011 was over a $30M budget shortfall. In other words, that $12 billion could double the number of shelter beds in 330 cities the size of DC! About $15M of that money is spend addicting animals to drugs,money that could be spent instead on addiction rehabilitation programs to actually treat humans.
Two of the targets were executives of customers of puppy-killing, animal caging HLS, a contract animal testing laboratory. HLS has been exposed in over 8 undercover investigations, documenting workers punching four month year old beagle puppies, dissecting live primates without anesthetic and holding "contests" for pulling the tails off primates.
Another target was Anita Eolof, of Wells Fargo, notorious for their investments in the GEO Group, one of the worlds largest builders of private prisons.
Chants rang out in the neighborhoods and into the buildings where the heartless monsters sleep. The coalition of organizations for the night of anti-capitalist trick-or-treating states that "home protests, although controversial, have proved to be a successful tool for affecting positive change across many social justice movements." This statement held true on this Halloween night, when the protesters marched on their final target of the night.
The final target was Jack Evans, our representative to Ward 2 in DC. He has been responsible for closing three homeless shelters in downtown DC, leading to what the Washington Post calls a "severe shortage of shelter beds". One of these closings, Franklin Shelter, is still in contention and activists have been seeking to reopen it since 2008. He voted in favor of spending three quarters of a billion dollars on the baseball stadium and destroying an entire Gay neighborhood to do so. Jack Evans was also responsible for the passing of the draconian "Residential Tranquility Act", which was clearly aimed at DARTT's peaceful freedom of speech. Finally, he was involved in failed attempts to ban Occupy protests without 12 hours notice to the cops.
"Jack Evans has demonstrated that he favors developers over families and free speech time and time again", states DARTT and AADC.
With up to 50 trick or treaters outside, Jack Evans felt he had no choice but to negotiate. He came out, and tried to answer for his crimes with puffery about "permanent supportive housing" that turned out to be very temporary for former Frankln Shelter residents. He trotted out excuse after excuse for why people are dying of hypothermia on DC streets every winter.
In the end, Jack Evans agreed to set up a "press conference" with activists so long as he was permitted to bring the Mayor, Michael Brown (Chair of Committee on Economic Development and Housing) and Jim Graham (Chair of Committee on Human Services) as well. He will be held to this promise!
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ONE STRUGGLE, ONE FIGHT!
Until ALL are Free!