Support All Activists
from No Compromise Issue 5

By Bruce Freidrich

Hello friends. I am inspired and awed by the admirable level of vigilance which is so clear on every page of your journal. Thank you.

My only concern is the occasional attitude of the people who say "All or Nothing". I definitely understand and support the people who decide that the animals must be liberated NOW (or the restaurants-of-doom must be closed NOW, etc.), and I find the level of commitment commendable which says "Once arrested, I will not walk, talk, eat, or in any other way cooperate with my own arrest". Absolutely.

However, I hope that all of us will support anyone who sees the need to fight for the animals, in whatever way. I hope that we will support anyone who gets arrested for the animals, even if they decide to pay bail or fines, eat in jail, or whatever. Dialogue is fine, but censure is not. Emotions run high, but the ties of commitment (to the animals) should overcome our emotions and our judgementalism.

I speak, incidentally, from experience. I have been arrested many times (50+) for my actions in opposition to our country's domination system, have spent about two years in jails and prisons and have totally non-cooperated on multiple occasions. It has always been difficult, involving significant physical and psychological abuse. I totally recommend it as a worthwhile experience for anyone who wants to be in deeper solidarity with all the animals who have no voice, are not fed, are crippled, etc. More power to all of us who can truly understand this pain.

However, I must admit that I felt much more excited, much more willing to do actions, etc., when I intended to (at least) walk and talk-- to attempt to convince the police officers who were arresting me. I like being cordial, open etc. and find that police often respond well to this attitude. I believe that both tactics are legitimate and we should support all animal liberationists, regardless of their method of dealing with their arrest and the court system in general.

Basically, I come down strongly on the side of solidarity within the movement for animal rights. Our opposition has the money, the machines, the power. We have right on our side; let's not soil it by in-fighting.