5th International Animal Rights Day (IARD)
10th December 2002
Campaigners hold worldwide vigils for animal victims
On Tuesday 10 December 2002, campaigners across the world held
candlelit vigils in protest at cruelty towards animals to mark the Fifth
International Animal Rights Day (IARD).
Campaigners outside Sheffield University.
There were twenty such protests all over England, Scotland and Wales
and several more in cities across Europe. There was also a string of protests
in the United States cities of Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia,
San Francisco, Washington DC and Seattle - and further protests in Mexico
Establishments involved in vivisection, factory farming, the fur industry
and even bull-fighting were among those targeted by the vigils.
Uncaged Campaigns initiated the day of action five years ago, with the
aim of promoting a debate about how animals should be treated and working
towards international recognition of the rights of animals.
Uncaged Campaigns Director, Dan Lyons, who was called
upon for several media interviews to explain the concept behind the day,
"10 December is the date that the world embraced the need
for human rights when the United Nations made its declaration in 1948.
Human rights are vital to protect us from deliberate torture, false
imprisonment and killing. But these abuses still cause horrific suffering
to millions of other animals as well. If we believe in human dignity
and rights, we can't reasonably deny them to other animals - it would
be hypocritical and unfair. The vigils that took place all over the
world on 10 December were a powerful and inspiring statement to this
effect, and Uncaged Campaigns would like to thank everyone who took
In Defence of Animals protest in Washington DC, USA.
"On what seemed to us to be the coldest evening of the year,
around 20 hardy souls turned up for the International Animal Rights
Day vigil on December 10 outside the National Institute for Medical
Research (NIMR) at Mill Hill.
"Up at the top of the hill, the icy wind blew and thwarted
our numerous attempts to light the candles, but it did not dampen our
spirits, our voices, or our determination to show the workers of the
NIMR and the passing motorists our solidarity for IARD and the animals
held captive and experimented on inside the building. Our banners were
strung along the railings of this and we held aloft our graphic posters
for the motorists to see what goes on in there. We received a lot of
hoots and support, which warmed our hearts despite the cold seeping
into our feet.
"As each worker drove out past us (or was chauffered out),
the protesters were able to tell them, and show them with pictures,
in no uncertain terms about the meaningless and useless work that they
were involved in and that each was implicated in the cruelty inflicted
upon the animals, no matter what work they did in NIMR.
"We were very grateful to everyone who attended the vigil,
some of whom travelled a great distance and took hours to get there.
We hope that more people will join the dedicated few who demonstrate
at NIMR every Wednesday without fail from 6.30 p.m."
Chrissie, 07767 471111
Protesters at the Plaza de Toros, Mexico.
Mexico City, Mexico:
"A large protest was once again held at the Plaza de Toros
Mexico - the largest bull-ring in the country - from 5pm to 8pm."
Dr Yolanda Alaniz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling for animal rights in Mexico City.
The Hague, The Netherlands:
"It was freezing cold, but still 35-40 people turned up for
the International Animal Rights Day protest.
"We stayed for three hours by the entrance of the Second Chamber
(the Government) and gave the politicians who entered and left the building
a special leaflet with an explanation about International Animal Rights
Day and our demands. Amongst the politicians who took the leaflet was
our Prime Minister, M. Balkenende. A member of the Second Chamber who's
also a pig-farmer refused to take the leaflet and got booed.
"There were about six photographers from national and local
press who turned up, but the coverage in the press the next day was
disappointing - although there was a photo in a local paper, and the
demo was announced in the Volkskrant newspaper (a very unusual step
for a paper). Unfortunately, the lights that I brought to make the text
'animals have rights' on the square before the Second Chamber didn't
work - the wind kept blowing them out.
"Nevertheless, our goal to reach the Government and let them
know about animal rights was fulfilled (the leaflet was also distributed
by internal email to all members of the Second Chamber). It was also
positive that, in contrast with last year, 5 animal welfare organisations
supported IARD by sending their volunteers and/or putting the details
on their website.
"I hope the vigils/demos in the UK and other countries also
H. (WerkgroepIARD), Wg_iard@hotmail.com
Harlan UK, Leicestershire:
"Had a good protest on 10th December for International Animal
Rights Day at Harlan UK animal testing facility. It was bitterly cold
with snow flurries! So, we were pleased that about 14 hardy protesters
turned up in support, with 2 Police in warm cars. When we left, everyone
was frozen but very satisfied.
"If anyone wants to get involved in this campaign, please
contact Cathy at: email@example.com
"Seasons Greetings to all, For them"
Campaigners outside Sheffield University.
Sheffield, South Yorkshire:
"On December 10th Uncaged Campaigns joined forces with members
of Sheffield University Animal Rights and Sheffield Animal Rights Group
(SARG) to hold a candle-lit vigil at the University of Sheffield. As
well as promoting IARD, the vigil was to remember the tens of thousands
of animals, including cats and dogs, which have suffered and died in
the University's research laboratories.
"A very visual and dignified vigil with lots of banners, candles
and lanterns (and pretty cold protesters) took place at Firth Court
- the main administrative centre of the University - from 4.30pm until
7pm. The protest attracted the attentions of print and television media
- as well as the rush-hour pedestrian and road traffic. It was a success
in highlighting both International Animal Rights Day and the fact that
animal experiments are conducted at the University of Sheffield - a
fact of which many people appeared unaware."
Max Newton, Uncaged Campaigns
"On a bitterly cold night campaigners from various parts of
Kent attended the vigil held at Pfizer [an animal testing company] who
are based at Sandwich, Kent. Pfizer's security bill would have been
increased as they trebled their guards; there were at least five on
every point once people started arriving.
"The media coverage was excellent, starting with an interview
Angie Petro did on the BBC Radio Kent's Breakfast Show, which was repeated
throughout the day. Neptune Radio, a local station, also carried an
interview with Angie, which went out every hour in the news bulletins.
BBC Radio Kent was again present at the start of the vigil, having already
spoken to Pfizer about animal experimentation. Pfizer stated that they
wanted to phase it out, so Angie asked that they stop it now.
"The vigil was also on BBC's Ceefax Service for the South
East, which read:
"PROTESTORS HOLDING VIGIL FOR ANIMALS
"Animal rights campaigners are holding a vigil in Kent later to
mark the 5th International Animal Rights Day. Protests are taking place
across Britain, the US and Europe on a day that is traditionally associated
with human rights. Kent campaigner Angie Petro, who will be out with
protestors in Sandwich, said that it was time to extend the rights enjoyed
by humans to animals. 'Their basic moral rights should be recognised
and honoured,' she said."
BARC protesters outside Cognito boutique in Windsor.
"IARD 2002 went well for us at BARC [Berkshire Animal Rights
"Cognito boutique in Windsor is selling various items made
from fur. They are proud of this & think its ok to sell fur as its
fashionable! We are now starting a specific campaign against them &
yesterday was another step closer for all of us to end the barbaric
"We had lots of support from the public passing by & we
also managed to introduce these people to the idea of a Universal Declaration
of Animals' Rights. This was what yesterday was all about & it was
great thinking that whilst we were standing there, out in the freezing
cold, that others all round the country, & even elsewhere around
the world, were fighting against other animal abusers as well.
"United we stand, divided we fall...
"Lets hope by IARD 2003, some of the places targeted this
year will be no longer!"
"Seven members of SSAT (Stop Sequani Animal Testing) held
a candle-lit vigil outside Sequani animal research laboratories in Ledbury,
Herefordshire on Tuesday 10th December to commemorate the 5th Annual
International Animal Rights Day.
"We were almost outnumbered with 2 policeman from the local
force and 3 security 'types' ushering the workers out at the end of
their 'work' day.
"We regularly receive positive support from passing traffic
and, with some additional help, we would like to step up the campaign
"Please contact SSAT on 01684 569 244 or 01432 851 970 for
details of how you can help this campaign."
Prague, Czech Republic:
"In support of International Animal Rights Day around 25 people
marched through the centre of Prague at 5pm with lots of banners and
placards and headed for the Fur Shop of Liska co. [the largest fur shop
in Prague]. Here, a noisy demonstration reminded all passers by of the
real cost of the fur - the start of a new campaign for the Svoboda Zvirat
"For more information about the campaign against the fur trade
in the Czech Republic (and other campaigns) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or see www.svobodazvirat.cz/szpraha"
Jan Lorenc, SZ Praha coordinator
In Defence of Animals protest in Washington DC, USA.