When animal rights activists first targeted research at the University of Kansas Medical Center last year they trotted out gory posters of crazed monkeys with weird electrodes poking out of their skulls.
Their latest posters have moved from bizarro horror flick to gun-sliging Western.
Last week, activist Jason Miller, best known for his sometimes-bloody defense of deer in Shawnee Mission Park, posted a provocative poster on his (multiple) blogs. It was enough to cause KU Med officials to alert the authorities.
This weekend, animal rights activist Jason Miller and Bite Club of KC are targeting another retailer they claim is linked to animal abuse. This time the deer defenders are teaming up with a local group that crusades against puppy mills to protest Petland.
It's not the first time KC Citizens for Canine Causes has picketed Petland, one of the nation's largest pet stores with more than 130 locations (four in Missouri and four in Kansas). They hoisted placards outside the big-box store in 2008 and 2009. They're not the only group that insists the pet retailer pedals cruelty.
Kansas City was one of 11 cities targeted in the "National Red Light Protest," a rally against the red-light "scameras" sprouting up across the country. Protesters from the Liberty Restoration Project held signs as it snowed at the intersection of 39th and Southwest Trafficway. Looks like local photographer Eric Bowers contributed to this video and local Tracy Ward helped organize the protest.
Sacred Journey owner Natalie McAnulla, 27, will speak tomorrow during the rally at 2 p.m. in South Park, near the county courthouse on Massachusetts Street.
"Me and the employees [of Sacred Journey] just wanted to show the press that people care about these plants and these stores and what they mean to the community," McAnulla says. "We want to show that it's not OK for the government to come in and take one plant or a certain plant and decide for us."
Sacred Journey is one of a handful of shops in Kansas to sell K2, a product that mimics the effects of marijuana on the brain and has been the center of controversy in recent months as legislators move to ban it. Aside from their K2 stock, federal agents confiscated several ethnobotanicals and froze McAnulla's business accounts.
The latest incarnation of the Crossroads Infoshop and Radical Library is officially closed.
First established in 2004 at 19th and Locust, the Infoshop was a distribution site for zines, a library for political literature and a gathering place for meetings, movie screenings and live music. The Crossroads' spot closed after just one year, but, in 2006, the shop reopened at 3109 Troost.
Now the books are all boxed up again and the radical library faces an uncertain future.
In October, Jason Miller show his disgust for the deer harvest at Shawnee Mission Park by dousing himself with a bucket of cow blood.
The animal rights activist is promising similar tactics at a protest at Steve's Meat Market on Saturday afternoon.
The DeSoto shop -- a family-run operation that's been in business for the past four decades -- received nearly $20,000 from Johnson County to butcher the deer carcasses from the cull in Shawnee Mission Park this fall and get the meat ready for distribution to needy families.
Miller says that Saturday's 2 p.m. demonstration will target the business for butchering both wildlife and farm animals.
Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton might have shifted uncomfortably in his seat last night, as President Barack Obama neared the end of his State of the Union. "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said. "It's the right thing to do."
Skelton doesn't think so. At least, not according to a recent interview on C-SPAN.
In 1993, Skelton was a key player in drafting the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which asks gay and lesbian soldiers to stay closeted if they want to serve. The Missouri Democrat told "Newsmakers," earlier this month that he is "personally not in favor of changing the law." But more importantly, the chair of the House Armed Services Committee added, he won't hold a hearing on DADT.
To show their discontent, a handful of activists and government officials rallied in Barney Allis Plaza this morning, just outside a rotary club meeting where Skelton was a guest.
Speaking at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Friday night, Angela Davis strayed far from the official topic to zero in on her take-home message.
The speaker for the second annual Martin Luther King Keynote Address packed Swinney Recreation Center to near capacity, but Davis, a former Black Panther and professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, made the reverend a relatively minor character in her commentary. Instead, she spoke of Haitian revolutionaries, forgotten activists and the real motive behind the movement that made her an icon.
"We have a skewed historical memory," Davis said.
Yes, the Montgomery Bus Boycott elevated King to national prominence, but it was women like Jo Ann Robinson who created the movement, Davis said. When Rosa Parks was arrested, Robinson penned a flier calling for a boycott and stayed up all night mimeographing 35,000 handbills for distribution. "It was people whose names we don't know who organized that movement," Davis said of the civil rights era.
Not only do we overlook the true players, Davis suggested. We've also lost sight of Dr. King's real goal.
Last month, PETA called attention to KU Med's track record with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates animal research. Between August 2008 and June 2009, the agency cited KU Med for more than 160 violations of federal animal protections laws. PETA blasted the institution for subjecting monkeys to painful surgeries and allowing them to suffer "extreme weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and neurological disorders that caused them to tremble constantly and lose control of their hands."
Activists from Bite Club of KC already had KU Med in their crosshairs. In October, they held a sidewalk protest outside the institution during National Primate Liberation Week. With the revelation about the USDA violations, they're protesting again. But this time, they want to get inside, too.
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