Archive for the ‘Animal Rights’ Category
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
The next event will be December 19, 2013 at Fontana’s Bar at 105 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side, NYC.
We’ll be in the back, in the two-story Chandelier Room (don’t worry, despite the name it’s not too fancy).
We’ll have vegan Ethiopian food from Bunna Café, serving up their new Holiday Menu!
The December 19th Vegan Drinks benefits NYC Anarchist Black Cross and the tremendous work they do supporting all U.S.-held political prisoners. In particular, you’ll have an opportunity to support Animal and Earth Liberation political prisoners by signing holiday greeting cards and writing letters to let our comrades know they are not forgotten, especially during the holiday season. NYC Anarchist Black Cross is a “collective focused on supporting U.S.-held political prisoners and prisoners of war and opposing state repression against revolutionary social justice movements.”
RSVP on Facebook if you like.
Vegan Drinks is a monthly social networking* event for people interested in promoting veganism and advocating for animal rights. Vegan Drinks’ mission is to bring together a diverse group of people—from cupcake aficionados to animal lawyers to veg*ns of all stripes in between—to build new coalitions and promote the sharing of resources. Vegan Drinks is for newbies and oldies. All we expect is an interest in animal rights, veganism and the pursuit of after-work fun. Show up and introduce yourself, pass around business cards (if you’ve got ‘em) and embarrass yourself at least once an hour.
*Although we think love is grand, Vegan Drinks is not a singles’ event. But, if you happen to meet the love of your life at Vegan Drinks, don’t forget to invite us to the wedding!
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Dear Friends and Supporters,
In a nice change of pace from the usual tenor of our communications, we are happy to report some really good news: Daniel McGowan’s stay in the CMU is coming to an end! Despite many punitive measures over the course of the years, Daniel has maintained a sterling record in prison and has accrued enough “good time” to take 1 year off his 7-year sentence. What is even more exciting is that he has qualified to serve the last 6-months of this time in a halfway house in Brooklyn, beginning in December 2012! After so many years, and so much antagonism from Federal authorities, we are overjoyed to welcome Daniel back home, where he belongs.
The support you all have shown over these past 5 years has helped Daniel get through what are undoubtedly the hardest years of his life. Now that he is on the verge of rejoining us, and never looking back upon these dark times, the focus of support for the Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan is in assisting him in his re-entry and securing him meaningful employment. Not only is finding a job an important condition of Daniel’s being in the half-way house — in addition to his supervised release once he is done with his sentence — but it is also extremely important to Daniel himself, who joins thousands of other ex-prisoners who struggle to find employment because of their prior records.
Lots of people are looking for work these days, and it’s a daunting task for anyone. However, while Daniel is as highly-motivated and hard-working as many others seeking employment, it is obvious that he faces serious hurdles in getting a job because of his conviction. Daniel is a warm, intelligent, passionate, and dedicated person and he would love to find employment at a place that is doing work he cares about and finds meaningful. Over the years many of you have asked how you can help — helping Daniel find such a job would be the most important thing you could ever do for him.
HELP DANIEL FIND A JOB:
In addition to having a Bachelor’s degree, Daniel completed a paralegal course as well as every continuing education and vocational course available (over 25!) while in prison despite limited opportunities for education, as well as frequent moves. He is extremely driven and has a broad skill-set that he is looking to utilize at a NYC-based, non-profit organization. Much of Daniel’s career experience from 1997 onward is within the non-profit world he has ample experience in development/fundraising, communication and IT positions. Daniel has a particular interest in working as a paralegal for civil liberties organizations but would welcome and appreciate work in any of these fields/areas:
*Civil liberties/Free speech
*Harm reduction/Drug policy
If you work for a NYC-based non-profit, have a close friend, partner or contact at one, or have a specific organization in mind that might be open to hiring Daniel, we’d love to hear from you!
All emails can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put “jobs” in the subject line.
His resume will be made available upon request.
**Daniel is still in prison, in the CMU, and will be until the end of 2012.**
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
Here are the winners of the December 7th raffle. We’ve already been in touch with the winners but if you see your name and haven’t heard anything, let us know.
Congrats and thanks!!
Will P Pie Any Means Necessary
Carey S BORF Print
Kathleen M The Will of the Many
Ryan O Winds From Below
Joe S Certain Days Calendar
Ryan K If A Tree Falls DVD; Combustion Books Pack
Beve C Pie Any Means Necessary; If A Tree Falls DVD
Evan W Compassion Buttons
Michael V Compassion Buttons
Compasson Co. Daniel Shirt – Purple L
Dylan P Bluestockings T-Shirt; Elektra KB Art
Ethan W Bluestockings membership; Book Thug Nation Gift Certificate
Yuri C Live Scribe; Recipes for Disaster
Nikki C Work; Signal: 1
John O IFC Membership; Firebrands
Josue M If A Tree Falls DVD; Celebrate People’s History
Anastasia C Dr. Bronners Gift Basket; Boom! DVD
John Eberhardt Notes; Let Freedom Ring
Nikki K Eco-Warriors
Karen O Agriculture and Food in Crisis
Michelle D Fifth Estate Subscription; If A Tree Falls DVD
Cindy Toward Climate Justice
Olga N Eberhardt Zine Pack; JustSeeds Organizer
Jay Spectacle Theater Tickets
Deborah D Green is the New Red
Eliza C Book Thug Nation Gift Certficate
Meil E Quagmire; Acupuncture by Famous
Lana P Wilder Brook Farm Maple Syrup
Smokey We Interrupt This Empire
Benjamin P Eberhardt Notes; Daniel T-Shirt
Sangamithra I Support Daniel Water Bottle
J G Certain Days Calendar; Eberhardt Book Pack
Willie L If A Tree Falls DVD; 4Struggle Mag Subscription
Tom G Oppose and Propose
Dave R Paper Politics
Ainsley B Eberhardt Notes
Janine Suffled How It Gush
Spencer S Combustion Books Pack
Molly G Burning Books Gift Certificate
Melissa M Pie Any Means Necessary
Dayna Mittens; Boom!
Karen F We Interrupt This Empire
Sideshow Sparrow Shirt
Leah T Compassion T-Shirt
Julie R Daniel Water Bottle
Vera B Daniel Water Bottle
Stavros C Eberhardt Book Pack
Mirza Fifth Estate Subscription
Catherine F Sparrow Media T-Shirt
Harry N Pie Any Means Necessary
Nicolas U Uses of a Whirlwind
Monday, November 14th, 2011
WHAT: Panel discussion with Robert Meeropol, Will Potter and Jenny Synan with an introduction by Rachel Meeropol plus an AMAZING raffle
WHEN: 6:30-8:00, Wednesday, December 7th
WHERE: Community Church of New York (40 East 35th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues)
COST: Free entry; raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
Every year we commemorate Daniel’s arrest with an event on or around December 7th. This year’s event will link advocates, activists and concerned individuals to think critically around the Red and Green scare, and ongoing repression of political dissidents in the United States. On the sixth anniversary, Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan, The Rosenberg Fund for Children, Will Potter of GreenIsTheNewRed and the Center for Constitutional Rights are hosting this panel discussion. In addition to the panel, we’re planning on doing a raffle to raise money which goes to Daniel’s commissary account in prison and any future legal expenses.
Raffle now over (12/08/11)
RAFFLE PRIZES are being added daily, but currently include:
Friday, June 17th, 2011
IF A TREE FALLS opens Wednesday, June 22 at the IFC Center in NYC, where the filmmakers will be doing Q&As at primetime shows from the 22nd to the 25th.
The film is also playing at 2 festivals in NYC beginning this weekend — June 18 at BAMcinemaFest, and June 19th and 20th at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.
And in Eugene, Oregon, it premieres Thursday, June 23rd at the Bijou Cinemas, where the Thursday screenings at 6:15pm & 8:45pm will be followed by a moderated Skype chat with the filmmakers.
Ticket sales at the IFC theater and Eugene will be monitored by other theaters around the country to determine whether they want to pick up the film. Please consider attending the IFC and Eugene screenings during the opening week as ticket sales there will assure the film’s widest possible release!
MORE ABOUT THE FILM:
Winner of the U.S. Documentary Editing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, IF A TREE FALLS is a feature-length documentary that offers a behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorist threat.” Centering on the story of Daniel McGowan, an ELF member who participated in two multi-million-dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies, the film investigates the origins of the ELF in America and explores how a working class kid from Queens found himself facing life in prison for “eco-terrorism.” Using never-before-seen archival footage and intimate interviews from all the players — including ELF cell members and the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them — IF A TREE FALLS weaves an intriguing and suspenseful story that asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism in America today.
If a Tree Falls is distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories and will screen nationwide this summer. Click here for more information and screening times.
Please follow us on facebook and twitter.
And check out the trailer online here and here!
See you at the movies!
**Note from Family and Friends of Daniel:
We feel that both Daniel’s story and the message of the film are important to share, and we hope that as many people as possible are able to see it. We also want to highlight an issue we feel the film did not go far enough to illustrate–that Daniel and other non-cooperating defendants have been put behind bars in large part due to the betrayal of former friends who turned government informants. Some of these informants, like Suzanne Savoie, who is interviewed in the film, received sentences that were only slightly less than those who did not cooperate and many of them are currently out of prison because of this betrayal. It is paramount that we as a community do not forget the damage they have done, or allow them opportunities to try to reintegrate into our circles. For this reason, we are at odds with the filmmakers’ decision to invite informants like Savoie to film screenings and we encourage the audience to question and object to any government informant’s participation in the release of this film.
Friday, December 21st, 2007
This is a eulogy, two years too late, for my friend William Rodgers — known to friends, family and the movement as Avalon. Avalon took his life on December 21, 2005. This was just two weeks after our arrests in the Operation Backfire case and, by no coincidence, the Winter Solstice. In his absence, much has been made of his role in our Earth Liberation Front (ELF) group. Not surprisingly, the prosecutors in the case have painted him as a leader who recruited young, impressionable activists to do his bidding. This is not only false, but also insulting to the younger people in the case, who did get involved on their own. Snitches in the case have used his inability to respond to dramatically maximize his role in certain actions in an attempt to lesson the consequences of their own actions. One person went so far as submitting to the judge video evidence and testimony that has not been made public because it was deemed too personal for public consumption. Others on the margins have chosen to focus on Avalon’s flaws by spreading rumors or even by talking to the private investigators hired by the snitches.
I first met Avalon in the months leading up to the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle in late 1999 and developed a friendship with him instantly. His sly grin, easygoing and warm personality and humility impressed me, and I was happy to see that this quiet, older enviro was up to more than attending the EF! gatherings at which I first saw him. His rationality and quick thinking prevented disaster for our affinity group during the Seattle protests (I’m proud to say we took part in the Black Bloc). I distinctly remember getting ready to leave Seattle, and hearing his suggestion to “keep in touch.” Well, we did keep in touch. Much has been said of what we did in the years after that, but that will be told elsewhere.
Like so many of us, Avalon suffered from depression and despair, fueled by the realization of what our species is doing the planet. Living underground, juggling details of planned actions and double lives, and eschewing many of the things that our movement allies had access to is stressful. I know because I did it, and yet Avalon’s experience in that underground life dwarfed mine. I can’t help but think that this isolation and despair were major factors in his suicide. We moved on, and yet the cruel hand of the past — in the form of old friends and a Joint Terrorism Task Force — pulled us all back into our secret histories. Maybe for Avalon, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. We will never know for sure. I remember seeing his name in a list of arrestees in a New York Times article while sitting in a New York City jail. It gave me some hope — I thought we could all fight these charges together, as a group of people who had lifelong solidarity with each other, as people who honored the oaths we made to each other. Sometimes, I lie there at night asking the questions I try to avoid: Could Avalon have stemmed the tide of informing? Would he have been the person who, having known some of the snitches for much longer than I, could really reach them — beyond their fears and to their core? I’ll never know these answers, but I do know this: Avalon would rather die and make a jailbreak than cooperate in any way with this immoral and unjust process.
The prosecution, knowing only hierarchy and bureaucracy, cannot conceive of a group without a leader, a pecking order and strict rules. Without Bill around to protest and because he was older than all of us, they found their puppet master. Suddenly the so-called “book club” was his invention and was deemed a “training school for arson.” Meyerhoff and Gerlach, grand quislings that they are, had the audacity to say with a straight face that Avalon pretty much did the Vail arson all by himself. Just reading about the ski resort’s geography, the large amount of fuel that was used and Bill’s slight stature made me laugh bitterly to myself about these lies. On some level, it’s the way the game is played for snitches. The government tells them what it wants to hear, and the cooperating witnesses jump through hoops like the well-trained pets that they are. To be clear, everyone involved with these actions and the “book club” are people like you and me. We have skills — some of us excel at one thing, others of us at another. However, there was no formalized hierarchy as suggested by the prosecution, and William Rodgers was no kingpin or leader of the ELF.
Avalon, like all of us, had his flaws and made mistakes, both personally and politically, in the way he lived his life and how he resisted environmental destruction. Our group attempted to deal with one of these areas — an accusation of sexual misconduct — and I’m sorry to say that we failed, due to not being equipped with the right ideas and strategies. It is all too easy to assuage our guilt about our own shortcomings by attacking others. I think it’s a better idea to focus on what we are doing in this world, rather than criticizing people who are not here to defend themselves. I thought of this often in court when I looked at my family, seeing the pained looks on their faces as they listened to attacks on me. Bill’s family and partner have had to endure a lot of grief in the last two years.
So when I think of Avalon, I don’t believe the hype spewed by aggressive and narrow prosecutors. No, I think of a soft-spoken, caring person who would give you the shirt off his back or carry a snake off the road; an avid, even obsessive recycler; someone who supported indigenous struggles and really got the connection between Earth-based cultures and ecological action. I knew Avalon was involved in the struggle against the Mount Graham telescope, but only after his death did I find out that he and his infoshop, The Catalyst, supported the campaign to protect the San Francisco Peaks (see Earth First! Journal May-June 2005).
When snitch Jacob Ferguson recorded a conversation with me through a wiretap in 2005, I asked him how Avalon was. He lied to me (big shock!) and told me that Avalon was happy and lived in an intentional community in Canada. I remember being really happy for him and hoping to run into him again one day, but for different reasons than why we last saw each other.
Avalon has been gone two years now, and yet it still isn’t real to me. Since I haven’t seen him for years, I can’t really take it all in without getting upset. Yes, one of our own betrayed us, and that action caused the death of my friend. How do I reconcile the truth? I don’t have a good answer except to say that we need to talk about these things and confront death in our movement. We need to grieve for our friends. Most of all, we cannot forget. This is my contribution to never forgetting William Rodgers: radical environmentalist, ELF activist, cave lover and sweet, kind man. I miss you, buddy.
–As printed in the Earth First! Journal, November-December 2007 issue.
Friday, December 14th, 2007
Friends and supporters,
We didn’t want December 7th to completely pass everyone by without any acknowledgment. Two years ago (plus a week), Daniel was first taken away from his family, his friends, his home, his job, his school — his life.
Last weekend there were events held all over the country to commemorate the multiple arrests that took place on December 7, 2005.
These events aimed to educate others on the past, present and future. A number of us in NYC spent last Sunday in one of the busiest intersections of Manhattan spreading the word about a troubling new piece of legislation called “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”
Please take a few minutes to read all of the extremely important information found here: http://www.supportdaniel.org/act/
We hope to keep adding relevant information to this page over the next few weeks. Please call your senator, spread the word, stop this Act.
Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
Don’t forget to send letters to Daniel’s non-cooperating co-defendants:
Federal Correctional Institution
37910 N 45th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Joyanna Zacher #36360-086
Federal Correctional Institution
5701 8th St – Camp Parks- Unit F
Dublin, CA 94568
Nathan Block #36359-086
Federal Correctional Institution
3600 Guard Rd.
Lompoc, CA 93436
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
I just wanted to send a little note to say hi to everyone who has written and let you know I truly appreciate the support. It is functionally impossible for me to respond to all the notes, cards and packages, but they are getting to me and they really make me happy. Oddly enough, I seem to have sprained my thumb! I know, I can imagine the bad jokes now as I type this! It seems to be rather swollen and it’s certainly from writing too much. So, I appreciate your kind words and letters but between my job, studies, and my poor fat thumb, know that I may not be able to respond.
I wanted to share some news about some court cases I have read about recently and perhaps update people on the latest happenings related to the Green Scare. If that term is unfamiliar to you, I’m sorry. I think myself and many of us have just chosen to use that term because its easy to name it per se than to describe the full set of circumstances. What I mean is the US government’s obsession with investigating, harassing, prioritizing and prosecuting activists involved with environmental and animal rights activities. I’d like to think that this behavior on the part of government officials is just about illegal activity but sadly, it’s not. As Will Potter has pointed out on his informative blog, greenisthenewred.com, these campaigns of harassment, indictments, overzealous legislation, targeting by industry front groups, all create a chill around activism. “Will they come after me next? I don’t burn things down, but that Animal Enterprise Terrorism Bill seems so broad..”
Well, as you may know, a lot of people were arrested and indicted in my case– what the agents dubbed “Operation Backfire.” (Get it? It’s a joke– on us! Like, you know, our tactics/actions backfired! Nice one, secret agent boys!) Although it seems that our case is wrapping up, a Midwest grand jury was to convene (and was then postponed) regarding ELF actions in that region. You can read more about this on a new site:?
A few weeks ago, there was good news and bad news with two Green Scare trials. The good news is that former ALF prisoner, Rod Coronado, got a hung jury in his free speech case in San Diego. Rod was charged with an old law that alleged that he was instructing people on how to use incendiary devices. From the accounts I read, this so-called instruction was Rod speaking at a public event and a question was asked about an action he was involved with years prior (and which he had already done time for). The jury was deadlocked in favor of acquittal but ended up being unable to come to any decision. At this point, I am unsure whether or not the government will continue this vindictive behavior and file charges again. In either case, check out his support site at www.supportrod.org to donate or find out more.
Sadly, Eric McDavid was found guilty by a jury in the Sacramento ELF case. Eric was charged with conspiracy and was sold down the river by his two co-defendents who testified against him and will now receive a maximum of 5 years. Eric faces 5-20 years. It should also be noted that a woman only known as “Anna,” was not only the key witness but also a blatant provocateur in the case– constantly pushing the three young activists into planning actions. The judge denied the entrapment motion even though evidence kept showing up that “Anna” seemed to really want an action to happen so that she could please her FBI handlers. You may ask, “Why is the FBI recruiting 17-year old college students to push people into doing ELF type actions, even going so far as to pay her $70,000, rent and outfit a cabin for planning the actions, etc.?” That’s a good question. Eric is filing an appeal and last I heard needs help with legal costs and continued access to vegan food.
See www.supporteric.org for more information.
There are also a few ongoing cases associated with the Green Scare:
Tre Arrow: This American environmental activist is fighting extradition from Canada and has been held for three years now trying to clear his name and is being tried on very serious charges in Oregon state. The authorities claim he was involved in an ELF arson of the Ross Isnald Sand and Gravel company in Portland, OR and an arson of three logging trucks. Three people who have received reduced sentences claim Tre Arrow was involved although there doesn’t appear to be any evidence other than this. He was a well-known forest defense activist in Oregon and even ran for Congress. He sits in a jail in British Columbia and is appealing an extradition order. He needs your support. Contact his crew at www.trearrow.org If sent to the US, he will be facing life in prison like I was.
Briana Waters: This case goes to trial on February 4th, 2008. She is facing 35 years in prison and is accused of participation in the UW arson claimed by the ELF in 2001. More information: www.supportbriana.org
Finally, my friend Jeff Luers has been sent to Eugene for resentencing in his case. An Oregon appellate court ruled in favor of part of his appeal last year and Jeff faces a significant reduction in the length of his sentence. By now, he may have already been sentenced, but either way, check out www.freefreenow.org
There are websites that have much more information than I can convey. Check them out:
Portland Indymedia’s Green Scare page
Twin Cities Eco-Prisoner Support Committee
Sunday, September 23rd, 2007
As many of you know or may have heard, I live a rather austere life on the outside. Perhaps it has to do with my genesis as an activist as I was introduced to groups that made significant changes to their lifestyle (yeah it’s a loaded word) to reduce their impact on the environment and animals. Other times, I think lowering my consumption and eschewing large amounts of material goods is my version of prefigurative politics – “I’m not going to let them tell me what I need to be happy, I’m going to live my life now as I want the world to be.”
However, in prison I have been confronted with a situation – albeit a minor one overall – that has proven irksome. Our commissary, unlike groceries or health-food stores on the outside, offers very little choices and there is no way to avoid products sold by companies that test on animals. Additionally, in order to write letters to the outside world, my only option is a pad of bone white, cheap and thus, I assume, non-recycled writing paper. Of course, I need to brush my teeth, wash my hair/body, and write to friends, family and community, but nonetheless, my lack of options troubles me.
Like in the outside world, there is more than enough discarded paper here for me to use but there is no alternative to the animal tested products. In the past, I’ve joke about particular prisoners’ requests to have people only write them on reused, discarded or tree-free paper. There is nothing like prison to give you an altered perception of things and now I find myself making a similar request and – in effect – eating crow.
My request then is pretty simple and I apologize if this request seems to you as bizarre or annoying as it did to me before I came here! If you write to me, I humbly request you to use either discarded paper (paper that was printed on one side), tree-free or 100% post consumer recycled paper, and if those options are not achievable, that you write on both sides of the page. The first option (using discarded paper) is pretty much free as any work, school, library or other recycling bin is overflowing with this sort of paper. In addition, using small margins, smaller font and lower ink levels on your print-outs will reduce the ecological impact even more.
Since I’m in a position where buying animal tested products is not optional, my other request is to educate yourself on vivisection and cosmetic testing and look for alternatives. PETA has a comprehensive list of companies that Do and Do Not test on animals, available on their website. You can easily find these products at any grocery or health food store. I realize that animal issues may not be ‘your issue’ and that is fine but all I ask is that you educate yourself on the unnecessary practice of testing consumer products on animals and cease funding this cruel and unethical practice. Compassion and advocacy for animal nations is congruent and consistent with the struggle for social justice and environmental protection.
Again, I apologize for my self-indulgent requests to you. Prison offers little opportunity for activism and advocacy and its dawned on me that my advocacy and agitation expressed to you could have a much greater impact than just my own actions.
For more info:
Native Forest Network
PETA’s Caring Consumer webpage
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty