Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Anti-colonization/anti-capitalism/anti-imperialism event Nov. 26th

We will be hosting a film screening/discussion event open to the Elgin community Nov. 26th at 7pm. This event will be focused on examining colonialism, capitalism, Native American genocide and a holiday that remains celebrated despite opposition from Indigenous peoples. There will be vegan snacks available and like all events hosted by The Feral Space, this is a free and sober event. Come check it out yall!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Our first event since we moved! (Finally!) Letter writing/prisoner support night Friday 11/14

After finally gettin all our shit unpacked we are ready to host our first event. We will be writing prisoners Friday (tomorrow) including Eric G. King and many others. If anyone would like to join us, send us an email. Vegan snacks provided!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Three Arrested at Everglades EF! Briger Forest Blockade, Jail Support Needed!

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 4.57.07 PM
from Earth First! Newswire
According to most recent reports from Everglades Earth First!,”The three arrested during the Briger Forest blockade are in custody at Palm Beach County Jail. Each are facing multiple misdemeanor charges. Bail has yet to be set. The blockade reportedly stopped workers from entering the site for over four hours.”
At least 22 cop cars, an emergency field force vehicle, and a mobile command unit were on site, and both people participating in the lockdown were arrested, along with the support person.

Support direct action, and help us continue to defend the Briger Forest before it’s too late! Donate to these brave individuals’ legal funds here:

Groups like Everglades Earth First! and the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) have been fighting to protect the Briger Forest since 2010. Last winter a justice department lawyer admitted to PBCEC’s lawyer Bill Eubanks that there were no practical alternatives to site layout designs that could both benefit continued snake use of the site and also satisfy the project’s purpose and need, effectively sentencing to death any Eastern Indigo Snake on the property. The Eastern Indigo Snake is one of 13 state and federally listed animal and plant species whom the Briger is suitable to support. A member of PBCEC is also appealing permits for construction needed from the South Florida Water Management District. Beyond the legal challenges the groups have gathered hundreds of petition signatures, held demonstrations and even staged a six-week tree-sit in the forest to protest the development.

“Kolter and Palm Beach County have had a corrupt deal from the beginning. It is a crime against nature for developers to keep bulldozing over wild South Florida in order to perpetuate an animal torturing biotech expansion agenda,” said Ashley Lyons, an organizer with Everglades Earth First!

Since the early 2000’s, Jeb Bush has tried to lure the Biotech industry to Florida with heavy state and local subsidies including this project and the construction of a campus for biotech company Scripps Florida. In the past few years Scripps has received about half a billion dollars in state subsidies for new facilities and has an agreement to lease the county owned portion of the property for $1 dollar a year ensuring their corporate welfare for years to come.

With the construction of a massive primate breeding facility in Hendry County, the “progressive” biotech industry is solidifying it’s future of inhumane animal testing and Scripps will be no exception. Scripps in Lajolla, California, has a history of testing on primates and Scripps Phase II will more than likely vivisect primates if constructed.

Everglades Earth First! promises to continue fighting the development every step of the way.

“We’re going to fight this project until it’s stopped because this forest is worth fighting for,” said Rachel Kijewski.

For more info on the blockade and its reasons, click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Vegans of Color: Veganism and The Class War

This writing was shared from

What follows is a thought exercise.

My own definition of a vegan is a human who eats fruits and vegetables [as well as whatever nuts, seeds or legumes he or she may desire], and never eats or uses animal products. For starts. For my purposes and for the purposes of this post, this vegan is not so heavily involved in extremely elaborate recipes, in highly-processed ingredients and additives, in soy and grains, etc. That can come later. I’m simplifying and scaling down for the purpose of understanding what this post wants to address, which is the skeletal basics (though in full disclosure I’m pretty much a fruitarian). A vegan, firstly, is someone anywhere in the world where fruits and vegetables are affordable and accessible who eats those items, eats produce. That sort of vegan, who isn’t strictly dependent on special products, mock meats, packaged goods, and so on, who could be just at home eating the fruits and veggies available in Kinshasa or Kisangani as are available in Karachi or Kansas City, might be said, for the purposes of this thought experiment, to be a universal vegan, or even a vehicular vegan, and I will use either term interchangebly going forward.

As for the class war, I define it as the conflict between workers and bosses, between capitalists and proletariats, between landlords and tenants, between elites and all us riff-raff, even between humans and animals, over access and claims of ownership over land, infrastructure, the means of production, the structure of our economy, the production of culture, and so on. It is the imperative of oppressors to oppress, to exploit, to profit, maintain ignorance, maintain illiteracy and food scarcity, maintain the divisions amongst working people, maintain ideological, religious, and political zeitgeists of constant histeria, and yet eat well and live comfortably all the while. It is the imperative of workers, of women, of ethnic or sexual minorities, of those rendered landless, to maintain unity in struggle, to vie for and claim power, land and freedom, to achieve self-determination and societies of fairness and justice, to collectivize resources, to build and practice pro-human cultures, and to, at a spiritual maximum as it were, prefer death to slavery. The class war is very real and it is everywhere and, whether or not we acknowledge it, we are all class warriors of some stripe, all over the world. If we find ourselves hating our banks and landlords and tiring of our bosses, that much makes us class warriors, just as a Naxalite Adivasi struggling against planned and perpetrated genocides and land thefts and who actually engages in armed struggle is a class warrior. The bosses that like exploiting and polluting and dominating – whether at Goldman Sachs or British Petroleum or Tyson Chicken or General Motors or Lockheed Martin or Uncle Sam himself – they’re all class warriors for their side.

So how can we mix veganism – as practiced by the universal vegan – with the class war? We start with the manner in which prestige is applied to certain objects to make them desirable, even when they aren’t healthy or necessary. Possession or consumption of these articles of prestige is then used to define who is of what class, or at least who aspires to more elevated social rankings. Yes, commodity fetishism includes propagating the meat prestige – look at the most extreme sorts of hamburgers the fast-food industry invents, or at the Heart Attack Grill.

So, all over the third world, even where meat is scarce or pastoralism is irrevocably destroying land, meat is a prestige. Automobile usage is another. The wealthiest eat the most meat and drive the most, and are often the most gorged and overweight, hence the typical gut of rich and powerful elites in Africa and elsewhere in the third world. (And thanks to the zombifying power of marketing and mass media, a million other useless, wasteful and dangerous products are rendered prestigious, and we must use our own voices and propaganda to fight this, but that is another topic.)

But if a society hedges closer to veganism, that means more calories will generally be available to its individual constituents, since growing plants is far more sustainable and efficient than growing animals which eat plants. So that society would naturally enable an environment of greater equity and less classism. On the other hand, if a society hankers hard after meat, that means fewer people will eat of the greater resultant scarcity in overall available calories. The meat-centric society will inevitably breed the conditions for less equality and for harsher stratification, just because of how much meat production usurps of limited environmental resources.

That’s macro-level. What about individual vehicular vegan class warriors?
Conscious vegan workers remove themselves partly from an equation of exploitation by striking animals from a hierarchy of exploitation and brutality from their own lives. They help keep the class war between humans and from involving non-humans, who have enough of their own struggles and class wars in the wild without having to worry about human consumption.

Conscientious vegan workers keep from supporting aspects of the elite apparatus and cash machine by non-participation in the meat-industrial complex and, should veganism keep them healthy, the medical-industrial complex. The industries of violence and slavery are among the largest which support class and caste structures worldwide. Not endorsing the meat prestige and engaging in veganism means one is using one’s own labor and consumer powers to directly disempower the most odious aspects of the system.

It could be observed that much of veganism, as it is known particularly in North America, is associated with upper classes and privileged populations, but veganism at the grassroots is actually potentially most revolutionary. In the US, poor communities of color are often bereft of access to fresh healthy foods, and disproportionately find themselves afflicted with the diseases of Western diets and lifestyles. This is part of class war, as I see it, keeping the most chronically impoverished from being able to be healthy, long-lived and highly functioning, and from excelling as human beings. The elites don’t really care to ameliorate this problem.

Thus it is up to grassroots universal vegan workers of color, aware that existence in a human society configured such as ours means lifelong class war, to promote healthy lifestyles, to strive and struggle to increase access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in our communities, and to speak loudly and widely on the benefits of non-meat consumption and the fallacies of the meat prestige and meat addiction.

Thoughtful vegans should make natural class warriors. Their veganism empowers them to escape relationships of oppression and violence with both humans and non-humans, while granting them the vitality and awareness to struggle for just power and representation for as long as necessary. The vehicular vegan revolutionary can be a revolutionary of stamina and substance, of vision and actualization, actually practicing diplomacy (with non-humans) and militancy (against industries and economies of subjugation).

And that is how, and why, veganism can relate to the class war, and why vegans, especially working-class vegans of color, should consider themselves class warriors. But it’s just one small open-source theory that still needs help (or refutation) from y’all.

Veganism can indeed be revolutionary, and we must make it so if we are serious about social change, food sovereignty, Earth and non-human justice, and human freedom and equity.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hip Hop & Food Justice by Kevin Tillman (Vegan Hip Hop Movement) & Keith Tucker (Pursuit of a Green Planet)

Check it out!

Is Filming a Police Officer a “Domestic Threat”? Austin Activist on Trial for Videotaping an

Shared from

A jury in Austin, Texas, is set to issue its decision today in a case that centers on a person’s right to film police officers. Antonio Buehler says he was at a gas station in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day in 2012 when he used his phone to take pictures of a woman being arrested and crying out for help. Ultimately, Buehler’s attempt to document what he felt was apparent police abuse ended with his own arrest when the officer said he felt Buehler spit on him. He faced a felony charge of “harassment of a public servant,” and two to 10 years in prison. Last year, a grand jury cleared Buehler of the felony, but in an usual twist, it came back with a charge of “failure to obey a lawful order,” a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine. The order was for Buehler to put his hands behind his back as he tried to take pictures. Since then Buehler has co-founded the group Peaceful Streets Project, whose members record police and post the videos online, and train others to do the same. He has been arrested several more times while videotaping officers and has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Austin Police Department. Buehler is an an Iraq War veteran and graduate of West Point and Stanford University with no prior arrests. Just moments before a jury is set to issue a verdict, he joins us from Austin.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We go now to Austin, Texas, where a jury is set to issue a decision today in a case that centers on an activist’s right to film police. Antonio Buehler says he was at a gas station in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day in 2012 when he used his phone to take pictures of a woman being arrested and crying out for help. In this video clip from the dashboard camera of a police car at the scene, Officer Patrick Oborski pulls the female passenger out of a car that had been stopped for having its lights off. As she cries for help, you can hear Antonio Buehler call out to the officer.
FEMALE PASSENGER: Don’t touch me. You’re on video.
POLICE OFFICER: That’s good. Come on. You’re done.
POLICE OFFICER: That’s it. Get out of the car.
ANTONIO BUEHLER: Why are you pulling her out of the car?
POLICE OFFICER: Hey, don’t worry about it.
FEMALE PASSENGER: Help me, please!
POLICE OFFICER: Worry about yourself. Worry about yourself!
FEMALE PASSENGER: They’re pulling me out of the car!
ANTONIO BUEHLER: What are you doing that to a female for? What is she doing to you? She’s not a risk to you.
FEMALE PASSENGER: I haven’t done nothing for it.
ANTONIO BUEHLER: She’s not doing [bleep] to you guys.
FEMALE PASSENGER: Take video of this, please.
ANTONIO BUEHLER: What’s wrong with you guys?
FEMALE PASSENGER: Please, take video of this.
ANTONIO BUEHLER: [inaudible] taking video of this.
FEMALE PASSENGER: Take video of this. Yeah, seriously, take video of this [bleep]. [inaudible]
ANTONIO BUEHLER: There was absolutely no reason to pull her out of the car like that. That’s [bleep] up!
POLICE OFFICER: How many times do we got to tell you not to interrupt [bleep]?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: This is the first time that footage has been broadcast. Ultimately, Antonio Buehler’s attempt to document apparent police abuse ended with his own arrest, when the officer said he felt Buehler was spitting on him. He faced a felony charge of harassment of a public servant and possible sentence of two to 10 years in prison. Last year, a grand jury cleared Buehler of the felony, but in an usual twist, it came back with a charge of “failure to obey a lawful order,” a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine. The order was for Buehler to put his hands behind his back as he tried to take pictures.
AMY GOODMAN: Since then, Antonio Buehler co-founded the group Peaceful Streets Project, whose members record police and post the videos online, train others to do the same thing. He has been arrested several more times while videotaping officers and has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Austin Police Department. And nearly three years after his first arrest, Antonio Buehler returned to court last Thursday to challenge his misdemeanor charge. Such minor cases often take about half a day, but this one is about to enter its fourth day and has featured a large police presence in the courtroom. Antonio Buehler is an an Iraq War vet, graduate of West Point and Stanford. He had no prior arrest record. Just about an hour before a jury is set to issue their decision, he joins us now from Austin.
Antonio, welcome to Democracy Now! The significance of this trial and why you are on trial? This is a misdemeanor that faces a $500 fine, and yet you have been in court now for days.
ANTONIO BUEHLER: Yeah, and I think that it all revolves around the fact that police officers don’t like to be held accountable, and prosecutors tend to cover for corrupt police officers.
AMY GOODMAN: Who said that you were a domestic terrorist threat?
ANTONIO BUEHLER: That came from the Austin Police Department, one of the officers who arrested me for filming. His name is Justin Berry. He created a PowerPoint presentation, presented it to the regional fusion center. And in it, they said that I was a domestic terrorist threat, as was the Peaceful Streets Project, because we go out and film cops. They said that we were a threat to all police officers and we’ve encouraged violence against police officers, which is just not true.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Antonio Buehler, the response to your Peaceful Streets Project in Austin? As a West Point grad and as a war veteran, what has been the marshaling of support for you?
ANTONIO BUEHLER: The people tend to really support us. The problem is, is that the city doesn’t support us. And so, the police officers have documented us, they’ve followed us, they’ve surveilled us, they’ve arrested us numerous times. And the prosecutors have been colluding with them to drum up charges against us. They’ve tried to bring four felony charges against me since that day three years ago.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain exactly what happened on that day? We saw this exclusive video just now. What happened on the morning of New Year’s when this woman was taken out of her car?
ANTONIO BUEHLER: Nothing. I was just a designated driver, pulled over to the gas station to fill up with gas, and we watched what we thought was a pretty benign DWI stop. The woman in the passenger seat of a car, she didn’t commit any crimes. She wasn’t aggressive. She was just on her phone trying to organize a ride in case her driver got arrested. And then, as we were leaving, the police officer just didn’t like the way that she wasn’t bowing down to him, and he ripped her out of the car. And as you saw in the video, I started calling out, asking why they were doing it. She begged for help. And then when I started filming, that just enraged the one police officer, and he ended up coming over to me, getting in my face, pushing and shoving me. And then, I guess, in the aftermath of it, they needed to find a way to cover up the assault of the police officer, so they charged me with the felony of spitting in the cop’s face.
AMY GOODMAN: In a statement, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, quote, “The Austin Police Department wants to once again reiterate the fact that simply filming police actions are generally lawful. However, interfering or obstructing a lawful police action, failure to obey a lawful order, and/or resisting arrest is a violation of the law.” And this is Austin Police Association President Wayne Vincent speaking to Fox 7.
WAYNE VINCENT: We fully are afraid that this thing is going to turn violent before it’s over, because Buehler keeps escalating the harassment. So, our officers are out there with absolutely no relief from this kind of harassment, and it’s not going to end well.
AMY GOODMAN: Antonio Buehler, the police have packed the courtroom of your misdemeanor trial, but one police officer has crossed the line to testify for you. Can you talk about both situations and what the police are saying here that we’ve just quoted?
ANTONIO BUEHLER: Right. There’s been at least six police officers in the courtroom, uniform and in plainclothes. We think that they’re there to intimidate the jury. There is one that crossed the thin blue line. He said that he stepped forward out of concern for my civil rights. And when he notified his supervisor that he was subpoenaed and that he was going to testify, they then notified him the very next day that he was being terminated as of October 31st. So, this case has been a lot about threats and bullying and intimidation and retaliation from the Austin Police Department and the city prosecutors.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Antonio Buehler, this kind of videotaping and community patrols, taping police activities, have been spreading across the country. We’re seeing videos almost on a daily basis of police interactions with citizens that call real—into question the kinds of brutality that is occurring. Your sense of the importance of these kinds of projects spreading even more throughout the country?
ANTONIO BUEHLER: Well, I think it’s vitally important. One is, police officers, even when they do record, we don’t get the videos. So, that dashcam that you showed, it took two years and nine months for us to get that video. And we’re defending ourselves in a criminal trial. When we have a dashcam of a cop killing someone, it typically malfunctions or disappears. So, we can’t trust the police officers to monitor those videos for us, so we need to do it ourselves. But secondly, as we’ve seen in Ferguson and in other places, when people come together to record the police, they build community, and they start to understand their responsibility to look after and take care of one another. And I think that that’s the most important part, building communities and realizing that we don’t have to defer to people who tend to violate our civil rights to keep the peace. We can do it ourselves.
AMY GOODMAN: Antonio, what do you hope comes out of your case right now? You’ve got this trial today, a verdict expected, and then you’ve got your own civil rights suit.
ANTONIO BUEHLER: Yeah, I actually hope that—I’m a very lucky person. I’m a West Point, Stanford and Harvard grad. I have a lot of privilege. I have a lot of friends with money, and I’ve had a lot of people rally behind me. But what I hope that people see is if the Austin Police Department and the prosecutors are willing to expend such tremendous resources—they had eight prosecutors in the courtroom over the past couple days—if they’re willing to expend this much to try to ruin my life and to try to get me for a petty misdemeanor, I just imagine what they’re doing to people of color, to the homeless, to the mentally ill, and what they’re doing to cover up when cops really do bad things, such as killing or raping. I think that this can be a way hopefully to get a lot of people sort of from my world—you know, Harvard, West Point, Stanford—to sort of recognize what millions of Americans face every day.
AMY GOODMAN: Antonio Buehler, we want to thank you for being with us, founder of Peaceful Streets Project. Trial over whether he disobeyed a lawful order when he refused to stop filming police, it’s set to wrap up shortly after our show. Go to our website, and we’ll let you know the latest in his case. And thank you so much for being with us.
We apologize for the lack of updates. Just finished the painful task of moving without a Uhaul. We currently have no internet at our new space but we will make do with getting wifi from hotspots, cafes etc for the time being. SO...we are officially moved into our new place. It is bigger and we have a few more people with us now. We plan on getting events up and ready by the 10th. For now we will post some news updates from comrades abroad.