By Kimberly Peterson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

A local animal rights group will hold their 10th annual animal rights vigil at the Arizona Health Sciences Center on Saturday night, but university police are not too worried.

The candlelight vigil is the biggest event of the year for Tucson Voices for Animals, said Tilly Shields, president of the group.

"More people attend this vigil than any other," Shields said. "If somebody only does one thing, they will only come to this to honor the hundreds of thousands of animals that are killed annually for research."

The University of Arizona Police Department is planning to increase security throughout campus to monitor the vigil as well as several fraternity parties this weekend, said UAPD Assistant Chief Harry Hueston.

"This is the weekend that everything gets crazy," Hueston said. "But we've had this vigil for many years and it has been peaceful."

Voices for Animals has advertised the vigil in Tucson newspapers throughout the week, and expects about 125 people to show up throughout the evening, Shields said.

The group has received many telephone calls from supporters, and a few negative responses, said Brad Rothrock, a studio arts senior and member of Voices for Animals.

A counterpresentation held by representatives of terminally ill individuals, whose health is often dependent on animal research, is also usually held on the same night as the vigil, Hueston said.

Shields said usually about three people show up for the counterprotest, and do not talk to protesters from Voices for Animals.

"Their effect is really minimal," Shields said. "We see fewer every year and they refuse to engage in any kind of dialogue."

The biggest concern about the vigil may be the traffic buildup it causes, Hueston said.

The candlelight vigil will take place in front of Arizona Health Sciences Center from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday. Read Next Article