While TALON co-founder Josh Harper has been in Europe finding publications for the site, he has also been speaking to audiences about his analysis of our movement’s history and future. His speech in Malmö was filmed and seems to be resonating with animal rights activists around the world. Give it a watch!
Hi friends! We’ve been a little quiet over here lately at TALON HQ, but not because we’ve lost the will to seek world domination through our ZINESTORM Master Plan. The truth is that we rely on donations of publications to keep our posts coming, and we’ve been experiencing a dwindling number of things to scan in the last few months. Luckily the mysterious Elephant Head has sent Jackal Minions abroad looking for mythical caches of rare and interesting historical documents for the site, and now the Hippo Commander is setting sail for the shores of Europe to retrieve them.
In other words, Josh is going on a speaking tour for a month, and when he gets back we should have more zines to scan, more posts for the site, and plenty of interesting tidbits for all of you who follow us. Forgive the delays, we promise that work is always going on behind the scenes to expand the archive. And if you live near Luxembourg, Malmo, Vienna, Berlin, or Marseilles you should go see Josh speak! More info at joshharperspeaks.com
Josh recently spoke at California State University Long Beach, and delivered this speech that contained a few mentions of historical tidbits on this very website. Give it a view!
Forgive our lack of posts recently, we’ve got some stuff in the works. In the meantime, please consider contributing to No New Animal Lab, one of our favorite projects currently coalescing in the United States. Click below to donate to the costs of running a dynamic, large scale pressure campaign. Also, start making plans to march with hundreds of other animal liberationists in Seattle on April 25th! Details can be found at NoNewAnimalLab.com
Editors note: Since this site’s inception, the volunteers at TALON have felt that our purpose is not to catalog the past, but to inform the present. We do not exist as activist nostalgia, but to guide new generations by sharing information about the errors and victories of those who came before them. Our hope was always that modern campaigns would be built with these lessons, and that we could share their own errors and victories as a long term effort to refine our movement’s tactics and strategies.The TALON Conspirator posts will highlight our favorite organizations and the facets of our shared history that inspire them. Our fourth post in this series is written by volunteers from Rocky Mountain Animal Defense Alliance.
Rocky Mountain Animal Defense Alliance (RMADA) is a Denver based organization fighting for animal and human liberation. Our primary campaign is targeted at Delta Airlines for their close relationship with Air France. Air France is one of the few remaining airlines continuing to ship primates and other animals to labs for cruel experimentation. We also aim to host prisoner letter writing nights and other events. We seek to bridge the gap between the animal liberation movement and the broader left by engaging in cooperative efforts with other organizations with a number of focuses.
Our goal is to aid in the creation of a mass movement against all forms of exploitation and oppression. We are a decidedly revolutionary organization that is actively and openly anti-speciesist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-capitalist. RMADA can be contacted via our Facebook page or at rockymountainada (at) gmx.com
This classic design, the “Gorilla / guerilla,” was the first widely distributed Animal Liberation Front support merchandise in the United States. The kindhearted folks over at BecauseWeMust.org have made it available again, and damn, it looks good! Proceeds from the sale of each shirt benefit our efforts to preserve and freely distribute animal liberation history. Go grab one!
Before anyone working on the TALON site spent their lives hunting down rare earth and animal lib zines, our time was spent collecting comic books. From the superheros of our youth to the underground treasures discovered in our early 20s, comics have been an influence on our lives and projects.
When we started this site we wanted the visual aspect to reflect this love for graphic literature. With an eye towards mocking the FBI’s portrayal of animal liberation radicals, we wanted images of an animal masked paramilitary organization conspiring to change the world through direct action and digital zine distribution. In this way we figured we could set ourselves apart from other archive sites and have a little fun. The problem? We can’t draw!
Luckily, some very talented artists out there are helping us create the characters that populate TALON’s world. Our first contribution comes from Anthony Sorge, author and artist for the amazing Crust Dog comics. His rendition of the RABBIT COMMANDOES is, hopefully, just the beginning of our collection of characters for this site.
Got some artistic talent? Want to help us fulfill our comic nerd aspirations while we grow the archive? Please contact us HERE to apply.
Welcome to the new of home of the CG archiving project, The TALON Conspiracy. In an effort to focus more on our mission of preserving militant earth and animal liberation publications and reporting news relevant to those struggles, we have changed our name. The controversy over our old URL effected us on many levels, not the least of which was our genuine remorse at offending members of our community.
So, why the TALON name? A while ago a small group of us thought it would be funny to throw the FBI’s portrayal of radicals back at them. Thinking of cartoonish paramilitary organizations like GI Joe’s COBRA or Sgt. Fury’s HYDRA, we incorporated a group called TALON and gave its officers macho, militaristic names like HIPPO COMMANDER. We just thought that it was hilarious that some agent out there would have to investigate the identity of the ELEPHANT HEAD or JACKAL MINION. The joke had a pretty short shelf life, we forgot about it almost as soon as TALON was invented. When it was time to change the name of our archive though, well, we pulled it back out of the box and ran with it. Some of our pages will contain crazed, comic book villain style ramblings, but we assure you that it is all just in good fun.
We hope that you will enjoy some of the new features of the site! You can subscribe to posts via e-mail using the form in the left hand tool bar, navigate our most popular titles and categories in the drop down bar, and soon we will have new items available in an improved store.
Thank you all for your support over the last few years. Feel free to send us feedback about the new site HERE, and also let us know about any glitches which may have occurred during our move.
In closing, TAAAAAALOOOON!!!
Why You Gotta Bring Up Old Shit?
Yesterday Humane Watch, an industry AstroTurf front monitoring HSUS, posted a piece linking to our archive of Do Not Consider Yourself Free. In their typically comical fashion the group attempts to tie Pat Kwan, the Humane Society’s New York director, to “terrorism” based on his work with Animal Defense League New York and an old arrest in Massachusetts. Not mentioned in the article is the fact that Kwan was not convicted in the Mass case, that his activism with ADL NYC took place in his early teenage years, or that the change of heart he had with his later activism was criticized by the very radicals that Humane Watch attempts to tie him to. Similar obfuscations are peppered throughout the blog, but such behavior can be expected of people who publicly defend un-anesthetized castration, intensive confinement, debeaking, and other acts of brutality against non-humans.
Because this article made the rounds on social media and stirred up a fair amount of commentary the staff of TALON would like to respond to some of the points raised by our friends in the movement.
First, some readers of the article were upset that TALON makes such material available to begin with, others have asked that we remove it. For the record, TALON will never omit a piece of our movement’s history from it’s archives. The changing path taken by some activists is an important part of our struggle, and it can inform current and future tactical choices. While a person may not remain forever proud of the politics of their youth you cannot remake the past by simply erasing old articles. A better path would be to explain the reasons you altered your course, and if anything the Humane Watch article gives apologetic ex-militants the perfect opportunity to do so. Our opponents will call those explanations insincere, but they will call you whatever they are paid to regardless of the truth.
Second, a few people mocked what they saw as the “selling out” of 90s era grassroots radicals who now work for groups like PETA and HSUS. Those of us who have been around for a while have seen the departure of hundreds and hundreds of once staunchly aggressive activists who now do nothing at all for non-humans. That is selling out. Our friends who carry on the fight, even when we don’t see eye to eye on tactics, should be admired for their longevity instead of harangued for thinking differently. The staff of TALON believe that there is a need for underground, illegal strategies in furtherance of animal liberation, but we are not a cult. Our strength lies in a diversity of thought, action and scale, not in the lockstep marching of cloned henchmen. We find it regrettable that some good activists now disapprove of groups like the Animal Liberation Front, but we love our comrades regardless and recognize them as dedicated allies in this struggle.
Our cause is already weakened by deep factionalism, to let groups like Humane Watch drive further wedges between us is counter productive to the goal that we all share regardless of group affiliation or tactical preference: an end to domination of all life on earth by a single species. Reaching that goal will require a broadening of our coalitions and a minimizing of internal conflict.
In memory of Jill Phipps.
On February 1st of 1995 our movement lost one of it’s shining lights to the tires of a truck transporting baby cows to slaughter. Jill Phipps, a former member of the Eastern Animal Liberation League, was trying to block the road to prevent the murder of those young calves when the driver chose to run her over.
Across the world people were outraged, and even mainstream publications in England ran articles with headlines proclaiming Jill a martyr- but to think of her in that light is an over simplification. Jill was the smiling face at street stalls who introduced many people to the concept of animals rights, a second generation militant in a family of deeply committed liberationists, a participant in raids that caused economic damage to those who harmed non-humans, and a mother who stood trial for ALF activity while she was still pregnant. By all accounts she was a sincere, friendly, and inspiring person whose willingness to sacrifice for the oppressed knew no bounds. If we are ever to bring about Jill’s dream of a world free from speciesism we must all aspire to emulate her level of commitment, passion, and caring.
Every year on the first day of February animal rights activists all over the world remember Jill, but remembering is not enough. A faithful tribute to our fallen comrade requires action, and we ask that our readers dedicate their activism and resistance this month to Jill Phipps.