Daniel McGowan
Daniel McGowan
Daniel McGowan
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Archive for December, 2013

Rest in Peace, Avalon

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

avalon

My friend, fellow activist and codefendant William C. Rodgers, known to those who loved him, as Avalon took his life on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2005. Avalon was arrested and charged with one count of arson for his alleged role in an ELF arson at the National Wildlife Research Facility in Olympia, Washington. It is likely that those prosecuting our case would have attempted to portray Avalon as the mastermind of the conspiracy based on his age (5-7 years older than most of us) and his long term activism. Sadly, many of my codefendants who cooperated fully with the government were all too happy to indulge the feds with this fallacy, even submitting information only the Judge was able to view. 

When I read the words used to describe Avalon, I am perplexed because the man I knew, though far from perfect was a kind, gentle soul who treated me and everyone he met with curiosity and generosity. I remember Avalon as a lover of nature; someone who dedicated much of his adult life to protecting and defending  wild places. My memories of him are personal and I hesitate to share them but I just wanted to be clear that the ‘criminal mastermind’ & ‘leader of the ELF’ caricature suggested by cooperating codefendants and prosecution does not match who I knew. I am reminded of the fact that in all likelihood, Avalon would be either out of prison or leaving prison shortly had he not left us prematurely. I think it is pretty clear that part of the reason he chose to kill himself had to do with the betrayal he felt at the hands of many of my codefendants.

I for one, miss Avalon and i think the Earth and our communities are worse off without him.

Rest in peace, friend.

Daniel

There are many links about Avalon online. Here are a few:

Statement written by the Catalyst Infoshop, which Avalon founded

Wikipedia page

Memorial page on Earth First! Journal: [TRIGGER ALERT: CONTAINS SUICIDE NOTE TEXT]

PS-I have no doubt that Avalon would be disinterested in any focus on himself as a person and would want want to focus on the issues and our fellow codefendants, who are still inside. Please check out http://earthfirstjournal.org/eco-prisoner-list/ for information on them.

Vegan Drinks on 12.19 benefiting NYC ABC

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 10.27.50 AM

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.

The following Vegan Drinks NYC will be on January 30, 2014.

We have information about Vegan Drinks in other cities and some tips on how to organize your own Vegan Drinks. And for people who like such things, an FAQ.

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!