Activist hoists himself atop Moos Tower

by Bryan Keogh

A Minneapolis resident and animal rights activist hung from Moos Tower with safety cables Tuesday to protest animal research at the University.
University Police said authorities will apprehend the protester, Matt Bullard, as soon as he descends from his suspended apparatus. Bullard is not affiliated with the Student Organization for Animal Rights or the University.
The activist’s makeshift tent in the air was not located near any windows, making an arrest impossible Tuesday, a police officer said.
Bullard’s rations included a week’s worth of food and water. He said he has no plans to come down from the airborne shelter.
Few students showed interest in the display, however. Most passers-by walked past the spectacle without noticing the protester.
SOAR handed out pamphlets in front of Moos Tower as well, denouncing animal research they deemed cruel and unnecessary.
Marilyn Carroll, professor of psychiatry, was the target of Tuesday’s protest. Literature condemning her work involving monkeys and rats was handed out.
“We’d like to see Carroll’s animal research revoked,” Bullard said, referring to one of his demands. “We’d like to see (University) President (Mark) Yudof re-examine the (University’s) research.”
Beth Batson, a student from the University of Chicago who handed out the pamphlets, said Bullard plans to remain hanging until his demands are met.
Bullard’s daredevil suspension follows several other protests at the University and related animal rights activity in the past seven months. Five students were arrested in March at a similar demonstration.
In February, police arrested a 21-year-old man and a 18-year-old woman for trespassing and disorderly conduct at Moos Tower after the man also suspended himself from the building.
Carroll’s primate research was targeted in past protests. She did not return phone calls Tuesday.
Fred Tyler, another volunteer not affiliated with the University, said human beings do not have the right to teach animals to self-administer drugs like cocaine and alcohol.
After obtaining a walkie-talkie from one of Bullard’s friends, a University negotiator who would not identify himself posed a question to Bullard: “Do you think that we should use humans for drug research instead of animals?”
“I don’t think that teaching animals to consume alcohol does anything at all,” Bullard replied, while suspended in the air.
According to the University negotiator, however, officials are not going to cave in to Bullard’s demands.
The demands include a release of the primates, a debate with the researchers and the freedom to inspect the laboratories.

Bryan Keogh welcomes comments at [email protected]