We held our first demo today at the UK Head Office of Air France/KLM in Hatton Cross. This large office complex close to Heathrow is the hub of AF/KLM's UK operations, and most of the company's employees are based here.
Before the demo was due to start, two protesters decided to visit the offices first and inform the staff there about the company's involvement with supplying animals to be tortured in vivisection labs. When the staff were handed the leaflets and told about the campaign, they were not happy to be confronted with the truth about what kind of company they work for, and the two activists were asked to leave.
As they were being escorted from the premises, the main body of protesters were just arriving, and with many placards and a big banner, and 5 megaphones, the message was now loud and clear that AF/KLM must end its involvement in the vivisection industry.
This being close to Heathrow, there was soon a heavy police presence, but they didn't interfere with the protest, and were happy to watch us from a short distance away.
With speeches and chanting over the next few hours, we made sure all the staff in the offices were now fully aware of the campaign and why we were there. Even with planes landing and taking off every few minutes, we were making enough noise to be heard loudly and clearly all around the building.
As staff were leaving and arriving they were also given informative but graphic leaflets about the campaign. We also did door to door leafleting of nearby houses, and as a result some of the residents who were upset by the leaflets came out and offered their support for the demo, some of them bringing their dogs with them.
For many in the building, this was the first time they had been informed about their company's involvement with supplying animals for experiments, and we hope they will now put pressure on their directors to rethink their policy and cut their links with the bloody vivisection industry.