Archive for April, 2011

28 April, 2011

Warning: Animal Rights Blogger is Agent of State Repression

by Red Glitter and Ed MacLeod

Interrupting our series on Vegan Bootcamp: 101 days of Animal Rights Activism, with a little detour
– to alert the AR community of a divisive agent of state repression who is currently operating under the guise of Animal Rights Blogger.

And just who is this lowest of the low? This scum of the earth, this running dog of imperialism, this state collaborating, disciple of Francione, Orwellian nightmare? . . . . Apparently it would me.

As the old saying goes – why am I always the last to know!

And exactly what was my crime, that made me such a divisive enemy of Animal Rights and agent of state repression, Orwellian nightmare and Francione disciple?

This: Dr Steve Best “borrows” BBC homage to British Suffragettes.

well, simply, I pointed out, and quite correctly, that a blogger (Steven Best, who many people have told me is required reading to be a real animal rights activist) had blatantly, I repeat BLATANTLY, plagiarised a 2003 BBC webpost.

But apparently plagiarism is completely acceptable if you are famous.

Or, if you are ripping off the British.

Or something that is more than five years old.

A thorough look at the stats on this blog post that he apparently keeps stumbling over every where he goes – was viewed by 5 people in all of february and 12 on 12 April. (I would suggest that a large portion of those statistics is Best himself, when he left a comment).

And if 17 people viewing this post is going to be such a divisive influence on AR – then AR is HUGE trouble. Huge. Big.

This is the accusations against me:

I keep stumbling on this absurd and divisive blog post, with posts by others still i do not even know personally, and a few perhaps Francione disciples exploiting this “scandal” for its full Owellian, hate-fest potential.

I am going to ask you to kindly remove it, because it serves no purpose, it erroneous and slanderous, and also somewhat comical when you learn the truth of this egregious (!!) scholarly fallacy and breakdown, which is: I posted it to FB with full credits to the BBC, not too hard to do; someone posted it to my blog, not me, and they forgot to add the BBC link up front with the full credits and by-line.

That’s it! That’s all that happened, and yet this is worth venemous posts bouncing around the net and even Twitter, denigrating 30 years of scholarly work and publications, based on something I myself never posted, and which was nothing but a referencing oversight and typo. Pretty clear where the real flaws and flawed ones are in this movement. Try to get a sense of priority folks: there is a holocaust and ecological .rapidly unfolding, other small items such as those marginalia.

You had the information you needed thanks to the person who showed you the FB version of this to know it was a fabricated or non-story, and yet you ran with it, and kept it in the glaring light of defamy on this page.

Enough already, no? Remove this blog and every other one replicating the same innane, baseless claims, if someone had just come to ask me, it could have been corrected and put to rest before the proverbial tempest in the teapot.

We don’t need state repression and corporate power to destruction the animal liberation cause, this is symptomatic of how well a job the “enlightened activists” do all on their own.

Thank you.

Or is not really plagiarism if you attribute it some other place? It seems so.

Mr Best had written on his WordPress blog the 2003 BBC article in question, which was copied WORD-FOR-WORD, this was apparently attributed on his facebook page.

I say apparently, not to dispute his claims, but because there was no link on his blog, no mention of click this for more information, no “source found here”, no directing readers to facebook for more information. So whether there was a correct attribution on his facebook page, readers of his blog that are not members of his special friends on facebook club would actually have absolutely NO WAY to find this out for themselves.

For the 6.999990 billion people on the planet who do not follow Mr Best, I am not really sure how the rest of are suppose to see that proper credit.

Ah but as he points out, a commenter on my original blog about it, had alerted me to the fact that it had been attributed on his facebook page. And I replied at the time – I do not follow him.

But strangely, even bizarrely perhaps, in my country, people only comment on blog posts AFTER they have been published. To say that I was corrected – as to where the actual attribution was – by a comment on the blog piece as a reason for NOT publishing, I’m not quite sure I understand. The laws of physics as they apply to me, is that time moves forward.

And, under Newton’s Third Law of Thermodynamics, which is sometimes known as the action-reaction law, for there to be a reaction (ie, in this case, a comment on the blog) there has to be an action (ie, a blog).

I obey the laws of physics, so I can’t really not have published something in the first place, based on information that comes in as a result of posting it. You see what I’m getting at?

Now, I know that I don’t teach at university like Mr Best, (if he doesn’t teach at a university, mea culpa, I could not be interested enough to read his wiki page) and my students are only in highschool, but if a student of mine handed in an assignment which was copied word for word from someone else, but attributed it correctly in the assignment for another class, I am almost sure that I would not give them a pass mark.

The reasons for his blog post having all the distinguishing features of a lack of attribution is a) it was attributed some place completely separate and accessible to only a handful of people with Mr Bests permission (accepting a friend request) and 2) even if there was no attribution, that is okay too because even though it is his name on the blog, he didn’t post the post, and c) whether he looked at what was posted by someone else on his personal blog, under his personal name later on and noticed there was no attribution, that was not attributed at the time I took the screen caps, is unknown to me – but this is all sounding a bit like a dog ate my homework.

As Mr Best tells me “remove this blog post”, um, I’m not really sure that advocating censorship of those who point out what appears at first glance to be a case of “homage with lack of attribution” is quite up there with campaigning against repression, (that is against for those who missed it), not advocating for.

Pointing out a lack of credit is Orwellian, repressive and defamy, yet demanding I remove it, is un-repression.

I think you and me, Mr Best have two very different dictionaries, because mine doesn’t say anything about censorship being just like freedom and liberation.

and while I’m at it – Heaven forbid someone in AR has a different opinion to someone else, lest they be accused of divisiveness.

The accusation of divisiveness, I have found, is generally leveled against those who disagree with us, regardless of whether they in fact are divisive or not. Accusations like like are used as a means to stifle debate or a free exchange of ideas. If we go around accusing everyone who doesn’t worship at our feet of being divisive, then we are going to find that the next generation of ARAs are obedient unquestioning automatons who are unable to think for themselves because divisiveness is seen as a negative and conformity is encouraged. It’s also a good way to get people who don’t agree with you to shut the hell up, or maybe stand up to bullies who use censorship to silence dissent.

You, Mr Best are a US American, right? Land of the free, Home of the baseball, and first amendment free speech and all that?

Or does free speech not apply when people point out that posts are exact replicas of a 2003 BBC post – I must have missed the day that the US Supreme Court (or whoever) amended that little constitutional guarantee for United States Americans, “free speech for all, except for those who correctly identify instances of copy and paste without credit by famous people”.

And as for calling me a Francione disciple – um, only if that helps you sleep better at night, to believe that everyone who disagrees with you must be a “disciple” of Mr Francione. Because apparently only people who are a – what was that insult Francione disciple in other words – One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of G Francione – could possible find plagiarism noteworthy.

And has been said about Mr Francione – by… oh honestly who gives a damn who said it first, it may even have been you, but attributing sources is so repressive, so let’s just skip over that: “The Guru and his disciples come together in a dance of doctrine and dogma. Like Christian fundamentalists, Francione and his followers believe they possess the Truth …”

and if anyone would like to know who said that, the attribution is on my facebook page, besides, just because someone put a bunch of words together in a particular order why should that mean no else is entitled to use those exact same words in the exact same order – talk about repressive copyright. No, seriously, putting a credit on a bunch of words that is borrowed from someone else really is complete and utter fascism at it most basic.

And you know, Mr Best, for you to desire accuracy, when, oh I don’t know, someone, has said that only Francione disciples believe they possess the truth, would kind of suggest that I’m not the only “Francione disciple” in this conversation … because well, let’s face it, no one else desires “the Truth” (attribution: who gives a damn) do they.

I have never really thought the whole Truth thing was exclusive to Francione disciples, but there you go, learn something new every day.

Seeking accuracy is so oppressive. Having to write a credit on something is such an Orwellian nightmare. And pointing out the obvious is absurd.

What frightening times we live in, indeed.

Copyright is theft, its implying that someone can own a word-order, and once you start owning word-orders it’s just a hop-skip-and-jump from speciesism. So, yes, Mr Best, I am beginning to see your point – owning a piece of work as an author is repression of the highest order, and compare that to owning animals, they are so similar. Don’t know why I failed to see it so clearly before.

And as you point out, Mr Best there is a holocaust going on – not just against the billions of animals in the world slaughtered daily, but also against billions of words, trapped for ever in books and webpages. Owned! Its lexical slavery! It is intolerable.

Set my language free!

We will not have total liberation until all words are free.

But hey, let all vegans and ARs copy and paste without credit as much as they desire, let us all ignore that pesky little thing known as copyright, because we are all perfect. And apparently to point out that someone might have had an entire article published on their blog, under their own name, but actually taken from a BBC website by someone who is not them is being divisive.

What a ridiculous accusation.

Almost as ridiculous of calling it “absurd” to highlight that a 2011 blog post was in fact a 2003 blog post from the BBC.

I kind of have a little trouble accepting that plagiarism is so inconsequential that to point it out is “absurd”. Even more absurd is to suggest that only Francione disciples would care about proper credit for the author of a piece of written text. Because adding “BY THE BBC” is conformity and repression.

And I guess, that knowing all this, and that you think giving credit where it belongs is absurd and repressive, you, Mr Best would have no problem with anyone else in the entire world copying and pasting something you wrote and pasting it on their own personal blog, as long it is attributed correctly in, oh, some completely separate location? Is that fair to say?

And as for removing it, and every other one replicating the same innane, baseless claims, if it baseless, I would remove it, but it isn’t. And, if it has been replicated, all over the net, then perhaps it is a case of someone taking it without my knowledge, which, doesn’t seem to be plagiarism or copyright or anything, so let people take my words. I have no more power over them, or claim to control them, once they are posted as, apparently, the BBC has over their words once they are published.

And if calling someone out – and completely accurately – for not attributing a blog post which was borrowed word for word is “DEFAMY” (attribution: S Best, because I like to give credit where it is due, I refuse to own that spelling mistake) then, your response is just as inaccurate, yawn-inducing, ludicrous, ridiculous, insulting, divisive and defamy.

Although, Mr Best, lets you and me talk about DEFAMY – since English is not my first language, and since Google translate didn’t really tell me what DEFAMY actually means for those of us struggling with English, I am going to assume you mean, defamation, or defamed, maybe defaming, perhaps defamatory, or just plain old ordinary defame

Although perhaps your response was a fraction more “DEFAMY” (attribution: S Best) because where mine was accurate – there was absolutely No BBC credit on the blog post, NONE, ZERO, ZILCH, शून्य and no link to a credit on the facebook page – whereas, calling me a Francione disciple is actually inaccurate.

And I know how much of a perfectionist you are when it comes to accuracy, well, apparently except where blog posts on your own blog are concerned.

As an ordained clergy person, to suggest that I am a disciple of another, a mortal, damages my reputation, and my immortal soul, not just on this earth but in other realms, for now and eternity, as much as the suggestion that a vegan is meat-eater or wears silk.

And while I can’t claim to be an expert on the laws of “DEFAMY” (attribution: S Best) as they apply in the USA, I do know that where I am, the laws of defamation are based on threestandards
one – are they true? and what you said about me IS NOT,
b) are they believable, YES it MIGHT be, and
third: are they likely to damage my reputation in the eyes of at least one other person, I believe that you use the phrase “Francione disciple” in a derogatory way with the sole intent to damage my reputation, and according to EFF: “any individual or entity who considers damage to their reputation has or is likely to occur, as a result of material published, may sue the publisher/s of the material.”

Whether or not I believe the words “Francione disciple” (attribution: S Best) to be a description that damages my reputation is irrelevant, what matters is that someone else might believe it and therefore damages my reputation.

A quick look at my past posts would show that I spend as much time pointing out where I disagree with Francione as I do agreeing with him, which could in no way be mistaken for being a “Francione disciple”, where as the accuracy my comment, that your blog post had no credit, is easy to judge, one only has to look.

The following, are defences of “DEFAMY” (attribution: S Best) in my jurisdiction:
Defences that may be successfully pleaded in relation to a defamation action vary throughout Australian jurisdictions. Depending on the jurisdiction, these may include:

* truth/justification
* fair comment (e.g. an expression of an honestly held opinion or a criticism on a subject matter of public interest)
* absolute privilege (this attaches to the occasion, not the statement or speaker, such as during parliamentary proceedings, judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings, executive communications and communications between spouses)
* qualified privilege (e.g. fair and accurate reports of parliamentary proceedings, judicial proceedings, public meetings concerning matters of public interest/concern)
* consent (e.g. where the plaintiff expressly or impliedly consented to the publication of the particular imputation)
* triviality (e.g. where the circumstances/occasion of the publication were trivial to the extent that the person defamed was not likely to suffer harm)
* innocent dissemination (e.g. applicable to re-publishers/re-distributors such as newsagents/book sellers, including potentially to ISPs/ICHs. The defence in Clause 91 of the BSA is also relevant to ISPs/ICHs.)
* etc
Source: because I attribute words that I copy and past from someone else EFF

BTW: I know that I said I would happily remove it, but I retracted that on my facebook page, you didn’t see that? I mean, that is the way blogging works, right, you can say something on facebook to qualify what is written in a blog, right?

So, if any part of this is inaccurate, that is because the really, truly accurate version of events is on my facebook page, which there is no excuse for anyone and everyone not seeing.

And, before anyone directs any hate mail towards me, or accuses me of being an Orwellian, divisive, repressive, Francione disciple if meant as an insult, or whatever, let’s just say the whole thing was copy / pasted from … oh, who knows, some place else… I just chose to not attribute it, because it makes me seem so much smarter to not attribute work that was written by someone else.

There is no copyright on this, because apparently owning your own words is oppressive and repressive and Francionish and Orwellian. So I’m taking these words out in the wild and releasing them . . .

Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, words are free at last. (which I just invented, so no attribution required)

9 April, 2011

Camille Marino – why do people keep asking me about her?

Camille Marino does not know me, and I do not know her.

We are both vegan bloggers, but each of us write about very different things.

I would doubt that there is any issue that would cross paths on.

I do think that her blog Negotiation is Over and the facebook site for have very many valuable things to offer Animal Rights and Vegan theory.

She is a tireless campaigner for animals and also justice, not just in her own neighbourhood but around the world.

She is a brave and courageous outspoken woman, who I believe put animals first, and what people think of her second. (This is what I believe based on her writings, never having met, I can’t know for sure)

This is why her comments yesterday about suicide bombers left me and my activist friends, asking “is this a joke?”, “did we miss something in the translation?”

I disagreed with her, I said so. But on other occasions I have agreed with her, and also said so.

A couple of times I have disagreed with things she has put on her blog, but that does not mean I disagree with her personally or what she is trying to achieve. And most of the time, I don’t disagree with her tactics.

However, just because I disagree with things she says on her blog sometimes – and I only notice these things because others are talking about it, does not mean I am trying to suggestion I am perfect or tear her down.

I also disagree with Abolitionist Vegans and Gary Francione on occasion and speak out. Not to cause divisions, but to provide more than one view point.

If I truly thought she was a disservice to Animal Rights, I wouldn’t provide links to her blog. All voices in the fight are valid, even if we disagree sometimes.

Just sometimes I speak out against things I disagree with. If people are talking about issues of veganism and animal rights, that’s a good thing. The more voices the better. Who knows what one thing might trigger someone to take that step to becoming vegan.

6 April, 2011

A Civilian’s Guide To Direct Action

“We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
Martin Luther King Jr

A Civilian’s Guide To Direct Action by CrimethInc
What it is, What it’s good for, How it works

For Animal Rights Activists, sometimes the rate of progress using just education seems like it is going too slow, and so activists might decide it is time to take Direct Action.

direct action . . . is intended to inspire and thus motivate others by demonstrating the power people have to accomplish goals themselves

If an activist does want to do an Action, this document sets out ideas from “Choose a project and devise a plan” and “Establish and prioritize the goals of the action” thought to building a coalition, what to do before, during and after an Action, up to “Consider the way the action will affect others” and “Quit while you’re ahead”.

for this full article, FREE… and many more free to download, or buy printed versions CrimethIinc

visit — read — think — download — print — distribute — be inspired

What is direct action?
Direct action is going outside usual means to achieve a goal. It has been used by movements as diverse as anti-slavery groups during the US civil war, Gandhi fight for independence of India, Suffragettes struggle for the vote, the US Boston Tea Party (the original Tea Party) and the UK’s Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

It is not inherently violent, it depends on how the participants decide to take action.

Direct action could be violent, depending on your definition of violence. The use of threats, graffiti, petty vandalism, or larger actions such as those from groups like ELF (Earth Liberation Front) and ALF (Animal Liberation Front) or Sea Sherperd.

5 April, 2011

I Am Vegan – there is power in a word

So, you have decided you want to be an Animal Rights Activist… then say it loud, say it proud, shout it from the mountain tops — I Am Vegan.

Assuming that you are Vegan, saying “I am Vegan” is a powerful statement.

I Am Vegan, it is more than what you do, its more than how you see yourself, it is you saying you want to stand with every other vegan out there with a shared desired for justice for animals in this world.

It is more than a label – it is a statement of who “I AM”.

Whether you meet any other vegans, it doesn’t matter, you are someone who identifies with what a vegan is. And when you say I Am Vegan, other vegans will know exactly what you mean:

The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
– Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson (1944)

For a more indepth unpacking of what this definition mean to me, see Vegan.

Deep within human mythology and history, naming something gives a person power over that which is named. In the Abrahamic religion, in fairy tales, in popular culture (the power of the name in The Usual Suspects, for example; or The Doctor in Doctor Who: “I named her. The power of a name. That’s old magic“).

In choosing to label – or name – yourself a Vegan, you are taking the power contained within that concept and bringing it into your own life.

This can be especially important at a time when Animal Rights Activists are being cowered with anti-terrorist laws, such as the draconian AETA in the United States.

AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) makes virtually every form of protest against animal cruelty a terrorist act – Including the advocating of veganism (diet and lifestyle) and taking photos on a farm and taking animals across state lines for the purpose of avoid vivisection.

The criminalising of compassion, the use informants and collaborators, wire taps, email hacks, sock puppets, and the hyper-surveillance by vegans against other vegans creates a culture of fear. This can leave some people reluctant to say what they really think.

Vegans might begin talking about being “strict vegetarian”, “plant based diets”, “compassionate / green lifestyle” – or just avoid the word completely, after all, we don’t want to scare the meat eaters.

Are You Afraid of the Word “Vegan”? some are, and it’s time more people opened the door to the “vegan closet” they’ve been hiding in, and dare to step out into the light.

Maybe, then less people might hide in there, finding comfort in the dark, with all the others too reluctant to acknowledge the “way of being that dare not speak its name”.

Being Vegan is not scary, or weird, or dangerous or “extreme and not sustainable” but when vegans don’t use the word, it gives the impression that there is something wrong with people who are vegan.

And when we stop using the right words, what is left? Neutral, bland, average, non controversial, inaccurate, tergiversate (evasions or ambiguities) words, spoken by people unwilling to act for fear of making a mistake.

If vegans are too unwilling and reluctant to describe themselves as Vegan, then how will they ever find the courage to act on animals behalf.

It’s time to scream it from the roof tops, I Am Vegan, it doesn’t mean you are a terrorist, it means you are a compassionate human being.

By reclaiming the word “Vegan”, we can unite as vegans with a common goal – the elimination of the use of all animals – we can begin to undo some of erroneous assumptions created when people such as “Veggie Girl” start to divide vegans into militant=bad and non militant=good. By dividing vegans this way, she is in effect saying there are some that are not like her, when they stand up against milk and humane meat they are being “militant” and not all vegans are like that. That is “those” vegans over these, “those” militant ones, when that is exactly what Vegan is.

Splitting off vegans into groups according the vegans we like and those we don’t reduces the power of the word. Vegan is what it is, why are we trying to redefine it.

When certain celebrities continue to eat dairy and eggs and call themselves “vegan” and no one stands up, we are losing the power of the word vegan.

Think of how many times you have heard about fish-eating vegetarians, or bacon-eating vegetarians, or chicken-eating vegetarians. If vegetarians eat fish, bacon and chicken then the word has lost all its meaning.

Are we going to allow VEGAN to get devalued the same way, by people who says that a cheese eating vegan is about “being flexible that way makes more people comfortable“?

The word vegan cannot be taken-over and watered-down by cheese-eating, fur-wearing celebrities, or criminalised by governments trying to win elections by whipping up fear by deliberating confusing animal rights with terrorism.

We must protect the meaning of the word Vegan, so that when someone says “I am Vegan” there is no confusion. No longer hiding our belief in concepts of justice, animal rights, animal liberation or veganism opens it up to others to ask us questions.

Being vegan is a journey not a destination.

Living a vegan life is a step towards the reduction and suffering of animals.

Speaking for myself, I cannot separate vegan from animal rights, for me, being vegan means support AR (Animal Rights), and supporting AR means being vegan. I try, but I cannot see how someone can call themselves an “animal rights activist” unless they are a vegan.

If you fight for animal rights, you fight for the rights of all animals, there are no exceptions for those you think taste good or those who aren’t cute. A concept I explore in more depth here: If you start a debate with “I fight for animal rights, but I’m no vegan” don’t expect applause

(While I think someone can be vegan without fighting for animal rights, I don’t think it is possible to call yourself an animal rights activist if you consume the products of animals bodies, particular dairy, eggs, honey which require the deaths of those animals to produce the “by”-products.)

I cannot separate animal rights and veganism.

To me it is simple, the most basic right is to not be killed and eaten by someone more powerful, exploited for any purpose.
As the Abolitionist Vegan Lee Hall says:
Veganism is Direct Action (Lee Hall’s Vegan Means)
Vegan Baking as Direct Action … (Lee Hall’s Friends of Animals)
Veganism as Direct Action (Abolitionist Online, where Lee Hall writes “Above all, the key change is diet, for it is absurd to discuss the rights of animals as we eat them. The vegetarian movement employs the most direct action of all”.)

I would disagree with Lee Hall here, only in as much as, the vegetarian movement inflicts intolerable cruelty on animals, especially those that are eaten, the dairy, egg and honey industries necessitate unspeakable cruelty and slavery, and to me, that is not RIGHTS.

And second, I would suggest going beyond Diet, and living a vegan life.

Other than those two minor quibbles, I would agree wholeheartedly with Hall, we can’t speak of animal rights while we eat or use them or the products of their bodies.
Make the move, go vegan, be vegan, be a proud vegan, and you are already involved in Direct Action.

From the I Am Vegan archives

Next post in this series: Civilian’s Guide To Direct Action

*Sock puppets: an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community, either multiple identities for the one person or a governments use of false online personalities to spread US government “information” and security

Post 2011 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Copying and distribution of this entire article, text and / or graphic, is permitted in any medium, but please include the credit:
Written by RedGlitter of VALA
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice

4 April, 2011

13 Rules For Radicals – Alinsky’s Guide For Activists

Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (1971)

What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.

The first step in community organization is community disorganization.

The organizer… must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act. . . . An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations… you must agitate to the point of conflict.

RULE 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
RULE 2: Never go outside the experience of your people… the result is confusion, fear, and retreat… [and] the collapse of communication.
RULE 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
RULE 4: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity
RULE 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counter attack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
RULE 6: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
RULE 7: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues
RULE 8: Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose*.
RULE 9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
RULE 10: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
RULE 11: If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside. This is based on the principle that every positive has its negative*.
RULE 12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
RULE 13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame. The real action is in the enemy’s reaction. The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.

Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.
— Saul Alinsky — Rules for Radicals, prologue

The end is what you want and the means is how you get it
— In war the end justifies almost any means
— Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical
Tactics, like life, require that you move with the action
— Tactics means doing what you can with what you have
— Tactics is the art of how to take and how to give
For an elementary illustration of tactics, take parts of your face as the point of reference; your eyes, your ears, and your nose.

First the eyes; if you have organized a vast, mass-based people’s organization, you can parade it visibly before the enemy and openly show your power.

Second the ears; if your organization is small in numbers, then do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a din and clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more than it does.

Third, the nose; if your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place

Next post in this series: I Am Vegan – there is power in a word
*NOTE*: Rules For Radicals is long out of print, along with Reveille for Radicals (1946) and many of the sources I used have different versions of the rules, some have had comments added, without saying that they are not from the Alinsky original, these have then been copies and pasted. As far as I can tell, these are the rules — in Alinksy’s own words.

Post 2011 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Copying and distribution of this entire article, text and / or graphic, is permitted in any medium, but please include the credit:
Written by RedGlitter of VALA
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice

3 April, 2011

Vegan Bootcamp: 101 days of Animal Rights Activism

This post is the first in a series that will cover Animal Rights Activism from as many angles as possible. Tactics, techniques, methods, historical figures, current controversies, inspirational essays-quotes-graphics, campaigns, movements – from education, agitation, resistance to revolution.

People don’t care if you’re upset. They care when you organize.
– Al Sharpton

It was Gandhi who said “if you do nothing, there will be no result“, so, the time for talking is over.

Now is the time to act. It’s time to get organised.
First, you have to make the decision that you want it… no, it’s more than that, you NEED it, you NEED to be an Active participant in the struggle for Animal Rights.

For many ARA’s (Animal Rights Activists) that I have met, they can’t live any other way. They simply cannot live a life without putting the fight for animal rights front and centre of almost everything they do.

Today, is about making that decision. You know you want to, have to be an Activist. You can no longer sit by and do nothing while animals are suffering. You have reached a point in your life where you must do something.

If you hear about some unspeakable horrendous act of cruelty against an animal, or you hear about the billions upon billions of animal killed for food each year, or any other act of abuse and you find yourself saying “Somebody must do something… and I think that somey will be me.” then it’s time to learn, act, think, agitate and bring about changes in the world.

And if you already are an AR Activist, then you will know that you have made the right decision.
For Animal Rights Activists, there are two questions:


    What do we want?

–2–How will we get it?

This can be summed up simply as “Objectives” and “Tactics“.
1. Objectives (the ENDS)
What those Objectives / Goals are may vary between individuals; long term education or short term direct action*, local or global, educate one person or agitate for a change in legislation.

2. Tactics (the MEANS)
Tactics, strategy, methods, plans, to-do-list, techniques – using the most appropriate method for your personal circumstance and objectives. This will vary depending on the desired outcome.
Although, I will cover these in more depth in a follow up piece soon, ‘Planning a Campaign’, a few quick words about Objectives and Tactics.

Getting 5000 names on a petition isn’t an objective, a petition is a tactic to achieve the specific goal. If spending time, money and energy on doing something doesn’t get you close to your goal, then why are you doing it?

Raising awareness is not an objective – you raise awareness, and then what? – you raise awareness so that people will change their behaviour, raising awareness is a tactic.

Networking, socialising, hanging out on social networks are not objectives, that are part of a tactic. Ah, you say, but I like hanging out with my friends. Ok, we all need down-time, some hours to switch off and recharge the brain, let go of the negative tension.

Knowledge without action is useless; action without knowledge is dangerous. – D. L. Chu

What’s Next?

Once you have your Objectives and planned your Tactics, then comes another crucial part of all . . . ACTION.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military and political leader said: “A Revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.” (or as I say: A revolution is a theory with an army.)

Or to paraphrase a leading animal welfare advocate “The philosophers can debate the revolution, but the Bandits must carry it out”.

This is not a suggestion that violence is necessary for a Vegan Revolution** – instead, after all the theorising about Animal Rights, the thinking, planning, debating, in the end, the work still needs to be done.

The military call this “boots on the ground” – those people will to carry out the plans, physically do the work – and often times in AR Activism, the person deciding the plan of action is the same person who is carrying it out.

Activism doesn’t require a lot of people, just dedicated people doing what needs to be done.

As Margaret Mead said: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Do it, and don’t be distracted by people who would tear you down. The haters for some reason are unable to act on their own, and so seek to destroy those who are.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. — Thomas Paine

Time to stop Feeding the Trolls.

I think most of us have met an ARA at some point, who you just know doesn’t do anything practical, they are “Facebook Crusaders”, you know, the kind of person who says to you:
‘See here, in this 1984 essay you wrote, you said “factory farm”, but all farms involve cruelty… what are you some kind of enabler or something, you are as Evil as a viviesector’.

The Anti-Activists attack you, and other ARAs all of the time, they follow you from blog to blog, from forum to social network, always reminding you of the time you said “factory farm” not “farm”.

They never work on a campaign of their own. You start to think – is this All that you do? have all the animal exploiters suddenly disappeared, and left you with so much free time that you can launch character assassinations on people who are actually doing something for the animals!

And then finally when you tell them you are not wasting any more of your time debating them, you are walking away – they declare they have “won”.

Facebook is not the battle, Facebook is a tool. If these TROLLS think they have “won” something by harassing animal rights activists, then they are not in it for the Animals.

And, what do you “WIN” by continuing to engage with them – nothing much.

If the Anti-Activists are distracting you, they are stealing your time and energy that you could use saving animals. See the trolls for what they are – COLLABORATORS.

You can accomplish a lot of good in the world if you don’t care who gets the credit for it. – Myles Horton

Next post in this series: Rules For Radicals
The phrase “Vegan Bootcamp” comes from the book, ‘Vegan Bootcamp: Guide to Animal Rights Activism’, it inspired me to do a series of posts on AR activism.

*Direct Action
Although some people think direct action means ‘violence’, that is not necessarily so:
Lee Hall “Veganism is direct action“.
**Revolutions can be peaceful.
There are some who hear the word “revolution” and think Molotov’s and Kalashnikov’s, balaclavas and bombs, however, Revolutions can be peaceful, they are simple a change. It could be a change in government, it could be a change in thought process.

Post 2011 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Copying and distribution of this entire article, text and / or graphic, is permitted in any medium, but please include the credit:
Written by RedGlitter of VALA
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice