Posted By RichC on May 2, 2006
Aggressive activists have stepped up their approach in anti-businesses activism … or terrorism … or blackmail, if you want to be polite and it seems to be working. Anyway you cut it, its a fear tactic that worked against the New York Stock exchange last year and could become a way to threaten and achieve an objective. A company called Life Sciences (or known as Huntingdon Life Sciences in Britain) was an hour from being listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but the NYSE pulled the listing. It sure seems as if it had something to do with the pressure eco-activist groups applied through threats. During the first week of September 2005, “Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty’s” (SHAC) website provided “willing thugs with the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of 100 New York Stock Exchange leaders and staffers. SHAC’s New York City subsidiary, which calls itself W.A.R. (â€œWin Animal Rightsâ€), announced in similarly pointed e-mails to 10,000 like-minded supporters that the exchange was now the â€œprimary focal pointâ€ for its campaign.”
According to the NYSE Hostage website there is no clear indication whether members of the stock exchange received polite phone calls, death threats, or something in between. In any case, “NYSE president Catherine Kinney quickly blinked. And LSRI (Life Sciences) was denied its listing less than an hour before its scheduled launch.” Coincidence ??? … I think not.
According to a report to the Senate, aggressive animal rights groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) are stepping up their threats. The particular case against Life Sciences (Huntingdon Life Sciences in the UK) has been going on for 7 years but has only recently stretch beyond protesting the companies use of animals in scientific testing. How aggressive certain activist being called to action are willing to go is anybody’s guess … but Catherine Kinney and the NYSE caved in.
How is this viewed from your perspective … if it works will it be used again and how should the NYSE have respond to the threat?