August 10 was Prison Justice Day, a day to remember all the men, women and youth who have died in prison. In Vancouver, a Memorial Rally was held with speakers including ex-prisoners and anti-prison activists.
So what does all this have to do with those other animals? Where is the justice for all the caged nonhuman animals?
Andy Stepanian – member of the SHAC 7, who were convicted on “animal enterprise terrorism” charges for campaigning to shut down a notorious animal testing lab, Huntingdon Life Sciences – has said, “I oppose the prison industrial complex and all forms of oppression. I don’t relish seeing a single piece of kindling thrown into that fire no matter how despicable the animal-abusing wretch is…. I think we need to get proactive in healing our culture’s illnesses, and in turn these abusers — whom I see as symptomatic — will be a less-frequent phenomenon.”
On today’s show we chat with Prison Justice activists about animal liberation, prison abolition, and why prisoner solidarity should be a key component of the animal rights struggle.
Prison Abolition is Animal Liberation
On today’s show we chat with Professor Kim Socha from Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. Kim is a Director with the Institute for Critical Animal Studies and has just released a book “Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde: A Paradigm for Animal Liberation” as part of the Critical Animal Studies series at Rodopi Press.
Dr. Socha discusses the intersections between the prison system and animals and why we ought to be wary of Animal Rights organizations that advocate for harsher sentences for animal abusers. Kim talks to us about alternate models for the prison system and why it is that those of us who care about animals should also care about prisoners and the prison system.
We will also be chatting with Sue Brown, who spoke at the Prison Justice Rally on August 10th. Sue worked for Justice for Girls, a non-profit organization that promotes freedom from violence, social justice and equality for teenage girls who live in poverty.
In today’s episode, Sue talks to us about animal rights activists unfortunate enough to end up behind bars. She tells us what it means to be vegan in prison and why prisoner solidarity is an important action we ought to be engaging in as people who care for animals.