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B of A Holiday Pops Demo's Surprisingly Successful

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - Dec 15-18: A few activists stood in the cold to help raise concert-goer consciousness of the atrocities sponsored by Bank of America mutual fund investment partner Stephens Inc.
B of A Holiday Pops Demo's Surprisingly Successful
B of A Holiday Pops Demo's Surprisingly Successful
(for the stout of heart: video of HLS workers cutting open a partially conscious monkey:  http://www.vivisectioninfo.org/hls/vidone.html)

Besides an initial impotent threat of either detention, arrest, a ticket, or a stern talking-to (*it was all very confusing*) for exercising First Amendment rights of Free Speech and Assembly, the December 15-18 informational demos at the Arlene Schnitzer B of A Holiday Pops went well.

For three of the four nights, attendees of the show saw video of beagle puppies being punched in the face and a partially conscious monkey being cut open from groin to sternum. They witnessed the stark contrast between the inhuman, perfunctory cruelty in the lab and the genial public face of Bank of America. Most people accepted fliers explaining the link between B of A and the horrendous waste and torture they saw. After learning of B of A mutual fund investment partner's (Stephens Inc.) stalwart support of a failing company that guzzles blood money like PBR, at least two current Bank of America customers said they were going to check out the anti-HLS websites and call Bank of America to inquire and close their accounts if the allegations were true. Which they are ... no lack of proof there.

One woman asked for a flier she could copy and distribute. A well-dressed elderly man eyed us sternly for a while, then slowly approached and said pensively, "I guess it's good you're here doing this. I suppose you have to get the word out somehow." And, he wished us luck. Quite a few people, after reading the flier, thanked us for coming out in the cold and doing what we were doing. One young man refused the information, politely but firmly. After seeing one of the activists lend a hand to an older woman stepping up onto the curb, he changed his mind and approached saying, "On second thought, I think I'll take one of those."

One woman hated the video, shielding her children and angrily reproaching us with, "You should choose your venue better." We politely but firmly asserted that apathy and willful ignorance kills at least 500 animals a day and that the images, though unpleasant and really un-christmassy, were important for everyone to see if the acts behind the images are ever to stop. That it's worse that it happens than that we see it.

People working in the area were cautious, but ended up being interested and genial. Some eventually approached to get more information on why we were there. Countenances changed quickly. Brows furrowed and the question usually was "Is this true?" When we ran out of fliers and power for the video, a few concerned by-standers quietly pointed out that we still had our voices and that we could stay and still get the word out. (to our chagrin ... we had our hearts set on getting warm)

In four hours, with about four people, over four days, we passed out approximately 1,000 pieces of literature, and exchanged large amounts of unanticipated good dialogue and good will.

Will those who expressed interest act? It's all but impossible to say. Is this a watershed event for the animals? No. It's part of a war of attrition on self-imposed ignorance, in which those who don't know are not necessarily adversaries but potential allies. And, sweet hayzeus, we need them.

While all sorts of activism will be necessary in this struggle, those who participated in the concert demos came away with a little more hope for us all. Besides a few unpleasant responses, what we found couldn't have surprised us more, or more agreeably. My holiday present this year has been witnessing in the most unsuspected circumstances and people: A quiet alliance of thoughtful humanity. A willingness to reach, to bridge, to stand, to speak when it matters. Resilient goodness of heart. Silent complicity in strength of spirit.

Thank you.

homepage: homepage: http://www.vivisectioninfo.org/HLS.html

seeing is believing 02.Jan.2002 12:09

Allahntin Bahana ysab@efn.org

As gross as it is sometimes you have to show someone an atrocity before they will believe it. From: friends of Craig R.