As readers of AC will remember, employees of two companies (Montpellier and RMC) who were pivotal players in the construction of animal research labs at Oxford, were terrorized by Animal Rights thugs into abandoning work on the site.
Here's an update on what's happening (or not happening ...) at Oxford (from the Oxford Mail, 31 Aug 04 - not online).
Oxford University has yet to find any new contractors willing to build its controversial animal experiment laboratory.
More than a month after two key contractors pulled out the project following threats of intimidation and violence, the construction site in South Parks Road still remains dormant.
Since then an uneasy stand-off has ensued between university officials, who maintain the lab will open on time, and animal rights activists who claim non-violent demonstrations and the strength of public feeling has made potential contractors think twice about getting involved in the project.
Right! The Animal Rights activists have nailed it ... where violence and intimidation (and threats of violence and intimidation) failed, "non-violent demonstrations and the strength of public feeling has made potential contractors think twice about getting involved in the project." Is there anybody who believes this?
Things have remained relatively quiet since a rally through Oxford was attended by more than 600 animal rights protesters -- and the news last month the Montpellier Group and concrete supplier RMC had both severed their links with the laboratory.
But Robert Cogswell, who leads the non-violent animal rights pressure group Speak, said the silence from the university spoke a thousand words.
I would argue that the "non-violent animal rights pressure group Speak" is one of those groups that, to use The Center for Consumer Freedom's David Martosko's memorable phrase, makes bomb makers, not bombs. But then ... what do I know?
He said: "We have been monitoring the site and have seen plant hire equipment being taken away -- it's as if the university is almost winding down the building work. But we don't feel that is any reason to lessen the pressure. We are convinced there will be a large focus on primates if the lab is built -- despite what the university has said."
An Oxford University spokesman hit back at Speak's claims and denied that the current lack of a contractor would put the plans behind schedule.
She added: "We are totally committed to the completion of this building and we are confident that work will recommence in the near future. Building was progressing extremely well before work halted on site, and therefore completion of the building phase by the end of 2005 is still entirely possible."
I suspect that Oxford really is having difficulty replacing Montpellier and RMC. The word is out: if you contract with Oxford to build their animal facility, your employees and their families are fair game.
With such chilling prospects, who in their right mind would take the Oxford contract?
All of which reinforces my point that success is coming just too easily for the AR thugs.