Posts tagged ‘activism’

1 April, 2012

Activism Is My Rent For Living On The Planet

text of image: Activism is my rent for living on the planet – Alice Walker

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25 January, 2012

(Part 2) The Vegan Community – why it is a myth… next stop full-on cult.

I recently wrote a post about my experience with the so-called “vegan community” (The Vegan Community – and why it is a myth). I say “so-called” because there didn’t seem to be a lot of love in the room, not a lot of community spirit, when I expressed a different opinion.

I heard some stories, and got some interesting comments on that post, so this is part 2.

With permission I am posting Denderah’s comments here, so many brilliant words that say what others feel.

Denderah wrote:

I have been insulted more by vegans than meateaters. I have supported a prisoner and even visited him at the prison. He has always written back and responds to all letters of support. However I feel I could go every minute of the day doing something in support of prisoners and in the end be worn completely out. I am only a pen pal as he says not one of the important circle of activists who get things done. And I accept that. He doesn’t know me. But just exactly how long can I go on sending checks for his commissary letters to his lawyer and everyday letters and books and so on before I say to hell with this? If I didn’t communicate no one would communicate with me. So it is give give give on the one-way street to nowhere. I was told by one of the “gurus” that my reluctance to show support to prisoners of war was tantamount to treason and wait until I was in prison and no one would pay me any attention to me. I don’t intend to do anything that merits a prison sentence. But I digress…I agree with your post. I feel very alien to this vegan community-can never do enough and this pen pal business is less than satisfying-kind of like a one-sided relationship where only one side gets the goods and the other side is drained to nothing. I was a happy little vegan before I got mixed up in this. But I think I should just go my own vegan way.

….tantamount to treason? are you …. kidding me? There is a self-appointed vegan-animal rights guru out there, sitting in their faux-ivory tower passing judgement on others, but treason?

Denderah also wrote:

And the checks were accepted by a New York liason who said they would inform the prisoner. But I heard nothing more about them nor anything from him that he was aware funds had been paid into his commissary. No thanks either about the letter to his lawyer that we were asked to write for sentencing leniency though copies were sent to him. It is not that I want a personal relationship with people but I get this feeling about this organization that there is an elite hierarchy and the peasants pay homage and do what they are told.

those that can do, those that can’t bully
it seems that this guru and his inner circle are beginning to set themselves up as the Chosen Ones, vegans Anointed People, who shall interpret for the Commoners what makes a good (ie devout) activist, in much the same way the ancient priests decided who or what behaviour made one a good christian.

And, Denderah recognised that for what it really is…. an elite hierarchy and the peasants pay homage and do what they are told which is not liberating anyone.

However, it is the actions and words from the hierarchy which show a worrying picture of what it is like inside the modern animal activist community

From these above comments and others, a pattern of abuse, bullying, threats and ostracism is beginning to be made clear.

It is time the “vegan community” (if such a thing can ever exist) recognise this behaviour for what is it…

Cult-like bullying.

When you use emotionally loaded words such as treason in an attempt to change a persons behaviour, you are stepping into cult territory, using tactics that cults use to control their victims, oops, “members”.

Do what we say, when we say, follow the rules, never challenge the leaders, never ask questions, never disagree – or you are OUT of the community. Act the same, think the same, and if anyone steps out of line, let the swarms on online trolls swoop.

Like, really? This is how adults behave?

—————————————————————————————–
And a message for the “Gurus”, and all their little brainwashed handmaidens, drones, sock-puppets, attack dogs, troll-patrols, and hangers-on who think that bullying, harassment, abuse, vampire-style energy sapping distractions and death-threats is what being an activist is all about. Hint: THAT IS NOT ANIMAL LIBERATION.

If you waste our time with these little games of yours, real-world and on-line, we are not defending animals, your actions let the abusers continue what they are doing.

When you attack an animal activist for thinking differently to you, you are an animal abusing collaborator and enabler.

Because like a cult, they would rather people think the same, act the same, donate to the same people and worship the same gurus, and surveillance of other activists becomes their main priority, and saving animals doesn’t even enter the picture.

10 January, 2012

The Vegan Community – why it is a myth

What is the vegan community?

And who is part of it?

And, who gets to decide who else can be part of it?

A recent discussion on social network sites revolved around an activist (I don’t know anything about the case, so I will be vague) who was in prison.

I commented on a forum, that I had tried for a couple of years to make a connection with this person, and over the space of those years got absolutely nothing back, not even one single “hello”. This was someone who did not want my support, someone who had rejected my support, but now was in trouble, suddenly I was useful?

I pointed this out, and the fact I thought it was strange that there were people trying to make me feel guilty that I felt nothing about his arrest.

That set off a storm on the vegan blogs. I was selfish, a failed human being, stupid – you name it, the insults came fast and furious.

I should support my community without asking for something in return, and if this prisoner has not even said hello in two years of supporting his causes, then I should just keep giving to him, more and more and more.

(and by the way:  it is laughable how often these comments come from people who are vegans of less than a year… give someone a copy of an Alicia Silverstone book and slab of Daiya and they think they are the Gods Of Veganism, lecturing to all and sundry about who qualifies for being vegan and what you have to do to Earn Your Place In Your Community.)

It was not surprising to me, just disappointing, at how many people said “I am unfollowing you” for not supporting “YOUR community”.

That doesn’t seem very supportive to me.

I jokingly said “I resign from the vegan community, as I don’t recall signing up”.

Talk about hate-mail avalanche!

It just demonstrates once again, how petty, nasty, spiteful, predictable, insular, cliquey, highschoolish, disgusting the behaviour is of some vegans towards other vegans who don’t faithfully fall in line behind the “gurus” or toe the line on doctrine.

This is the community that I am supposed to support?

These are the loving, caring, compassionate people, who lecture others on how a community treats its members.

It is hard to find the time to be a good community member when I’m too busy deleting the hate mail pouring in from the “real” community members.

By their reasoning, I am not a proper member for failing to support a vegan in trouble, because goodness knows, the vegan community is so talented with supporting its members (so clearly, I was  never one of them, which makes it “ok” for them to send me hatemail).

yes, http://houseofhippies.tumblr.com/ I am looking at you

By defining an “us” and “them”, the Insiders and Outsiders, the real community members and the fakes, it is easy to hate others. Do exactly as we say, all of the times, and we will accept you. Have a different opinion, and you stop being a real member of the community, and you will become fair game. We will ignore you, hate you, belittle you, betray you, hack your accounts, because You Are Not One Of Us.

The same people attacking me were the same ones demanding I show more respect to others… because obviously the word “hypocrite” is not in their dictionaires.

The double standard of attacking someone who has supported you, for them not supporting someone who has completely ignored them for years – the double standard at work is laughable.

I try and try to be a good member, and get treated like, I don’t know… a melange of servant, moron, groupie, brain donor, ATM card, shitpile, football, doormat, yet when an animal activist is in trouble, I am supposed to reach out and do all I can to the very same people that have treated me like garbage.

My support has been rejected in the past, and I am a failed human being for going “you don’t want me around, I accept that, I will go away, like you want me to” and giving up… and here is the thing, you can only get kicked in the head so often before you say “I am not going to try anymore with that person”… until they are in trouble and suddenly they have a use for you.

People only pull the “be a good community member” card on you when they want something from you, and if you don’t do Exactly What They Want, When They Want It, then you are a failed human being!!!!

Being in a community is not, or at least should not, be a one way street. I find it hard to extend compassion to people who send me hatemail, or unfollow for a sarcastic comment, or take it upon themselves to be the final arbiter of who is a member of the vegan community or not.

I have seen little support and sense of community directed at me. And yet, I am asked to give more and more.

This is peer pressure at is more disgusting. Conform or you will be all alone.

Do what we tell you, and maybe you can be part of Our Community, because don’t think for one minute that just because you are vegan and animal liberation activist that you are part of Our Community. Oh No you are not.

In my experience, as someone who has been a vegan since I was 15, I have never experienced this sense of community with other vegans which people are always telling me I NEED to show to others, yet never extend to me.

Never, there has not be one single day, in the real world or online, when I have had that “I feel like I’m home” feeling.

In fact, every day that passes I feel more and more alienated from a cause which I work for practically every minute of my life.

Sometimes it feels like there is a rulebook, which all the vegans got, except me: the right forums to join, the right gurus to worshhip, the insiders, the outsiders, the right blogs to follow, you get that wrong and you just won’t ever fit in.

I often feel like I’m out here on my own, my own little vegan world of one or two, standing outside in the cold and the snow, rubbing the frost off the window glass, peering in, while all the other vegans are in a warm cozy room, huddled around a flickering fire, comfortable and secure.

Maybe I will never fit in, maybe I should sacrifice some of my beliefs (such as stop trying to convince people that leather wearing and cheese eating celebrities are not vegan; or vegans don’t necessarily need to have a USAmerican guru, and join the liberationists Or the abolitionists- must chose!), maybe it is time to compromise who I am in order to fit in better with a community that seems to constantly reject me.

It seems to be, that when ever I express an opinion, I am ostracised, and sent hate mail, I am called names, but do I really need to lie and say, “oh yes, celebrity in prison has my full support”, because he does not, and more to the point…. if I was ever in prison, I doubt he would take the five and half seconds required to give me a second thought.

So it seems my role in “my community” is to shut up, smile, reblog, promote other peoples causes, sacrifice my beliefs, never have an original – controversial – opinion, never disagree with anyone Ever, never ask questions, and suck up to the celebrities activists, and only then will I be accepted.

Only by changing everything about myself, is there ever any hope of fitting in with “my” community.

Because being part of a community is giving in to everyone unquestionly, and giving uncritical support every minute of the day, by pretending to be someone you’re not, so you can be completely ignored by everyone involved, except those sending you hate mail.

Yep, riiiight…. and people criticise me for saying, I don’t feel like part of THAT community?

Really? that sounds like something which people willingly want to be part of? And they wonder why so many distance themselves from “the vegan community”.

These side-shows, this online popularity contest, is best left to people who are still in highschool. The whole “I am unfollowing you” drama, really? this is how adults act? it’s time some people grew up (lunaselenaunicorn, I am looking at you, don’t just unfollow me, block me, because I don’t want to be reading about your mylittlepony obsession any longer).

If the spite, pettiness and nastiness is what it means to be part of “the vegan community”  the one, true, very beige, homogenous, group-think community – then I am pleased I resigned my membership from YOUR community.

Oh, I am still a vegan, and will always be, I have just given up trying to feel some sense of belonging, a feeling of kinship, searching for a community – Your Community, which does not seem to exist for me, from people who send me hate mail about how I am a bad member of the community.

Eternally an Outsider:

RedglitterX

2 October, 2011

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action from Gene Sharp

protestors outside a KFC restaurant in Royal O...

Image via Wikipedia

This list was taken from Sharp’s work The Methods of Nonviolent Action, and describes instances where each of these methods achieved the goals that protesters set out to achieve.

This list was originally written in 1973, and could not have forseen the advances in technology that led to Facebook-revolutions and Twitter-revolutions, television, mobile phones with cameras and internet, and satellites.

The fact this list is almost 40 years old does not invalid it, History is greatest teacher, and if something has worked in the past, it could work again.

Protesters should always use as many methods and tactics as needed to accomplish their goals, not just stop at one.

If you believe in something, it is worth fighting for.

Get creative, when one thing doesn’t work, use another, and another.

Sharp’s 198 Methods are a starting point, not a complete list.

Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak… Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.
César Chávez

(from Gene Sharp, The Methods of Nonviolent Action, Boston 1973)
via Peace Magazine

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

FORMAL STATEMENTS

1. Public speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public declarations
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

COMMUNICATIONS WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE

7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

GROUP REPRESENTATIONS

13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

SYMBOLIC PUBLIC ACTS

18. Displays of flags and symbolic colours
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

PRESSURES ON INDIVIDUALS

31. “Haunting” officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.
Malcolm X

DRAMA AND MUSIC

35. Humourous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
37. Singing

PROCESSIONS

38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

HONOURING THE DEAD

43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.
Mohandas Gandhi

PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

WITHDRAWAL AND RENUNCIATION

51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honours
54. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION
OSTRACISM OF PERSONS

55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

NONCOOPERATION WITH SOCIAL EVENTS, CUSTOMS, AND INSTITUTIONS

60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE SOCIAL SYSTEM

65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. “Flight” of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

That’s all nonviolence is – organized love.
Joan Baez

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS
ACTION BY CONSUMERS

71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

ACTION BY WORKERS AND PRODUCERS

78. Workers’ boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

ACTION BY MIDDLEMEN

80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

ACTION BY OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants’ “general strike”

ACTION BY HOLDERS OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES

86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

ACTION BY GOVERNMENTS

92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo
95. International buyers’ embargo
96. International trade embargo

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOOPERATION: THE STRIKE h4. SYMBOLIC STRIKES

97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

AGRICULTURAL STRIKES

99. Peasant strike
100. Farm workers’ strike

STRIKES BY SPECIAL GROUPS

101. Refusal of impressed labour
102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

ORDINARY INDUSTRIAL STRIKES

105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathy strike

RESTRICTED STRIKES

108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

MULTI-INDUSTRY STRIKES

116. Generalised strike
117. General strike

COMBINATION OF STRIKES AND ECONOMIC CLOSURES

118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION
REJECTION OF AUTHORITY

120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

CITIZENS’ NONCOOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENT

123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from governmental educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported institutions
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

CITIZENS’ ALTERNATIVES TO OBEDIENCE

133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

ACTION BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL

142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

DOMESTIC GOVERNMENTAL ACTION

149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL ACTION

151. Changes in diplomatic and other representation
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organisations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organisations

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION

PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION

158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
– 1. Fast of moral pressure
– 2. Hunger strike
– 3. Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

PHYSICAL INTERVENTION

162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

SOCIAL INTERVENTION

174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theatre
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

ECONOMIC INTERVENTION

181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

POLITICAL INTERVENTION

193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

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.

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:

–1–

    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 https://redglitterx.wordpress.com/
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice

30 March, 2011

César Chávez: the non-violent revolutionary


Sí, se puede

I don’t think any one event, or any one day, or any one action,
or any one confrontation wins or loses a battle. You keep that
in mind and be practical about it. It’s foolish then to try and
gamble everything on one roll of the dice—which is what violence
really gets down to.

I think the practical person has a better chance of dealing with
nonviolence than people who tend to be dreamers or who are
impractical. We’re not nonviolent because we want to save our
souls. We’re nonviolent because we want to get some social
justice for the workers.

If all you’re interested in is going around being nonviolent and so
concerned about saving yourself, at some point the whole thing
breaks down—you say to yourself,

‘Well, let them be violent, as long as I’m nonviolent.’

Or you begin to think it’s okay to lose the battle as long as you
remain nonviolent, the idea is that you have to win and be
nonviolent. That’s extremely important! You’ve got to be
nonviolent—and you’ve got to win with nonviolence! What do
the poor care about strange philosophies of nonviolence if it
doesn’t mean bread for them?

~ Cesar Chavez

 

We know we cannot be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them — exploiting animals in the name of science, exploiting animals in the name of sport, exploiting animals in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting animals in the name of food.
César Chávez

César Chávez a farm worker in California, who became a community organiser, labour leader and civil rights activist, and inspiration in non-violent campaigning for change.

Chávez, and Dolores Huerta, established the National Farm Workers Association, which became the United Farm Workers (UFW), and in the process showed what non-violent, compassionate, passionate activism can achieve.

In fighting for the rights of farm workers, the UFW was fighting for work place rights on behalf of a group of workers who had / have working conditions that very few other work places would find acceptable. As the recent death of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez due to heat stroke shows.
However, a family member says that Chávez was vegan. Camila Chavez, his niece, said: Cesar was a vegan. He didn’t eat any animal products. He was a vegan because he believed in animal rights but also for his health

Building on those who went before, Mexican Revolutionary – Emiliano Zapata, Martin Luther King, and Indian revolutionaries Nehru and Gandhi, he used as many tools as he could to gain rights for farm labourers.

 

There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence.
César Chávez

31 March, César Chávez’s birthday, is a state holiday in California, in honour of his community service.

And in the way that Chávez was inspired by those who went before him, maybe he can inspire a new generation of animal rights activists, inspired by his slogan “Yes, you can” (Sí, se puede).

Perhaps, vegans could adopt that day also, for a day of Animal Rights activism, non-violent acts of Revolution and community vegan activism?

I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.
César Chávez

This video examines the legacy of Chávez, his fight for justice, human rights, work place safety, and even environmental protections with his attention to the use of pesticides in food production. Among those paying tribute are Robert Kennedy and Martin Sheen.

Yes, you can.
3 October, 2010

Why Vegan SICs (Single Issue Causes) Deserve Support


Edited 29/11 to add: there has been a lot of accusation about recently over this piece, things like, I support happy meat …ah- for the illiterate who said that, I do not support “happy meat” hence this video I made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeXHS5LRZCM

For the abolitionist who said, I am misrepresenting and am inaccurate – I am not aligned with any side, You – as an abolitionist may disagree, but since I am not “representing” abolitionism, I can hardly “mis-represent” it. And rather than blather on to other people about how inaccurate (huh?) it is, how about leave a comment and tell me Where! it is inaccurate – oh wait, I forgot, you are an abolitionist, all you do is criticise and bully anyone who doesn’t think exactly like you. You have no desire to engage with anyone who isn’t part of your little clique or debate or defend your ideas, your idea of “vegan education” is to insult and call people “wrong” but since you haven’t ever learned to think for yourself, you can’t explain Why! someone is wrong, unless your Leader tells you first What! to think.

So go pray to your cult leader and maybe when you are perfect then I will accept your judgment of me.




Single Issue Cause, or as abbreviated SICs, are often the feature of mockery amongst animal rights advocates. But there are valid reasons why I support them.

The people who criticise others for not doing everything, are often those who don’t even attempt to do anything, in case they in turn are criticised for not doing everything.

When I hear certain vegans saying silly little things such as “people are always organising Anti-Fur demos, but never Anti-Leather demos” or “why do people have campaigns to “Save the Whales” but never “Save the Cows” whats the difference?” or “Meat free monday tells people that it is okay to eat meat on the rest of the week”.

Or they harass without mercy vegetarians as being corpse-eaters, because any animal used for food, the suffering of dairy cows and egg-laying hens, as well as the male calves and chicks being slaughtered as useless to the industry means there is blood on the mouths of vegetarians.

Often these are the same people that leap to the defence of such “vegan” celebrities as Alicia Silverstone, who eats eggs and dairy, saying they are doing a good job, and what is a little dairy. Although her ads for PeTA have been for Vegetarian campaigns, never vegan.

However, in the war against cruelty and exploitation of animals, it seems to me, a bit naive to expect the entire world population of over 6-billion people to go vegan instantly.

In the meantime, animals are still be exploited and continue to abused and treated with cruelty.

As an activist, I have seen people who would step in front of an exploding harpoon to save a whale from a Japanese whaler, yet continue to eat chicken and pork. I have seen people who can write passionate online essays in defence of veganism, yet continue to own stock in pharmaceutical companies and in companies that have palm oil plantations in Sumatra. I have seen people who make movies about the fur-trade, and yet, turn to abolitionist vegans who spend every minute online decrying anyone who promotes “anti-fur” as being a SIC and therefore welfarist.

I have found it is often those who come to veganism quite late in life who are the most harshest judges of other people, possibly thinking, “If I can make the connection, then they should as well”. And yet, while they are so preoccupied promoting peace and violence hoping it will lead to veganism, they often neglect to show empathy and compassion to other humans. (And sometimes very little to the animals, their veganism sometimes presents as “I’m perfect, why aren’t you?” instead of seeking to end cruelty and exploitation of all animals).

What is wrong with engaging people with the causes they are passionate about and then encouraging them to extend their compassion wider?

I’m fighting a war against exploitation and cruelty, I’m fighting against some of the largest industries in the world, killing animals is extremely lucrative, and fighting for animals is only lucrative for those who are prepared to sell out.

So if someone wants to take some of the load off my shoulders and organise an Anti-Fur protest, I will say: good, thank you. …

I will not ask them to also organise an anti-leather, anti-wool, anti-silk, anti-suede rally… and then because cruelty goes beyond clothes, I must also ask them to organise an anti-vivisection, anti-meat, anti-dairy, anti-egg, anti-honey, anti-whaling, anti-tuna, anti-logging in Sumatra protest, anti-circus, anti-zoo, anti-horse racing, anti-rodeo protest… and then because vegan means anti-violence and pro-feminism and pro-LGBT, I will be asking them to organise an anti-violence protest and pro-feminist rally and pro-lesbian-gay-bi-trans march… at this point if we are still friends, their likely response will be “go to hell”.

How do you complete a walk of 10,000 kilometres? One step at a time.

Single Issue Causes, are a way of connecting with others who are just taking steps into learning about animal cruelty, and treating them with hostility and disdain, is nothing short of bullying on our part and diminishes us as human beings, and possibly alienates potential vegans. It is nasty, it is bullying and this harassment of part-vegetarians and welfarists needs to be reexamined. We should work on encouraging them to either take up the vegan cause or leave them alone.

Does bullying ever work to gain true believers?

Single Issue Causes raise awareness of issues with people who are yet to make a connection. You never know what it will be that triggers someone to finally see that the food on their plate used to be a living being and the clothes on their back use to have a life. To a meat-and-dairy eating, leather wearing individual, they have little interest in the politics of welfare v rights, abolition v liberation; they only see a movement full of nasty, brutal, hate-filled people who have no empathy for anyone who isn’t exactly like them.

Is this the first-impression that we as vegans and animal rights activists want to present? No, really, is it?

Harassment of Single Issue Cause activists, implies you know them intimately and know every single detail of their lives. Exactly how do the critics of single issue cause know that the people who speak out against fur on one day aren’t out there promoting veganism on the other 364 days of the year? How does it promote animal rights to hate on others that are trying to make a difference – and what are you doing to end exploitation and cruelty to others, besides spreading it to other humans.

To suggest that someone who is fighting a single-issue cause is not also fighting every other cause when they can find 2 minutes to take a breath is arrogant and judgmental.

Sometimes, when real animals are suffering, for example, a round-up of wild brumbies (horses) is immanent or duck-hunting season is about to open, do we debate the theories of speciesism or do we take up this single issue cause and fight for these animals. In cases like this, some activists might put aside their promoting of vegan education, and fight for animals who are about to die. Sometimes the way to prevent the deaths of real animals is to make alliances with non vegans and non animal rights people. And then you can debate theory afterwards.

How do you build the Great Wall of China? One brick at a time.

Also, for a movement that is constantly redefining itself as being all-movements (peace, non-violence, feminist, pro-LGBT, anti-agist, differently-abled, anti-slavery…. it is also strangely middle-class, white, urban, Buddhist, consumerist and elitist, and extends harassment to anyone who doesn’t match that criteria… see Suburban Vegans… Sydney vegans say ‘Forget You!’).

Most people work, have friends, family, volunteer, play sport, do housework, not everyone has the opportunity to spend all day, everyday online. And so, maybe all they can do it one or two issues that particularly touch their hearts. Who am I to criticise them for that?

I would no more criticise someone for focusing on a single issue, than I would criticise a 6year old just learning to read for not completing War And Peace, or criticise a toddler just learning to walk for not completing a marathon.

Single issues might be a way for someone new to activism to start to learn how to campaign. By starting with one issue, and learning as they go, they will soon get to know others, network, support, share, and be exposed to different ideas.

Focusing on one cause at a time, might also be a way to help groups or individuals when what seems like an over-whelming task – of re educating the entire population of the world about veganism. Fight one battle, win it, and move on. Rather than be paralysed at the enormity of the task in trying to reach over 6-billion people, activists start with what they can do, and complete it, freeing their mind, energy, emotions, money for the next task.

Single Issue Causes also can harness the activists working in local communities. I live over 500 kilometres from the ocean, trying to get locals interested in the plight of sea turtles might come across as being out-of-touch with the needs of local residents. On the other hand, talking about local issues that have an effect on the lives of people in my community might be the first time some of people in my town have thought about these issues.

And the reverse would apply, there would be people that live on the beach that love to fish, but also care about the conservation of sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks and penguins, do we say to these people – you have no right to be an activist, because we say so, only vegans are allowed to care about issues? How arrogant does that sound.

These complex and entangled roots feed our sense of disaffection and have bred the burgeoning single interest movement. Membership of political parties may have been in decline for decades but the number of people who can boast about their presence on a political march or their membership of a single issue group has done the opposite. The single issue has become the antidote to political apathy.
Apolitical animal? The rise of the single issue

Modern animal rights activists are not merely opposing single issue causes related to animals, they are opposing People are have different opinions that don’t matched their “every cause at once”.

They are quietly and subtly reworking the definition of vegan as “The animal rights movement is a new peace movement; a peace movement that includes all beings” – Gary Francione. … How long will it be, before veganism is an option in this reworked Peace Movement, or is Mr Francione positioning himself to be not only the father of Animal Rights (Donald Watson, you are irrelevant) but also the father of peace?

This kind of approach does not seem to be about making life better for the majority of living being on the planet, it seems to be about controlling the behaviour of a few followers.

The reliance of some vegans on “education” as a tactic, sounds eerily like Stalinist Gulags or North Korean “re-education camps”, it focuses on changing how people think, rather than the alleviating the suffering of those being exploited.

The fight to end the cruelty, exploitation and brutality against the animals of the world is overwhelmingly large, lets accept allies where ever they are.

1 October, 2010

31 days of Animal Rights Activism

You are either an activist or an inactivist.
~ The Cove (2009) Documentary about Japan’s secret slaughter of dolphins

In solidarity with Russian protesters and in honour of Strategy 31 activists, I will be participating in the local version – Activism 31.

This just means, every day for the month of October, I will joining others in my area participating in actions that supports their causes. Not every action will be my causes, but I will join with others to support them, for social justice and human rights, not just animal rights, and in return they have committed to support me.

By supporting each other, we can be stronger, grow our network, weave the web of activism amongst local communities, we can all get stronger.

Strategy 31 is a growing movement in Russia, and now spreading to other world cities – London, New York, Toronto and Tel Aviv. It is a series of protests to support the Article 31 of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right to peaceful assembly.

The protesters have attracted many Russians who have never before dared speak out against their government, showing a bravery of defiance of their government that some activists in western countries are yet to emulate.

One act of civil disobedience among protesters is to write “31” on the palm of their hand while attending protests, in defiance of the government crackdown on support of Strategy 31.

Beginning on 31 July 2009, and held on the 31st of every month with 31 days, protesters have gather in Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow and is supported by a number of human rights organisations.

Every one of the Stategy-31 actions since it commenced has been refused permission by the authorities on the grounds that other activities were planned to take place… These “counter-actions” included the “Choose Health, Be Like Us!” festival (July 31, 2009), a youth sports festival (August 31, 2009), the “Division” military-sports festivity (October 31, 2009), an action of the pro-Kremlin “Young Russia” movement (December 31, 2009), and the “Winter Amusements” festivity (January 31, 2010). Each of the Strategy-31 actions was dispersed by regular and riot police and accompanied by large-scale detentions of participants and passers-by.
… The strategy 31 action on 31 May 2010… was dispersed with “exceptional cruelty”, with over 100 arrests.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy-31

This “exceptional cruelty” included hitting an 82 year old woman, Lyudmila Alexeeva on the head shouting “Still alive, you old bitch?” at the 31 March protests.

So, If anyone has any actions they want participants for, if its local I will hold a sign and hand out leaflets, if it on the other side of the world, I will sign your petition and email politicians.


For more about Strategy 31: What is Strategy 31? by Maryana Torocheshnikova

25 September, 2010

Vegan Big Brother

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.
George Orwell

Vegan Big Brother (VBB): like the mythical “vegan police”

Online vegans are always being watched and monitored by other vegans, lest they say something that could be interpreted as “new welfarism”.

This is vegan-against-vegan. (‘VBB’ really doesn’t care what non-vegans do.)

Is the harassment and bullying of other vegans and vegan organisations, really the best use of our time? I thought we were supposed to be reaching out to create new vegans out of the carnivores, and not act like an online bully to people we don’t agree with.

When these people spend more time, picking over every little word and action of vegans, animal rights activists and people who are making a difference, they are not looking at those who are abusing and exploiting the animals.

These people are acting like collaborators and saboteurs and agents of the state, out to create confusion and division within the AR community. I am not paranoid enough to suggest they are, but that is the effect of their actions.

It’s Time, to actually do what we say, we need to stop worrying about what other people are doing and thinking, and put animals first.

This is a hyper-surveillance that even Orwell couldn’t have imagined.


If anyone has any experience of this vegan-surveillance, personal experiences are welcome, if anyone wants to share.