We must not forget the innocent victims of war... The Animals!
-by W.J. Grindell
While humyns continue to fight on behalf of material goods, which are covered up by the alleged goal of promoting democracy with religious interests “fueling” it all, the animals of war torn and occupied areas die needlessly. This is nothing new, as animals historically have been treated as property and are seen as dispensable for humyn interests. It is with the aforementioned connection of the ills of war that it can be inferred that the struggle does not discriminate. It is one struggle.
In Boston during the Democratic National Convention (DNC), those dissenting against the Democratic Party’s support of the war in Iraq and corporate ties were shown the door to a fence covered by mesh netting surrounded by barbed wire in a “protest pen”. One area of the pen was no wider than that of a stall that pigs are raised in factory farms where they cannot turn around. Reaching into the tiny holes of the fence brings to mind a beagle or primate locked in a cage in Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). Another view of the area reminds us the wall previously in Berlin, currently in Palestine. With armed militia standing guard using attack dogs and horses, it is clear that our rights are being trampled on and animals are being used in the process. They do not receive overtime benefits, as I asked a police officer. Instead, the bomb sniffing dogs face constant interaction with drugs, while horses are forced into a potentially dangerous situation with riders often lacking experience.
The animals do not want this, as this species has never started a war! Seeing that men are often at the crux of every war, it can be assumed that womyn are not necessarily in favour of war. Certainly children should not be brought up with the tragedies of war. The funds going to support militaries and weapons could be used to protect the environment, instead of destroying it with violence. We must take a stand against war and not support a leader who voted in favour of it!
In Praise of SHAC Tactics
Dr. Stephen Best
“There is a specter haunting the world,” Karl Marx proclaimed forebodingly in the mid-nineteenth century, “the specter of communism.” The communist “menace” has come and gone, a bureaucratic train wreck that ran through the twentieth century, derailing long before it could reach destination Utopia. Today a new specter haunts society – direct action struggles for animal rights and the environment.
Realizing that nonviolence against animal exploiters in fact is a pro-violence stance that tolerates their blood-spilling without taking adequate measures to stop it, a new breed of freedom fighters has ditched Gandhi for Machiavelli and switched principled nonviolence with the amoral (not to be confused with immoral) pragmatism that embraces animal liberation “by any means necessary.”
Animal rights militants want change through peaceful and legal means as much as anyone, but they differ in their belief that mainstream tactics alone can never win animal liberation and more confrontational approaches also are required. Moral progress does not work through gentle nudges or ethical persuasion alone. Change is blocked by the corruption of the powerful and the apathy of the powerless. Sometimes justice has to be forced past the barricades of ignorance and complacency by the most enlightened people of the time. Within this framework, direct action and civil disobedience are key catalysts of progressive change.
The animal rights movement needs to stop acting like it’s in a conversation instead of a war. Dogmatic Gandhians are beholden to the codes of animal oppressors that dictate terms of struggle favoring their position. But like a Roman gladiator contest between a hapless slave and hungry lions, the change-through-legislation game is rigged from the start.
Oppressors spill oceans of animals’ blood and sleep in peace knowing their opposition will do little more than light a candle and that their doors will not be battered down.
SHAC has changed all that.
Human supremacists finally are getting a taste of the fear they dole out to animals everyday. Whereas both enemies of animal rights and mainstream animal welfare/rights advocates see tactics of sabotage and intimidation as symptoms of desperation and irrationality, the truth is that direct action represents a newfound strength and shrewd political insights.
Pacifist arguments assume that “nonviolent” methods of resistance can solve all major social conflicts (they cannot) and that a human life has absolute value (it does not). What kind of “absolute value” does psycho-killer Ted Nugent have in comparison to the victims of his bloodlust? In what sane universe is Nugent’s “right” to kill privileged over an animal’s right to life? A single deer’s life has more value than Nugent’s life or even a billion bastards like him.
Critics that assail SHAC’s home demonstration tactics as illegitimate because it is potentially harmful to children miss the mark. It is not SHAC’s intention to cause any psychological trauma to children, but if SHAC is engaged in a just war, this trauma can be viewed as unfortunate but unavoidable. SHAC critics favor human interests over animal interests in a speciesist way. The harm children might suffer from a home demo is inconsequential compared to what animals suffer in HLS labs. SHAC critics privilege the relative comfort of bourgeois children over the absolute misery of animals, psychological discomfort over physical agony, and potential harm over certain suffering and death. If one used a utilitarian calculus in this “your child or your dog?” situation, surely the scale would tip heavily toward the animals.
We cannot beat animal oppressors when playing by their own hypocritical rules that mire us in the dead-end of a legal system created by and for the corporate-state complex and that sanctify their terrorism while shouting “Terrorist!” at us. We desperately need the kind of creative and confrontational tactics pioneered by SHAC.
If SHAC did not exist, we would have to invent it. SHAC is valid because it is necessary. We are witnessing the dawn of a new civil war between those who will kill every last living thing for power and profit, and those prepared to fight these omnicidal maniacs tooth and nail. This is a guerilla war, fought by ecowarriors in both underground and aboveground movements. As evident by the Vietnam War and the current war in Iraq, this is not a war that the corporate state complex knows how to fight and perhaps one it cannot win. Through guerilla warfare, David can defeat Goliath.
And so it is clear that SHAC – David armed with a slingshot -- is beating HLS – the mighty Goliath that has not yet toppled to the ground only because the UK and US terrorist states prop him up. But his knees are buckling.
To support the struggles of organizations such as the ALF and SHAC we need an army of activists to break the straightjacket of mainstream thinking and join the direct action movement in its various facets. Moreover, as every liberation movement advanced and gained credibility with the help of historians, philosophers, and social theorists, the animal liberation movement will benefit by growing roots in academia.
Only counter-terrorists can defeat terrorists. May the armies of the animal, earth, and human liberationists rise and multiply in a perfect war against the oppressors of the earth.