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Walter Bond's Address to the Animal Liberation Forum 2011

   --"Animals need warriors for their defense not another subjective school of thought."

On Thursday, April 14, 2011 - opening night of the Animal Liberation Forum 2011 at CSU Long Beach - Walter Bond's recorded address was presented to an eager audience. The following is his transcribed essay:

Welcome comrades to the 2011 Animal Liberation Forum. I hope today finds you well and in good spirits. This weekend you will no doubt network with many good people, attend some great workshops and learn many tactics and various aspects of the movement for the total liberation of our animal sisters and brothers. As you participate in the weekend's events I want you to keep a few things in mind. First, security culture - had I more strictly adhered to those principles and never spoke of an action after it was done I would still be busy ruining animal exploiters' days and saving actual animals from a life of pain, death for no reason. Instead of spending time in a federal prison writing about what I wish I was still doing. But you will hear plenty about security culture this weekend. So you don't need a lecture from me as well. I only mention it to caution you to take it seriously.

More importantly, I would ask you to reject "paranoia culture". Paranoia, fear for no good reason, this does the cops and feds' work more thoroughly than any breech of security. Because without ever having to infiltrate any group of us, clandestine or above-ground, there is cop working full time in everyone of our minds. That paranoia dooms animals to death by keeping us frozen in our tracks and inactive in the most effective ways. The hour is late. This year more animals will be slaughtered at the hands of humans for the most trivial reasons than ever before in world history! And next year that number will rise again. The Earth is suffering at the hands of Western Civilization! Crying out in pain at the avarice of technocratic wickedness! There is no way to save all this and our asses at the same time. We need to embrace and demand a spirit of self sacrifice, bravery and teamwork no matter what our level of involvement. When we review other liberation struggles be it the Black Panthers, American Indian Movement, Suffragettes, Zapatistas, or the rioters at Stonewall, we will see at once that self sacrifice, courage and ferocity are unavoidable if your concern is success. It is better to act on your own terms than to react to the security forces of animal exploitation. When we choose the battlefield, the advantage is ours. When we play their game, we cannot see the road ahead and inevitable wreck that is waiting for us.

I don't know about you but I got sick of playing games in the name of liberation awhile ago. Animals need warriors for their defense not another subjective school of thought. Which brings me to my next point. Philosophy. Over the course of this weekend you will no doubt meet and talk to various people. We don't all see eye to eye on many issues and that's fine. Please make animal liberation and a love of this planet which we all inhabit the glue that sticks us together. We vegans have a personal opinion about everything. Which is understandable because we are thinking people but perfect adherence to philosophical denominations is not needed to become incredibly effective. That's because things like loving and fighting are intuitive and can even become hindered by excessive definition. Whether you are at a rally, home demonstration, or part of an underground cell, the vegan fighting by your side in the trenches is your sister or brother until actions prove otherwise. My wish for every single one of you is that this movement lives in your heart and guides your every action because once it does no can take it from you. And no one can validate it for you either. Demand more of yourself than you do of anyone else. And don't just be yourself but let others be themselves, for that is the true nature of leaderless resistance. Let your activity be your voice, words are cheap and easy. The only reason my words have weight is because of the actions that back them.

When I have seen or heard of activists turning against each other or being divisive over politics, religion or philosophy I find it incredibly disheartening. Not because of confrontation, that is just a reality of life. But because at that point a movement dissolves into a school of thought. A rhetorical theorem. And while we contemplate the origins of patriarchy and matriarchy, a million animals get stabbed in the throat, broken by the yoke, beaten for not performing for a crowd, murdered in toxicity tests for Tide and Bleach, forced inhalation by Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds. While we debate about topics of human interest, the last of the forest falls and the water turns to excrement and the world bleeds to death! A movement must move! Not spend 98% of its time in stasis, planning and posturing and 2% of the time putting its back into its beliefs.

And lastly, a few words about levels of involvement! There are many ways you can help animals, but make no mistake direct action is the most powerful. By direct action I mean anything that helps animals, now. I once knew a young woman who would travel the countryside of Colorado and go to places of animal abuse like ranches, turkey and chicken farms and just act cute and repetitively ask for an animal over and over, persistently, pretty please with sugar on top. She ended up with so many critters she had to purchase 30 acres to house everyone comfortably. That simple and legal action had has more profound of an effect than a million vegans at potlucks competing with each other about who feels the animals' pain the most. Or a hundred activists that write me to tell me they wish they could do what I have done. Saving actual animals' lives, costing animal abusers money, stopping the exploitation by any means necessary, educating people about the total abstinence from animal products: this is where our most successful efforts lay. Direct activism, legal or illegal, is morally justified and it works. It saves life today instead of planting seeds or waiting for ripple effects in a hopeful future.

In closing, have fun this weekend, learn what is needful and let this be the moment where you resolve yourself to make a difference in this world and the lives of suffering, innocent animals that desperately need your actions and cannot even see your posturing. Remember its not what you think or feel, but your actions that make you either part of the solution or part of the problem.
Animal Liberation, whatever it may take!

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