Nat West Bank Funds Vivisectors

The North West has recently seen an upsurge in activity centred on the National Westminster bank due to its association with the notorious contract animal testing laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). HLS have been in deep financial trouble ever since the 1997 television documentary which exposed HLS animal "technicians" punching and shaking Beagle puppies. Naturally, public confidence in HLS slumped and many of their major pharmaceutical clients and shareholders pulled out leaving HLS in a financial crisis. However, Nat West stepped in with an overdraft of £24.5 million to keep the vivisectors going.

A protest took place against the Spring Gardens branch on Saturday 22 May as part of a North West day of action. Around 30 activists arrived from Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, Preston and Blackpool. Several of the protestors were smartly dressed and entered the bank, joining the queues. Upon reaching a cashier, the activists asked to see the manager to discuss the bank's loan to HLS and at the same time refusing to move. Eventually, every cashier point was occupied and the bank effectively closed.

Incredibly, Nat West tried to continue trading by utilising the customer service points, but once again activists put a stop to this by lying across them. In the mean time, more protesters entered and distributed leaflets and a megaphone was used to let customers know what the bank are up to. After about 30mins, the manager (wisely) decided to stop business. The cops eventually arrived but seemed to be as bemused as the bank were on how to deal with the situation. Some time later, the police did enter the bank in force and invited protesters to leace, which they did except for two who were then arrested.

The demo continued outside the bank where the megaphone told a packed city centre all about the links between Nat West and HLS. The bank was reopened but customers had to battle their way through a cordon of police to gain access! After half an hour of this, the bank decided to close an hour early.

The whole day was a huge success. The highlight was when a police officer inside the back decided to close his account with the bank! One less customer for a bank that is losing account holders as a ersult of the bad publicity that they are receiving.

This campaign is set to grow. Contact us to find out more.

Manchester Animal Protection (0845 456 2492)

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