"the freedom of all is essential to my freedom"

human and animal liberation

Posts Tagged ‘activism

FreeLab

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A friend of mine is setting up a tech social centre called #FreeLab. It actually looks quite interesting as you’ve got loads of social centres or squats where you can attend screenings, gigs or lectures. However most of them don’t cover technological issues so you’re not really able to learn how to use PHP or how to build a wind turbine or rocket stove. Unless you pay for it ridiculous money. So you may say #FreeLab is a technical initiative that aims to provide Resarch & Development support for intentional communities. Check out their manifesto.

Now, it’s based in Poland but I know lots of you travel a lot. Some of you visit Poland regularly. So here’s the thing. If you reckon you’d be able to run some workshops, or you’d like to attend some of them get in touch. Alternatively you can also support them in other way. They’re just starting so they need a lot of help with it. If you can donate, send in some stuff, share your contacts or you want to be a part of the collective running #FreeLab, get in touch with them too. I believe it might be a very useful place for the movement itself but also for each of us. It may provide the support we really need in order to progress (from where we are). We have brilliant ideas but we lack skills.  Let’s face it as it happens all the time. So let’s change it! 

Anyways, if you’re looking for something exciting to do, here’s your chance! Get involved folks and keep it going!

Written by Kruk

March 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Activism is not a party

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It is worth to remember what is activism. Especially when we see increase of activists. The problem is they’re more interested in fun. Well, to be honest activism is not a fun. It is often hard work, risk and fatigue. Often a series of major failures and small victories. In many cases, activism means many sacrifices and inconveniences: makes you broke, you don’t have time for yourself or you’re living on the edge of repression. In other words it’s not a party!

I think everyone likes concerts, parties and meeting friends. But let’s straight it out here: we need actions. It’s nice if you come to Vegan Cafe and have a great evening. It’s nice if you go to solidarity gig and pay five quid to help antifascists in prisons. But let’s be honest, you don’t need to go to concert to support other folks. It’s fun for you but it’s not activism unless you organise it.

So we’ve got a number of people who attend gigs, parties and they reckon they do a great job. I mean, I’m far from criticizing anyone who likes fun. Fun is not bad. We should however realize that the struggle against capitalism or the exploitation of animals is another matter. This requires a particular attitude and the dedicated people instead of party people. Of course, conformity, or rather the consumption of alternative lifestyle visible among many activists is not surprising. The specificity of the current consumer system affects activists in all fields. We’re all indoctrinated by corporate propaganda.

But at the end of day someone has to do the job. There are hundreds of important things that should be done straight away. But they’re not really fun. They may be boring, tiring or even frustrating. However, when we see hundreds of smiling people at the parties, we only see a few of them during real actions. That’s not right.

So hey, you want to change the world? You want human and animal liberation? Get involved and work hard! But if you’re looking for something different, there are many ways to have fun or expressing yourself. Otherwise you just distract those who do the job and might count on you.

Written by Kruk

July 10, 2011 at 11:57 am

Activism, animal rights and sexuality

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I came across an interesting note written by a friend who’s an animal rights activist in Los Angeles. I allowed myself to copy this text and post it here. In a nutshell, the article relates to the controversial use of sexuality (especially female sexuality) to promote veganism. Please read it first. I think it can be a prelude to discussion on this topic among several groups as it raises controversy among many social groups, starting from the animal rights activists or feminists, and ending with a right-wing people.

In my opinion, the activists really need to finally deal with this issues because of a number of reasons. First of all, the conflict in this topic leads to divisions among activists (whether feminists or the AR folks) who are wasting energy on disputes. This energy could be used for joint and grassroots actions, and on broad cooperation in achieving our goals. Especially, the AR folks usually share common ideas of freedom, for example equal rights for women and vice versa. In the previous posts I already published my opinions, where I argued that the struggle for animal liberation is part of a wider alterglobalist or anarchist or environmental movement or whatever you call it. That is why we need a critical mass and compromise to come up with a solution that will not divide us, but connect us, while ensuring freedom of women who want to expose their sexuality.

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Secondly, in addition to activists, there are ordinary people, to whom we are trying to reach out and offer cruelty-free life style. So while arguing about promoting veganism by sexuality we should also take this into account. We are dealing here with people with complex views, who have their own religions, have their more conservative beliefs, perhaps problems with their own sexuality (relationships), or they may simply believe that this is inappropriate. We also need to reach them as many of them loves animals.

Finally, the key issue. On the one hand we say that women can do what they want, but when they start doing it, some argue that they should not do that because it leads to the objectification of women for example present in the porn industry. So, where is the line? What is acceptable and what is not? Where is the line for women’s freedom in this topic? We must answer these questions, discuss, find a solution. We do not need more anger, attacks or dispute. We need dialogue, otherwise somewhere along the way of the ubiquitous criticism we will forget what exactly we are fighting for.

If you have a Facebook account you can read some comments here or you’re free to leave your comment below this note. Let’s start talking people.

Written by Kruk

April 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Films & activism

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In recent months I run a quite intensive educational campaign by organizing a series of screenings of films involved politically and socially. They’re connected with lectures and discussions held after the screenings. Some of the movies I watched for the first time, and I think it is worth to mention a few titles, and post a short review. Perhaps it will be useful to other activists in their work.

Let me start by Bold Native, which to me is a big favorite. For me it’s the best film of 2010. The film tells the story of a member of Animal Liberation Front, wanted by the FBI, and his father (the CEO of one of the corporations) who is desperately trying to make contact with him. We find here a range of difficult questions and tough answers; we also find here the truth about the so-called. organic milk and organic eggs, vivisection, farming, etc. The film unobtrusively prompts to think over our choices, our commitment to the conformism based on suffering of thousands of animals. At the same it presents a number of controversial topics such as the use of violence against those involved in animal cruelty, the absurdity of vegetarianism, or double standards. All this is wrapped in a gripping story, excellent camera work, music and directing. I showed the movie twice already, and soon I will show it once again. Each time the reactions were very positive, people were touched, some even shocked, and most inspired by what they saw. A must-see-before-die for everyone!

The Economics Of Happiness is a documentary about globalization and its alternative, namely building a society based on the local economy, ecology and equity. The first part sets out the key features of globalization and its tragic impact on people’s lives in different parts of the world. We are talking about climate change, the environmental devastation, exploitation, drastic Western consumerism and the destruction of local cultures. The second part deals with aspects of local social life. The film presents a pretty interesting alternative, while explaining the mechanisms that can improve the lives of us all. The advantage of the film is a positive message, hope for change that moves between different sequences. The downside is a utopian belief or omission of fact which is familiar to most activists. Building egalitarian alternatives and opposing status quo is always connected with the reaction of corporate and political elites who seek to block any possibility of rejection of capitalism, corporatism, or the monetary system. Just to mention the Zapatistas struggle or Shell To Sea campaign in Ireland, which has been well documented in The Pipe movie and the book Once Upon A Time In The West. The lack of a theme for me is a big omission on the part of the filmmakers.

At the end, well-promoted another part of the Venus Project Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. Unfortunately, despite much promotion of it, this production is a disaster. We are dealing here with nearly three hours long document, which consists mainly interviews with people from diverse fields. Although quite interesting issues rose in the film, such as genetics, the monetary system and a more anti-capitalist expression of this (third) part, the film is simply boring. It’s more a propaganda tool of the Venus project. Futuristic solutions proposed by the authors do not convince viewers, often seem unreal and far from the expectations of people. In the discussion after the film it turned out that nobody liked it. It is worth noting that at least half of these people would have seen the previous parts. The only good aspect of the film is a thorough critique of neo-liberalism, the banking and monetary system. But I’m afraid it is all what it can offer.