"the freedom of all is essential to my freedom"

human and animal liberation

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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.

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Bold Native returns to Greystones!

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Bold Native will be returning to The Happy Pear in Greystones for an encore screening on March 12th! Also nutritionist Gosia Desmond will run a lecture after the screening.

Bold Native is a fiction feature film. Charlie Cranehill, an animal liberator wanted by the United States government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action as his estranged CEO father tries to find him before the FBI does. The film simultaneously follows a young woman who works for an animal welfare organization fighting within the system to establish more humane treatment of farmed animals. From abolitionists to welfarists, Bold Native takes on the issue of modern animal use and exploitation from several angles within the context of a road movie adventure story.

After two successful screenings in Ireland we will be showing this amazing movie again. Also this time Gosia Desmond* will talk about practical nutritional strategies to avoid or survive deadly diseases using a vegan diet.

*About Gosia Desmond: Gosia has a degree in Nutritional Medicine from the University of West London and Masters in Dietetics from the Warsaw Medical University. She has also graduated from the Course in Nutritional Epidemiology from the Imperial College London. She is a nutritionist and a researcher at the Children’s Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw, and a nutritionist at the Carolina Medical Center in Warsaw, where she is setting up a Center of Nutritional Medicine.

12th of March 2011 (Saturday)
7:30pm
The Happy Pear
Church Road
Greystones

No admission of course.

A list of imprisoned animal rights activists

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Here’s an up to date list of imprisoned animal rights activists. You can find it here. Please support those who spend years behind the bars for liberating tortured animals.

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Please pick a person and write her/him a letter. You can’t imagine how important it is for them. For more information on how you can support animal rights prisoners log on to:

Written by Kruk

January 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Another repression of the animal liberation movement?

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At the end of August Time.com published an article containing a controversial opinion of co-founder of the most popular organization fighting (supposedly) for animal rights – Ingrid Newkirk. Mrs President, said, inter alia, that “Absolute purists should be living in a cave.” In the ranks of the activists PETA has been regarded as the organization which in no way improve the lot of animals. After another raid someone may even be tempted to declare that the organization becomes harmful, because denying ethical considerations justifies the same industry which is responsible for the holocaust of the animals. This in turn leads to the construction of the belief that everything is really okay, we should eat animals, we just need to kill them a bit more gently. This way, Burger King customers will soon become defenders of the animals. Anyway Gary L. Francione issued an excellent response to Mrs. Newkirk views. I urge you to read it to understand fully what I mean.

On the one hand, we have an apparent desire to make changes represented by the creators of popular NGOs and on the second hand we observe reinforcing the repression against those who try to make real changes. This is particularly evident in the United States, where not so long ago, Walter Bond was arrested, accused of carrying out direct action under the Animal Liberation Front. By the way as it turned out that FBI informant, who delivered information about Walter Bond, was his brother. Shortly after the FBI raid took place at the house of well-known activist Peter Young, who runs a website dedicated to animal rights Voice of the Voiceless. And from other reports, we can learn about the secret meeting of the companies involved in violence against animals, which is to be devoted to “extremists fighting for animal rights.” To make matters worse a few days ago it emerged that Monsanto hired a Blackwater, which is responsible among others for the crimes committed in Iraq, to spying on the eco and animal rights movements. The measures taken by businesses are becoming more repressive, which may indicate a growing fear of the consequences of activists actions. Especially, thanks to publicity they gain, animal rights issues get to the commercial media, hitting the mass audience. And this is a problem for companies that are part of the industry exploiting animals. They are happy to condone the existence of such organizations as conformist PETA , but do everything they can to harm those who strive for true liberation of animals. These companies are very afraid that their customers can see the truth about the production of food, clothing or other products of animal origin. Less consumption means lower profits. And thanks to the support of the state officials they criminalize those who fight for a right cause, accusing them of absurd allegations (eg, terrorism), at same time pursuing the policy of absolute cruelty to other beings.

Increased repression is often a symbol of the growing strength of the movement. Similar mechanisms can be found in history or even in modern times (the Zapatistas, Greek anarchists). Capitalist thinking instilled to managers and employees of big business is not able to understand a completely different thought, based on ethics, not a selfish point of view. This does not mean, however, that this thought may be stifled by intimidation or pressure from the state forces. The more repression, the more resistance. The more terror, the greater will to act. This in turn may result in increasing the strength and commitment of the people in the struggle for animal liberation. In the broad outline, also in a political struggle, which I personally link to the animals issues as the whole movement must become a part of it. Social revolution (in which the animal rights are the key issue) instead of ineffective reforms or welfare can ensure the animals freedom and respect.