The Student Animal Liberation Coalition is pleased to announce the first annual Resistance Ecology Conference in Portland, Oregon, May 31st to June 2nd 2013, at Portland State University (PSU). This conference is a cooperative effort between the Student Animal Liberation Coalition (PSU), the Jericho Movement and a new movement organization: Resistance Ecology.
The conference advocates for a movement of resistance that is multi-layered, unified, diverse and intersectional. Previously, the organizers of this conference have helped to organize the Let Live and Law and Disorder Conferences in Portland, Oregon as well as the Portland Anarchist Bookfair. There will be speakers, panels, and workshops occurring all three days.
Resistance Ecology is about movement building. It is about cultivating an ecology of resistance that can adapt to the circumstances of domination. For us, this work begins with scrutinizing the state of the animal liberation and radical ecology movements of North America by addressing previous shortcomings and providing remedies. The most novel way that we can achieve this is by creating a movement-wide discourse that is accessible to everyone involved.
Please let us know if you will need help securing lodging or need any special requests met while at the conference; allergy needs, childcare etc.
Hey friends. As you know, I have become insanely busy with video work the past year. Because of this, I started a new project, Burning Hearts Media. For the past year, I have been slowly phasing out Because We Must. The BWM site will stay up as a resource, and I will continue to design and put out merch, but all my efforts from here on out will be going towards creating awesome videos for both clients, and other social justice related groups. Please check out the site! Feel free to LIKE Burning Hearts Media on facebook too!
Interview by Comrade Black
How do we shut down a multinational corporation?
500 animals per day die in the labs of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), one of the largest contract testing companies in the world. Beagles, primates, rabbits, mice, rats, cats and other species are burned, cut open, or injected with poisons all while alive to ensure products like Viagra and diet pills will make it to the shelves of stores around the world; as well as GMO crops, pesticides, fertilizers and house hold cleaners. A small handful of dedicated activists started a campaign that nearly brought the giant to its knees as over 500 companies quit doing business with HLS, including their insurance company. Activists also managed to get HLS dropped from the New York Stock Exchange, eventually stopping their stocks from being publicly traded altogether.
Jake Conroy was one of the activists involved in Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty campaign (SHAC) in the USA, helping to run the website, and lead demos. For this, Jake was sentenced to 4 years in jail.
PE: How did you get involved with animal activism, and more specially the SHAC campaign?
JAKE: I’ve always had strong feelings for the underdog throughout my life. It didn’t really occur to me until I was 19 that some of the biggest underdogs in the world were non-human animals. I had spent a long time thinking about the issues and reading books and pamphlets I picked up at hardcore/punk shows, and watching videos wherever I could find them (which actually was pretty hard to do in a pre-YouTube era). But I was somewhat on the fence about making that leap to get involved.
I was living in Seattle at the time, walking downtown to school, when I passed some folks protesting against the circus as they paraded the elephants for miles through the city. I passed them and didn’t say a word but it sat heavily in my mind that I should. So I turned around and walked back and asked what they were doing and who they were and how I could get in touch with them. They simply replied, “We’re in the Yellow Pages”. Sure enough, under Animal Rights, there was one listing – The Northwest Animal Rights Network. I called the number and listened to the info about the upcoming circus protests, and I went down that weekend by myself to join in.
The next 5 years I would participate in civil disobediences, run successful campaigns to close fur salons, help transform Seattle into one of the most animal-friendly cities in the country, and be arrested (with my current co-defendant Josh Harper) for engaging in the first whale hunt sabotage in US coastal waters by piloting a boat between whales and hunters.
In 2001 I had been working locally on the anti-HLS campaign in the Seattle area, when I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to move out east for a few months to help start the office for this group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA. I had nothing else to do, so I packed up my belongings, put them in storage, and headed out to Philadelphia. I became so excited and inspired by our first 3 months that I never went back. I would spend the next 5 years helping run one of the most exciting campaigns of my life.
JAKE: I think the most important thing people can learn is that their activism needs to be strategic, smart, and creative, while being thoughtful, careful, and calculated. We shouldn’t rush in head first because that’s the way it’s always been done; rather prepare for all outcomes, be ready to accept them, and not fear them. We need to realize that we are under a microscope, so our actions need to be significant and have a focus on duration and long term strategy.
PE: What do you think made SHAC so successful?
JAKE: Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, once said that in order to be successful you have to capture the imagination of the people, and the anti-Huntingdon Life Sciences campaign and SHAC USA did just that. It began in North America at a time when national welfare organizations started to dangle paychecks in front of grassroots organizers, when they began shifting the debate away from liberation to welfarism, and when they made you feel like you were doing your part by voting every couple of years and sending in your donations to cover their expanding paychecks. They were disenfranchising the animal rights movement and getting folks to fall into line. But deep inside, we all wanted more. Read the rest of this entry »
“On February 1st of 1995 our movement lost one of it’s shining lights to the tires of a truck transporting baby cows to slaughter. Jill Phipps, a former member of the Eastern Animal Liberation League, was trying to block the road to prevent the murder of those young calves when the driver chose to run her over.
Across the world people were outraged, and even mainstream publications in England ran articles with headlines proclaiming Jill a martyr- but to think of her in that light is an over simplification. Jill was the smiling face at street stalls who introduced many people to the concept of animals rights, a second generation militant in a family of deeply committed liberationists, a participant in raids that caused economic damage to those who harmed non-humans, and a mother who stood trial for ALF activity while she was still pregnant. By all accounts she was a sincere, friendly, and inspiring person whose willingness to sacrifice for the oppressed knew no bounds. If we are ever to bring about Jill’s dream of a world free from speciesism we must all aspire to emulate her level of commitment, passion, and caring.
Every year on the first day of February animal rights activists all over the world remember Jill, but remembering is not enough. A faithful tribute to our fallen comrade requires action, and we ask that our readers dedicate their activism and resistance this month to Jill Phipps.” -Conflict Gypsy
Hey PNW/West Coast, we need some help! We are trying to rehome our friend Cris/Grendel. Cris was rescued from the Galapagos and brought to the U.S. Here is some more info about him from his current caretaker, Allison.
“Cris Grendel Bachelor was poorly owned by the mayor of San Cristobal Galapagos. He quickly became the mascot of our campaign, following us everywhere. I asked the mayor if he wanted Cris and he said “no” … the rest is history. Cris was starving when we hooked up. He would have killed thousands of indigenous animals had we not swooped him up. Conservation is key to Galapagos Preservation Society
Cris is a great dog! He has but one problem, he kills wildlife. He is kind to puppies and girl dogs. He has a bit of an attitude when meeting boy dogs but quickly befriends them. He loves the great outdoors and would run and play all day if you allow him too. He sleeps on the bed with me at night. He loves to cuddle. He will sleep-in as well, if you do.
Unlike me he loves people. He really bonds with men.
He wants to be anywhere and everywhere his master is at. I think his separation anxiety has subsided. I have a doggie door for him to go in and out of all day. He does not tear up anything and would love to have a girl doggie to hang with. He shares his food. He is patient. He rides well in the car.
I can bring him to you.
Allison Lance (Please email us for Allison’s #)”