UK Newswire Archive
04-06-2010 22:26Everyone has a local garage, give it some attention
04-06-2010 21:53Saturday 5 June • Gaza Flotilla March • End the Siege of Gaza: Freedom for Palestine
Assemble Downing Street • London • 1.30pm • March to the Israeli Embassy
04-06-2010 19:22Underground Women's State. Doors open at 7pm
Film screening about the criminalisation of abortion in Poland told through the tales of 8 women who had underground illegal abortions.
wed 9th june
doors open: 7pm
film showing: 8pm.
2-8 cave street,
Factory website: http://freefactory.wordpress.com/
Directions to the Factory: http://freefactory.wordpress.com/about/
Since 1993 an anti-abortion law forbidding pregnacy terminations on social grounds has been in force in Poland. Meanwhile there are about 200,000 'illegal' abortions performed each year. Access to safe medical proceedures comes down to money. Driven by the Catholic and Lutheran churches and right-wing politicians it is a law against the poor.
Even though abortions are so widespread, in spite of this restrictive criminalisation, there is no movement dedicated to changing the law in Poland. The authors of this film try to answer the question why this is the case, going back to the begginning of the 90s, showing grass roots struggles in the face of political compromises and government manipulation. The story is told through the tales of activists of the pro-choice movement from different generations.
'Underground Women's State' wishes to become an audible voice for the right for women to decide about their lives. It wants to open a public debate, leading to the emergence of a civic movement for changing the law.
About the film and the people involved: http://www.podziemnepanstwokobiet.pl/
We will be screening the film along with Polish food and music, with discussion continuing on afterwards. Please come, everyone is welcome.
wed 9th june
doors open: 7pm
film showing: 8pm.
2-8 cave street,
Factory website: http://freefactory.wordpress.com/
Directions to the Factory: http://freefactory.wordpress.com/about/
04-06-2010 16:34"It has also been reported that the angle of some of the entry wounds indicates that the victims were shot from above. This suggests the Israelis did shoot from the helicopters as the activists have stated and as Israel has denied. No wonder the "brave IDF soldiers" had their faces covered with masks. Commiting murder is not they want their moms seeing them do. Or do they?"
04-06-2010 16:22An analysis of the connection between speciesism, sexism and racism, and how Creationist dogma is used to perpetuate animal abuse at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in North Somerset
NAZF MUST SHUT!
“They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of al the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to him, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka”
-Isaac Bashevis Singer “The Letter Writer”
Bristol Animal Rights Collective (BARC) began a campaign against Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in North Somerset after the scale of animal abuse was revealed last year. An investigation by the Captive Animal Protection Society investigations revealed illegal trade with circuses (including use of zoo animals for breeding), the suspicious death of Tira the tiger and her 4 cubs, and an unusually high number of animal deaths during the winter months. An undercover investigation revealed "animal abuse ranged from throwing live newborn rabbits into the bin to slamming live mice into the floor to kill them". NAZF has recently been thrown out of BIAZA (Trade Body for Zoos and Aquaria) and has recently received seven conditions on its license, following a council investigation.
Despite the recession, the controversy, NAZF reopened, and it keeps expanding, with new lion cubs, last week opening a vulture enclosure. It has just obtained planning permission for an elephant enclosure for 3-4 adult elephants.
Animal liberationists aim to falsify the idea that there can be any meaningful educational value in zoos. As CAPS has documented, behavioural changes dues to boredom, frustration and lack of exercise, artificial environments and a lack of social interaction all affect animals in captivity. Animals become a spectacle, entertainment to be consumed by humans. Most species kept in zoos are not protected or part of breeding or reintroduction programmes, and in truth, any funding received by zoos under a conservation banner would be better spent defending threatened habitats and protecting animals in the wild. At NAZF the “educational” value of animals is taken to another level....
"When freedom is offered, or at least attempted to be offered, one person may decide to kill or rape another. Men will go off the idea of marrying and having sex with women, because it is too much effort understanding the differences, so have sex with each other, or with young boys or girls, whom they can control, they think".
NAZF has a mission: to promote creationism, the religious belief that all animals, including humans, were made by a supernatural being. Creationism rejects science instead applying concepts such as “intelligent design” as a framework to explain a higher deity that created the earth. Anthony Bush, the owner of NAZF utilises the animals in his “collection” not only as entertainment, but as “proof” of his ideologies connected to the ark and other biblical “facts”. NAZF is a clear example of the dangers of pseudo-science in connection to “education” in zoos as it makes explicit the lack of scientific evidence for any displays of animals.
BARC has been contacting schools in the local area and universities to discourage them from attending the zoo, despite Bush's offers of free visits. The NAZF website claims that a trip to the zoo “can encourage and consolidate learning in many areas of the National Curriculum.” However, in the UK and the US creationism and claims to “intelligent design” have been thrown out of schools. When questioned about the zoo’s creationist agenda, the Head of Zoology at Oxford University, Professor Paul Harvey replied: “The zoo is conflating science with religion… This is educationally unacceptable.”
Andrew Copson, the British Humanist Association’s Director of Education, has also highlighted this danger: “The zoo misleads the public by not being open about its creationist agenda in its promotional activities...this is a real problem in their work with schools, since pupils visiting the zoo will be exposed to unscientific opinions which encourage a misunderstanding of the natural world.” The BHA have called for local authorities to advise their schools not to use Noah’s Ark for educational visits and have asked the South West England and Visit Britain tourist boards. In Amercia, the Kitzmiller v.Dover ruling (2005) concluded that intelligent design is not science and contravenes the constitutional restriction on teaching religion in public school science classes.
“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”
-Isaac Bashevis Singer
Even if NAZF was not a creationist enterprise, BARC would still be campaigning against it as a business which profits from and perpetuates animal cruelty. But the insidious psuedo-science must also be challenged, and we encourage other campaigns to join us in calling for the closure of NAZF. Bush makes no bones about his religious beliefs. In January last year he told the Church Times, “From the outside, our farm is not overtly Christian, but, from the inside, we are very strongly Christian. I am a Creationist, and we see the farm as a mission station to give people scientific permission to believe in God”.
Bush cites Hitler's interpretation of evolution to legitimise his concept of Aryan supremacy and the popularity that Darwinism had with Pol Pot, Stalin and Mao as grounds to discredit Darwin's theory. Yet as the signs displayed at NAZF reveal, Bush's views further promote racist categorisations and use distinctions based on external characteristics, a requirement of all “-isms”, from fascism to specieism.
The signs posted above need no explanation. There can be no educational value in this analysis of humanity. Other contraversial displays at the zoo offer “proof” of the Ark in the form of Hebrew texts about Gilgamesh. As the sign below shows, the creationist view point enables Bush to actually use the lack of proof of the arks existance as justification for a higher being, arguing that no “natural” agents could have constructed such a vessel. For many, this would be reason enough to discredit it's existance, not a justification for a “divine maker”.
Feminist critiques have exposed the links between patriarchy and speciesism. Karen Warren has outlined the “logic of domination” where women and animals are exploited through a two stage process. Firstly, objectification through dismemberment (real or figurative) and secondly through transformation into what Carol Adams has termed the creation of the “absent referent”. The labels used by NAZF in the sign above are a clear example of this process, where “othering” is used to create a false distance between creatures, enabling their instrumentalisation. Bush uses the concept of the three sons of Noah here to create this false distance, making arbitary racists groupings based on external difference, a common feature of fascist rhetoric.
NAZF is in breach of DEFRA's rules concerning education. Signs around the zoo call for visitors to make a “Prayer of Dedication of the Tiger Territory”, which asked God for his “special blessing on the tigers”. An investigation by CAPS highlighted has highlighted the mistreatment of the NAZF tiger population. Tira the tiger had 4 cubs. Three were stillborn. Tira died about 10 days after giving birth and the fourth cub, Tumkur, lived to about 3 weeks old. He was displayed every day up until his death. He was then frozen whole. TIra had her head, paws and skin removed. Her head was frozen and her paws, what was left of her body was illegally buried on the farm. As one worker described: “We skinned it. Cut the head off...Shoved it in a big hole.” The tigers don't need our prayers. They need direct action against this mistreatment.
“Other zoos say that apes are our closest relatives. But we are unique. We are made in the image of God. That is what needs to be taught in schools."
Animal rights activists have argued that specieism is an extension of the rhetoric which enables racism and sexism: if we make distinctions and judements based on external characteristics such as class, sex, race, we will always give preference to a dominant group. NAZF reveals the dnagers of this through it's use of creationist propaganda. Theology is mingled with the pseudo-science. Reason number 30 in the differences between man and apes argues that we cannot share a common ancestor because “Our belief in God can give us power to love the unlovable and values that are greater than physical life itself.”
“Seeing the other as radically separate and inferior, the background to the self as foreground, as one whose existence is secondary, derivative or peripheral to that of the self or center, and whose agency is denied or minimized."
Bush conflates homosexuality with paedophilia. His racist views enable him to objectify all creatures. In her analysis of eco-feminism Val Plumwood famously outlined how "the standpoint of mastery," creates views of the self and its relationship to the other associated with sexism, racism, capitalism, colonialism and domination over nature. Plumwood revealed how fetishisation of “the other” enables exploitation and oppression. Gendered dualisms, including "human/animal, mind/body... male/female, reason/emotion civilized/primitive." enable the perpetuation of specieist rhetoric.
The displays at NAZF are an excellent example of how racist discourse, like specieism and sexism, enables people to seperate, segregate, categorise and utilise other animals (including humans) for their own ends. According to the website, Bush claims that NAZF is “Taking an open, yet critical, scientific approach to explaining the origin and diversity of life.” Yet there is no scientifc basis for the outlandish claims of the owner. Bush has described the “grim and violent harvest of humanism” as an example of the failings of Darwinism, using the fact that Darwin's father had children with three different women and alcoholism in the family as “evidence” if the darkside of evolutionist theory.
The religious rhetoric surrounding NAZF can seem unbelievable, but it is vital that it is challenged. The quotes cited here from Anthony Bush have not been carefully editted, or selected, they are well advertised on his website, and he has also proudly told them to members of BARC. Bush describes the “moral vacum” that has occurred post-Darwinism.
“Persuading much of the West to view humans as naked apes, they did much to create a moral vacuum and stimulate the break down of family life....sexual anarchy in the West has produced serious social disorders. Widespread promiscuity has resulted in record numbers of sexually transmitted diseases..social abortions with both the physical and emotional damage done to the mothers; record numbers of co-habiting couples with much faster break-ups than marriages; record divorces..single parents..disfunctional families and a consequential higher prison population; record numbers of victims of violent crime. These have all been part of this sad harvest.”
This is not science. This is religious fanaticism which is utilising animals not only as objects to be consumed by humans, but as “proof” of social hierarchies. None will be free until specieism, racism and sexism are abolished. All are inherently violent, based on power relations that favour one group over another, and instrumentalise and segregate in order to perpertuate this relationship. It is not enough to ignore it, we must systematically dismantle this rhetoric and challenge those who espose it. The Close NAZF campaign is an opportunity to connect animal liberation to social justice issues and challenge those profitting from oppression of all creautres.
“Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty”.
-Albert Einstein, 1950
The BARC campaign is not targetting NAZF because it is creationist, it is targetting it because it has animals in captivity, a history of animal abuse, and uses animals as rationale for it's dubious “educational” claims. If NAZF had better enclosures, or did not have religious dogma accompnaying the animals, we would still resist it. But these are further reasons to join the campaign. Aquinas and Kant famously argued that we should be kind to animals because cruelty to animals leads to cruely to humans. This argument is rejected by animal liberationists who argue that this further adds to the instrumentalisation of animals: that they only have value as a referent to other humans. We should not be kind to animals because they are worthy of consideration, but because they have their own interests. Contrary to Bush's claims, birds do not sing to praise their maker. They sing for their own ends, and we will continue to fight until they can do this without religious interpretation, until they cease to be used to legitimise racist ideologies, homophobic discourse and sexism.....
UNTIL EVERY CAGE IS EMPTY..... CLOSE NAZF!
What can you do?
-Come to a NAZF demo, every Saturday, lifts from Bristol, leaving around 930.
Please join us for The International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos, a global event organized by IDA (In Defense of Animals).
-Get involved with BARC, we meet every other Wednesday: check the BARC wesbite. Next meeting 16th June 7pm, Kebele, Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JN.
-Contact those who licence and adveritse the zoo (full list http://closenaz.wordpress.com/).
-Help BARC contact school groups and educational establishments to discourage visits to NAZF, and generally spread the word about NAZF.
For more info
04-06-2010 16:09Today at 8:00am local time a large migrant squat in Calais got raided
04-06-2010 15:27This is my own account of one day spent in Calais.
To get a bigger picture, look at the Calais Migrant Solidarity site.
04-06-2010 15:22The names of the nine peace activists murdered by zionist commandos on Monday deserve to be honoured.
04-06-2010 12:39STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY from the STOP the War Coalition Philippines
04-06-2010 12:24Support is needed for the decommissioners during next week as the trial finally kicks off. Come along if you can.
04-06-2010 10:54The EDL are trying to set up a Jewish division which is bound to please some of the less tolerant amongst them.
SIX members of campaign group Trident Ploughshares protested silently inside the lobby of the Houses of Parliament in London for two hours on Thursday (3 June), calling upon the incoming government to honour its disarmament commitments by scrapping the Trident nuclear missile system and its planned replacement and signing up to a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
04-06-2010 10:17Two local pensioners are to walk 14 miles to deliver a petition to Leicestershire County Council asking for no further delay in UK Coal's Minorca opencast application. This the 58th press release from the Minorca Opencast Protest Group indicates how many have so far signed the petition and gives details about the walk which will begin at 7.00am on Thursday June 17th.
Carlson Wagonlit is contracted by the UK Border Agency to arrange the forcible deportation of migrants has been awarded the title of 'Deportation Profiteer of the Year'. Campaigners from the Stop Deportation Network today presented Carlson Wagonlit Travel with the award at its main offices in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.