Archive for May, 2010


Food Not Bombs shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with the hungry in over 1,000 cities around the world every week to resist capitalism, protest war, poverty, the destruction of the environment.

Following statement is from FNB. Please visit their website and join the real vegan outreach movement:

Food Not Bombs is one of the fastest growing revolutionary movements and is gaining momentum throughout the world. There are hundreds of autonomous chapters sharing free vegetarian food with hungry people and protesting war and poverty. Food Not Bombs is not a charity. This energetic grassroots movement is active throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Food Not Bombs is organizing for peace and an end to the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. For nearly 30 years the movement has worked to end hunger and has supported actions to stop the globalization of the economy, restrictions to the movements of people, end exploitation and the destruction of the earth.

The first group was formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980 by anti-nuclear activists. Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to nonviolent social change. Food Not Bombs has no formal leaders and strives to include everyone in its decision making process. Each group recovers food that would otherwise be thrown out and makes fresh hot vegan and vegetarian meals that are served in outside in public spaces to anyone without restriction. Each independent group also serves free meals at protests and other events. The San Francisco chapter has been arrested over 1,000 times in government’s effort to silence its protest against the city’s anti- homeless policies. Amnesty International states it will adopt those Food Not Bombs volunteers that are convicted as “Prisoners of Conscience” and will work for their unconditional release. Even though we are dedicated to nonviolence Food Not Bombs activists in the United States have been under investigation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Pentagon and other intelligence agencies. A number of Food Not Bombs volunteers have been arrested on terrorism charges.

Food Not Bombs is often the first to provide food and supplies to the survivors of disasters. During the first three days after the 1989 Earthquake, Food Not Bombs was the only organization in San Francisco providing hot meals to the survivors. Food Not Bombs was also the first to provide hot meals to the rescue workers responding to September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Food Not Bombs volunteers were among the first to provide food and help to the survivors of the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Our volunteers organized a national collection program and delivered bus and truckloads of food and supplies to the gulf region. We were one of the only organizations sharing daily meals in New Orleans after Katrina. Food Not Bombs is now preparing for the economic crash organizing Food Not Lawns community gardens, housing the homeless with Homes Not Jails, organizing additional meals each week and starting new Food Not Bombs chapters.

Food Not Bombs works in coalition with groups like Earth First!, The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Anarchist Black Cross, the IWW, Homes Not Jails, Anti Racist Action, In Defense of Animals, the Free Radio Movement and other organizations on the cutting edge of positive social change and resistance to the new global austerity program. Food Not Bombs provided the meals for the protesters at Camp Casey outside Bush’s ranch in Texas. Volunteers also helped organize and shared meals at the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle and provide logistical support for many other anti-globalization actions. Kiev Food Not Bombs fed the tent city protest during the Orange Revolution and groups in Slovokia started animal rescue shelters in 24 cities. We are also sharing meals at protests responding to the global economic crisis. Many groups organize Really Really Free Markets giving away all kinds of items for free, planting Food Not Lawns community gardens and housing people with the Homes Not Jails project. Many chapters also organize Bikes Not Bombs programs collecting and repairing used bicycles to provide to people in low-income communities. We also provided meals to protesters at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in the United States. We will provide meals to the families of striking workers and help organize actions encouraging alternatives to the failure of capitalism.

Food Not Bombs activists are currently making plans to celebrate our 30th year of cooking for peace. Along with organizing the celebration each local chapter collects and distributes food every week and there are several other projects that support the Food Not Bombs movement. One collective called “A Food Not Bombs Menu.” helps people find or start local chapters. They also maintain the website http://www.foodnotbombs.net, organize tours and support Food Not Bombs gatherings. They also provide books, t-shirts and other materials to promote the principles of Food Not Bombs. Another collective Food Not Bombs Publishing in Takoma Park, Maryland publishes books like “On Conflict and Consensus” which has been an important guide for group democracy. We hope you will join us in taking direct action towards creating a world free from domination, coercion and violence. Food is a right, not a privilege.

The Time to Empower Ourselves is Now: Take the First Step


“Everywhere today, every aspect of our lives is being violently reorganized. Everywhere there is war. A war without a battlefield. A war without an enemy. A war that is everywhere. A thousand civil wars. A war without end. The Fourth World War.” –The Fourth World War


by Dr. Steven Best

My friends, we are winning many battles in the fight for freedom, rights, democracy, compassionate ethics, peace, interspecies justice, and ecology.

But we are losing the war.

The war against greed, violence, plunder, profits, and domination. The war against transnational corporations, world banks, the US Empire, and Western military machines. The war against metastasizing systems of economic growth, technological development, overproduction, and overconsumption.

Despite recent decades of intense social and environmental struggles, we are nevertheless losing ground in the battles for democracy and ecology.

In the last two decades, neoliberalism and globalization have destroyed social democracies, widened gaps between rich and poor, dispossessed farmers, and marketized the entire world. Alongside good-old fashioned imperialism and resource extraction, people now confront genetic engineering, biopiracy, the patenting of genes, and the control of the seed supply. McDonaldization swallows up diversity as agribusiness engulfs the world’s farmers. Corporate power is growing as people power is shrinking.

Signs of ecological distress are everywhere, from shrinking forests and depleted fisheries to vanishing wilderness and rising sea levels. Throughout history, societies have devastated local environments, but only in the last two decades has humanity upset the planetary ecology to bring about global climate change. Moreover, we now live in the era of the sixth extinction crisis in the history of the planet, the last one occurring 65 million years ago in the age of the dinosaurs. Unlike the last five, this one is caused by human activity; we are the meteor crashing into the earth. Conservation biologists predict one third to one half of the world’s plant and animal species might vanish in the next few decades.

The global capitalist world system is inherently destructive to people, animals, and nature. It is unsustainable and the bills for three centuries of industrialization are now due. It cannot be humanized, civilized, or green-friendly, but rather must be transcended through revolution at all levels—economic, political, legal, cultural, technological, moral, and conceptual.

In the last three decades, there has been growing awareness that environmentalism cannot succeed without social justice and social justice cannot be realized without environmentalism. This is clear in the environmental justice movement in the US, in Earth First! alliances with timber workers, the platform of the Zapatistas platform, and the 1999 Battle of Seattle against the WTO where turtles joined with teamsters.

But something is missing, the equation is not balanced, the strategy cannot work. The interests of one species are represented as millions of others go unrecognized except as resources to be preserved for human use. But in the last three decades a new social movement has emerged — animal liberation. Its power and potential has yet to be recognized, but it deserves equal representation in the politics of the 21st century.

Progressives fighting for peace, justice, democracy, and ecology must recognize the validity of and need for the animal liberation movement for two reasons. First, on a moral level, the brutalization, exploitation, and suffering of animals is so great, so massive in degree and scope, that it demands a profound moral and political response from anyone with pretence to values of compassion, justice, rights, and nonviolence. Every year alone humans butcher 70 billion land and marine animals for food; millions more die in experimental laboratories, fur farm, hunting preserves, and countless other killing zones. Second, on a strategic level, the animal liberation movement is essential for the human and earth liberation movements. In numerous key ways, the domination of humans over animals underlies the domination of human over human and propels the environmental crisis. Moreover, the animal liberation movement is the most dynamic and fastest growing social movements of the day and other liberation movements ignore, mock, or trivialize it at their own peril.

It is becoming increasingly clear that human, animal, and earth liberation movements are inseparably linked, such that none can be free until all are free. This is not a new insight, but rather a lost wisdom and truth. Recall the words of Pythagoras, the first Western philosopher, who 2500 years ago proclaimed: “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

We need to focus like a laser beam on a grim truth: whatever the gains of a worldwide environmental and animal rights movements throughout the last four decades, they have nonetheless continued to lose ground in the battle to save biodiversity, to stop or even slow down the destruction of the rainforests, topsoil, coral reefs; to prevent ever-worsening resource wars; to end the blatant and open war and Holocaust against nonhuman animals; and to come to grips with the immanent catastrophe of climate change in our minds let alone our policies and actions.

The sense of urgency is rising in proportion to the severity of the crisis. Increasingly, calls for legislative change, moderation, compromise, and taking the slow march through the institutions can be seen as grotesquely inadequate, as growing numbers of people gravitate toward more radical tactics of change. “Reasonableness” and “moderation” in the current situation seem to be entirely unreasonable and immoderate, as “extreme” and “radical” actions appear simply as necessary and appropriate.

From Athens to Paris to Brazil, there is growing realization that politics as usual just won’t cut it anymore. We will always lose if we play by their rules rather than invent new forms of struggle, new social movements, and new sensibilities. The defense of the earth requires immediate and decisive action: logging roads need to be blocked, driftnets need to be cut, and cages need to be emptied. But these are piecemeal and reactive measures, and in addition to these tactics, radical movements and alliances must be built that unites struggles on behalf of humanity, nonhuman animals, and the earth in a politics of total liberation.

Dr. Steven Best, Keynote Speech – Total Liberation: Revolution for the 21st Century

Courtesy of the Washington Post

Moscow talk1
The trial could result in one of the country’s first serious convictions for animal cruelty. It also provides a showcase for a new, more radical animal activism that is gaining popularity in Russia.Dmitry Khudoyarov is on trial at Moscow’s Cheryomushkinsky District Court on charges of killing a dog and permanently disabling a puppy by shooting them from his all-terrain vehicle.He has pleaded guilty and could serve up to six months in jail, a year of community service, or pay a fine of up to 80,000 rubles ($2,580).Activists standing outside the courthouse during a recent hearing wore T-shirts with splattered blood and the slogans, “Prison for the Slaughterer” and “Prison for the Serial Killer.”“Khudoyarov is the disease of our society,” said one protester, Emilia Nadin. “This is really the first case in Russia where people have managed to bring a case to court, and it’s very important for us to create a precedent.”

Fueling their cause is the fact that the country’s courts have handed down few convictions for animal cruelty. In 2007, a guard was convicted of killing a stray dog named Ryzhik who lived in the Konkovo metro station. He received a suspended sentence of two years and eight months.

This year, residents in both the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk and the Oryol region were convicted of killing dogs and received sentences of three months and six months of community service, respectively. A man from Samara was given a suspended sentence of one year and fined 12,000 rubles.

Moscowdemo1

In 2002, a model deemed by psychiatrists to be psychologically unstable stabbed a stray dog at the Mendeleyevskaya metro station. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital, and shocked Muscovites paid for a statue of the dog to be placed in the station.

The protesters represent a secretive grass-roots organization called Alliance for Animal Rights, which Nadin said she quit her job to join full-time two years ago. She has no office, and activists print up leaflets at home or work, she said.

The group provides a more attractive face for animal rights, Nadin said. “Our position has got better, we appear on television. It used to be they would film crazy woman with unwashed hair, now it’s young people,” she said.

A nebulous organization, the Alliance for Animal Rights has no formal registration, and it is unclear who is in charge.

Its spokesman, Semyon Simonov, answered e-mails from Sochi. He said the group has 500 members and was set up five years ago, initially as a purely Internet-based project, but had been holding rallies since 2005.

There are an increasing number of supporters of radical action in Russia, Simonov said, including supporters of the Animal Liberation Front, a movement of activists who use tactics such as removing animals from cages and damaging property of targets.

“In Russia there are supporters of the Animal Liberation Front and their numbers are growing, since there is more deprivation of animal rights in our country than in many others,” Simonov said.

He listed the lack of a law on animal rights and public monitoring of laboratories, farms and slaughterhouses.

“It’s obvious that if the situation doesn’t change, many people will turn to direct action,” Simonov said.

“It’s obvious that if the situation doesn’t change, many people will turn to direct action,” Simonov said.

In June 2008, American activist Steven Best lectured at universities and community centers, interviewed with various mass media, conducted a press conference, and led demonstrations during a two-week animal liberation speaking tour of Russia.

Best, who teaches philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, is a controversial figure. He co-founded a media information center for the Animal Liberation Front in the United States. He was banned from visiting Britain in 2005 under anti-terrorist legislation after telling a conference, “We will break the law and destroy property until we win.”

“The Moscow animal rights community is one of the most active and dedicated I know,” Best said in an e-mail.

“Activists tend to be young students and workers,” he said. “Many activists are anarchists and anti-fascist and understand the connections between animal liberation and human liberation.”

Animal rights protesters aren’t yet seen as a threat by the authorities, Best said. He was “able to speak freely” in Russia, he said, although he was told that plainclothes police officers attended some of his talks.
Russia Now

Animal Rights Festival “Voices for Animals” took place in four Russian cities

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