WHY CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE?

Many people, even other vegans, will tell activists who use the tactic of civil disobedience that they are extreme, that they are making vegans look bad. This is no new idea.

In the fight for women’s voting rights, Emmeline Pankhurst was called “militant” for her confrontational activism, which often resulted in arrest. It was not just men but also other female suffragettes who criticized her abrasive methods. Yet, hers is the name who history remembers over the women who asked politely for their right to vote.

In the Civil Rights Movement, the four student activists who performed the first sit-in against segregation in Greensboro, NC were met with ridicule and disbelief, even in the black community. When they began their protest, the black waitress at the counter said to them, "Fellows like you make our race look bad." Within 10 years, of course, tens of thousands of activists were doing the same, and the forces of racial oppression were on the retreat.

Every act of resistance inspired others to do the same. Every word of dissent made it easier for subsequent dissenters to raise their own voices.

We won’t end animal exploitation by asking nicely. We must boldly challenge social norms and even laws when they are unjust, to demand an end to this atrocity with the urgency that it deserves.

At last year's conference, activists liberated six dying birds from a slaughterhouse in San Francisco.

At last year's conference, activists liberated six dying birds from a slaughterhouse in San Francisco.

If you believe in the power of civil disobedience, join us in May at the Animal Liberation Conference in Berkeley where we will challenge injustice together.