Tag Archives: freedom

Uplifting and learning from the First Black Republic

IBW-haiti-photoI just read the report from Institute of the Black World’s Haiti Support Project Visit (January 15-19, 2014) and wow is it full of good stories and information. Check it out to learn about the past, present, and future of the world’s First Black Republic. There are lots of great photos and videos.

Stop the Jail Expansion!

stop the jail expansion

STOP BUILDING NEW CAGES, WE WANT SCHOOL AND LIVING WAGES

Prison Abolition Workshop

Thursday 2/13 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
GIAC, 301. W. Court Street (Downtown Ithaca)

The move to close prisons in New York has come alongside the push to expand county jails across the state. Within this statewide shift, Tompkins has been one of few counties actively resisting their local jail expansion.

In our attempt to understand what exactly is going on in our state, we will work with Jack Norton, a geographer who studies prison closures in Upstate New York. Learning about the history and geography of mass incarceration in New York will help us better understand our current struggle. Join us in work-shopping abolitionist organizing in Ithaca as we brainstorm messaging for our campaign to stop the Tompkins County Jail expansion, effective tactics, and next steps.

RSVP on Facebook

Do you support the rights of whales and dolphins?

If you support animal rights, sign the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins:

Based on the principle of the equal treatment of all persons;
Recognizing that scientific research gives us deeper insights into the complexities of cetacean minds, societies and cultures;
Noting that the progressive development of international law manifests an entitlement to life by cetaceans;
We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing.
We conclude that:

  1. Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
  2. No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
  3. All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
  4. No cetacean is the property of any State, corporation, human group or individual.
  5. Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
  6. Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
  7. The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.
  8. Cetaceans are entitled to an international order in which these rights, freedoms and norms can be fully realized.
  9. No State, corporation, human group or individual should engage in any activity that undermines these rights, freedoms and norms.
  10. Nothing in this Declaration shall prevent a State from enacting stricter provisions for the protection of cetacean rights.

Agreed, 22nd May 2010, Helsinki, Finland

Do you support this declaration? Click here to add your name.

Watch chimps being freed

Many chimps who have been used in American research experiments are being retired. Some of the chimps in this video are going outside for the first time since they entered the lab. Some “retired” chimps need to take anti-depressants. I’m not surprised.

Chimps aren’t the only animals who suffer in human laboratories. Click here to learn about effective alternatives to animal testing and click here to find products that aren’t tested on animals.

Loving sloths

If you haven’t heard, Kristen Bell likes sloths, and her husband, Dax Shepard, got one brought to their house for her birthday. Here they are telling the story in a cute segment from NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! (with a transcript if you prefer that over audio). And here’s the video they talk about in the segment — personally, I think it’s pretty adorable to see someone so excited to meet a sloth that they break down.

This story is so great on one level — I love that Ms Bell loves sloths so much. I love that her husband is so thoughtful to set this up for her because he knew it would mean so much to her, and that he’s so supportive and sweet about her emotional reaction. I love that when they got the sloth in their house that they were responsible about it, adjusting their homeowners insurance and bringing in a professional handler and a little play structure for the sloth — it looks like she mostly just played around while Kristen gazed at her adoringly. I also feel like it’s really great that humans are starting to love animals so much that this is a part of our popular culture.

On another level, and I hate to be a downer, but animals shouldn’t be treated like actors, or party entertainers, because they’re not able to consent to the situation, and are deprived of their autonomy. I guess I could imagine a situation where an animal is somehow orphaned and rescued, and for whatever reason can’t be rehabilitated to live freely in a safe, natural habitat, so they could maybe be a mascot for their species to help educate people about how awesome they are (some wolves come to mind, but don’t quote me on that). But why wouldn’t an animal in that situation be given safe haven at some sanctuary? For every two-toed sloth (or pony!) who has a lovely afternoon at an adoring fan’s birthday party, there are a whole lot of other animals who probably have a really crappy day sitting in a cage or being forced to do the same uncomfortable movie shot over and over and over. (This is why I’m such a fan of Andy Serkis.)

No judgements here for Kristen and Dax — they obviously have their hearts in the right place. But if we really love animals, how should we treat them, ideally? Is it appropriate for our love to be objectifying, focused on our own needs and desires? Or should love come with respect for others’ autonomy?

This is an ally

An ally is a person who stands up for those who are oppressed, even when that’s the unpopular thing to do. We vegans might primarily consider ourselves allies to animals, but hopefully we’re allies to oppressed human beings, too – and we can certainly learn from allies in other movements. Oppression is oppression is oppression.

Here’s an ally whose speech is close to my heart, since I’m queer and in love and wishing my country (and not just my state) would recognize Shira and I as married women. Get ready for a beautiful statement of support and love from Washington State Rep. Maureen Walsh (a Republican).

Via Via Wipe Out Homophobia