Original Article – Resistance Ecology
In 2012, a coalition of animal advocates and social justice organizers in the Pacific Northwest committed to reframing the animal liberation movement. Frustrated, stagnant, isolated, and largely neutralized, the movement for animals in the United States was–and still is–in a state of ambivalence that threatens the possibility of substantive change for animals in captivity and on the land. It seemed an overhaul was needed to shift the discourse and organizing towards a new framework, one in which the situation of animal oppression is located in the histories and logic of larger structures of power.
For us, this shift was the emergence of Resistance Ecology. Resistance Ecology started as a project to better understand the “ecology” of power and how to organize more effectively through an “ecology” of resistance. In our initial formulation, Resistance Ecology was intended to build a grassroots network of animal liberation advocates, to tour as means of establishing and sustaining this network, to organize campaigns that would flow from this network, to produce a movement publication in the tradition of No Compromise as a medium for discourse, and to organize an annual conference as a face-to-face forum to center and assess this work in a concerted way. Although we have followed through to varying extents on all of these fronts, our annual conference has come to occupy a unique place in our history, and has since become tantamount to the work of Resistance Ecology itself.
Our friends and supporters have no doubt noticed a lack of activity since our 3rd annual conference in June of 2015. We have made no mention of future plans or current organizing activity, nor have we made any announcements of a 4th annual conference for 2016. This is not due to an absence of diligence or any growing political lethargy. The stillness of the last ten months should not be mistaken for idleness – we are advancing towards different and exciting horizons.
Francisco Aguirre is a day labor leader from Portland who is being prosecuted by the federal government for fleeing probable death in El Salvador after being deported more than fifteen years ago. This prosecution came directly after he publicly sought sanctuary in Augustana Lutheran Church after ICE tried to take him away from his family without a warrant.
On February 2nd, Francisco’s teenage son Moises was murdered in El Salvador after he left Oregon due to fear of being abused in DHS custody again like he had been when he first sought asylum as a seventeen-year-old.
Yet, the Department of Justice is still prosecuting Francisco for not staying to be murdered like so many members of his family have been.
Please sign this petition to tell the Department of Justice to drop the reentry charge and let Francisco grieve in peace and to tell the White House and DHS to grant Temporary Protected Status to Central American refugees like Moises: unidosconfrancisco.com/sign-the-petition/
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Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is becoming clear that the situation here is moving toward an escalation point. Chevron has set up a base in Houston in order to do work on the secton of Pacific Trails Pipeline that crosses our traditional territory.
In recent days a low-flying helicopter has flown over the camp several times following a route that corresponds to the path of the proposed PTP pipeline. We were also visited by the head of the RCMP detachment who clearly stated to Freda that they intend to “ensure the work crews can do their work safely.”
Our supporters maintaining an Unist’ot’en check point on Chisolm Rd were also visited and threatened by the police. In both cases, the officers asserted that we could be arrested for blocking a “public road”.
It is clear by the timing of these recent police actions that they are working in tandem with the pipeline companies.
We have made it clear to the police and industry that we are not blockading the road. We are establishing check-points on the boundaries of our unceded Unist’ot’en territories. People and companies who gain our consent are allowed to enter.
Many of you have visited our yintah (territory) and have experienced first-hand our critical infrastructure of water, salmon, berries and medicines. We are determined to protect this land for future generations, and in the process do our bit to shut down the toxic fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens all forms of living life on this planet.
At this time we would like to ask our supporters for the following things:
1) If you have been to our camp before and/or if you feel comfortable to put your self on the front-line to stand with us against Chevron, you can register here: http://www.jotform.ca/unistoten/actioncamp
2) If you are unable to assist in person but would like to send financial support to help us with equipment and operational costs, donations can be sent by email transfer to email@example.com
Or if you would like to donate online you could contribute to the Healing Centre fundraiser: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/axsMd/ab/24dGu0
Cheques can be made out to “Tse Wedi Elth”, 620 CN Station Rd, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N1.
3) You could organize solidarity actions where you live, either against Chevron directly or one of their investors.
Sne Kal Yah!
Less than eight months ago, a small but determined group of people wrote the words “No New Animal Lab” in black paint across a flannel bed sheet. Although they were preparing late into the night, the full impact of their efforts would last well beyond…
The following morning the Board of Regents of the University of Washington prepared to approve the construction of the Animal Research and Care Facility (ARCF). This move came after a lawsuit against the Regents for hosting private dinner meetings in violation of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act. It was under this shroud of secrecy that the Regents developed and approved the ARCF contract with Skanska USA. As a hollow gesture towards accountability and transparency, UW decided to produce this spurious re-vote to skirt public criticism. As the Regents prepared to review and approve project construction, the group unfurled the ad hoc banner and began a disruption.
That day marked the beginnings of the No New Animal Lab campaign. In a little over half a year, it has made a transformation from that first small disruption into a high-profile campaign that spans over a dozen cities, multiple countries, and two continents, employing a diversity of tactics–letter writing, petitions, public comment, office protests, office disruptions, home protests, mass demonstrations, and direct action. The campaign’s dynamic tactics, expanding momentum, accumulating pressure, and radical foundations have aroused the animal liberation movement.
Now with the arrival of summer, UW and Skanska leadership likely hope that they have weathered the storm. They could not be more wrong. No New Animal Lab is launching two big pushes in order to escalate pressure even further.
The first is the No New Animal Lab Tour. We will take this campaign around the US with two goals in mind–to stop the lab and to build a movement. We want to distribute the pressure model, build a network, and foster organizational skills and resources. Please watch for further details as we announce them.
Following the tour, please join us for the 2nd March on the University of Washington on Friday, October 2nd. UW will be in its first week of Fall Term, students and faculty will be returning, and freshman will be starting anew. University administration would like the new academic year to kick off without a hitch, and they celebrate this homecoming with their annual Dawg Daze week of events. Public pressure will follow them well into the new year. There is no turning back. The 2nd March on the University of Washington will make that abundantly clear.
On April 25th we had 500 people in the streets showing mass public advocacy for animals and opposition to UW and Skanska’s plans. On October 2nd, we want to increase those numbers, increase the pressure, and employ mass action to stop this lab. There is no distance that is too far to travel. Take off work. Skip class. Join us in Seattle. We will show solidarity. We will stop this lab. Where will you be?