Wednesday, September 11, 2013

269 Life: The New Front for Violent Advocacy

269 Life disturbs me, to put it simply.  For several decades now, it was Animal Liberation Front leading the violent faction in Nonhuman Animal rights, spurring distrust and hatred from much of the public and considerable state repression.  Thankfully, most of the professionalized organizations, concerned about maintaining their revenue, look the other way and ignore ALF.  Of course, we abolitionists are, as a matter of principle, strongly opposed to ALF activities:  Violence is not only antithetical to our goals, but social movement research has demonstrated that violence has not been shown to work.

But now 269 Life is on the scene, and it seems like a lot of people are on board.  This both baffles and worries me.  On September 8, I posted an essay in response to a nasty campaign they had launched called "Non-Humans First!", which denounces the needs of vulnerable humans and declares Nonhuman Animals as the only important group, the one facing a state of emergency.  Their logo vandalizes a popular Nonhuman Animal rights symbol of a dog paw and a human fist.  In their version, the human fist is crossed out.  As a blog concerned with intersectionality (all oppressions are entangled, reinforcing each other, stemming from the same sources, etc.), I had a lot to say on this frightening development.  I also covered some of 269 Life's antics in my sister site, Vegan Feminist Network.

In response to these articles, the 269 Life group went into revenge mode.  They began trolling my Facebook pages and blog with bizarre insults and terrible logic.  I noticed they also featured my blogs on their Facebook page in hopes of stirring up more support in their campaign against me.  I noticed that almost every single update on that page was dedicated to countering the fact that they are promoting hatred and violence.  If all they can do is write about how they are not an anti-human violent group and harass people who are criticizing the rhetoric they are posting, I think it's pretty clear they are hoping to get away with offensive claimsmaking by simply insisting that the racist, sexist, disableist, homophobic, misanthropist things they are saying are not so . . . and by cyberbullying anyone who disagrees with that thin front.  Kind of like telling people over and over that an apple you're holding is blue, when it's clearly red.  When they object, you simply smash it upside their head. Furthermore, I noticed that almost ALL of these people who have stormed after me have posted anonymously.  Because who would want to publicly stand behind such vitriol?

Of course, the number one response I've received (besides the typical insults) is that I'm being divisive.  As I've discussed earlier this summer, it is usually the hate groups and welfarists who wish to protect their violence and dismiss anti-violence who use this rhetoric.  It's a means of dismissing criticism, and nothing more.  I explained the problems with total, unchecked inclusion in my September 8th post.  But, just to be clear, I think we should be divisive when it comes to groups like 269 Life that promote violence and make a mockery of human suffering.  I want nothing to do with that, most of the movement wants nothing to do with that, and the Nonhuman Animals aren't being helped one iota from that garbage.  So, yeah, I'm being divisive, and for good reason.

The second most popular response I've gotten is that I must somehow not care about Nonhuman Animals and I want them to suffer and die.  That response is so outrageously juvenile, I think it's pretty indicative of the level of critical thinking put into this campaign in the first place.

As is policy here at the Academic Abolitionist Vegan, violence and trolling will be publicly shamed.  I am committed to a community of accountability.  Read on if you dare, but be warned, there is some triggering language used.

First off, this guy spent hours relentlessly trolling my Facebook page.  Here's just a snippet:

For those having trouble reading, he basically accuses me of not being in it for the animals (yawn), of being a "fucktard" (but he's not disableist!), illogical, a troll (on my own Facebook page?), and a "professional clown" (cool!).  Also, my discussion of white male supremacy made him "lol lol lol" because it shows my "understanding of animal rights."  Furthermore, he's a law student . . . which is relevant for some reason (and also frightening if that's the kind of people they let in).  And, did you know that 269 is the "biggest animal rights movement in the world," so by criticizing them, I have "no sympathy for the animals"?  I definitely hate animals, in case you haven't figured it out yet!  Hate 'em!  Thanks Jon Proctor.

Now for some anonymous comments posted to my blog:
Too bad some people just like to stir the sh*t. They rather spend their time fighting animal rights people they don't agree with than putting that energy towards saving animals. We all have a common goal. We are all different. Each situation is different. We can't use the same technique in every case. What may trigger one person to go vegan, many not phase another. What that person may need is a visual comparison to correlate it with humans. I hate it when animal rights people mess with other animals rights people. Damn!
Yeah, sexually assaulting and beating women and child abuse are not part of our common goal, no matter how you sugarcoat it.  The same technique doesn't work in every case, true, but violence only creates more violence.  Furthermore, even if assaulting women did work, I don't care, because it hurts me and it hurts other women.  Lots of bad things might "trigger" someone to go vegan (like an animal slaughter demo in the street) but we're not going to be doing that, right?  Because creating violence is antithetical to our non-violent goal.
Wolfie Sab
I will never honour human rights over Animal rights. You give an example of everything I Stand for when you ask us to consider the plight of the lowly paid, hard working slaughtermen.
As far as I'm concerned no self respecting Vegan would ever respect their right to earn a decent living over the rights of the innocent beings they torture and kill.
No self respecting Vegan would ever stand for the rights of a slaughterman to earn a decent living when that living involves the brutal killing of innocent beings.
Let the muggle population fight muggle issues. I fight for those who have no voice. The very suggestion that human rights comes before animal rights is Speciesist and is unbelievable coming from a Vegan. Shame on you!
Incidentally, "Wolfie" is a white male.  I'm not surprised in the least he doesn't give a damn about human rights, because he has them all.  Furthermore, this isn't about humans "earning a decent living" (he is referring to my slaughterhouse worker example), this is about humans being raped, maimed, enslaved, and killed.  Just like Nonhuman Animals, these people have no voice either.  They can't fight for themselves.  So long as we think that's acceptable for any human, nobody is going to think it's unacceptable for nonhumans.

Wolfie also posted on one of my essays on Breeze Harper's work and how it is received by the white Nonhuman Animal rights community.  He called me racist for talking about how white persons react to racialized arguments for veganism.  I thought that was funny.  I'm a white person racist against white people who are racist against people of color.  Makes perfect sense.
I think you might at least have done some research before indicating that 269 organisation were involved in 'endangering and traumatizing human babies'. They were not and the mother was present at the demonstration. Nowhere in either the material of 269 or 'Non-Humans First' is there anything that indicates your claims to be true.
The proof is in the video.  I was once a caseworker for Child Protective Services with the Virginia Department of Social Services.  What I witnessed in that video qualified as child abuse, and that child would be taken away in a heartbeat.  For those not aware, the organization sexually assaulted and beat a woman in front of her baby, who they had pulled from her arms and put on the ground.
You seem to think that only black people have a history of slavery. Surely you know this to be utter nonsense. 
Yes, I do indeed know that.  I also know that using white-skinned people in a demonstration where they were branded with a hot iron and chained by the neck draws on the history of African enslavement in Western countries.  This is imagery that is extremely triggering and deeply offensive to African descendants living with a legacy of slavery.

In fact, quite a few folks insisted this had nothing to do with African slavery on their Facebook page, but I beg to differ.  See exhibit 2:

Newsflash, slavery has not ended for Africans either.  African Americans are enslaved in the prison industrial complex by the millions, and slavery still exists in Africa itself. 
Of course 'the suffering of the underprivileged (children, women, people of color, non-Westerners, etc.) does not qualify as a priority to the privileged persons running the Nonhuman Animal rights movement' as they are an animal rights movement. What is it you fail to understand. 
I fail to understand how a social movement organization can be so absolutely clueless as to think that human oppression is completely separate from Nonhuman Animal oppression.  The two are intimately linked and aggravate one another.  I suggest reading the work of Dr. Breeze Harper, Dr. David Nibert, and Carol Adams before continuing on with this charade of activism.
I couldn't agree more. Is anyone actually disagreeing with you? or do you just feel the need to sabotage a movement that is doing some good without any good reason?
Your despicable organization has made a public statement against human rights activism, a lot of people are disagreeing with you.  I do feel the need to sabotage their "movement," and, no, it is not doing any good.  Assaulting women, abusing children, making a mockery of African slavery, and denouncing human rights efforts is not good.
When you talk about the people working in slaughterhouses/ factory farms you must also realise that there is no point increasing the rights of people in these places of work as it would legitimise the place of work. if you believe that these places are fundamentally wrong then of course you are not going to fight to improve worker conditions there.
I have no desire to legitimize slaughterhouses, I only desire to end the exploitation, rape, slavery, maiming, and death committed against their employees.  These people do not deserve to suffer and die simply because they were forced into that despicable occupation (nobody but sadists actually want to work there, there's a reason why undocumented workers, immigrants, impoverished persons, and women are disproportionately staffing them).
Besides, there are other organisations that can do so. it isn't the role of an animal rights movement. 
If the role of the Nonhuman Animal rights movement is to ignore the root causes of oppression, that role is pretty confused and absolutely ineffectual.
You also patronise and belittle people that you see as somehow less able to stand up for their beliefs due to their oppression. No, the division you make is irrelevant and imaginary. 
Please explain to me how an illiterate person with no documentation, no citizenship, no education, with hungry babies and struggling families to support who are raped, maimed, and locked in facilities for days on end against their will have any ability to defend themselves in the least?  Only a person of incredible privilege would trivialize the reality of such a situation.  Easy for you to stand up for yourself, you can get work anywhere you want, you can read, you are not worried about being deported, you are not worried about being raped and killed, you are not worried about feeding your family.
[ . . . ] you are the one who appears to be doing the mud slinging and the one writing hateful and offensive remarks on the internet.
I do not coddle bigotry.  No, but please, continue to encourage your male friends to slam my Facebook and blog with insults.  I love being called a "fucktard," "idiotic," "loony," and an "arsehole."
I can understand that one is not fully behind the 269 movement or any other movement for that matter; tactics vary and opinions are divided; however, if you are going to criticise on an academic blog then you should at least have the good sense to take a little more time over your content, style and overall argument.
Thanks for the writing tips, bigot. 
Diversity in the animal rights movement is no bad thing and we will never all agree. One thing we can agree on is affording each other some respect. If you feel that these organisations you attack have failed to do that then the sad thing is that you have certainly done no better...
No respect for rapists, child abusers, and racists.  Sorry.  No, not sorry, really.  And, yes, I can most certainly do better, as do many other nonviolent, intelligent, effective advocates.

I feel sorry for those folks who have been branded or tattooed with "269," as I believe Nonhuman Animal rights history will come to equate that as a hate symbol.  I certainly do.