In response to a recent Security Advisory about NIO issued by the AMP, several students responded seeking guidance on how to deal with animal rights activists on campus. Here is the form letter they received:
From: Jacquie Calnan – Americans for Medical Progress [firstname.lastname@example.org]
I can understand how such protests may be upsetting to you, but as long as they are conducted legally, there is little one can do, beyond refusing to accept the leaflets that are being handed out and simply walking past the protestors.
One of the great strengths of America, and of the academic community, is reverence for the principle of freedom of speech. Individuals opposed to animal research have every right to express their views via legal means, as you and your fellow students also have an absolute right to express your own opinions about animal research – or any other topic.
It is only when the expression of a belief is carried out in a way that threatens the welfare and safety of others that the protests become problematic.
My advice is to reach out to your school’s administration, or a trusted professor, and express your concerns. If you feel threatened, let them know. It is incumbent upon the school to provide a safe and secure learning environment for its students.
Jacquie Calnan, MPA
Americans for Medical Progress