Posts Tagged ‘political prisoner’

Message from Prisoner Tomas Vasquez – International Support Needed

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Tomas Vasquez was arrested at a fur farm demonstration on November 25, 2017 and is now facing deportation. We need to support him, share his story widely, make phone calls, and exert some international pressure. Whenever an acivtist is in the hands of the state, that person must know that the rest of us are fighting for them.

Call the detention center:

In Sweden: 0771235235
From outside of Sweden: +460771235235

Please visit Free Tomas Vasquez.

Free Tomas Vasquez – in danger of deportation

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

A support page has been established for imprisoned Animal Liberation activist Tomas Vasquez. They report that he was arrested at a fur farm protest in Sweden yesterday:

At yesterday’s fur farm protest in Falkenberg Tomas Vasquez was arrested and is now being held at a detention center in Åstorp. Tomas is an active animal rights activist that is now at risk of being deported. Together we will do everything we can to free Tomas!

Call the detention center:

In Sweden: 0771235235
From outside of Sweden: +460771235235

 

Calls and support are needed from around the globe to express solidarity with another of our political prisoners.

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Rabbits liberated in solidarity with Walter Bond

Friday, November 24th, 2017

On November 16, in a recorded telephone message, ALF prisoner Walter Bond announced he was going on hunger strike; he called for his supporters to call the prison and for solidarity actions. He was thrown in solitary confinement. The hunger strike officially ended at Day 6 when the prison agreed to make sure he was allowed vegan trays at every meal. I believe it was all of your contacts and calls that pressured the prison, resulting in his meeting with the warden on Monday. Thank you for all of your efforts. On Sunday night, he agreed to have a vegan lawyer who stepped forward represent him. As of Wednesday, another activist lawyer stepped forward, so at least going forward he will have 2 attorneys available and some legal recourse if needed. His support crew reports, however, that he will remain in solitary for months and likely be sent back to CMU. The following open rescue was done in solidarity with Walter. – Camille

Courtesy of for the animals

A rabbit mom gives birth eight times every year. She does not want to but she has to. Each time there will be 7-10 little rabbits. After 78-82 days they are declared mature nough for the slaughter and they will be killed.

We took one mom and her ten kids from such a place. We drove them to the safety. To people who won´t kill them.

Thanks to those who offered their homes.

At the farms of the Czech Republic there are approx. 5.414.000 rabbits (estimation from October 2015). They are killed for their meat and fur. Almost 303k of them were brought from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary to be killed or to be used as „a breeding material”. (Further info: 2015 Situation and prospective report, Ministry of Agriculture).

Support Walter Bond

In 2011 Walter Bond was sentenced to 12 years of prison for arson attacks on a leather products shop, a restaurant selling foie gras and a factory processing sheep skin.

Since November 15th 2017 he is on a hunger strike because he does not receive vegan meal in the prison, his mail is being unreasonably delayed and they are refusing to transfer him to another facility.

 

Solidarity Action for Walter: March to Close Slaughterhouses in Mexico

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

On Sunday, November 20, thousands of protesters gathered in Mexico to march for Animal Liberation and shut down slaughterhouses. This action was dedicated to Walter Bond who is on hunger strike. This act of passive resistance is to protest the lack of a vegan diet and other civil rights abuses where he is incarcerated at FCI Greenville. A rough translation of the message from Mexico reads:

Solidarity from Mexico
Yesterday in the March for the Closing of the Slaughterhouses
Hugs in the distance to our comrade Walter

UPDATE (more…)

The Snitch, Bullying, and Gossip Culture in Animal Liberation

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

by Karen Kline
Originally published by NAALPO
January 27, 2016

“Hey, guess who Alice fucked the other night!”

“Who? You know she’s always on Facebook flirting with men. Posting pics of her tattoos just to show off her boobs.”

“I know. She thinks she’s so hot. Well I heard that after the potluck on Tuesday she left with Joe. And you know his reputation. I heard he’s HIV positive.”

“What a bunch of frauds. She’s a whore. I heard she gangbangs cops. They deserve each other.”

“But don’t tell anyone I told you. I hate gossip.”

“Of course not. It’s our secret. “…. “OMG, Val, you’ll never guess what I heard. But you have to promise not to tell anyone….”

Well, actually, Alice is a sexually liberated woman, she has an ample bosom, some radical tats, and men are attracted to her confidence. And, despite our gossipers desperate attempts to throw themselves at Joe, their attentions were never returned because Joe is gay. I’m not here to fat shame, slut shame, or ugly shame. But if these things apply to you, don’t hate Alice ’cause you can’t get any! And don’t hate Joe ’cause he won’t give you a second look. The truth of the matter is that when Alice and Joe sneaked off on Tuesday, they were waiting until it was dark enough to figure out how they could penetrate the perimeter of a backyard fur farm where foxes and racoons were exhibiting signs of insanity, repetitive spinning in their tiny cages. And while our insipid cupcake-eating vegans were destroying Alice and Joe’s reputations, the enslaved animals in that backyard concentration camp were waiting patiently to have their necks broken and their fur ripped from their backs.

Forget security culture. Our community not only accepts, but facilitates and perpetuates, a culture of gossips, bullies, and snitches. These individuals are agents of the state who feed activists by whom they feel overshadowed to the government, clinking a glass of wine and hosting a Facebook celebration of twits in the process. And fuck the animals! All we need to say is “what have they done for the animals” as if that phrase excuses our own ineptitude and complicity. It’s all sport to those who sit behind a keyboard launching grenades at activists as they become collaborators with industrial abusers. So At War is on a mission to attack this insidious condition from the inside out. We shouldn’t have to fend off industrial abusers AND our own community. But we do. So let’s accept it and fortify ourselves.

First, as almost every prisoner knows or unfortunately will find out, it is when they are behind bars, when they are devocalized, that the cowards will come out in force with personal attacks, lies, and the universal “s/he isn’t vegan anyway.”

What are our options here? Should Joe and Alice broadcast their underground mission, jeopardizing their own freedom and that of the slaves who’s liberation is at stake? Or should they remain silent, comfortable with their own integrity and secure that they are warriors of conscience? For every single soldier, there is no choice. We act because we must. We act because our conscience dictates our course and, without us, the animals will live and die alone. Joe and Alice don’t fear jail. They fear ineffectiveness.

But unbeknownst to them, should they ever become ensnared by the state and find themselves in the domain of the storm troopers, they will not only have to fight for their own freedom against the enemy, but this is also when the cowards, bullies, and snitches will seize the moment, to kick our warriors while they are down. To eliminate activists by whom they feel threatened. To help the state rid the movement of people they simply don’t like so they can go back to eating their vegan cupcakes in peace. So they can wave a sign at traffic once a year outside a circus protest, buy an ALF t-shirt, and identify as an “activist.”

To mention names would simply allow drama queens a platform to pontificate to their useless followers. But we all know who they are. Take a look at Facebook. We all know some idiot with 5000 followers who will occasionally post some truism like “if you’re not vegan, you’re part of the problem.” Well that should get you a few 100 likes considering the only people you speak to are other vegans. Let’s put you behind bars with a towering tattooed meat-eating adversary, however. Then you can demonstrate what a pathetic coward looks like. Nonetheless, in between their “go vegan” statuses, these same people seem to serve the sole purpose of calling out, criticizing, and bullying other vegans while their followers cheer. Or leave comments like “really? well thank you for telling me. I’m going to block him/her.” STOP THE INSANITY!

If you are new and anyone is telling you to block someone else, you need to put on your vegan sneakers and run with everything you’re made of. No real activist worth their salt will ever out another activist unless they are a snitch, a collaborator, or present a threat to you and the animals. If women are being attacked for their sexuality, then you have wandered into the land of misogyny.

When we see activists bullying others from the safety of their keyboards, we need to learn to defriend and block them. When we see activists gossiping about other activists, we need to defriend and block them. When we see activists criticizing our prisoners, their strategies, their actions, these people need a baseball bat in the teeth. But in lieu of that, block and defriend them. The last thing any one of us on the frontlines needs to worry about is who in our own community is putting the knife in their back while the state has them in shiny new handcuffs.

Rather than concern ourselves with detractors and traitors, we simply need to acknowledge that they are all around us. Therefore, it behooves us to take notice of those around us, how they conduct themselves, and if they are simply blowhards sitting on a facebook perch or if they are genuine actors for animals in the real world. Posting atrocity after atrocity does not make one an activist. It identifies them as someone who has no effective form of activism. Yelling “go vegan” 100 times a day to 5000 other vegans does not make one an activist. It identifies them as an impotent vegan with no form of activism. But the real danger is listening to those who will write you to sabotage campaigns. Those who use social media to shame female activists or divert attention from the animals to participate in schoolyard fights. Are you on my side or their side? If you’re friends with them, then defriend me.

Your response should be “Gladly! I am on the side of the animals alone and will tolerate no distractions.”

One of the primary goals of At War is to recruit and strengthen our soldiers. When we are so immovable in our convictions and loyal to our own conscience, there is no one and nothing on the planet that can alter our course. We must care for ourselves first and above all. That means exercise, meditation, it means sober focus, it means adopting strategies that will liberate animals and employing our tactics with precision. It means tuning out everyone and everything except that inner voice that is telling you to act.

Act now.

The animals are waiting.

And when you need refuge from the gossip, distractions, and mainstream eunichs, we will be here to provide tools, support, and community. The animals are in a state of emergency.

And we are At War!

What every activist needs to know in case of an arrest

Monday, July 17th, 2017

CamilleMarino.com
July 17, 2017

The first time I walked into general population, I was befriended by a young girl called “Snook.” She was back in jail on a probation violation. She said to me that she would never take probation again, “Just put me in prison for a year and let me get it over with.” This made no sense to me. Why would anyone choose to be locked up if they could go home on probation? The simple truth is that most activists have no experience with the criminal system of injustice. We’re not criminals. Many of us enter the system with the misconception that we’re innocent until proven guilty. Once those handcuffs go on, an activist must understand that s/he is presumed guilty and will be treated accordingly.

NO ONE TALKS, EVERYONE WALKS

How many of us have heard this cliche? In theory, if no one talks, the state will have no evidence with which to proceed. When activists find themselves in an interrogation room, by all means, say absolutely nothing. What we may think is obvious, “animals are being murdered and it’s my duty to defend them” or “if I don’t call attention to the injustice, who will?”, will, in no uncertain terms, be used to lock you away for as long as they possibly can. However, when I advise an activist to remain silent, I don’t want anyone to misinterpret this as meaning everyone will walk. They won’t.

Please step back and take a hard look at your friends and associates. While many activists genuinely care about the animals, for many, our community provides little more than a social network; a place where their moral stand earns them likes on Facebook. When there are actual consequences, you will likely find yourself the only one standing as your friends team up with the state. The first time I was released from felony probation was in January of 2014. For several years, I had invested every ounce of my energy and every penny of my money into a comprehensive campaign to isolate and shut down the monkey labs inside the University of Florida. And in 2014, according to their own protocols, the monkeys inside UF were all scheduled to finish current experiments and be released or re-assigned by October of 2016. I remain confident those labs were almost history. I would never have imagined that those activists who ran when legal issues first arose would become the next and greatest obstacle with which I had to contend — fighting off my former friends who were now even more virulent than the vivisectors ever were. My former associates were successful in momentarily silencing me using similar methods to those employed by the vivisectors; I only won back my first amendment rights weeks ago on June 29. I am now back online. But those monkeys are all enduring new, even more grotesque tortures. The animals paid the ultimate price for my naivete. Sadly, I’m not unique. We can run down the list of our prisoners, many put there by brothers, uncles, and friends. It is my sincere hope that I can extinguish a little naivete and help you understand what to expect. If we don’t adequately protect ourselves, our activism suffers.

So expect nothing from anyone. You’re on your own. But if you know what to expect, you can come out stronger. Never snitch, even if everyone around you is running to the state. The object is to come through this experience with your integrity and your ability to resume your advocacy intact. If only one person is going to be standing at the end of the day, it needs to be you.

TAKING A PLEA

Obviously, you need to retain counsel and take his or her advice. But, like most activists, if you’re at the mercy of a public defender, again, you’re essentially on your own. When you consider your options, please keep the following facts in mind. They’re the things no one is going to tell you until it’s too late.

When you’re first charged with some crime of conscience, the goal is to scare the holy hell out of you. You’re charged with a felony — stalking is a popular offense for activists who protest or refuse to shut up — and you’re facing 5 or 10 years in prison. Please know that they’re hitting you with the maximum you could possibly get so they have some room to maneuver. You’re highly unlikely to ever do the maximum. They want you to take a deal. In fact, if every criminal defendant refused to take a plea and demanded a jury trial, the system would shut down. They don’t want the time and expense of a trial. They want a quick conviction, a win, so they can move on to the next defendant.

The first deal I was offered in 2012 was to plead guilty to everything and do the whole 10 years. Well, thanks for your generosity! The second plea was to do six months and be on probation for 3 years. That sounded pretty good to me. I’m not a criminal; probation didn’t seem problematic. So they dropped my stalking charge for an act of civil disobedience. I pleaded guilty to posting a message, a felony incurred for allowing a colleague to publish a graphic post about a vivisector on my site. I had no clue that after I did my six months, my constitutional rights would be suspended while I was on probation. I learned that probationary terms can be altered after the fact. Mine were amended to stipulate that if I even mentioned the University of Florida, if I jaywalked, if I did anything to violate my probation, I would be thrown in prison for no less than 5 years. A few months in, I was barred from activism entirely; if I handed out a “Go Vegan” leaflet, they could now lock me up. I would never have agreed to any terms that would have interfered with my work for the monkeys and they knew it. But once you take a plea, they have you.

In fact, after I thought I had done my time, UF did everything in their power to try send me to prison and shut down my campaign for good. Unsatisfied with the already-Draconian restrictions, my probation was finally amended to ban me from the Internet entirely. Mission accomplished. Fortunately, I had a very sympathetic probation officer who terminated my probation 2 years early.

While you are on probation, a privilege for which you get to pay, your probation will be violated if you miss a payment. You are drug tested regularly; if you smoke a joint, you’re going back to jail. If you have any interaction with law enforcement, you’re going back to jail. Your probation officer may show up at your door any hour of the day or night to search your house, open your drawers or look under your bed. If you agreed to pay restitution and fail to make a payment, you may be re-arrested. Depending upon how intent they are on eliminating your activism, probation can be brutal. I doubt I would ever take probation again. I would simply do my time in the first place and get it over with.

ONCE YOU’RE A FELON

You never stop being a felon. It will follow you for life. A lot of road blocks are put in the path of people caught in the justice system to ensure that they will re-offend. This is because recidivism is an asset on a balance sheet. A person’s continued incarceration ensures profits for the prison-industrial complex. The degree to which this will affect an activist will depend upon his or her unique situation. But I think the one thing that resonates for activists is that once you plead to any given offense, that label can be used against you repeatedly in future proceedings to demonstrate a pattern. While the sum total of my interaction with law enforcement was solely for my activism against vivisectors, my activism is now used against me regularly. Unscrupulous traitorous activists relabeled “vivisectors” as “college professors,” filing petition after petition citing my acts of civil disobedience and other forms of activism, arguing that I have demonstrated a pattern of “harassing college professors.”

IN SUM

Do what you know is right; the animals need every single one of us to give everything we have to secure them relief. And jail is really not a big deal if you know what to expect. But also know the individuals with whom you work; simply because you are an actor of conscience does not mean your colleagues share your dedication. Understand that a decision that looks good at the moment may have long-standing repercussions that could affect your ability to function effectively as an activist. The objective is to come through this experience with as little damage as possible. This is by no means meant to be a complete guide to navigating any circumstance. Others may have experiences to add that can help a colleague navigate an arrest and/or prosecution.