Naomi Wolf: "Mass Protest Always Works"
Naomi Wolf is a pioneering women's rights activist, Rhodes Scholar, consultant to presidential candidates (such as Al Gore), and widely-acclaimed social critic. She is, in other words, hardly a "radical."
And yet, after an extensive analysis of social movements through history, she not only supports, but understands the vital necessity for, mass direct action. Why? Because it always works:
For a protest to do anything, it has to disrupt business as usual. I don't mean violence. I mean dissent. Martin Luther King said sometimes it is important for the tension to rise up, for people to see that all is not well. You do that by stopping traffic. That's how citizens indicate that business as usual is not acceptable. The Founders did this all the time, up and down the eastern seaboard.
See the full interview here.
The animal rights movement is beginning to learn this lesson. We are beginning to learn that we will not be taken seriously, unless we are willing to speak and act honestly and confidently... to show that "all is not well."
Perhaps the best example is the controversial 269life movement in Israel. It is less than a year old, and yet it and similarly unapologetic campaigns have re-invigorated the Israeli animal rights community to the point that Charles Patterson, author of Eternal Treblinka, has called the Israeli animal rights movement a "light to the nations" and the "most likely candidate" for the first country in the world to endorse animal liberation. (Israel is 1/40th the size of the entire United States, yet thousands rally in a single city -- Tel Aviv, population: 0.4 million -- more than the rest of the world, combined!)
On August 24, we will follow the lead of the brave activists through history, who were not afraid to dissent, even in the face of rejection, ridicule, and powerful forces arrayed against them. We will no longer sit silently, and allow "business as usual," while our fellow Earthings are tortured and murdered
And we will take a small but important step, to building a mass movement for animal liberation.
Until Every Animal is Free.