Friday, March 27, 2015

SUPPORT NEEDED for STRAIGHT EDGE MADRID ARRESTS: "STATEMENT AFTER THE STATE REPRESSION AND CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR COLLECTIVE"





STATEMENT AFTER THE STATE REPRESSION AND CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR COLLECTIVE

21m-policiaapalea

Translated from Spanish to English from the original statement here: https://straightedgemadrid.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/comunicado-tras-la-represion-y-posterior-criminalizacion-a-nuestro-colectivo/

EVENTS:

On Saturday 21 March 2015 our group attended the demonstration of gears of the dignity given the need to be partners in a process of political representation in the street. While maintaining the nuances of our opposition to wage labor and expand not only the dignity from an ethnocentric perspective, but to give a voice to the voiceless, i.e. non-human animals. After the end of the march many of the people fed up with the routinisation of citizen protest decided to break with the conventionality of marching where and when instructed by the state. After breaking with the normality of the center of the consumerism of Madrid the burden was imminent to what the demonstration dispersed by different streets. Before the imminent police charge, people desperately attempted to flee the police advance for fear of a accustomed police brutality of the Spanish state. In the flee, 3 persons as members of our group were arrested, including two south american, one of whom was younger. The minor was beaten violently and repeatedly by the police after being cornered with other demonstrators by the IPU. He was taken to Moratalaz being minor where he was held for more than 4 hours without going to the bathroom and received repeated beatings by the police accompanied by racist insults. After identifying that they were younger they were sent to the Group of Age of the National Police (GRUME) where the treatment never ceased to be hostile. The other partner (we'll call "N") at the time of his arrest was unconscious and was dragged up to the spot where there were a group of policemen where he received blows and kicks until being awakened in the van of the UIP. When he was transferred to the police station two policemen greeted him by his surname then transferred him and beat him up again and took him up to a room where he had an asthma attack. To be taken to the dungeon is a single cell only. In the early morning of Sunday he is awakened for taking fingerprints where is recognized by a police officer and was taken to the bathroom of the dungeon accompanied by 4 police officers where he received a beating as a threat for the next time the police or 911 is called on him. During his entire stay there referred to him as "Ensamble Sudaca of shit." (beaner or spic of shit).
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Criminalization of STRAIGHT EDGE MADRID:
It is curious to see how bourgeois media and the police are working in the criminalization of any collective with social conscience. The 3 out of 17 people arrested were part of our collective. The first was linked to our collective directly by the sweatshirt he was wearing, a sweatshirt that any person who wants to can buy for 18€ through contact with us or to go to a drug-free concert that we organize. The other person (N) was linked given that certain persons for personal reasons and cretins explained their identity and their political activity in the network, people then complain which linked the straight edge political ideas with the comfort of their lives and a label only to feed their egos. Apparently now 2 people linked represent the majority of 17. Now they want to criminalize a collective that promotes a drug-free lifestyle and veganism as a way of life, live without causing harm to animals for human benefit.
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REPRESSION:
Our comrades are awaiting trial on charges of public disorder and 2 of them attacking police. For one of them (N) requested the immediate entry to prison without bail. In this case the prosecutor asks for more than 6 years in prison. We add that during the stay of the dungeon the offenses were changing every once in a while, trying to place false evidence to different individuals in the course of the days in the dungeon finally being our partner (N) because it is in a pending lawsuit which we emphasize that is already shown that he was on the other side of the city the moment that the facts of which he is charged. Not complying with this today, with provisional release, has encountered the harassment of the secret police.

We are grateful to all the groups, collectives and individuals have joined in solidarity with us and we embrace any aid we are provided.

JOINT ACCOUNT: IS91 2038 1095 7530 0193 1786

PAYPAL: la_protesta@live.com

HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN ANIMAL LIBERATION!

“La represión nos derriba, la dignidad nos levanta”



Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Earth is Sacred: A Video From a Native American Vegan Straight Edge Anarchist

video
"The Earth is Sacred introduction continued
Video by The Plant Based Native I tell a little more of myself, so that others can, maybe Identify with me and where I am coming from."

While it is such an unfortunate commonality for people to assume veganism is a colonial diet, many Indigenous vegans remain vocal against speciesism, moral anthropocentrism and the civilized, capitalist colonial system.

The Feral Space collective fights for TOTAL liberation, challenging the logic of control and domination where we encounter it, and confronting fascism, white supremacy and patriarchy directly. For us, anti-speciesism is just as important as anti-sexism, anti-racism and anti-colonialism because all oppressions are interconnected and interdependent. No one is free while others are oppressed. We feel this short video is important and wanted to allow free space on our blog for our comrade to have a voice. Check it out and also check out XVX FIGHT CLUB XVX http://www.xvxfightclub.com/

Friday, March 20, 2015

Intoxicating Spaces: Colonialism, Nationalism and Consumption. Presentation of, “Interrogating the Intersections of Colonization, Class, Race and Addiction.

Presentation of, “Interrogating the Intersections of Colonization, Class, Race and Addiction,” by Amelia Saunders as part of the talk, Sobriety As Accessibility: Interrogating Intoxication Culture, at the Reclaiming Our Bodies and Our Minds conference on March 16, 2013.

Shared from http://livingnotexisting.org/essays/sobriety-as-accessibility-interrogating-intoxication-culture/intoxicating-spaces-colonialism-nationalism-and-consumption/


For the next fifteen or so minutes, I will be discussing the idea of ‘intoxication culture’ as a colonizing tool that has, over time, been used to hail certain bodies in nation statehood, citizenship and patriotism while damning others to be left in the margins. Also, I aim to look at how this relationship between alcohol, drugs, nationalism and colonization is structured through space. I will be engaging with these ideas through a lens that is critical of colonialism.

My work is drawn upon the research I have done in areas of colonialism, law, race, and space theory. I mainly draw upon the work on Sherene Razack and Nick Riotfag, in tandem with the ideas and theories of Judith Halberstam as they relate to identity and space construction.

The position with which I approach my research is that of a white cis-gender, queer woman from a low-income background. I also come from a background of alcohol and drug abuse and am myself a recovering addict and alcoholic. As I am merely presenting my thoughts and ideas and the research I have done on this topic, I can only share from my position of experience and research.

The main questions of my research are: how does colonialism speak to and construct the addict and a culture of intoxication? How is this produced in time and space? How does intoxication culture continue to oppress certain populations, while rewarding others?
First, What is Intoxication culture and why is it important for the discussion of race and space construction?

I first came across this idea in Nick Riotfag’s anarchist zine ‘Towards a Less Fucked Up World’. This specific zine is titled “Sobriety and Anarchist Struggle”. I consider intoxication culture to be a culture in which intoxication is not only normalized but also expected. For the purposes of my research, I understand intoxication culture to be a culture within which spaces have been constructed in order to normalize the capitalistic enterprise of inebriation, pushing those who do not wish to engage in such a transaction to the margins of intelligibility(9 – 15).

I express that the idea of intoxication culture is important to the conversation of race as it relates to alcohol consumption and space construction, because I take the position that intoxication culture is itself a tool of white supremacy. I argue that this tool aims to encourage the passivity of racialized communities and individuals(Riotfag, 12). I argue that it does so while constructing spaces that structure the relationships with alcohol and drugs with oppressed communities and racialized indivuals as something ‘abnormal’.

Nick Riotfag addresses the prevalence of addiction within oppressed communities. Riotfag discusses drug and alcohol use in Black communities, Indigenous communities and queer communities. Nick Riotfag also acknowledges the role the state has played in the development of a dependant relationship between oppressed communities and drugs, such as the CIA involvement in the introduction of Crack in urban black communities in the United States(12).

As example of a form of resistance, that I would argue position sobriety as a tool of decolonization, the Black Liberation Movement rectified policies of prohibition within their communities; The Zapatista societies of Mexico are dry communities; Indigenous communities across Turtle island ban alcohol from their communities and reserves as a form of identity reclamation and culture regeneration(12). Riotfag quotes Frederick Douglass as stating, “when a slave was drunk, the slaveholder had no fear that he would plan an insurrection; no fear that he would escape to the north. It was the sober, thinking slave who was dangerous, and needed the vigilance of his master to keep him slave”(13). As I have stated, I think it is important to acknowledge these relationships and their utility for state rule and citizen pacification. For the purposes of my research, I have sought answers to questions that pertain to citizenship and patriotic rhetoric which I argue has been instrumental in the development of relationships of dependence and the introduction of drugs and alcohol into oppressed communities. What I find of interest here is the spaces in which the relationship oppressed communities have had with substances that, has encouraged a relationship of dependence, addiction and a larger societal stigmatization. Similarly, I have noticed that the rhetoric of recovery follows similar nationalistic, white supremacist, capitalistic discourses (which I unfortunately will not have time to go into today!).

Drawing from this, I plan to discuss racial categories and identity as a system that deciphers who can access nation, land and citizenship and how this interacts with alcohol, drugs and recovery.

Razack states that race and space are constructed through “Racial and spatial boundaries, as to keep the colonized in their place, which is to be out of place”(61). Razack is stating that the ways in which spaces are constructed specifically in our North American, white supremacist culture, is to reduce the visibility of racialized individuals and communities while selling the idea of assimilation to these communities through various means. I would argue one of these means being the ‘proper method of intoxication and substance usage’. The construction of a proper method of intoxication creates a binarism that constructs an improper method of usage, as Geoff has stated earlier in the presentation. As Razack argues that the prospects of white supremacy are reliant on the construction of space in racialized terms(*), I will, in tandem, argue that ‘improper usage’ or ‘improper inebriation’ within oppressed communities is seen as a complication for nation statehood and as a threat and problem for white supremacy.

Sherene Razack considers the relationship between alcohol policies and land settlement in British Colombia in her book, Race, Space and the Law. In Chapter two Razack states that process of colonizing British Columbia was contingent on the strict enforcement of liquor laws(65). The liquor laws enforced by white settler government dictated who could drink, where and with whom. As Razack suggests, “the regulation of liquor was about space”(65).

As such, alcohol was once only available to citizens of the Canadian state, not inclusive of Indigenous folks, before the idea of the status and non-status Indian came into existence(Razack, ). It was also available only to those citizens who could reproduce state nationalism through a heterosexual discourse. It has become evident through my research that colonialism plays an important role in the establishment and normalization of heterosexuality(Razack, 67). Upon discussing this with my colleague, Clementine she summed it up as such ‘If you control who drinks together, you control who fucks’. At first, I laughed at this thought but then realized its truth and profundity. The relationship that alcohol, colonialism and race have is such to continue a white statehood through heterosexual procreation. It is space construction that insures the continuation of a ‘pure’ white race which would continue the legacy of the nation state.
What I find interesting about this relationship is that the consumption and purchasing of liquor was once only limited to the white, heterosexual patriot subject. Where white settlers were the only ones allowed to purchase and drink alcohol, Indigenous folks and people of colour were not allowed to by legislative rule. We can see these attitudes still prevalent in the marketing of certain alcoholic products, such as Geoff mentioned earlier with a product such as Molson Canadian. Upon watching a commercial for the product, it is almost impossible to not recognize the nationalistic rhetoric prevalent in much of the companys marketing, where Canadian pride is built on the consumption of this beverage, and once having purchased and drank this product, you are able to claim ‘I am Canadian’.

We can see this nationalist discourse manifest in certain spaces constructed for the purposes of buying and consuming alcohol. For example, imagine yourself walking down King Street West on a Friday night. The bars are full, and everyone is trying to get laid. Who do you see? Who is in the bars? How old are they? What colour is their skin? What is their gender presentation? Now, how about if you walk by Queen West and Bathurst at any given time of day or night… Who do you see? How are they drinking? Are they using drugs in a public space? Are they racialized or are they white? Spaces such as these that are constructed with invisible borders, are dictated by race as constructed by white supremacy.

In her research, Razack focuses on the illegality of alcohol consumption for Native folks which defined a racial boundary that was integral to the heterosexual policing of Native folks in British Columbia; the Native identity was constructed as a non-heterosexual, non-white ‘other’ who threatened the white, Eurocentric compilation of nationalistic identity. This, in turn, was concretized as heavily policed liquor laws and laws pertaining to inter-racial sex relations.
As Razack notes in her work, liquor laws, and the construction of spaces and borders are also very much about sex(67). They are about the mixing of cultures, an idea that reiterates eugenic ideas. It is through the colonization of space that race can be managed, heterosexuality solidified and the ‘legacy of white Canadian statehood’ continued(67).

This nationalistic consumption and intoxication is undoubtedly reified through systems of white supremacy. I would argue that, as Geoff stated earlier in this presentation, that the ideology of ‘othering’ is used for people to identify as addicted or non-addicted people. The idea of ‘othering’, as David Goldberg states is used for white supremacy, constructs itself by conceptualizing order anew, and then by reproducing spatial confinement and separation in renewed terms’(*). If we apply this idea to the construct of the addict, we can see this as it relates to spatial construction in urban areas. I think that is important that we question how these spaces have come to exist, and through which process can the invisible borders, tied up in race, addiction and discrimination begin to be dismantled?

In her article, Razack discusses the legalization of alcohol for Indigenous folks in Canada and the “problem of Indian drunkenness” the state was then presented with(66). This was faced with policies that once again outlawed the sale of alcohol to indigenous folks. The anxiety the white Canadian state faced in regards to the “problem of the drunken indian” related to their desire to build and reform a respectable white society, as the pervasiveness of alcoholism and addiction in communities deeply affected and destroyed by colonialism presented a problem to the sustaining of this patriotic imaginative.
I would like to briefly use an example that I have come across in my research. In 2001 John Stackhouse, a journalist for The Globe and Mail, published an article called “Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies”. The article as discussed by Craig Proulx, a Metis professor of Anthropology at McMaster University, claims to be written to empower Aboriginal folks who live in this ‘Harlem on the prairies’, while asking the reader to be the judge of the plausibility of peaceful Aboriginal – Settler relations(143). Instead, what Stackhouse does is utilize what I have discussed here, white supremacist discourse and rhetorics of nationalism and racism, to construct both the identities of racialized folks who he silences, and the white authoritarian settler who he puts on a pedestal(147). Pictures that accompany the article are those of ‘drunk Indians being carried to police cars’ and ‘concerned white police officers looking on’ and doing their duty for the nation state by sweeping the streets of this Canadian Harlem clean of the problem of race integration in the pursuit of maintaining borders constructed around race and alcohol and drug consumption. In the article, the only racialized folks who are given voice are those who work directly for the government through judicial services. Upon investigating this relationship, Proulx quotes Jeanne Guillemin in saying “Since the police and other keepers of the peace in urban and reservation areas have the same values as the rulers of American society, they perceive public inebriation as an ultimate degradation, a fall from civilization. They judge Indians who drink publicly even more harshly than the individual white, because Indians as a group seem to have been born uncivilized with no shame about their categorical degradation”(148). I urge all you to read the article ‘Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies’ by John Stackhouse and draw your own conclusions on what is being said and what it reifies.
The privilege of those who are able to drink in certain spaces, such as at bars on weekends and Friday nights, over lunch with the buddies, or with mimosas at brunch with the girls are constructed upon their relationship within racial borders that dictate who is not allowed to access this privilege. It is this privileged relationship to alcohol and drugs that is a large part of the patriotic imagination, which boasts ‘proper consumption’ as a nationalist duty.
That statement I wish to close with is this: Given the nature of our culture as one of intoxication and seeing the connections that intoxication has with colonialism and racism, how can we work towards a community and a society that operates in a framework of accessibility? This means an accessibility for racialized folks, status and non-status Natives, immigrants, queer folks, and the addicted and the non-addicted alike. I ask what this would mean for you personally? Does this mean you interrogate your own relationship with substances and alcohol? Does it mean you are more conscientious of the spaces in which you drink? Or does it mean that you work with your community to make events dry and alcohol-free and accessible for all?

To interrogate intoxication culture we must truly investigate the ways in which intoxication, alcohol and drugs have shaped our lives and our experiences, as well as how it has worked to construct ideas, identities and the spaces associated with those identities. It has become evident to me, through my research, that to interrogate intoxication culture is to interrogate a deep-rooted racist, nationalistic, colonial discourse. If we truly want to create a culture of accessibility, then we must redefine our relationship with that which aims to render us incapacitated to do so, both individually and collectively.

Work Cited
Proulx, C., “‘An Analysis of ‘Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies”’ in Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian Cities: Transformations and Continuities., pp.,143 – 171, Wilfred Laurier University Press, Waterloo., 2011.

Razack, S., “In Between and Out of Place: Mixed-Race Identity, Liquor and the Law in British Columbia, 1850 – 1913” in Race, Space and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society., pp., 47 – 71, Between the Lines, Canada, 2002.

Riotfag, Nick., “Towardsalessfuckedupworld: Sobriety and Anarchist Struggle”. Independent., 199-.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"IN MEXICO WE ALSO FIGHT!" Anti-Speciesism, Veganism and Animal Liberation Front/Commando-Green Black (FLA, FLAM & FLA-CVN) in Mexico - History in the Making


ALF Mexico - History in the Making

full story: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/01/390369.html

Correction of below article: 29.01.2008 23:33

Top action on the list of "History in the making" should include "January 23, 2008 - Mexico

FIRE AT KFC"...which is the first communique in the list.
FLA

FLA, FLAM & FLA-CVN (Commando-Green Black)....the Frente de Liberacion Animal (FLA/ALF) is making it's mark in Mexico...
ALF Mexico

The first reported ALF actions in Mexico are; December 2006, when a KFC and fur store are sabotaged, and October 2007, when a pet shop was sabotaged by the F.L.A. Since then, December 2007 and January 2008 have seen a series of well planned and executed FLA actions in Mexico.

Similar to France, when two ALF reports in November 2002 caused a flurry of direct action three years later in 2005 - which is continuing to flourish, and also from April 2007 onwards, which saw Czech Republic heavily target hunting stands and other animal abuse after two actions in Sept/Nov 2006. Activists in Mexico have seen a spark and responded with a string of diverse actions.

This method also replicates the Band of Mercy (1974) which sparked direct action in England, by liberating animals and utilizing arson - two years later causing the birth of the Animal Liberation Front by Ronnie Lee.

The purpose of this post is to highlight the current growth of ALF activity in Mexico and is dedicated to the activists behind these compassionate actions.

Every year brings a new country or three to the frontlines of direct action for animals, whilst last year was the beginning for the Czech Republic, 2008 looks set for Mexico to win the "best newcomers" award.

Not that there really an award! But the front page of Bite Back Magazine would be a likely way to represent this.

The following are the actions that have been carried out...

THE SPARKS THAT CAUSED THE FLAME

December 10, 2006: FUR STORE, KFC HIT IN MONTERREY

anonymous communique:

"Greetings from México.
Two FLA (Frente de Liberación Animal) strikes very early this morning in Monterrey, Nuevo León.
The first target was a big fur store, where all locks and doors were glued, threw paint bombs and wrote "Frente de Liberación Animal", "Muerte" and "Cada Piel es una Muerte".
The second target was a KFC, that was painted with paint bombs.

In Support of all ALF and ELF cells and dedicated to the SHAC 7.
This fight for life won't end until the day we die.
Vegan Revolution!"

October 3, 2007: PET STORE TARGETED

anonymous report; rough translation:

"IN MEXICO WE ALSO FIGHT!
On October 1, a pet store was attacked, padlocks hit, paint-filled light bulbs thrown and a letter was left in the building, explaining the reason for the action and that if the captivity of animals continues, they would suffer the consequences. The F.L.A has arrived!"


ANIMAL LIBERATION - HISTORY IN THE MAKING

January 23, 2008: "MEAT=MURDER" PAINTED ON MARKETS
January 19, 2008: NEW HOMES FOR PUPPIES
January 14, 2008: "PASSIVITY MAKES YOU COMPLICIT"
January 07, 2008: TWO DOVES AND A TURKEY RESCUED
January 04, 2008: FURRIER PAINTED
December 30, 2007: PET STORES ATTACKED
December 29, 2007: KFC HIT WITH PAINT BOMBS
December 27, 2007: CIRCUS BIG TOP, CARS PAINTED
December 26, 2007: PET STORE ATTACKED

anonymous communique (translation):

"On the night of January 20 the Animal Liberation Front Mexico (F.L.A.M.) placed an incendiary device in an establishment of this multinational corporation that continues the killing of our animal brothers and sisters on their farms of terror for filthy money that comes at the cost of the suffering of others.
These actions are just the beginning of what the animal rights guerillas can do."

received anonymously (translation):

"January 21:

The Animal Liberation Front Mexico (FLAM) claim an attack with paint on a large meat market and a poultry shop called Bachoco, a company that has killed millions of chickens in its industrial farms, exploiting these animals and keeping them in precarious conditions even in the store. The bodies of those already dead were found on the ground in overflowing sacks and cages, giving off a stench of death.
These speciesist idiots do not know that the ALF exists. We are determined to cause more harm to this company, until it collapses.
'Meat=Murder' can now be read on the walls of these genocidal and murdering companies.
The war on speciesism will be brought to businesses like these.
FLAM"

received anonymously (translation):

"January 16:
The Animal Liberation Front Commando-Green Black of Mexico State rescued 4 puppies and gave them a better life.
Every animal is important as we continue the fight.
FLA/ALF!"

received anonymously:

"January 11:
Seeing that our brother animals were victims of torture and their torturers were exploiting them to earn more and more money, the Animal Liberation Front - Commando Green Black attacked Rolan's Circo, a circus that uses dogs and sea lions in its 'shows.' Tired of this situation we decided to paint slogans on circus trucks, on the tent, and on walls.
Passivity makes you complicit, use direct action and declare war on speciesism!

anonymous communique (translation):

"Liberation of 2 doves and a turkey + cage opened in Mexico

In the early morning of January 4, the Animal Liberation Front-Green Black Commando (FLA-CVN), infiltrated a farm located in Mexico State, rescuing and releasing 2 sister doves and 1 small brother turkey, who were detained and imprisoned in a cage. We wanted to release more animals but to be safe we had to leave the farm, but not without first opening the cage of another turkey.

NO MORE ANIMAL PRISONS!

FLA-CVN MEXICO"

received anonymously (translation):

"Attack on fur business in Mexico

The Animal Liberation Front has attacked a fur business, the cruelest, most despicable business that could exist against our animal brothers and sisters, apart from experimentation. 'FUR = MURDER' and 'Animal Liberation Front' were some of the slogans painted on the building.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO FIGHT!
TAKE WHAT YOU HAVE AT HAND AND THROW IT AT THE SPECIESISTS!"

anonymous report (translation):

"On December 28th, three cells of the Animal Liberation Front in Mexico coordinated actions against cruel and disgusting speciesism. They carried out the following actions:
- attacked a pet shop with paint bombs
- attacked another pet store with paint: NO MORE ANIMAL PRISONERS! painted on the walls and floor.

received anonymously (translation):

"With the coordination of cells from ALF Mexico and the ALF Commando Verde Negro, KFC was attacked. Bulbs & bottles filled with paint were used on their floor, windows and walls.

NOW IS THE FIGHT, THE FUTURE IS OURS.
GO VEGAN"

anonymous report:

"On December 24, the Animal Liberation Front - Mexico (FLAM) painted on a circus where they have imprisoned our brothers and humiliated and tortured them physically and psychologically. NO MORE CIRCUSES WITH ANIMALS was what appeared on the big top and cars of circus speciesists.
No more speciesism, long live the FLAM!"

received anonymously:

"On the night of December 24 while speciesists devoured the corpse of a turkey, we attacked a pet store and painted ANIMAL LIBERATION on its facade, walls and floor.
FORWARD WARRIORS OF FLA!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Feral Space collective hosting 2nd annual Really Really Free Market

Hey everyone! We will be hosting a really really free market again this year sometime in May. We are not EXACTLY sure which date but for now we are putting the word out in case anyone would like to contact us  and plan on helping ahead of time.

Last year's RRFM was 2 days and the turn out was great! We at The Feral Space whole-heartedly believe in putting words to action. This means that we don't just speak about anarchy but we enjoy putting anarchy to action in our community.

This years RRFM will have MORE free reading materials in the form of zines, books and poetry. We also plan to have a couple more workshops on various survival skills and self-defense. We plan on having discussion nights with films screenings as well as free healthy vegan food available. If all of this sounds exciting to you, hit us up if you are interested in bringing stuff or helping set up.

That is the update for now, there will be many more updates in the near future so stay tuned!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Colonialism, Imperialism and Animal Liberation


Colonialism, Imperialism and Animal Liberation 

Shared from http://www.shoresofanarres.org/colonialism-imperialism-and-animal-liberation/

Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence in its natural state, and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence. – Frantz Fanon


It is, in theory, not necessary to point out the brutality and violence permeating the colonial and imperialist projects of various societies as they have come and gone throughout history. The arcs on which these events are documented are, as Marx said of capitalism, dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt. But in practice, the only danger lies in not retelling this story enough rather than in telling it too often.

Whether we are talking about Africans, enslaved and brought to the Americas as a tool for imperialist interests, native Americans robbed of their land, their freedom and ultimately their lives, the utter misery in Kongo under Belgian rule, or British imperialism in India, the underlying themes share a striking similarity. The bodies of the conquered were objectified as machines to do the work of their new masters, the land and riches were confiscated while the cultures and societies, in many cases, torn apart and destroyed. To accomplish this, an entire philosophy of domination was applied through a brutal and multilayered web of racism, sexism, religious persecution and cultural universalism strictly from the perspective of the conquerors. The cultures and practices of the natives were vilified and demonized (sometimes literally, as in the form of witch hunts), while atrocious behavior on the part of the invading empires – both at home and in their new colonies – was often explained as justified or even necessary.

It is no wonder, then, that anarchism is by very definition opposed to these practices of domination and that anarchists are among the foremost critics of this process and its lingering effects. This is very much the case also for anarchists engaged in the animal liberation struggle, as several parallels can be drawn in the way that the highly diminished status of non-human animals could be used as a platform to dehumanize and delegitimize the conquered populations and their cultures. With animals already neatly fit into the narrative of being mere tools and objects for human exploitation, labeling the colonized populations as animals immediately brought to life the desired associations.
Despite this, some would like to fit the animal liberation struggle into the imperialist project, as a form of cultural imperialism, turning such anarchists or other animal liberation activists into proponents of one of the things they abhor the most. It is often the strong advocacy for total abstention from animal exploitation – veganism – that results in accusations of racism and imperialism. How dare we force western values upon indigenous cultures and societies?

This is a serious accusation, and one understandably perceived as insulting for many engaged in the anti-speciesist struggle. But ultimately it is one worth dealing with, because doing so sheds some light on some of the implicit assumptions within the accusation itself. To start with, imperialism, and all its destructive tools, was a means of dominating others, and asserting one culture above another. Veganism, in this sense, is acultural. It doesn’t apply double standards by letting something slide in one place but not the other, it doesn’t try to establish cultural hierarchies and it is not looking to establish domination. On the contrary, it is the dismantling of domination, in all its forms, that vegan anarchists seek. We wouldn’t accept cultural expressions involving slavery, patriarchy or economic exploitation – no matter what culture we are talking about – so why should we accept any additional forms of domination in one place but not the other? Gary L. Francione, an animal liberation proponent, answers this accusation succinctly:


Those in this group beg the question and assume that speciesism is justified. That is, their position amounts to the view that it is racist or culturally insensitive to seek to protect the interests of another marginalized and particularly vulnerable group, nonhuman animals. I would imagine that most of those who have this view would not object if the marginalized beings were other humans. But this is just another way of asserting human supremacy and exceptionalism. I find that as objectionable as asserting racial supremacy.

If anything, vegan anarchists espouse values that are strongly in conflict with contemporary western culture, and most efforts are rightly aimed at western societies because this is where a significant part of the severe exploitation of non-human animals takes place. Not only that, it is in many cases western influence that increases – or at least exerts a cultural and economical pressure to do so – levels of animal exploitation in societies that peruse no or relatively small amounts of animal products, such as is the case in India and among Jainists in particular. No vegan anarchists want to take away people’s means of subsistence. The claim is rather that whoever has the practical prerequisites – economic, environmental, social – ought to choose not to harm sentient beings for nearly arbitrary reasons such as old habits and taste preferences.

In fact, by trying to apply imperialist connotations to proponents of veganism, one unwittingly positions western cultures as the subject, and indigenous cultures as the object. As if the western culture is dynamic, always changing and open to questioning, while the indigenous cultures are static and confined to the state in which colonial powers found them hundreds of years ago, unable to evolve and unable to challenge their own norms and thus develop. Indeed, as Margaret Robinson, a vegan of indigenous background, points out:

When veganism is constructed as white, First Nations people who choose a meatless diet are portrayed as sacrificing cultural authenticity. This presents a challenge for those of us who see our vegan diets as ethically, spiritually and culturally compatible with our indigenous traditions.
The push against speciesist thinking should transcend cultural boundaries, as should any global struggle against oppression, thus uniting the participants across such divides. Questioning part of cultures on grounds of oppression – from within or without – is only hypocritical when done in the traditional guise of ignoring the same issues at home. But here vegans and anarchists are adamant, and emphasize the injustice in western culture as one of the large causes for the problem in the first place. In many of the indigenous legends, the use of animals was seen as a sacrifice, which was done out of necessity, not out of the ability to dominate. Many of these cultures have been pushed beyond such a relationship with nature, and as such can within their own spiritual and cultural heritage find arguments for moving beyond the objectified relationship with animals often imposed by imperialist conquest. In other words, when the material conditions no longer necessitate the exploitation of non-human animals for survival, the indigenous traditions can in many cases be seen as an argument for veganism, and not against it.


When people single out veganism for this type of critique, typically also calling it a form of consumerism, they mistake it for being promoted as the one and only solution to a problem. But I don’t have to think that abstaining from buying slaves, by itself, would stop the slave trade, to think that it would be unethical for me to participate in trading slaves. Consequently, activism and veganism are two components to reach one goal – the end of human domination of non-human animals.


While the activist component of animal liberation promotes agitation, direct action and similar activities, veganism is a way of already living in the now without being complicit in the perpetuation of the exploitation, which, besides showing that our ends can be our means, also shows that it is a viable alternative, and as such paves the way for others to follow suit. The burden of proof should be on the participants in the animal exploitation cycle to show that despite their participation, their choices have no negative net effect whatsoever on the well-being of sentient creatures. Because if their choices do have such consequences, and there is a practical alternative that doesn’t, then clearly that alternative is a better choice. This is especially true if said alternative synergizes with the wider struggle against domination.


There is a difference here between on the one hand anti-capitalist struggle and on the other hand anti-speciesist struggle. While capitalism permeates our entire society, and can be very hard or even counter-productive to fully distance oneself from, our domination of other animals is literally advertising its own presence wherever we face it and is often readily avoidable, so we don’t have to marginalize ourselves in society or act in highly impractical ways in order to withdraw from its perpetuation. Instead, a sharp critique of capitalist practices such as industrialized animal farming can be used as a launching point for a wholesale attack on capitalism as a system. There are synergies abound, comrades, and we should all support each other in building a strong, multi-faceted and vibrant movement that challenges the dominant ideologies of present society on all fronts on which they conflict with freedom and well-being.

Veganism, as an ethical choice, is thus a consistent complement to activism in the quest to end human domination over and exploitation of non-human animals. It transcends cultures, in the same way that other forms of oppression should be resisted no matter where they persist. All cultures are living and constantly evolving, and can from within their own cultural understanding find the tools and means through which speciesism, racism, sexism, capitalism or any other form of domination can be opposed. Everyone who opposes domination should find it within their interest to engage in or at least support the anti-speciesist struggle, for what more severe form of domination could we imagine than the notion that it is acceptable to harm and kill sentient beings because one likes their taste?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Four good reasons not to allow fascists in the non-human animal liberation movement

The recent announcement by the Hunt Saboteurs Association that they are affiliating with the Anti-Fascist Network has created a stir in the non-human animal liberation movement. There are those who claim that non-human animal liberation is a “non-political” movement and that we should avoid aligning ourselves with “extreme left-wing ideologies” (yet make no mention of extreme right-wing ideologies). This all comes at a time of growing concern over attempts by the far-right to infiltrate the non-human animal liberation movement in the UK, as they have done in other countries.

We at The Feral Space collective hold a zero-tolerance policy for fascists. The non- human animal liberation movement is a political movement, one that stands in firm opposition to oppression (not just the oppression of non-humans by humans). Because of this we believe that fascists and other people with extreme right-wing views should not be made welcome in this movement.

Not convinced? Here are 4 good reasons why we believe fascists should not be allowed in the animal liberation movement:

1. Fascism is an ideology built on oppression

Fascism is built on concept of one group of people ruling over another. Whether this be a particular race; nation; or class they believe that there are always superiors and inferiors. This runs in complete contradiction to non-human animal liberation that believes that all sentient beings, human or non-human, deserve the same fundamental rights. Animal liberation is built upon opposition to speciesism, the belief that one species is more deserving of rights than another. How can we claim that all animals are equal yet allow people who believe in the superiority of their race or nationality? How is that any different to a human believing they are better than another animal?

2. Fascists divide the movement

Probably the most common claim thrown at us by fascist-apologists is that we are attempting to split the movement. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. The reality is that fascists seek to divide the movement by discriminating against people of different ethnic, national, racial, gender or sexual backgrounds. We understand that to create a movement capable of ending animal exploitation we need to work with people from all backgrounds. How can we remain open and inclusive to all these different people when we allow fascists to walk amongst our ranks spouting divisiveness and hatred?

3. Fascism supports capitalism

Despite their claims otherwise, fascists support capitalism and the current economic system. They may claim to want to remove capitalism and replace it with something different but like the so-called communists it is simply a trap to lure you. Once they gain power fascists protect the interest of the bosses while the rest of us continue to live in poverty. Meanwhile capitalism continues to kill billions of non-human animals annually through factory farming, habitat destruction, global warming and other means. If we really want to create a world free-from animal exploitation then we need to do away with the system that perpetuates it: capitalism. Fascists are the foot soliders of the bosses, brought out to defend their privileges in times of crisis. This can be seen by their constant attacks on left wing and anti-capitalist meetings and activists.

4. Fascists have killed other activists

For a movement that prides itself on its non-violent tactics the non-human animal liberation movement would do well to avoid fascism. Fascism is a violent ideology that seeks to use force to get its way. Anybody who stands in their way is considered a valid target. Just last June French anti-fascist and vegan, Clement Meric, was murdered by fascists in Paris. The anti-fascist rapper Killah P was stabbed to death in Athens by members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in September of last year and in Russia scores of left-wing activists have been beaten and killed by fascists. Do we really want to be welcoming to a group of people who are willing to murder anyone they disagree with? It would be almost hypocritical for a movement that deplores the murder of millions of sentient animals.

While those of us at The Feral Space identify as anarchists, we do not think that everyone needs to be an anarchist in order to be involved in the non-human animal liberation movement. We understand that there are a wealth of different thoughts and tendencies out there and it is this plurality that makes us strong. However fascism is a dangerous movement that seeks to gain control and enforce their will on others. It is for this reason that we believe that the animal liberation movement must take a firm anti-fascist stance and not allow fascists to infiltrate our movement.

Our collective and this movement is not a safe space for those who discriminate against others! Against civilization, against fascism, against capitalism, the state and the prison world they enforce. Total human/non-human animal/earth liberation!

An anti-capitalist critique of animal exploitation


Shared from https://network23.org/redblackgreen/2015/01/24/an-anti-capitalist-critique-of-animal-exploitation/

Unlike the UK where the grassroots AR movement has moved towards a reformist, pro-party politics stance in recent years, across the water in the rest of Europe there have been groups determined to develop an anti-capitalist critique of animal exploitation.

A group called Tierbefreiung-Hamburg (Animal Liberation Hamburg) produced a leaflet called Humans, animals and nature in the crisis: On the need for an anti-capitalist critique of animal exploitation for a workshop at the International AR Gathering in Poland in 2012.

It’s refreshing because instead of starting from a theoretical basis about an imagined, idealized world, it dissects the financial crisis and austerity of the last seven years and then links that to the wider issues of our relations with animals: “The imprisonment of animals that is ever-present in our society, their merciless exploitation and seemingly perpetual slaughter are also linked inseparably to an economic system that is aimed solely at use and profit.”

It then talks about the attacks on welfare and workers’ rights – “all aimed at securing the interests of finance and recasting more and more areas of life along economic lines” – before looking at the domination of nature and the ecological crisis – Fukishima, climate change, and the industrialised slaughter of animals as “some examples of the devastating consequences of capitalist appropriation of nature.”

Animals, its says, “are the main victims of nature domination…encaged and murdered in their billions, so their labour power can be exploited and their dead bodies exchanged as commodities.” This is underpinned by the ideology of speciesism, which is a “type of false consciousness about animals” that appears natural and unchangeable and hides “the historical development and social creation of the exploitation.”

The embodiment of this system is the slaughterhouse where “capitalist principles of production are realised” and industrialised killing becomes a rationalised, goal driven process where there are human as well as non-human victims – “abattoir workers on minimum wages labour under precarious conditions and at constant risk to their health.”

How can capitalism and the “authoritarian politics of the crisis regimes” can be overcome? The pamphlet concludes that a first step would be the collectivization of key industries like finance, housing and especially food production. Then the building of “the participation of people in decision-making processes that are actually democratic” which can challenge the “daily barbarity of capitalism”. At the heart of this will be a rejection of violence towards animals and the acceptance of a vegan way of living.

Finally the importance of joined up struggles – or to use the latest buzzword – intersectionality – is emphasized. Single issue struggles will fail and only shared goals and strategies will be able to build ” strong resistance against the attempts to rescue an economic system that is only geared towards exploitation and is not based around needs.”

Overall very well thought through and well worth reading. It’s rare to find a piece of writing that emanates from the animal rights movement which also reaches out to embrace ideas of class and economic exploitation.

The text as it appears on the website is here: http://www.tierbefreiung-hamburg.org/texte/humans-animals-and-nature-in-the-crisis-on-the-need-for-an-anti-capitalist-critique-of-animal-exploitation

Here is a pdf version: http://www.tierbefreiung-hamburg.org/wp-content/uploads/Capitalism_Englisch_CMYK.pdf