On 31st May 2024, a protester associated with the animal rights group PETA dumped gold glitter on the interim president of Harvard University, Massachusetts, US, as he was about to start a speech at Tercentenary Theatre during Harvard Alumni Day. Brittany Drake, the activist, poured non-hazardous gold glitter over Alan M. Garber as she shouted, “For the baby monkeys, for the animals in the labs, Harvard, shut down the baby monkey labs now.”

The protester was immediately escorted off stage and arrested by Harvard University Police Department officers for assault and battery, trespassing, and disturbing a public assembly. According to PETA, Drake was then charged with trespassing and “failure to disperse a riot.”

The protest was part of PETA’s campaign against experiments involving monkeys in a Harvard Medical School laboratory run by Professor Margaret S. Livingstone. In October 2022, PETA started a petition that reached more than 88,500 signatures requesting that Bacow and HMS Dean George Q. Daley shut down Livingstone’s lab. In March 2023, more than three dozen activists protested outside Johnston Gate, demanding that then University President Lawrence S. Bacow shut down a lab at Harvard Medical School that was conducting nonhuman primate experiments. PETA alleged Livingstone tortured baby macaques by stealing them from their mothers and sewing their eyes shut. Amanda B. Brody, a senior campaigner for PETA who attended that protest, said Livingstone’s experiments on monkeys were “putting a stain on the University” and that “Harvard should honestly be embarrassed that this is happening at their university,…It needs to be shut down immediately.”  As part of this campaign which involved many publicity stunts, “WANTED” posters of Margaret Livingstone appeared in Boston near the Harvard Medical School campus in April 2024.

Help Make Animal Testing History by signing the petition: https://veganfta.com/take-action/animals-used-for-research/

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.