As of Tomorrow, February 12, Debbie will be on trial with the Blackmail 3 case. There is a call up now for individuals and groups to send statements of support for Debbie during her trial. The trial is expected to last between 4 and 6 weeks.
Please consider lending your voice and support to Debbie and the rest of the defendants!
Current support statements for the Blackmail3:
“We at the German Animal’s Rights Group ‘Tierrechtsinitiative Aschaffenburg‘ unequivocally support the blackmail3 and send our deepest solidarity!
Repression and so called counter terrorism is headed totally wrong to the ones helping to stop the ongoing barbaric and cruel actions against our brethren, the suppressed Animals.
Despite this, animal testing is not necessary and does not serve people’s health nor does it help healing any diseases!
We need to spread the truth about the social accepted wrongs and we need to do so on basis of free speech. We want justice!”
North Wales Hunt Saboteurs
“We at North Wales Hunt Saboteurs fully support the Blackmail 3. Animal testing is one of the barbaric and unnecessary practices you could ever imagine, and one the government are trying to stop people campaigning against it. We want justice.”
Bristol Hunt Saboteurs
“The Bristol Hunt Saboteurs stands in solidarity with Blackmail3, criminalised for its stance against horrific animal abuse in laboratories and elsewhere. Huntingdon Life Sciences conducts it’s practices behind closed doors and without the cleansing light of openness shining on them. Those who oppose them are oppressed, vilified and subjected to misguided and malicious prosecutions in an effort to shut off public debate and eventually subdue the oppressed.
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who stand up for the rights of those who share this earth, breathe this air and feel the same rain on their backs. They give them a voice and enable them to be heard. Massive international companies who exploit our fellow creatures have no such moral compass. The balance sheet is their sail through the turbulent ocean and they will stoop to breathtaking abuses in order to satisfy the shareholders.
Blackmail 3 and similar organisations seek to redress that balance and ask only for fairness, compassion and dignity for all.”
Protect A Pup
“We would like to take this opportunity to send all our love and support to the Blackmail 3. People who stand up to animal cruelty and dodgy pharmaceutical companies which harm animals,people and the environment ought to be supported not vilified,persecuted and prosecuted. Solidarity is a important thing as people being persecuted need to feel supported, the powers that be try to isolate us but we stand together like trees in a forest and realise that from the roots up we can outgrow this evil system.”
“We, the activists from the grassroots animal liberation group Tierbefreiung Hamburg from Hamburg, Germany, would like to express our deepest solidarity with the Blackmail3 defendants. For us, it has always been important to support fellow activists that suffer from state repression in the form of raising money, holding demos at embassies and consulates, writing letters to prisoners and raising awareness for cases of repression.
We strongly reject the fact that activists who have spoken out against the violence on countless animals in the labs of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), who’ve organized protests to stop the unjustifiable suffering of sentient beings, have to justify themselves in court and face several years of imprisonment. It is important that we as the animal rights/animal liberation movement and other progressive movements show our solidarity with the activists, who could have been us. Repression affects not only the activists involved and their surroundings in a strong personal and emotional way, it also affects our movement on a broader level. For those reasons, we have to support criminalized activists and to raise awareness about these cases.
What has been happening in the UK and other countries in the last years is more than obvious: animal rights activists have challenged the economic power structure by successfully attacking animal exploitation industries, and the state has reacted by protecting economic interests with repressive measures. With long prison sentences, surveillance, undercover officers, special laws such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in the US or the accusation of building criminal organizations, the animal rights movement is one of the most criminalized social justice movements nowadays. But we see this development not as a ‘malfunctioning’ democracy but rather as a systemic way that capitalist societies are organized to deal with those who question their core values. While institutionalized violence against animals and the profit that is made from it, is protected by law, we cannot expect a free and just world for human and non-human beings within the current legal system and the society that frames it. Therefore a radical societal transformation, not only of the human-animal relations, is necessary.
We wish you, our comrades, a lot of power for the future months and years. While the mass-violence against animals is normalized in society as well as sanctioned by law and those that take a stand against it are criminalized, these times may seem desperate and hard to bear. But with this statement, we’d like to show you and all the other people who take part in the animal liberation movement, that you are not alone. Together as an active and vital movement, with a strong culture of solidarity and by building bridges to other progressive struggles, we can face our enemies and obstacles and carry on fighting for a society without exploitation or domination.
We will continue fighting, as long as animals will be caged and people will be imprisoned.”
Close Down LPT
“The Close Down LPT-Campaign fully supports the activists who are facing repression in connection with the campaign to close down the animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). Both the campaigns against HLS and against LPT try to close down contract research laboratories, where animals suffer and die in experiments that are mainly financed by the pharmaceutical industry and the chemical industry. Therefore we have a legitimate interest in fighting the repression of animal rights campaigns, no matter where in the world it happens. Resisting violence against animals and organizing protests or actions of civil disobedience is necessary as long as the unjustifiable acts of violence against animals remains normality. If we allow the state and the (animal exploiting) industries to use their power to silence social movements we soon will face the end of all forms of protest that manage to actually influence or even change the structures of power and economy. If organizing demonstrations in front of a company that benefits from murdering animals is considered blackmail, ANY form of protest can be criminalised. Whether protests against Fracking, Nuclear Power, the Military or Arms Industry, against Landgrabbing, Neonazis or Gentrification – all forms of protest that do not simply ask for change but demand it, might suffer from the same repression that is happening in the UK at this very moment.
The Close Down LPT-Campaign does not accept this.
We will not be silent when our comrades are facing prison for putting pressure on those who make a living from killing other animals. We will not be silent when our basic human rights (such as the freedom of speech and the freedom to protest) are dismantled to protect financial interests. We express our solidarity with our British and Dutch friends who at the moment are victims of the above mentioned repression. We assure them that we will fight against repression and for animal liberation, no matter what measures our political opponent will use against the animal rights movement.”
We are very happy to have the opportunity to share with you all an interview we did with Debbie of the Blackmail 3 case in the UK. From their support site:
On the morning of 6th July 2012, several teams of police raided the homes and business premises of three people arresting them on suspicion of “conspiracy to blackmail”, in relation to animal testing laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences. The person in the UK is accused of committing this between 2001-2011 and the 2 people in Holland between November 2008-December 2010. In recent years this charge has been deliberately used against campaigners due to its good conviction rate and because it carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. This is the third UK conspiracy to blackmail trial involving people accused of campaigning against HLS.
We had the great pleasure of interviewing Debbie. Her trial begins on February 12, and is expected to last 4 weeks.
BWM: First, can you outline in as much as you are able, the details surrounding your personal case as one of the Blackmail 3?
Debbie: I was one of thirty plus people arrested during the first raids against SHAC back in May 2007, after being interviewed and then on bail. I later had no further action against me. Then in December 2010, the police raided me again, this time for alleged fraud which was an excuse to take personal property and campaigning property and I was interviewed and bailed (and re-bailed 8 times during the next 18 months) until the next raid in July 2012 where I was arrested (and later charged after two days of police interviews). Since then I have been on draconian bail conditions which have restricting my liberty to protest, to travel and do voluntary work. My trial will start on Wednesday, 12th February and expected to last 4 weeks.
BWM: Is there a lot of precedent for charges of this kind to animal activists in Europe, or is this a relatively new development?
Debbie: In the past in the UK, there have been many arrests under ‘joint enterprise’ where you can be found guilty as a group, even if you physically didn’t do anything other than be at the same demo/action. Conspiracy charges have also been used over the decades in the UK, but seem much more prevalent now. Along with the draconian charges of fellow campaigners in Austria and Spain, for example, the authorities continue to stifle real debate into animal abuse, corruption and speciesism as animal abuse industries are worth many trillions and unfortunately life is treated merely as a resource to be taken by the greedy and powerful and those weaker continue to have no voice.
BWM: How has the circumstances around being charged affected your daily routines or your personal life?
Debbie: I have been on bail for four of the past seven years, with different charges hanging over me. Since December 2010 I’ve been raided 3 times, causing damage to two animal rescue centres where I helped out at. I’ve had a great deal of property stolen from me and been put on strict bail conditions that have effectively stopped me campaigning for animals and restricted my movements and my voluntary work at rescues. I’ve been under surveillance by the state because they consider me a threat, even though I have never harmed anyone. I have even been refused permission to stay with and look after very ill friends, just because they are fellow campaigners. But I will not be broken and will fight the charges against me and use the court to highlight the issues that greatly concern me. Being raided, arrested and on bail is very restrictive and is used as a way of isolating people from like-minded friends and fellow campaigners. The stress of it has also contributed to on-going health conditions. The UK authorities treat you ‘as guilty until proven innocent’, rather than the way the ‘law’ is meant to treat you – innocent until proven guilty – It is an example of the biased nature of political policing against activists here in the UK, and across the world. But I know I’m very lucky compared to many animals and humans situations.
BWM: Can you tell us a bit about how you became aware of animal issues and what it was that influenced your journey into activism?
Debbie: I became aware of cruelty, suffering and injustice through my own personal traumas and getting involved more with political issues regarding human rights, animal rights, environmental destruction and other pressing social issues when I studied at University. I got involved with hunt sabotage as a student and became Vegan in 1991 and have never looked back since. The main driving force of my activism is I can not stand by and watch all the injustices of our world, whether it be to do with the planet, all it’s inhabitants and the way the powerful and rich have little regard to ethics and compassion. The driving force of all injustice is power, corruption and greed and I strongly feel that generally the human species have lost their way.
Once you become aware of the pressing social issues crying out for justice. You can not turn a blind eye, otherwise you become as guilty as others that sit on the fence for whatever reason. As an activist, you have to act to change things, whether that be writing a letter, signing a petition or putting yourself in the way of others being harmed. Activism is about self-empowerment for social change, everybody can make a difference. I feel greatly blessed and humbled by fellow campaigners and activists I have met over the past twenty years or so.
BWM: Is there a quote or passage that really speaks to you as an activist or on a personal level you’d be willing to share?
Debbie: I have many quotes I like that speak volumes, and it’s hard to give just one. So I’m going to be cheeky and give you three!
“All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourselves in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do? - Buddha
“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.” – Alice Walker
“You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its Dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” – Abbie Hoffman
BWM: How has the reaction from the community been to your case, do you have a lot of support?
Debbie: My case (and the raids) have not been publicized a great deal and when you are on long-term bail conditions you become isolated (out of sight is out of mind). As campaigners we are always busy with so many issues, so it’s not surprising that sometimes you can feel unsupported during this time. It is done by the authorities on purpose to isolate you. Although there is good support if you go to prison, there is less before court and after release. Maybe it’s something as a movement we should work on? I would say in the defence of others that I haven’t been in a position to promote my situation more publicly and spent a lot of last year helping and caring for friends in life or death situations. As well as my own ill-health, which have been more pressing to me. But I have many great friends who have (and are) supporting me and I feel humbled by their help, support and solidarity.
BWM: Is there anything specifically that people can do if they want to support you of the other Blackmail 3 defendants?
Debbie: Please do look on the support website, at: www.blackmail3.org. Support each other as well as activists in similar situations. Keep on fighting for social change, to abolish all cruelty, abuse, repression and greed. Never apologize for being compassionate and free-thinking, and most of all, try to stay positive and active in this mad, destructive society we live in.
BWM: Is there anyone or any group that you are drawing a lot of inspiration from right now?
Debbie: Individuals in the local campaigning group in Bristol, Bristol Animal Rights Coalition have been very supportive since I moved here in February last year and I have met a lot of good people through the local vegan community centre, Kebele. Also, fellow campaigners that have kept in touch, offered advice and support. But most of all for continued to fight the good fight and help change the world for the better and even if we don’t succeed, don’t give up trying. Countless victims depend on us and we are stronger and more effective together.
BWM: Do you have any closing remarks that you’d like to pass along about your experiences or your case?
Debbie: Although the past few years have been stressful, so is day-to-day campaigning done by thousands of like-minded individuals and it’s important that we build strong bonds of support and solidarity to support each other on this continued struggle, otherwise we’ll not be able to campaign in the long run. Nobody said it was going to be easy and campaigning is more of a marathon than a sprint! Try to stay positive and strong and in times of need and adversity don’t hesitate to seek support to stay active and continue campaigning. We should stay proud of who we are and what we can achieve together, never apologize for being a compassionate person!
To support Debbie and the rest of the Blackmail 3 please visit http://blackmail3.org
You or your group can also:
- Donate to help Debbie and her support group travel to court
- Support Debbie in court (if you are planning to travel to the trial on a certain day please contact the support team so they can liase with you)
- Share the Blackmail3.org website
- Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter
- Email a solidarity statement, either on behalf of a group or individual
- Organise info events and raise the issue of the Blackmail3 at local group meetings
- Keep up to date with the case and calls for support action!
There are a lot of legal action happening in the Animal Liberation community right now. In South Florida, an active group against the import and export of primates and other animals to labs is facing charges that were laid on nine of their activists recently. The first of the South Florida Smash HLS defendants have started going through their first court dates, and we caught up with Kyle Krakow, one of nine, after his most recent court appearance to get an update on the situation with their group, as well as a bit of background information about what they do and how people can get involved, show support, or help them stand up to these accusations.
BWM: First, can you explain who you are, and what South Florida Smash HLS is about, and the kind of work you guys have done in the past.
Kyle: My name’s Kyle, and I’m an activist living in Palm Beach County, FL. For close to three years now I’ve been involved with South Florida Smash HLS, a grassroots group that primarily works to shut down key suppliers of monkeys for the vivisection industry. Since its birth in 2010, the group has been all about effecting real, measurable change for animals imprisoned in labs. We share the view that nonhumans deserve to live free from oppression, free from torture in the name of fraudulent science. To that end, we fully exercise our First Amendment rights and protest often.
Employing a variety of tactics, we’ve been very effective thus far. Smash HLS was instrumental in convincing five airlines to stop transporting nonhuman primates for research purposes. We also successfully shut down a monkey quarantine facility operated by the notorious Primate Products in Miami. The building, which for decades had served as a prison for defenseless primates, was closed after a three-year campaign. In addition to pressuring the company’s business partners to cut their ties, the campaign included protesting outside the facility itself and its executives’ homes on a consistent basis. Visits to the president’s country club. Early morning surprise protests. Even a ’50s/’60s themed demo in front of the manager’s house! It was a lively three years that ended with an unprecedented victory last summer. We then shifted our attention to another leading primate supplier in Miami, and during the less than four months preceding our arrest, that campaign too was full of excitement and concrete success.
BWM: Can you explain for people who might not be familiar what the charges are against yourself and the 8 other activists who have been charged in this case?
Kyle: On October 30th, 2013, eight fellow activists and I were arrested by a gang of undercover cops during a public protest outside a monkey breeding facility in Miami. Currently, the charges are disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, and assault. I was charged only with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, but three of my codefendants are facing felony charges and potentially serious prison time. The charges themselves are, on the surface, unremarkable. What’s unsettling is that they fall within a broader context of state repression against animal rights and environmental activists. For a more detailed look at this heightened state of repression—as well as a firsthand account of the shoddy sting operation that endangered our lives and lead to our arrest—check out [this article] written by one of my codefendants.
BWM: You recently had a court appearance on January 6, 2014 and the state was granted a continuance. This has been happening with all the defendants that have seen the inside of a courtroom from South Florida Smash HLS, what does this mean for you and the other activists?
Kyle: It means a few things. The longer our cases are open, the longer the state has to devise and tack on more dubious charges. So there’s that concern. But the most immediate trouble for us is financial, as making the trek to court isn’t cheap and neither is compensating attorneys. Whether the prosecutor is dragging out the ordeal deliberately or out of incompetence is unclear. Either way, the entire process is very resource-draining, and we’d be out of luck if not for those who continue to support us.
BWM: Is there anything that people can do to help you or any of the other defendants right now?
Kyle: Absolutely! We are in desperate need of donations to help us fight off these charges and hopefully get back to work. (Donations can be sent via PayPal by clicking the link on the right at www.smashhls.com.) Even if you’re not in a position to help out with funds, spreading the word about the battle we’re facing can go a long way. Also, if you’re interested in hosting a benefit of some kind in your area or have similar ideas, that would be rad and immensely appreciated!
BWM: Have you been deterred in your activism since these charges came down? Has anyone in your group decided to quit fighting for animals because of them?
Kyle: I think I speak for all of us when I say that we remain wholly committed in our passion and fight for animal liberation. Granted, there’s no denying this turn of events is a game changer, but I doubt any of us will head for the hills to never return. That being said, when a group of activists is outnumbered and isolated, they are particularly vulnerable to harassment and repression from the government. It’s unfortunate but true. With that knowledge we have a choice to make: Either we shun any model of activism that might attract the state’s attention, or we opt to foster a more focused, coordinated network of activists that poses a greater challenge to the repressive forces that be. I’m rooting for the latter.
BWM: Is there anyone who particularly inspires you right now, or a campaign that you really relate to or support?
Kyle: It’s difficult to single out campaigns. In terms of animal rights activism, I personally find the Gateway to Hell campaign very inspiring. I’m partial to campaigns against animal transporters because transport is such a weak link in the vivisection industry, so it makes a lot of strategic sense to target that aspect. Generally speaking, I’m heartened by any act of resistance in defense of the earth and its oppressed inhabitants. I’m especially heartened when that resistance transcends symbolic gesture and/or takes the form of a hard-hitting campaign.
BWM: Do you have any final words that you’d like to leave with people about your case or South Florida Smash HLS?
Kyle: Endless thanks to all those who’ve supported us thus far! Whether you’ve donated, shared our story online, or offered your talents and time, it means everything to us. Thank you. Stay tuned, and keep up the fight!
Today we have the great pleasure of sharing with you all an interview with the awesome folks currently on The Bunny Alliance Gateway To Hell Tour that began on the West Coast last year, and has recently been making it’s way up the Eastern Coast of the United States. This leg of the tour began on the 27th of December, 2013 and was slated to go until only January 11th, but we are happy to report that you haven’t quite missed it yet! If you are in Portland (January 18) or Seattle, those two dates have recently been added to the schedule, and the tour is slated to go around again in the summertime, so if this is resonating with people on a personal level, there are still many opportunities to become involved.
BWM: Briefly, can you explain for people who aren’t familiar, what the Bunny Alliance/Gateway To Hell Tour is, what you do, and the nature of your work?
BA: The Bunny Alliance Gateway to Hell Tour is organized as part of the global Gateway to Hell campaign against airlines and other companies that transport animals such as primates, cats, and dogs to animal testing labs. The reason for targeting these airlines is that airlines are a weak link in the vivisection industry. If you can cut off the transportation companies, then the labs simply cannot get the animals they need for experiments. Since airlines don’t have any real interest in animal testing, but do have an interest in public opinion and customer relations, tons of successes have brought the campaign to a point at which China Southern Airlines and Air France are now the only commercial airlines actively transporting animals. For a full list of victories in the campaign, please visit GatewaytoHell.net (http://www.gatewaytohell.net/our-network/victories/).
We choose to focus on Delta for this tour and as part of the Gateway to Hell campaign because Delta is the North American representative of Air France and in a joint-venture with the airline. They share the scheduling and profits of transatlantic flights on which frightened animals are locked away in the cargo holds for thousands of miles just to arrive at a life of pain and suffering. Delta has the power to pressure Air France to enact a permanent ban on the transportation of animals to labs, and we have set out to make sure they do so. Delta’s relationship with Air France could not be made clearer when Delta ticket counters across the country read “Delta KLM Air France” in bold letters spanning the walls behind them.
BWM: What is a highlight for you presently? Has a certain date or action stood out for you? What made it memorable?
BA: So far the highlight of the tour was showing up at the house of Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson and seeing the expression on his face when we told him we were from The Bunny Alliance and would like to have a meeting with him. It was clear immediately that he was well aware of The Bunny Alliance and our campaign against Delta Air Lines and Air France. The whole tour had been leading up to this point, with actions happening against Delta literally across the nation on our way to their headquarters and executives’ homes in Atlanta, Georgia.
BWM: Why did you choose the name “The Bunny Alliance”? Does the name hold some kind of personal significance for you?
BA: We picked the name The Bunny Alliance for one because we want to help foster a network of grassroots activists across the country from various social movements and form alliances with other animal rights, environmental, and anarchist organizations. The reason for choosing bunnies for the name and logo is because rabbits are animals who are hyper-exploited by the capitalist system, in which they are used for their skin, their hair, their meat, as well as over-bred and neglected as companion animals and used for cruel experimentations for cosmetics, cleaning products, and pharmaceuticals.
8.Can you explain a bit about yourself and your own background in activism, how did you get to this point in your own work?
Jordan: My main form of activism in the beginning was working with Food Not Bombs a lot in Whittier and Long Beach, and then getting involved in antifascist and anarchist organizing around Southern California. Eventually I started getting involved in animal rights work and quickly started organizing on campaigns against Huntingdon Life Sciences, a contract animal testing facility. After multiple lawsuits and various victories, myself and my co-organizers started shifting our focus to the Gateway to Hell campaign and got involved in targeting airlines that transport animals to labs. With Empty Cages LA, we were part of the efforts against El Al Airlines and China Eastern Airlines (both of which stopped shipping animals) and have a hard-hitting campaign against China Southern Airlines that we are still working on with ECLA and The Bunny Alliance.
Amanda: I’ve been involved in animal rights activism since 2006. I’ve engaged in extensive vegan and animal rights educational activities, including tabling and leafleting, writing articles, organizing speaker events, and touring, and I’ve also planned a number of anti-vivisection and anti-fur protests and been involved in several long-term campaigns against the exploitation of animals, which brought me to working on the Gateway to Hell campaign. I’m also currently in law school and actively involved in making legal resources and information more accessible to activists. I’m the mom to an amazing little dog named Suzanna, who in her first couple years of life suffered abuse and then ended up on death row at an animal shelter, and she is now my constant reminder that every animal deserves to be rescued from a life of hell and she inspires me to always keep fighting.
Tyler: My activism career started in 2008 when I started attending UCLA home protests and quickly transitioned into focusing on campaigning against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) and their affiliates. The first major campaign victory I was a part of was in 2009 when Fortress Investment divested 70 million dollars from HLS. I remember after the victory was confirmed, I felt so empowered by the fact that a small group of ambitious kids could force a corporation to make real changes for animals through creative campaigning and pressure tactics. From that point on, I have not looked back and have been a part of various hard-hitting campaigns in the Los Angeles area, some resulting in a victory and some in lawsuits and criminal charges. But all the ups and downs over the years have taught me one important fact: campaigns are most effective when our movement works together and adapts to the challenges with which we are faced, which is exactly what The Bunny Alliance is about, creating a network of activists and winning campaigns.
BWM: Are there right now any future plans to extend the tour, or re-visit any spots you’ve already been to?
BA: We are extending the tour to include stops in both Portland (https://www.facebook.com/events/518688151584266/ ) and Seattle after our LA dates and are going to start working on organizing a longer, more comprehensive tour for the summer. We are going to revisit a lot of the cities that we went to on this tour in order to connect more with the local activists and show support for their projects as well spend more time on Delta and Air France targets. On this tour, we have been able to work with some amazing groups and help out on other campaigns along the way. We worked with Alliance for Medical Progress in St. Louis by having a home demonstration with them against Bo Kennedy, one of the last “doctors” who still uses live cats for cruel intubation trainings. We were able to stop by the China Southern Cargo (http://thebunnyalliance.com/2014/01/04/surprise-demo-at-china-southern-cargo-office-at-ohare-international-airport/) Office in Chicago, and even made a stop by the homes of two ABX Air executives (http://thebunnyalliance.com/2014/01/04/756/) in Ohio after a friend asked for some help on that campaign (ABX Air are a small cargo company that have started shipping primates from China to the US ).
BWM: If people want to follow the tour or lend support, what are the best ways for them to do that?
BA: The best way to follow the tour is to visit our website at TheBunnyAlliance.com. We have been updating it on daily basis after each demo and action. The best way to support the tour and the overall campaign is to come to the events we have organized in your city, make donations so we can keep doing this work, and organize your own protest, leafleting event, or benefit in your city.
BWM: If there were one thing that you could wish for on the tour, what would it be, what is the best thing you could hope for while you are out on the road?
BA: One of the main goals of this tour is not just to have one time protests in each city, but to be able to empower activists to take organizing and planning into their own hands. So in that respect, one of the best things that we can hope for is to have groups work with the Gateway to Hell network and organize their own actions against Delta and Air France, or even to just feel inspired by our work and strategic campaigning and put that motivation onto their own projects and struggles.
BWM: Any final thoughts about vivisection, the tour, or anything else you’d like to leave people with?
The grassroots animal liberation movement is getting stronger across the world every day, and with the increasing closures of
breeding facilities and laboratories along with the victories of the Gateway to Hell campaign, we can and will see an end to vivisection; however, this end cannot be fully realized while a global capitalist system still prevails, and the end to vivisection or even the “liberation” of all non-human animals does not equate to an end to suffering or the overthrow of all oppressive institutions and ideologies. Lastly, a note to anarchists who have no real interest in animal liberation and won’t expand their moral framework to include non-human animals: a friend of ours from the New York City Anarchist Black Cross pointed out that our strategies and tactics as animal rights activists work. The animal liberation movement gets results, tears down the capitalist framework of domination over other beings, has one of the strongest prisoner support networks in the world, and operates from a frame of practical action that is based on a theory of total liberation.
Pig farm owners are outraged after the release of undercover footage from inside their facilities and are taking matters into their own hands seeking the capture of animal liberation activists. A number of farmers from New South Whales took out an add in the paper detailing that they would pay $10,000 to anyone who could aid in a conviction of activists who carry out investigations on their farms.
Reports claim that the add is in response to farmers on a property outside of Sydney discovering cameras installed on the property. The pig farmers waited till nightfall and confronted activists who had returned to collect their equipment and ambushed them. A four-hour chase ensued and ending with damage to the activist’s vehicle. The farmers then acquired Apprehend Violence Orders (AVO’s) after the altercation against Mark Pearson, executive director of Animal Liberation. An AVO is a legal injunction that is usually awarded to victims of domestic violence. The order is made by a court against a person who makes someone fear for their safety, to protect them from further violence, intimidation or harassment–it is similar to a restraining order in the United States/Canada, but centres around a threat of violence.
The farmer’s are likely upset with the success of the Animal Liberation NSW campaign, which has convinced a major retailer to phase out sow crates years ahead of the national phase out in 3 years time.
In addition to the bounty, one farmer had attempted to sue Animal Liberation for copyright infringement for using footage obtained on their property. The farmer claimed since the footage was the “fruit” of a crime (trespassing) that the activists who obtained it had no right to keep or distribute it. This challenge was struck down and the footage was released.
Animal Liberation NSW - http://animal-lib.org.au/