like to believe that our resistance to animal abuse and the destruction of the
natural world will bring about great change, but it stopped being about that for
me a long time ago. Maybe it stopped while I was a prisoner for four years for
torching that fur farm, or maybe it stopped this past spring when I watched sheriffs
deputies draw their nightsticks to protect chainsaw-toting thugs cutting thousand-year-old
The point is, I dont necessarily believe that Im
going to see the end of the fur trade, vivisection or even war in my time, let
alone the ushering in of a vegan society, but thats OK. What resistance
means to me is simply that resistance. Physical resistance to the destruction
of all life on planet Earth is our obligation.
Someone recently asked me
how, as a father of a young child, I could continue to take risks that might lead
to imprisonment. As painful as it would be to be separated from my son, the pain
of realization that comes from doing nothing against the greatest crimes of our
time would be much worse. It would be a crime in and of itself to do nothing and
to leave the evil of our present time as our childrens sole inheritance.
resistance is nothing new be it for animal liberation, old-growth forests,
or civil and human rights for our own species. We are part of the resistance that
began when humans started believing they were more important than everyone else,
when women were burned at the stake, when slaves first rose up and fought back;
thats when this resistance began.
In the year AD 61 the army of Boudicca
defended Britain from Roman invaders. Standing in her chariot, she addressed her
predominantly female soldiers.
Look round, and view your numbers.
Behold the proud display of warlike spirits, and consider the motives for which
we draw the avenging sword. On this spot we must either conquer or die with glory.
There is no alternative. Though a woman, my resolution is fixed: the men if they
please, may survive with infamy, and live in bondage.
She died that
day, but as a free woman.
To even think that its not worth it, or
that it doesnt make a difference, is to disrespect all of those who have
died knowing that hope for change in their time was as remote as freedom itself.
Resistance has been, and must become, the biological reaction to the destruction
of all that we love and all thats worth defending. The objectification of
the natural world and the criminalization of those resisting is not hundredsbut
thousandsof years old.
Unfortunately, in the last thousand or more
years, not much has changed. The systematic destruction of animal species, endangered
human cultures and the environment for economic and political gain still continues,
only a little more cleanly and distanced from its true cause. Instead of conquistadors
and Roman legions, we have corporate takeovers and Homeland Security. Whether
you are a member of a traditional indigenous community in this century or the
last, whether you were a practicing earth-worshipper now or during the Spanish
Inquisition, the Invaders that force the violent world they created upon us, as
opposed to this beautiful world already created, are still trying to break those
of U.S. in resistance.
Is this frightening? Yes. Is this discouraging? Absolutely
not; it is reason to fight on. Because where there is resistance, there is hope.
As long as one human being attempts to shake free from the yoke of oppression,
there is a chance that our resistance will survive until it is other peoples
turn to carry the torch.
It is a purely privileged and First World experience
to even consider giving up because of the fear of what might become of those willing
to stand up for what we believe. Repressions intent is to crush resistance.
But like the animals we defend, we must ceaselessly remain true to what we believe,
regardless of the cost. Otherwise were no longer livingwere
I cant help but remember the Chiricahua Apache war
shaman Geronimo, possibly the greatest guerrilla fighter of all time. In the summer
of 1886, with a band of eighteen warriors, thirteen non-fighting women (some of
the Apaches greatest warriors were women) and six children, Geronimo led
his people in a desperate flight for freedom. In pursuit were 5,000 U.S. troops,
1,000 Mexican military and a few hundred vigilantes. Academics call their historic
escape one of the most remarkable campaigns of guerrilla warfare ever witnessed
on the North American continent.
At the time of Geronimos outbreak,
many Apaches hated him. They blamed him with bringing down repression against
the rest of the Apache Nation. Those Apaches saw resistance as futile in the face
of such a superior enemy. It wasnt uncommon for Geronimo to force his own
people at gunpoint to escape the dreaded reservation with him. Some of those same
people attest to a Power that Geronimo possessed that kept him rooted in his identity
as a free Apache. A Power that came from an unflinching belief in a world greater
than any created by mankind. The same natural power and world we, as animal liberation
activists, believe still exists.
Through song and prayer, while being pursued,
Geronimo would call upon the Earth herself for protection. Apache survivors from
the 1886 breakout swear that in one nighttime escape from a U.S. military command,
Geronimo sung to delay the dawns light for two hours while his band crossed
a naked basin in Southern Arizona. Now, 120 years later, Geronimo is far from
being hated by his own people. Instead he is considered to be one of Native Americas
greatest heroes, because he kept fighting against all odds.
time, it was still a tactic of Geronimos to take children captive for the
purpose of training them to be full-fledged Apache warriors. A 11-year-old Irish-Mexican
boy snatched from a ranch in New Mexico burst into tears when he was freed
by U.S. soldiers and screamed in Apache that he didnt want to go back home,
but wanted to stay with Geronimo forever.
Kanseah, an 11-year-old Apache
boy, would later say of his warrior mentor, When the people were hungry,
Geronimo got food. When they were cold, he provided blankets and clothing. When
they were afoot, he stole horses. When they had no bullets, he got ammunition.
He was a good man.
The last Native American to challenge the U.S.
in the 19th Century would later say, Rather than see my race perish from
Mother Earth, I cared little, so long as I could direct the fighting and preserve
even a few of our people.
We are warriors. Like Geronimo, we must
fight and never lose hope if we are to remain true to the principles of animal
liberation. This struggle will not end in our lifetime. We are at the threshold
where the same forces that sought to contain the spirit of Geronimo and his people
on reservations, are now directing their pursuit towards the Animal Liberation
Front (A.L.F.) and the Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.), in an attempt to preserve
the Invaders worldview that demands that animals and the Earth remain property
to be exploited.
Now is the time to solidify our commitment towards fighting
for a better world. Seven federal grand juries and home invasions by armed federal
agents are simply evidence that we are having an impact. If Geronimo and thirty-seven
renegade Apaches could hold back the tide of Westward Expansion, theres
reason to believe our small movements can do the same towards preserving the natural
world and preventing animal exploitation.
There is no doubt in my mind that
most people in North America will continue to live their lives selfishly consumed
with their own pleasures and luxury. They have made their choice, conscious or
not, to deny any responsibility for the evil in the world today.
a time for heroes unafraid of taking a dangerous and unpopular yet righteous
stance. The Earth and her Animal Nations need more Geronimos, Boudiccas,
Frederick Douglases and Harriet Tubmans. Otherwise though we might not
win in our time well definitely lose. And the animal rights and environmental
movements will remain a part of the life-destroying system we oppose, providing
Band-Aids and temporary pain relief, at best, to the billions suffering under
mankinds bloodied fist.
When under attack, we must fight back. Now
is the time to ready ourselves for war. Its not enough to defend; we must
confront the real terrorists when they least expect it, in traditional guerrilla
warfare fashion, knowing that the spirits of all past rebels and resisters are
within us. Its time to be strengthened, not weakened, by recent FBI and
ATF attacks on our nonviolent supporters.
We are having an impact. The animal
abusers and earth destroyers are circling their wagons my friends; lets
not let our warriors in the A.L.F., E.L.F., Revolutionary Cells and other groups
down. Its time to fight with all the rage and love that the crimes we are
aware of deserve.
As the Lakota warrior Tesunke Witko (Crazy Horse) once
said after a U.S. attack on his village, Let these arrows be my tears.