THE ROJAVA REVOLUTION IN FIRST PERSON

Received anonymously:

“For years I had heard all these stories about Rojava – great stories of resistance, heartbreaking stories of comrades falling Sehid (martyr), being remembered through tears, laughter and action, and of difficulties. It had always caught my attention; this place, so far away from our reality. A place where I don’t need to fear the police raiding my house, but instead fear the bombs and drones Turkey sends over. The hope that shines in people’s eyes when they talk about Rojava and the fact that many of my beliefs are being put into practice there, was also something that had always caught my attention.

Now, I am here, living many of the things I had only heard about previously. In just the short time I have been here, Turkey has assassinated several comrades, including two YPJ commanders who were part of the famous resistance against ISIS in Kobane. They were wounded there and had been living in a house for comrades wounded in war. Yet, there is silence from the so-called democratic western states admit such clear war crimes. Only days later, I went to a march demanding the freedom for Abdullah Öcalan; we were thousands marching together through the city. And most beautifully, the same wounded friends who survived the attacks only days before were leading the march, showing the spirit of “no pasaran! Em nacim! You will not get through and we will not leave!”.

The revolutionary spirit cannot be denied here, whether it is in the streets talking to people, visiting families who have been part of the Kurdish movement for decades or spending time together with the small team of internationalists who have traveled a long way to get to know the Rojava Revolution.

So, I will try to write a small regular update on Rojava, the developments here, and how I connect it to the broader anarchist and liberationist political movement that we are all part of.”

MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE ACTIVISTS VISIT CJ HUGHES EQUIPMENT RENTALS IN HUNTINGTON, WV.

(Compiled from local and National Media Scources)

Huntington, WV, January 2024

In January, a group of pipeline protestors showed up at CJ Hughes Equipment
Rentals complex, located in Huntington WV

Activists disrupted the workday for their largest office administration
building with spray foam, glitter, barbecue sauce and more. The protestors
made their message clear, “Anyone partnering with MVP is a target, and
will not be allowed to continue with business as usual.

CJ Hughes is a WV based equipment rental company that specializes in
pipeline projects, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline. They also provide
services like directional drilling and hydrostatic testing for fracked gas
pipelines across the region.

#NoMVP #StopMVP #NoPipelines

SABOTAGING HUNTS: JANUARY ROUND UP

[Image credit: @severnvalesabs]

The main hunting season has passed the half-way point and many are starting to feel it drag on. But groups remain active. Some have even visited two hunts in one day, as seen by Glasgow Hunt Sabs and, separately, Staffordshire Hunt Sabs. Though there was plenty of success with disrupting the efforts to kill wildlife, some sabotage groups were on the receiving end of violence. Northants Hunt Sabs were attacked two weeks in a row and then had their windscreen smashed the following week, all during meets of the Cottesmore Hunt. In a statement, they claimed this was a result of continued pressure put on the hunt that they described as ‘wounded’. Behaviour such as this is a sure sign of desperation and has been carried out in a similar way by many hunts that have folded in the past. They later stated; ‘no matter what they throw at us they should always expect us’.

South Coast Hunt Sabs were also assaulted and had a vehicle smashed on New Year’s by the South Down & Eridge with East Sussex & Romney Marsh, who recently amalgamated. Historically, both of these hunts have a reputation for violence and is likely to continue. Be this as it may, the development is big news. They are also advertising for a new huntsman, which suggests things aren’t going well. Last year saw an amalgamation in Kent, resulting in the large county only have one fox hunt left. With both of these developments in mind, this means that hunt sabotage groups in the South East of England now have fewer to contend with, giving them the opportunity to concentrate efforts and shut down those left remaining for good.

It was reported that, despite the best efforts of Plymouth and West Devon Hunt Sabs, The Lamerton Hunt killed a fox whilst hunting Dartmoor National Park. The actions of the hunt just a week earlier resulted in the death of two hounds who were run over on a public road. Like wildlife, hounds are treated as a commodity with little to no regard for their safety or wellbeing. As hunts continue to breed thousands of hounds a year, they subsequently create more life that is subject to suffering. An end to hunting not only means less suffering for wildlife, but also an end to an animal industry.

In December, North Dorset Hunt Sabs used a drone to capture video footage of the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale hunting and killing a fox, which was later broadcast on national TV on Channel 4 News in January. This evidence, aided by receiving mainstream coverage, has forced the governing body of fox hunting to suspend the hunt. Though this response by the governing body is purely to save face, the hunt is unable to continue for the foreseeable future which is undoubtably good for local wildlife but also means that the hunt will take a financial hit from the lack of income generated by mounted hunt supporters who pay to participate. This is one example of how utilising opportunities to show the realities of hunting through mainstream media has played an important part in sustaining public outrage and maintaining pressure against individual hunts as well as hunting in general.

Drones has become more of a regular piece equipment in the sabotaging toolkit, as seen by Cumbria and Lancashire Hunt Sabs who focus their efforts on fell packs; non-mounted fox hunts. With having to operate in challenging vast rugged terrain, drones help to locate and gather evidence of hunts who are increasingly having to rely on trespassing to hunt. It was reported that this includes land owned by the National Trust, Forestry England, Lake District National Park Authority, United Utilities, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, and Butterfly Conservation, as well as areas that have status of being a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The sabotage group also state that a growing network of landowners has formed to tackle hunt trespass on their land, adding pressure from the local community against a form of hunting that is already depleting in support. Pressure from local and large landowners could be enough to cause for dwindling hunts to disband. Sabotage helps to make that happen sooner.

The intensive badger cull may have finished months ago but supplementary culling has continued. Though shooting free roaming badgers at night continued until February, regulations stipulate that cage-trapping should cease on the 1st December. Be that as it may, some involved in culling leave their killing mechanisms laying around. Severn Vale Hunt Sabs came across some and made sure they can no longer trap again, and reaffirms the importance of checking up on badger setts, especially that have previously been targeted. Northamptonshire Badger Group, for example, have been busy checking setts and used this to train others, which emboldens locals to take action where necessary and doubles up as a wholesome activity in appreciating the activity of wildlife.

NO LIFE LIKE THE WILD

BANHADO RESISTE, A FAVELA STRIVING FOR AN ANARCHIST FUTURE.

submission via email:

Dear friends and comrades from the whole world: we’re addressing you this email to show what we are suffering and to show you our struggle.

Down here, in the third world, Latin America, Brasil, things are getting tougher everyday. To live here is to live exploited by the rest of your life receiving a minimum wage, and this talking about those who are privileged enough to receive a minimum wage – but there are those who don’t have nothing.

In the favelas for example, very common in Brazil, we fight everyday for the past 100 years against the State, the Police and the Capital.

In this context, the Favela do Banhado, located in the city of São José dos Campos, Brazil, is leading a “green revolution” against the gentrification and the speculators, against the Prefecture and the Judiciary, and against the Police and the Media.

Through a hard, class counsciousness, grassroots envoronmentalist struggle, Banhado is showing to the world it’s beauty and it’s fight. And this fight, is just like David against Goliath.

We are waging a campaign at FireFund.net to raise 15.000 euros to completely transform our community. It’s sad but it’s true: if the State don’t stand for the people, we can only do things with money.

With your support and the help of other “privileged” countries, we can make huge and even miracle things happen down here, at the third world.

Help us transform the Favela do Banhado into a turistic, left-wing, ecological, spot in São José dos Campos.

For more information: www.firefund.net/banhadoresiste

You can also get in touch with us on Instagram: @banhadoresiste

SABOTAGING HUNTS: DECEMBER ROUND UP

Image credit: @caldervalleyhuntsaboteurs

The month began with a sharp frost that resulted in a number of hunts deciding it was too cold to go out. Some remained committed to killing wildlife however but were successfully prevented, as seen by Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs who forced the Broomhead Beagles to give up on their plans to hunt mountain Hare. Foot packs have previously been advised by their governing body that they should pack up if confronted by saboteurs and is testament to their lack of confidence in their ability to protect themselves legally and their diminishing public image. In this case, wildlife protection can come as a result of simply turning up. The group’s efforts were dedicated to a colleague from Staffordshire who had sadly lost their life recently. Severn Vale Hunt Sabs also continue to utilise Hare hunting’s vulnerability, as seen in a recent report which saw them shutting down both the Royal Agricultural College Beagles and Dummer Beagles in the same day.

Unfortunately, not all efforts in hunt sabotage can be successful due to a variation of factors that can work heavily against the hunted animal. North Dorset Hunt Sabs reported that at least one fox was killed during a meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt. In addition to this, despite the best efforts of Beds and Bucks Hunt Sabs and Peterborough Hunt Sabs, who successfully prevented multiple foxes being killed by the Fitzwilliam Hunt, hounds rioted and killed a Muntjac Deer. These outcomes can be hard on those who take action against hunting, but the fact remains that many more wild animals would suffer if not for their continued efforts. Evidence of this can be seen in an abundance of reports published by sabotage groups across the UK and Ireland.

The festive period includes some of biggest calendar dates for hunting and comes with increased violence and hostility to saboteurs and members of the public who oppose bloodsports. Tensions are much higher and are often fuelled by excess alcohol consumption and backed by higher numbers of hunt supporters who are in attendance. On the 23rd December, the windows of Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs vehicle were smashed in a premeditated attack. Devon County Hunt Saboteurs also had a window smashed during a meet of the Eggesford Hunt, while Northants Hunt Sabs had their tyres slashed at a Cottesmore Hunt meet. Suffolk Action for Wildlife also reported that the Essex and Suffolk Hunt killed a fox.

Boxing Day is arguably the busiest day in hunting. Traditionally, hunts will celebrate by parading hounds to members of the public in a town or village and is followed by hunting. Historically this attracts large amounts of supporters and acts as a way of raising money. Since hunting was banned under the Hunting Act 2004, the celebration is also utilised as a way of cleaning up the image of hunting, with some spectators unaware that the hunting of wildlife does in fact continue.  Opposition to hunting has had, and continues to have, a presence however, with protests being held during the parades and saboteurs on hand to disrupt hunting activity.

The vast majority of sabotage groups, if not all, were active on Boxing Day with too many to mention in this report. However, despite the challenges, efforts against were largely successful with many hunts unable to kill wildlife. Some were even reduced to stick to trail hunting; a sight unthinkable in the past and testament to their changing landscape. It is, however, important to not get ahead of ourselves and remember the challenges that remain against wildlife defence. Violence against saboteurs continued, including against the Wight Saboteurs who suffered an extremely serious eye injury during the meet of the Isle of the Foxhounds. Brighton Hunt Saboteurs also reported that protesters were arrested following violence they had received by supporters of the South Down and Eridge Hunt. Unfortunately, Glasgow Hunt Sabs also reported that a fox was killed after being shot by The Jedforest Hunt who were hunting on the Scottish borders.

Other tactics are utilised in the run-up to Boxing Day meets. For traffic and crowd control reasons, hunts usually apply in advance to the local authorities and/or councils to secure permission for a parade and other such logistics such as road closures. Campaigns to ban these parades, therefore, becomes a logical step in the demise a hunt due to how this will affect their public image and fundraising efforts. An example of this can be seen by Action Against Foxhunting who, in advance of the Southdowns and Eridge Hunts attempts to apply for permission to parade hounds through Lewes, applied for a charity wheelbarrow race in support of Lewes Food Bank. The application was successful and proved how there could be a fun alternative which would also be beneficial for the local community.  However, due to increasing threats of violence from hunt supporters as well as the hunts defiant intention to parade regardless, which organisers feared would result in premediated confrontation from hunt supporters, the charity event was cancelled. In a statement, Action Against Foxhunting made it clear this decision came at prioritising safety of the general public and the participants of the event. In effect, the Southdowns and Eridge Hunt sabotaged a food bank and should serve as a reminder that hunting not only has contempt for wildlife but also for human life as well.

Though some may see the hunt as victorious, it is important to recognise how important this event is to a hunt and, therefore, the need to continue pressure against it. Campaigns to permanently ban hunts from parading takes time, requires patience and continued pressure from the community; something that is clearly gaining momentum in Lewes. Historically, these campaigns have been won and will no doubt be achieved again. Some may question the impact of small victories but it is important to recognise that hunts operate by maintaining a support structure. Each victory is an attack on that structure and, with fewer structural elements to rely on, a hunt will inevitably collapse.

The festive period is seen as a middle point for the fox and hare hunting season. As the vast majority of sabotage groups have remained consistently active for months (not including cub and leveret hunting), it is understandable that some are feeling tired. Messages of support, donations and purchases of merchandise go a long way in showing appreciation for what they do. Tip-offs are also vital and can directly result in wildlife protection.

NO LIFE LIKE THE WILD

MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE ACTIVISTS FOLLOWED AND HARRASSED.

(Reports from local media)

As Mountain Valley Pipeline and its benefactors become more desperate to complete this pipeline, protestors have seen increased violence from workers, malicious prosecution in the courts, and a complicit police force willing to carry out the dirty work of the state. Despite these unprecedented levels of repression against pipeline protesters in this region, people are still finding ways to disrupt work where possible. Today, folks decided to take back their own roads.

Across three locations at least 30 pipeline workers were slowed, stuck behind protesters in cars and on bikes. These actions not only slowed down work but also put the brakes on workers who have been known to drive recklessly. There have been reports of a high frequency of of DUIs among pipeline workers, as well as complaints from those who live along the routes they use to get to work. As long as MVP construction on this pipeline persists, people will continue acting to ensure MVP will not be allowed to damage the environment and endanger local communities.

Join the fight against the MVP: bit.ly/aapintakeform

PROTEST OUTSIDE OF MAX MARA IN ATHENS.

We’ve received a reportback from a protest agains Max Mara in Athens.

“Protest outside the MaxMara store #FurFreeFriday

On Saturday, November 25, members of the Open Antispeciesist Assembly in Athens, Greece, held a protest against the fur industry outside the MaxMara store in Kolonaki.

“We chose this specific store, to support a global campaign that has cbeen ongoing since the summer against major fur companies that continue to sell fur from tortured animals. For almost an hour, we managed to blockc the entrance of the store with banners and disrupt the smooth flow of goods and customers on a Saturday morning. In this context, flyers were distributed to passersby and slogans were chanted.

NO ANIMAL IS A COMMODITY – NO MORE BLOOD FOR THEIR PROFITS

BOYCOTT EVERY COMPANY THAT TORTURES AND MURDERS ANIMALS FOR PROFITS

TOTAL STRUGGLE AGAINST THE STATE AND EVERY FORM OF AUTHORITY”

SABOTAGING HUNTS: NOVEMBER ROUND UP – THE FRONTLINES

[Image credit: @glasgowhuntsabs]

The main hunting season in the UK & Ireland is in full swing. Equally, so are the efforts to prevent packs of hounds from killing fox, hare and deer. With the demise of hunting in Scotland, hunt saboteurs from Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond have taken their efforts across the border to support those in the north of England, including against the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Foxhounds and the North Cumberland Hunt. Though using packs of hounds to hunt has effectively been criminalised in Scotland, activity of the remaining hunts continues to be monitored.

In England and Wales, where hunting is technically legally restricted, hunts continue to operate how they please. Despite the best efforts of Devon County Hunt Sabs, a fox was killed by the Eggesford Hunt during their opening meet. In a statement, they confirm that though they continue to share evidence with the police, they know they are not interested and that is why saboteurs continue to take direct action themselves.

A deer was also attacked by hounds of the Puckeridge and Essex Hunt whilst attempting to hunt a fox. Hunting the wrong animal, known as ‘rioting’, is simply seen as collateral damage to those involved in or in support of hunting, with deer and domestic pets being the most common victims. Hunt saboteurs from groups East Herts and East Northants, as well as Herts Wildlife Monitors, were able to intervene and prevent a kill.

Some hunts however, intend to hunt deer. Failing to successfully hunt and kill a hind, hunt staff from the Quantock Staghounds attacked saboteurs from North Dorset and Mendip after they had called off the hounds. Multiple saboteurs sustained injuries, including to the head, with one having to be taken to hospital. The camera containing evidence was also smashed. Violence was also seen at a meet of the South Shropshire Hunt, where a terrierman used their quad bike to run down an opponent, whilst they hunted on land they had no permission to be on. It is reported they suffered a broken leg.

Rumours are circulating that the Suffolk Hunt may turn to drag hunting; a form of hunting where hounds follow a genuine artificial scent. This is not to be confused with trial hunting, which was created in response to the Hunting Act 2004 and is used as a guise of illegal hunting. In recent years, this hunt has been consistently sabotaged by multiple groups including North London and Suffolk & Essex. The pressure has caught up with them and resulted in the huntsman and other staff walking away. Failing to replace these fundamental roles has meant they have had to split their hounds into neighbouring packs. The Suffolk Hunt are hanging on by a thread. Direct action has been a major part of this achievement and shows that, regardless of their reputation, any hunt is capable of collapse.

A number of hunts have traditioned to drag hunting since the ban which reaffirms that they can do it, it’s simply a choice. Though there are legitimate concerns of continuing to breed hounds and horses for this purpose, at least drag hunting operates without the need to kill wildlife, trespass and cause danger to road users. Hunts who refuse to transition, or simply disband, will continue to feel the pressure from hunt saboteurs and the wider community.

An abundance of hit reports were published by sabotage groups throughout the month, with too many to mention here. For updates and other developments, find your local group online and follow them on social media platforms. Support can also be given, and tactics can be replicated, abroad. Skill sharing can begin simply by networking online.   

November has also seen a mixture of results within the legal world. Chris Mardles, former member of the Pytchley with Woodland Hunt, was found guilty of using his horse to ride down a saboteur from Northants, causing multiple broken bones, a punctured lung and required airlifting to hospital. The prosecution took 3 years but resulted in an 18-month prison sentence.

In complete contrast, a member of the Cottesmore Hunt who intentionally trampled a saboteur and later arrested for ‘attempted GBH’, was found not guilty. Hertfordshire Hunt Sabs stated that this was because of the influence of positive character references from his mother-in-law as well as Lady Sarah McCorquodale, the sister of Princess Diana. Ultimately

NO LIFE LIKE THE WILD

SABOTAGING HUNTS: OCTOBER ROUND UP

 Image credit: @derbyshireagainsthecull

Action against the intensive badger cull continued throughout October. Many speculate about the political interests of culling badgers in the future, following recent statements from politicians but, even if it were to be ‘phased out’ by a successive government post-election, much of the damage has already been done as 210,000 badgers already murdered since 2013. Besides, this has not stopped the 29 zones from continuing this year, which has maximum target of 24,000 individuals, and is unlikely going to make a difference to the government licenses that have been issued for the upcoming years. These figures are incredibly bleak but they could be much higher if it wasn’t for the action being taken against cage trapping and free-shooting. The desperation to kill has been quite obvious with Underground Badger Syndicate smashing cages soon after they had been replaced, multiple times. This repetitive behaviour was also seen by Derbyshire Against The Cull, joined by neighbouring hunt sabotage groups, who have stopped the same shooters night in, night out. Hunt saboteurs elsewhere in the country have responded to cages they have found, sometimes while out stopping a cub hunt, showing that anyone can produce results by checking up on a local sett. Intensive culling is intended to be carried out over a 6-week period but licenses in multiple zones have been granted extensions, which is a strong indication that direct action is causing major problems for badger killers.

Proposals for badger culling in Northern Ireland have been foiled following a judicial review spear headed by Wild Justice and Northern Ireland Badger Group. Though there is likely to be further pressure from Northern Ireland’s Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to appease wildlife killing farmers, there is a relief that for now that the plans to kill 4,000 badgers a year aren’t going ahead.

Fox and Hare hunts have continued to feel the pressure as they attempt to hunt fox cubs and leverets in preparation for the upcoming main hunting season. Sabotages groups across the UK have been relentless, with some active multiple times of the week, including West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs who were out 6 days in just one and Mendip Hunt Sabs who disrupted three hunts in one day. Later in the month, some hunts had their ‘opening meets’, which mark the start of the main hunting season, such as the Pimpernel Beagles who were forced to pack up on the first day of the hare hunting season following the arrival of saboteurs from North Dorset. Two saboteurs from this group were also targeted at their homes and had vehicles attacked, following the groups’ sustained pressure on the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt. They responded by stating ‘as history has shown, violence never makes sabs go away’ and that they continue undeterred.  Alongside other sabotage groups as well as Wildlife Guardian, they also have targeted stag hunts throughout the month.

New legislation in Scotland came into affect on 3rd October, which is believed to close loopholes in a previous law and effectively outlaw hunting with packs of hounds. Though it is important to understand the limitations of political reform and that the state is not the answer, this legislation has undoubtedly been a disaster for hunting. The Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire Hunt, who have existed for 250 years, have already folded while the Fife Foxhounds have claimed to switch to drag hunting; where hounds hunt a genuine non-animal based scent, unlike trial hunting. Glasgow Hunt Sabs stated: “Our sabs along with our predecessors have worked tirelessly for decades, working towards this momentous day.” Though sabotage groups played a considerable of part in this, this achievement is an example of how communities and wider society, using a variation of methods, can pressure the government to make change. The behaviour and longevity of the 8 remaining hunts in Scotland is yet to be seen, and will not go unchallenged.

Paul Allman, a hunt saboteur from Stockport Monitors who was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, has been released. Messages of support and solidarity to him via the group are still appreciated as adjusting to life after prison can be difficult. His incarceration should be a reminder that the legal system is ultimately not on our side, even if there we have the odd legal victory. The state is not the answer. We are.

NO LIFE LIKE THE WILD