It has come to our attention that a demonstration has been planned in Skegness, Lincolnshire to oppose a halal slaughterhouse. The nature of this demonstration has led to a take-over by the National Front, a racist, fascist organisation who have recently resurfaced after previously being forced off of the streets by anti-fascist campaigners in the 80s.
It is important that we don’t allow our belief in animal liberation to become narrow-minded, and blind to other social struggles. Instead, we should remember that it is all connected. All forms of discrimination are as much of a problem as one another, and animal liberation can never truly occur whilst racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination still exist.
The focus on halal slaughter is a sign of racial and cultural discrimination. When the U.K homes battery farms and companies like the East Anglian Pig Company (exposed by Animal Equality early in 2012) it cannot be argued that halal is “more cruel” than other practices in the UK. Instead, it gives fire to sentiments spread by far-right organisations such as the British National Party, National Front, English Defence League and others, who disguise racial hatred as patriotism, or in this case, animal rights. They have no interest in genuine animal liberation, only pushing their own political agenda. This is demonstrated when the National Front make statements such as “We are against halal and kosher slaughterhouses full stop – it’s alien to this country and we don’t want to see it here”.
As importantly, focusing on one form of slaughter suggests that other methods that are described as “humane” are acceptable. We feel it’s important that all slaughterhouses are seen to be as despicable as each other, as with any institution that enforces the belief that non-human animals are products to be used by humans. A campaign against one form of slaughter suggests that another method is ok and the spread of these ideas can lead to an increase in meat consumption and speciesist thought.
We believe that groups struggling for animal liberation should have militant anti-fascism as an intrinsic part of their politcs, and wherever and whenever fascism appears it should be met with strong opposition. It is, after all, part of our movement’s history – from the Justice Deparment’s letter bomb campaigns including BNP organisers, to the recent surge in support for the Animal Liberation Hallmarks, stating a rejection of all forms of domination and discrimination. And, let us not forget the cross over between hunt saboteurs and militant anti-fascists, recognised in a recent press release when the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated “the pro-hunt lobby always like to say that we only care about animals, however, the Hunt Saboteurs Association has a long history of being involved in anti-fascist campaigning and it continues to be one of our core values. It is the hunters who abuse both humans and animals”.
Following on in this strong animal liberationist tradition, we should refuse to stand shoulder to shoulder with these fascist mugs, and if they turn up on the 15th we hope they will be shown that they’re not welcome in Skegness or the animal liberation movement!