June 2011
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« May   Jul »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Month June 2011

Friday Declared a Day of Solidarity with Arrested Spanish Animal Rights Activists the #Spanish12

 

 

12 animal rights activists with the group Igualdad Animal were arrested in Spain on Wednesday and charged by officials as “ecoterrorists.”  Although all of the details of the Spanish government’s allegations have not been revealed, it has been confirmed that the charges stem from non-violent, non-sabotage, actions related to the open rescue and liberation of animals in deplorable conditions and the video documentation of cruelty on factory farms (as captured in the groups video above.)

These charges present a new chapter in an increasingly diluted industry-driven narrative that abolitionists who oppose animal cruelty are in some manner on par with “terrorists.”

An international day of solidarity and action has been planned for tomorrow, Friday June 24th, 2011.  Events will be happening from Spain to New York to Toronto to Berlin.   Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Movement Under Siege has compiled an up-to-date roundup of all the solidarity events being planned world-wide on his blog http://greenisthenewred.com …if you don’t see an event in your country PLAN YOUR OWN!

A list of all the Spanish embassies can be found HERE!

These updates are reposted from Will Potter’s http://greenisthenewred.com

UPDATE: No prisoner support page yet, but you can donate to their legal support here (in English)

UPDATE 2: Official statement from Animal Equality. The Spanish government is saying the arrests are related to the recent release of mink from fur farms. Above-ground activists respond:

These two organisations, which define their activism as being non-violent, dedicate their efforts to raising public awareness of animal rights, by informing society of the consequences of the consumption of animal products and the promotion of alternatives. On the other hand, even though the organisations were not involved in the mink liberations, neither condemns these types of actions, to the extent that they defend the interests of all animals regardless of species, as none of the minks exploited by the fur industry deserves to live and die on a Spanish fur farm….

The animal exploitation lobbies and powerful multinationals wish to put the brakes on the animal rights movement in Spain, and now we are seeing the arrival of repression.

UPDATE 3: International day of protest and solidarity called for FRIDAY, JUNE 24th, 2011.Here’s a list of Spanish embassies.

Update 4: Protests planned for San FranciscoTorontoNew York CityWashington DCand more. Post a link in the comments and I’ll add them. Also, a quick thing you can do is update your social media profile photos with the banner above.

UPDATE 5: Protest in Munich, Germany, Friday 6/24 from 9 am – 1 pm in front of the Spanish embassy (Oberföhriger Str. 45).

UPDATE 6: Protest in Brussels, Belgium, Friday, 6/24 at 2 pm in front of the Spanish embassy (Wetenschapsstraat 19).

UPDATE 7: Animal Equality lawyers report:

“…the treatment of those detained is currently adequate, although they are not being given a vegan diet. Some of the activists have declared themselves on hunger strike until they receive vegan food…They are calm, but strong and determined, and many people are currently working on this situation. Many thanks for all the support that has been received so far.

“You can make your support for the detained activists reach further by calling the police stations in Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña where they are currently being held and inquiring about the health of the activists..

The following is a suggested text to read:

“Hello. I am calling because I am concerned about the health of the activists who were arrested yesterday and who are currently being held in the police station. I would like to request that they be given a vegan diet.. I wish to express my concern for the health of those detained, and in particular, Sharon Nunez Gough, who has certain health problems.”

Telephone numbers:

- Comandancia de la Guardia Civil A Coruña, 0034 981 16 78 00, where the following activists are being held:

Sara, Olaia, Eneko, José Ramon, Eladio, Rafael, Jennifer y Borja

- Comandancia de la Guardia Civil Santiago de Compostela, 0034 981 581 611, where the following activists are being held:

Jose, Sharon y David.

UPDATE 8: Leaflets and posters are available for download for the solidarity events.

UPDATE 9: Protest in Vienna, Austria, Friday, 6/24 at 11 am in front of the Spanish embassy (Argentinierstraße 34, A-1040 Wien)

Protest in Berlin, Germany, Friday, 6/24, at noon in front of the Spanish embassy (Lichtensteinallee 1)

Democracy Now! Invites Will Potter, Marshall Curry & Andy Stepanian to Discuss ‘If a Tree Falls’

Today Andy Stepanian of the Sparrow Project, Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, and Marshal Curry were invited on Democracy Now to discuss ‘If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front Curry’s new documentary about the life of Daniel McGowan and the Earth Liberation Front. ‘If a Tree Falls’ will premier nation-wide on wednesday after a successful and critically acclaimed stint on the festival circuit.

To watch the full interview visit — http://www.democracynow.org/2011/6/21/if_a_tree_falls_new_documentary

If a Tree Falls will be screening from June 22nd to the 28th at The IFC theatre located at 323 6th avenue (at west 3rd street) in NYC.

*For a full list of the screenings at the IFC visit — http://www.ifccenter.com/films/if-a-tree-falls-a-story-of-the-earth-liberation-front/

*For a list of screenings nationally visit — http://ifatreefallsfilm.com/screenings.html

Daniel McGowan is currently being housed in the Communications Management Unit (CMU) at the United States Penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana. In a controversial ruling an Oregon court ruled that McGowan’s acts of property destruction as part of the ELF although wholly non-violent were to be considered acts of terrorism and designated McGowan as such. The CMU is a designer penal program aimed at severely restricting the communications of McGowan and other specially designated inmates like him as well as cutting off their access to the outside world. This includes a ban on contact visitation with immediate family members.

Daniel and all of the men housed at the CMU need your support! For a list of things that you can do to support Daniel McGowan as well as information about Daniels case visit — http://supportdaniel.org/

To learn what you can do to fight for the rights of prisoners secretly held within CMUs the Center For Constitutional Rights has set up a webpage dedicated to the CMU at — http://ccrjustice.org/cmu-factsheet

 

Johnny Cash Could Teach Peter King a Thing (or two) About Prison-Born Terrorism Plots

Yesterday Congressman Peter King held his second hearing into radicalization within Islamic communities in the United States. This hearing focused on the potential for radicalization within the state and federal prison industrial complexes, specifically highlighting a conspiracy by four California men to wage war against the United States through attacks against military recruitment facilities and other targets in and around Los Angeles in 2005. One of the four men, Levar Washington, who pled guilty to his involvement in the plot was confined to the same secretive federal prison program I was confined to in 2008 for my involvement in an animal rights protest campaign. Levar and I became friends while incarcerated together, we were both young, we were both vegetarians, we would work out together every day, we would discuss spirituality, politics, and every Friday we would sit together and watch animal planet’s ‘Whale Wars’ show on the prison TV. It was an unwritten code in prison to not ask much about someone’s case unless they brought it up in conversation first, so I never learned about Levar’s charges until one afternoon he opened up to me…

Levar, a once-outspoken member of the Rolling Sixties Crips had spent his adolescent and teen years in the California juvenile corrections system, he eventually turned 18 and served the remainder of his time on the yards of some of California’s hardest state penitentiaries — Pelican Bay, CSP, Sacramento, and Folsom State Penitentiary. His life on the yard was one of constant oppression, violence, and sorrow. Levar would spend weeks and sometimes months segregated in the “Hole” or “S.H.U.” (Secure Housing Unit).  It was in the hole at Folsom State Penitentiary that Levar first picked up the Quran. Also segregated to the hole at Folsom was Levar’s future co-conspirator Shakyh Shahaab Murshid (born to the name Kevin James) and during their time together in the hole Kevin turned Levar onto Islam and onto a secret organization he founded in 1997 called Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS) Arabic for The Assembly of Authentic Islam. Levar’s foiled terror plot years later was to be claimed by JIS according to a pre-drafted press release FBI agents found on the floor of his apartment during his arrest.

Johnny Cash at Folsom State Prison.  ”Folsom Prison Blues” Cash’s song about the daily oppression of prisoner life highlights the desperation of men living behind Folsom’s walls.   It was from this yard, rife with oppression, that Levar Washington and Kevin James allegedly hatched their 2005 failed terror plot.  Cash’s words resonated with the Folsom men and prisoners everywhere, a stark contrast to the xenophobic rhetoric Congressman Peter King and some of his hand-selected witnesses used when trying to quantify prisoner radicalization.  King and the “expert witnesses” displayed that the lens from which they view these serious issues through, retards their ability to confront real life issues of oppression and violence that impact all of us…

For Levar the Qur’an answered his questions about justice, it gave his life a new meaning, it healed old wounds, and his relationship with the text was purely restorative. Peter King’s witnesses made an attempt to argue that it was the cherry-picking of the scripture itself or Islam by it’s very nature that led Levar down the path that eventually ended with his involvement in a terror plot years later. King’s hearings did so without fully acknowledging the oppression, violence, and conflict that enveloped Levar Washington’s life prior to his introduction to the faith. It may be easier for King to scapegoat a religion and chase fictitious bad guys in a system he does not fully understand then begin to address the all-too-real looming problems of disempowerment in inner city communities, xenophobia, failing foreign policies, poverty, and lack of education. All of these factors enable and encourage radicalization to a greater extent then religious scriptures do.

King however is not alone with his approach. How often do we as a culture search for quick fixes to myriad ailments while disregarding our need to make lifestyle changes that challenge our personal comfort. From deeply personal individual battles with cancer to the global war on terror, human responses to these acute onslaughts are almost always reactionary and seldom preventative. Amidst the immediacy of our tragedies we rarely question what brought us to those malignant moments –instead we desperately reach for quick fixes– surgery, chemotherapy, torture, carpet-bombing. In the global war on terror preventative medicine is often practiced as pre-emptive military action, rendition, entrapment, torture, and sanctions. These means never challenge the cultural roots of the problem and often actually serve as a tool for recruitment. Like flourishing bacterial cultures in a petri dish, terrorism is a symptomatic cultural reflex that can be easily seen growing out of its own hospitable environments. Levar Washington is a reactionary by-product to poverty, oppression, and a life of incarceration, not a terrorist recruit of the Quran. Until King begins to acknowledge the predicate problems that spawn terror plots he will continue chasing his own xenophobic tail, will continue to offend America’s beautiful Islamic communities and will continue waisting US taxpayer money.

Vote Today to Help Food Not Bombs Earn a Grant to Continue Feeding Hundreds of Hungry Families

Food Not Bombs, Long Island, is an entirely volunteer-based organization that has brought free plant-based meals, groceries,and clothing to those in need for over 14 years. In the last five years the group has seen an exponential growth in the number of volunteers, amount of donations, sponsors, as well as in the community participation at the food shares —all without any operating budget. Following a mantra of “solidarity, not charity” Food Not Bombs community food shares feed hundreds of families vegan meals & groceries each week in 5 cities across suburban Long Island.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Food Not Bombs DIY ethos and decentralized structure is what has allowed it to flourish and spread its feedings virally to countries all around the world. Maintaining the ideals, autonomy & purely volunteer framework of Food Not Bombs is what will assure it’s continued success and continued growth within the community. It is for these reasons that Food Not Bombs volunteers have started a partner non-profit with the purpose of increasing access to recovered food, increasing distribution of food to communities in need, and for the purpose of coaching existing soup kitchens & pantries to more efficiently serve the community even while operating on a shoestring budget.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

This new partner non-profit, properly named ‘Community Solidarity‘ can use your help. They have been nominated to the Vivint Gives Back Project, a socially-driven non profit incubator, and if they receive enough endorsements from people like you they can earn one of a handful of grants for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Food Not Bombs is asking all of their supporters to endorse the Community Solidarity project by visiting http://vivint.com/givesbackproject/charity/647 and casting your vote for them. You can continue to help them by sharing the endorsement link with your friends on social networks. You can return back to the Vivint link to vote once a day until the drawing in August.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

It is a sobering fact to learn that poverty and a lack of access to food and water kills more people every day then violent conflicts do. A fact that we so often ignore is that the blight of scarcity, poverty, and hunger are things we can do something about it. Food Not Bombs & Community Solidarity are showing us that DIY hunger relief and community empowerment are more then just bright-eyed ideals, they are an ever-growing concrete reality.

Crowd-Funded Pop-Up, Wildflower Serves 28 Courses of Vegan Gourmet at NYC’s LTO June 10th-12th

“Vegan food that is remarkably tasty and robust”
—ELAINE LOUIE, The New York Times

New York, NY: LTO, 171 East Broadway Wildflower is a one-of-a-kind crowd-funded pop-up restaurant that will be bringing 28 courses of the finest plant-based cuisine all with a summer grilling motif to discerning New Yorkers over June 10th-12th, 2011.  Just like the short-lived beauty of blossoming annuals in the field, Wildflower is here today and gone tomorrow.  Complementing the ever-growing trend of food trucks, pop-up restaurants are proving to be breakout venues for some of foods finest artisans and tastemakers. Wildflower will pop-up at New York’s exclusive LTO (Limited Time Only) located at 171 East Broadway and for three days will take patrons on a 28 course journey that will traverse a landscape of diverse vegan cuisine ranging from soul food to raw fusion to a vegan street food tasting menu. Brunch will be served on Saturday and Sunday morning June 11th and 12th, drawing from the menu of Ayinde’s popular monthly Brooklyn Petit Dejeuner, Waffle Brunch, which has already gathered a cult-like following by Williamsburg hipsters, vegans, and foodies alike. Crowd-funded through kickstarter.com, Wildflower is a direct response to the demand of New Yorkers who want to see gourmet vegan dining with an upscale  atmosphere in lower Manhattan.  An opening reception with celebrity guests, style icons, and giveaways from Vaute Couture, The Ethical Man, and Evolve Jewelry will follow Friday night’s dinner. A full menu is available HERE

 

Reservations can be arranged at http://wildflowerpopup.eventbrite.com . Seating is limited so reservations are encouraged, but walk-up customers will be seated as space permits.

 

Born in Tacoma, WA, to vegan parents, Chef Ayinde Howell has been a lifelong vegan, giving him a fresh lens to see his culinary art through.  At a time when most vegan restaurants have emphasized meat-anologs and processed soy dishes as an appeal to carnivores, Chef Ayinde’s vision alternatively celebrates his food’s unprocessed source by highlighting their natural flavors, brilliant colors, and captivating aromas.

 

About Chef Ayinde Howell
Ayinde Howell is an entrepreneur, executive vegan chef and founder of http://ieatgrass.com He has a background in a variety of vegan fare covering soul food, raw, and new American have been featured in the New York Times and Time Out New York.  Ayinde got his start in Seattle as co-owner of Hillside Quickies Vegan Sandwich Shop, an offshoot of his family’s business. Hillside Quickies became a popular lunch spot known for blasting hip hop during the crowded rushes and being frequented by patrons like The Roots, Saul Williams, Common and Erykah Badu.  Since his arrival in New York, Howell has served as a health consultant to celebrities, acted as executive chef at Jivamukti Yoga School, cooked for media mogul Russell Simmons, and has demoed his vegan cooking on BET’s popular ’106 & Park’ music hour.

 

 

To arrange an interview with Chef Ayinde Howell, to arrange a tasting,
or to obtain high-resolution images of his culinary creations please
contact Andy Stepanian at 631.291.3010 or email press@sparrowmedia.net