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!
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!
SHAC – A Campaign That Made History (2013 – Italy)
I am happy to see that new generations of activists are discussing the successes and failures of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty campaign with an eye towards applying those lesson to the ongoing struggle for animal liberation. This attractive booklet was originally released in Italy under the name “SHAC: ha fatto storia” and focuses on the legal repression, past and present, experienced by those working to close Huntingdon Life Sciences. The english translation is not perfect, but makes for a good overview of the FBI’s “Operation Trailmix” in the US and INTERPOL’s “Operation Achilles” in Europe.
The collective that made this booklet has a blog at shacmadehistory.noblogs.org. I would love to see them continue to dissect the international repression against SHAC and also support the victims of the same.
Back in early June Portland, OR. was host to the amazing Resistance Ecology conference. Videos of the various panels are slowly being posted at the Burning Hearts Media TUMBLR, but we figured we would share a few of them here as well. First up is TALON co-founder Josh Harper and dirty south rabble rouser Scott Crow on the topic of anarchism and animal rights.
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 third post in this series is written by volunteers from Empty Cages Los Angeles.
Empty Cages Los Angeles is a small grassroots collective that works as part of the Gateway to Hell network. A group of anarchists formed ECLA with the specific goal of working on the Gateway to Hell campaign in LA in order to help put an end to the transportation of animals to vivisection laboratories. Right now we are putting all of our focus and energy into getting China Southern Airlines to put a permanent ban on primate shipments. China Southern is the only commercial airline that continues to ship primates from China into the United States and Europe to be tortured inside research labs such as UCLA in California, SNBL in Washington, OSHU in Oregon, Covance in Texas, HLS/LSR in New Jersey and the UK, and every major laboratory in the West.
The strategy of the Gateway to Hell campaign is to cut off the supply chain of animals to labs by getting transportation companies, such as airlines, to enact bans on the transportation of animals destined for research labs. The basic idea is simple: if the labs cannot get specific animals, they cannot do the experiments. This strategy has largely focused on commercial airlines because the majority of animals are shipped in the cargo holds on commercial flights, and this was a practice in which nearly every commercial airline participated until the launch of this campaign. Currently only two big players are left: China Southern Airlines and Air France/ KLM.
As an organization, ECLA uses focused, targeted campaigns and pressure tactics along with public outreach to convince companies to change their policies. This means that once we pick a target we put our focus and energy into constant pressure until we gain a real, meaningful victory.We do this through encouraging consumer boycotts; holding demonstrations at the airlines’ corporate offices, cargo offices, and at the airport; and organizing targeted global phone and email actions to shut down their communications. Some of the more risky and exciting actions we have done were office invasions of both El Al Airlines and China Southern Airlines. After only a few actions like this, we were successful in getting China Eastern Airlines to put a ban on primate shipments, which effectively put an end to primate imports from China into LA. To highlight the impact of this one victory, Los Angeles was the largest port of entry for primate shipments with 45% of all primates imported into the US coming through LAX.
We could not gain victories like this if it weren’t for the network of activists and organizations all around the world working together to pressure airlines and educate the public. We also wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for organizations such as The Talon Conspiracy and individuals like Josh Harper who work to preserve the history of the animal liberation movement. Through publications, workshops, and learning our own history, we are able to avoid the mistakes of the past and take the tactics that work and have held the test of time and continue to employ and modify them.
As an organization, our main focus is Animal Liberation; however, we all work on various other projects and liberation movements and have had solidarity demonstrations with the Tar Sands Blockade and with Greek Antifascists opposing the Golden Dawn. Our collective members work with various other projects and organizations, such as working with the IWW, running an anarchist distro, volunteering at a queer youth center, organizing benefits for political prisoners and legal funds, and working on antifascist and anarchist organizing. Our politics lie in feminism and anarchism, and we believe that we must strive for the total liberation of animals, the earth, and humans while maintaining focus and strategy.
Some of our members are working on a new project that aims to expand the reach of the Gateway to Hell campaign in the US and to provide more support, guidance, and information to others with the goal of creating a vast network of grassroots animal rights and environmental activists. So be on the lookout for The Bunny Alliance!
– * One of our collective members, Tyler Lang, and friend and supporter Kevin Olliff are currently being unjustly held in a rural Illinois jail. If you appreciate the work we are doing and want to donate anything, please donate to these political prisoners who are continuing to battle injustice from within their cell walls: http://supportkevinandtyler.com/
(To see the videos associated with this article, please visit the permalink by clicking HERE.)
A Little is Enough: A zine by antarctic sailors (2012/2013. The Southern Ocean)
Although our site started as an effort to preserve animal and earth liberation history, we are slowly incorporating more contemporary DIY projects. One of our favorite zines from the last year was written by the crew members aboard the Sea Shepherd vessel M/Y Bob Barker. This is the side of Sea Shepherd that people do not see on Whale Wars: the dedicated crew members who see Animal Planet executives as “prodouchebags,” who discuss issues of race and gender with each other on long, icy nights, and who remain (or become) quite radical despite the mainstreaming of SSCS. Plus, SODUKU!
Do you make a zine about direct action for non-humans or wilderness defense? Tell us about it HERE.
Inside the Cages (2013. South London, England)
Back in the early 2000’s I was invited to speak at World Day for Animals in Laboratories in Cambridge. It was my first time out of North America, and I was excited to meet our British counterparts in the movement for non-humans. Originally my trip was planned for two short weeks, but shortly after my arrival I got some news that ended up extending my stay: my house was raided by a Joint Terrorism Task Force. “Don’t fly back until we know what’s going on,” my attorney warned. Since I was stranded abroad I figured I may as well get some activism done. Introductions were made, and soon I found myself going out on office invasions and event disruptions across England and Germany.
One of the people I met during those hectic months was a young anarchist named Lewis. He was smart, daring, and had a contagious smile that appeared whenever mischief was being discussed… or carried out! Lewis was no adventurist though, his motivations were sincere and his work ethic solid. By the time I left Europe to face the situation awaiting me in the U.S. I had developed a deep respect for his fighting spirit.
Like so many of the people I respect, it wasn’t long before Lewis found himself on the “wrong” side of the law. After being charged for carrying out ALF actions, Lewis refused to turn informant and was sentenced to prison time and supervised probation. “Inside the Cages” is his account of that experience. The final chapter, which details Lewis’ interactions with the probation system is highly recommended.
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 second post in this series is written by the Resistance Ecology collective and details Portland, Oregon’s latest contribution to the earth and animal liberation movements: their new publication.
Resistance Ecology is an organization based in Portland, OR. We want to
build a movement for animal and ecological liberation and resistance
that is multi-layered, unified, diverse and intersectional. Animal
liberation and radical ecology do not need to be isolated, disparate,
ahistorical, and fragmented movements. They can and must become part of
the language and dialogue of social justice. We consider ourselves
allies to a broad spectrum of social and political struggle. We focus on
education and analysis, networking and resource sharing, opening and
maintaining channels of communication, identifying strategic
movement-wide targets and campaigns, and most importantly sustaining
relationships within and between movements. Currently, Resistance
Ecology is working on a movement publication, organizing an annual
national conference, creating a news website, and planning organizing
tours to lay the foundation for future networking.
The first issue of our publication serves as a “teaser”, preliminary
copy. Because we do not yet have the readership or reach that we hope to
have in the near future, we wanted to create something that gives a
glimpse of what Resistance Ecology has the potential to be, with your
participation. This issue is a short collection of essays and analysis
that captures the spirit of our work, but it is by no means a complete
work. We need your contributions, your action reports, your insights,
your critiques, and your ideas to get this project off of the ground.
Our publication project was created in the spirit of the movement
periodicals No Compromise, Earth First! Journal, Resistance, Do or Die,
Arkangel, the SHAC USA Newsletter, Species Traitor, and 2600. We want
to capture movement-wide participation, inter-movement appreciation and
respect, self-critique, reports from the trenches, news, analysis, and
most importantly, dialogue. Like during the initial issues of No
Compromise, our movement is at a pivotal and vulnerable moment, and like
No Compromise, we want Resistance Ecology to serve as a means of
connection, hope, and a creative future.