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National - Event Notice
Wednesday May 07 2014
07:00 PM

"Living the Great Refusal" - strategies for living without capitalism instead of existing within it

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | event notice author Friday May 02, 2014 12:17author by Deborah - The Vegan Information Project Report this post to the editors

A consensus-based workshop to explore the theory, ethics, and practicalities of resistance to an oppressive system.

The Great Refusal is a concept associated with the political theorist Herbert Marcuse who was an influential member of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. This talk and workshop will look at Marcuse's position and apply it to 21st century capitalist oppression.

1. A short introductory talk on political theorist Herbert Marcuse's concepts of the "great refusal" and the "liberated imagination," and how they are not only relevant but essential to our understanding of living as vegan anarchists in a speciesist capitalist world. Q&A to follow.

2. Discussion and workshop on Marcuse's theory and its relevance to our own lives and struggles as activists, with reference to the following issues:

"False needs" and consumer culture - identifying and combating this most insidious form of capitalist tyranny.
The capitalist invasion - of our space, communities, bodies and minds: how it defines us and how to redefine ourselves.
"Ivory tower revolutionaries" vs community building? - how to reject hypocrisy while connecting with others living under the system.
Marcuse's "radical consciousness" - how to make this aspiration a reality, and make freedom in a world of unfreedom.
Practical strategies/ideas for creative resistance and how to implement them.
Personal stories of living outside the system and fighting the system, sharing experience and real life techniques.

Related Link:

Caption: Herbert

author by vgpublication date Wed Apr 30, 2014 21:17Report this post to the editors

by James Heartfield

"Is self-styled revolutionary Russell Brand really just a 'Brocialist'? Is Lily Allen's feminist pop-video racist? Is lesbian activist Julie Bindel a 'Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist' Is Respect MP George Galloway a 'rape apologist'? Welcome to the world of 'intersectionalism' - or what we used to call sectarianism...." Read on.

Related Link:
author by fredpublication date Sat May 03, 2014 07:33Report this post to the editors

I hope this is not more Intersectionalist divisive sectarian stuff.
That crap is toxic to what's left of the left.

Probably started up by state provocateurs who wanted to mop up what remains of left groups
by getting them all to bicker and fight over personal rights minutae while rome burns under neoliberalism.

United we stand, divided we fall. Intersectionalism is totally divisive.

see here for some examples:

Attack on the casa
Catholic among the pigeons

The link on the previous post is well worth reading

author by angelcakepublication date Sun May 04, 2014 14:36Report this post to the editors

hi fred ,
i am sorry to here that you think these workshops are a plot by state provocateurs .to my knowlege, you were not present at the workshop on intersectionality theory which you are so eager to discredit . so could you xplain wher this conviction comes from ? it seems to me divisive behavior in itself,jumping to conclusions about the motives/agenda of other social movement activists without understanding what they are doing.
intersectionality is the antithesis of sectarianism . could you xplain how you equate a theory based on a critique of socialy constructed divisions between movements ,as wel as an apresiation of ther commonalitys ,with an effort to encourage faction fighting or movement 'cliques' ? im sorry but to me this is plain nonsense ,based on complete lack of understanding of what intersectionality means .
i await your clarification of your position with interest .

author by Viva La Veganpublication date Sun May 04, 2014 14:48Report this post to the editors

I am left very puzzled by the comments above. First there is some complete
misconception of intersectionality, which in this distorted way is presented as a threat
to the whole left movement coming from " the state provocateurs". I think it is almost needless
to say how far the intersectional vision is from sectarian and divisive.
I very much question the intention behind these comments as an attempt to discriminate the idea
of the Great Refusal. Also why is it so threatening to you that people can gather and think for themselves on
how to live freely, not following the system's norms as living accordingly or rebelling within the frame of single
issue mind set ( for instance class struggle and nothing else). To me it just proved the necessity of the workshops
like this and I am so going to go for it now. Hope to see you there too for an open and honest dialogue.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sun May 04, 2014 14:57Report this post to the editors

I have been 'phoned about the authorship of certain comments and postings under name of ' fred.' I wish to make it absolutely clear that the writer of these comments is NOT me and that I have not used Indymedia for some considerable time. For instance, the above topics are completely foreign to me and I know nothing about them and subsequently could not comment on them. I do wish the author named ' fred' would reveal his or her real or full identity. I repeat that I am NOT that author.

author by fred fanpublication date Sun May 04, 2014 22:38Report this post to the editors

I'm not either fred either.

But fred gives a good warning about intersectionists. They will do anything they can to split the left. Falsely accusing people of racism, sexism and of being rape apologists if you defend Assange against extradition.

Most of them are just fools, life-style anarchists, but there are unsavoury characters.

Watch how they infiltrate prisoners organisations, both Republican and Islamic. Well, MI5 & MI6 have to keep busy somehow.

author by Blaisepublication date Mon May 05, 2014 08:39Report this post to the editors

Beware of splittists - they are only trying to confuse, divide and paralyse people. Ignore the whole lot of them and their convoluted, mind-bending ideas. The CIA couldn't have made them up. These timewasters are doing the CIA's work for them however.

author by angelcakepublication date Mon May 05, 2014 10:18Report this post to the editors

@ authors of both the above comments -
you seem to asume that intersectionality theory is merely an excuse to 'falsely acuse ' other activists of opressive behavior . is one suposed to ignore genuine instanses of opressive behavior in the interests of social movement cohesion ? false acusations,finger pointing an faction fighting within social movements are nothing whatever to do with intersectionality .i abhor this petty,counter-revolutionary behavior evry bit as much as you do. but i would claim that such things hapen presisely BECAUS of a poor understanding of intersectionality - one major implication of this theory being that we are all on the same side an fighting opressions that hav a common cause .
as a hypothetical xample of what i mean - if i attend ,say, an anti-capitalist demo or action of some sort,an a male activist starts behaving opressively towards me as a woman (which ,i can asure you,hapens more often than self-satisfied privileged white male 'lefties' of all political persuasions r willing to acnowlege ) i am going to call him on it then an ther. i make no apologys for doing this ,an reject with indignation the sugestion that i would do so to be 'divisive' .i would do so because i hav evry right to do so,an because i consider that a person who is fighting one form of opression while partisipating in another is ,at best, in need of a broader understanding of the effects of her/his actions ,or ,at worst, a complete hypocrite .
i am angered by those (predominantly male ,significantly) activists on the 'left' who focus xclusively on class struggle ,an reject other social justice issues as irelevant or insidental . i am not asuming that the authors f the above posts are such people nesessarily ,but the claim that any effort to broaden our understanding of commonalitys between opressions is 'divisive' is pretty typical of this sort of person .
so ,on this theme - what would you recomend i do in the above situation ?tolerate another activists ignorant enjoyment of male privilege becaus he is engaged in the fight against classism ?
an what, pray,is a 'lifestyle anarchist ' ? presumably somone who engages in opressiv behavior 'behind the scenes' but at least goes to demos an partisipates in actions,thus negating the effects of ther daily hypocrisy ,is beter for the movement than those who try to live acording to ther values ??

author by Freddiepublication date Mon May 05, 2014 17:47Report this post to the editors

Whilst I agree that "in-fighting" can be very damaging within movements, surely it is not being said that comrades must put up with any and all types of behaviour for the "greater good"? That is not on. Critical thinking and reflexivity are essential elements of social movement participation.

We have to take each other's interests seriously, otherwise it seems what's being fought for is not worth having.

author by fredpublication date Mon May 05, 2014 18:01Report this post to the editors

see what I mean??

this nonsense should be nipped in the bud.
Activists can easily sort out their differences on a case by case basis instead
of having organised purges and nit picking divisive witch hunts.

We need to find more common ground against class enemies
not more reasons not to stand together in solidarity.

author by veganpublication date Mon May 05, 2014 18:34Report this post to the editors

As a vegan I am disgusted to see the vegan movement being hijacked by this "intersectionalism".
What the hell has this witch hunt on the left to do with veganism??
Sorry but please leave veganism out of this.

Vegans are not intersectionalists. We support other movements on the left.
Solidarity to our comrades fighting for justice on the left.

We support the struggle against systematic violence against people and animals
by corporate and government entities.

Our struggle is against a whole system, not a few chauvinist people who occasionally turn up at a protest.
lets not throw the baby out with the intersectionalist bathwater.

The links fred / vg gives show how intersectionalists attacked a long term and very effective anti war activist against the state. If it can be used against an activist with a pedigree like Ciaran, then none of us is safe.

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Mon May 05, 2014 22:28Report this post to the editors

Hi Everyone,

There seems to be a big element of people talking passed one another.

No-one has answered the questions posed by Angel Cake for one thing.

As I understand it, intersectionality is the notion of seeing how modes of oppression are intertwined. We cannot really tackle one form by bolstering or supporting others. Or, as David Nibert writes in Animal Rights/Human Rights, there are entanglements of both oppression and liberation. Nibert's most recent book, Animal Oppression and Human Violence, talks about how the domestication of other animals (he calls it "domesecration"), capitalism, and conflict on a global scale, are all interwoven.

Bob Torres, in Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights, talks about the "intersections between human and animal oppression in relation to the exploitative dynamics of capitalism."

Piers Beirne, a critical criminologist, looks at green criminology in terms of it, "confronting harms against environments. humanity, and other animals."

Carol Adams looks at the Sexual Politics of Meat and the Pornography of Meat.

Listen to Katrina Fox talk about intersectionality in the link provided to an ARZone podcast.

In the light of this, I'm mystified by the claim that veganism is not intersectional. Veganism is a radical vision of the future of humanity. It demands a critical look at our relations with other sentient beings, the planet itself, and each other. It stands for non- or less-violence certainly, and across the board. It stands for peace and, if Nibert, Torres, and others are taking into account, veganism cannot be achieved within the vicious mode of production that is capitalist.

So, let's talk, people, not scream at each other.

Related Link:
author by veganpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 12:00Report this post to the editors

Roger, it all sounds ok in theory if everyone was a logical robot. But we are not robots. We are emotional and in some cases hysterical and irrational creatures.

In practice, what you get is what happened to Ciaron at the casa and the anarchist bookfair.

A bunch of people shouting down and threatening a dedicated activist as a "rape apologist", a "scumbag" and threatening violence against him, because he was campaigning for Julian Assange.

Even the capitalist system holds to the pretence of innocent until proven guilty. But apparently not these screeching hysterical young people in the thrall of half digested intersectionalist dogma

The left has always had a problem with infighting and splitting.
Intersectionalism in theory is probably useful analysis, but it's just too early in the game to apply.
Intersectionalism in practice means people are encouraged to dissolve into even more bickering and disagreements , focussing on how they are different instead of compromising a little and uniting against a common foe. In practice it's just divisive. It's likely being disseminated to fracture an already dying left. And we've fallen for it.

a rather contrived example:
Vegan goes to protest against corporate McDonalds. Obviously a Vegan wishes nobody to eat meat. but there are not enough vegans to form an effective protest. We need some anti capitalist meat eaters too. By putting aside differences and forming an alliance with anti corporate (possible) meat eaters, we can form a more effective protest and maybe achieve something. By not compromising, we likely get a tiny protest and achieve nothing. The real enemies of animal rights are the sociopathic corporate ones presiding over the systematic slaughtering of millions for profit each day, not the well meaning guy who comes along to an anti capitalist protest and eats the odd steak. Who knows, by mingling like this, that guy might think about it and give up his steak. There are more upsides than downsides to making alliances and compromising.

If we don't have this kind of compromise on the left, our already rather pathetic protests will become even more pathetic. Which serves nobody but our class enemies. What point is there being a vegan if you cannot make any progress in the fight for animal rights because you are totally unwilling to form alliances with non vegans, or learn from and make alliances with effective and dedicated activists like Ciaron?

You won't see the right ever falling for this guff.
They are in lockstep.

in my experiences, activists are generally a decent bunch (apart from the provocateurs!) and don't like to ever see anyone being "oppressed" at a protest etc. And there are certainly robust discussions where views part. However more than anything we need to learn to compromise and come together in common cause to be a more effective force.

This navel gazing intersectionalist approach is quite the opposite and is not the way forward. it is designed to fracture and destroy what little cohesion remains between groups with quite differing viewpoints. It is likely being promoted now by state and corporate provocateurs, knowing what effect such a divisive approach will have in practice on a dying left, and as such I am extremely suspicious of it and I think others should be too.

Roger, I suggest you read the links provided by vg and fred (and the comments) to see the kind of stuff this "intersectionalism" results in in the real world.

United we stand. Divided we fall

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 12:04Report this post to the editors

The "anarca feminists" physically attacked Ciaran O'Reilly a great campaigner on behalf of the homeless and prisoners as well as an anti war activist,. He was actually organising a social in support of Chelsea Manning.

Some of the anarchas may be just be middle class fools who hate working class people, hence their disdain for Class Struggle. But they are led by Agent Provocateurs,

Angel Cake may feel oppressed by working class people on demos, no doubt she thinjs they should bow low and speak softly in her presence. The fact that she thinks shes been oppressed doesn't mean that shes being oppressed in the real world. Its just her opinion. The opinion of the working class male who doesn't bow before her middle class superiority is also valid.

This is the problem with intersectionality: if a woman says shes being oppressed thats the end of it. If a coloured person says a comment is racist then the debate is shut down.

But going on that logic if a Jew says opposing Zioinism is Anti-Semitic then surely they should win the argument also?

A differently abled blck Jewish Lesbian wins all arguments.

Its the same with their White Privilege THeory: an unemplloyed white in Darndale is more privileged than a black millionaire in Ballsbridge.

These theories were thought up by the CIA to destrioy the Left, to make the Left look mad to ordinary people.

The footsoldiers of Intersectionality are middle class fools but their leaders are paid agents.

author by angelcakepublication date Tue May 06, 2014 12:36Report this post to the editors

hi evryone ,
i agree with roger - an thanx roger, for pointing out that noone is answering my questions,as wel as for your calm an thoughtful comments. they made a nice change on this thred ! ther is no dialogue going on hear people . in an efort to repair this omision ,i wil adress the conserns raised below .
@ fred - i agree with you. all of us fighting for justice should,indeed hav to,stand together in solidarity if we are to be efectiv in the struggle against violent capitalist tyranny an corporate domination .i maintain that you do not understand the meaning of intersectionality -at least,your intepretation is radicaly diferent from mine .for clarification - intersectionality is the recognition that all forms of opression are interconected ,with common causes ,an thus no one form can be fought in isolation from the others .it is the theory that forms of opression an privilege are xperiensed simultaneusly in the lives of all of us individuals , an combine to form our unique subjectiv xperiense . intersectionality is not a witch hunt against the left . it is a call for all radicals to unite in combating all opression ,an to refuse to reproduse opressiv power relations in our interactions with one another . if you had atended the intersectionality talk an workshop,you would hav learned that intersectionality is a theory which seeks to end faction fighting by dismantling the false borders we hav created between movements on the left ,an recognizing that we hav one cause -justice - an one enemy - the system . thus,intersectionality has nothing whatever to do with sabotaging the left .
insidentaly ,i find it ironic that you are complaining about our divisive behavior ,when you began this discusion (such as it is) by making insulting unfounded claims that we are agent provocateurs, CIA agents an so on . what is this ,if not divisive behavior ? pleas listen respectfuly ,answer questions thoughfuly an inform yourself befor doing so . speak to us as individuals - dont shout at us as caricatures of a stereotype you hav conveniantly desided that we represent .
@ vegan - i agree with you . veganism is indeed a struggle against systematic violense . do you realise that you hav defined intersectionality while claiming that it is 'hijacking' the vegan movement ? my understanding of intersectionality is that it is a theory with imense practical utility as a program for revolution ,in that it seeks to xpand the definition of veganism beyond a diet or boycott of animal products ,to become a movement which stands against all opression without hypocrisy. if you ask me,it is rampant consumerism an apolitical narrowmindednes which has hijacked the vegan movement . it is intersectionality which demands that vegans question ther privileges an join the wider justice struggle . veganism,as an intersectional revolutionary movement ,does indeed offer solidarity to our comrades on the left ,an demand that we stand with them sinse ther struggle is ours an ours is thers.
i find it sad an bewildering that intersectionality is being attaked as a 'witch hunt' or some kind of capitalist plot . the petty name calling ilustrated by the links provided show faliures of comunication an lack of respect between activists . this i s a completly separate issue. i maintain that an understanding of intersectionality is the solution to this problem ,not the cause .
@ roger - i totaly agree with your definition of veganism as a radical vision of the future .for me it is an all-encompasing vision which demands critical thought about interconected opressions an how we can fight against them , in our evryday lives as wel as in our activism .do you get the feeling from this thred, as i do , that intersectionality is perseived as a threat becaus of its implications for individuals ?these could be uncomfortable for those who feel that,were they to consider how a holistic vision of the struggle against an opressiv system would look ,they would hav to make changes to ther lives ? for instanse ,male activists would hav to look criticaly at ther relations with ther female comrades ,an make honest comittments to reject male privilege (somthing that is long overdue in many cases,sad to say ) .nonvegan anti-capitalists would hav to consider how nonhuman exploitation is a huge part of the capitalist system they claim to be fighting ,an change ther complasent an opressive habits with regard to the consumption of other sentient beings flesh,breast milk ,menstrual waste an so on,for a start .
do you think the agressiv resistanse intersectionality has met with hear is due to its being perseived as a personal threat in this way ? the claim that it is a "distraction" is particularly telling in this regard i think .

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 12:52Report this post to the editors

The anarchas who attacked Ciaran are reacyionaries and should be treated no differently than fascists.

Try attacking working class activists and you middle class messers will be sent homewards to think again.

You fool no one.

Your opinion is just an opinion. The opinion of a working class male is just as valid as that of a middle class life-style anarcha.

Suggesting that the opinion of a woman or a black can shut down a debate is idiotic.

You might just be a fool rather than an agent but in any case you are not going to destroy the Left.

You only win arguments when people play by your rules.

Democratic debate means that the voice of a male from Ballymun is equal to the voice of a female from Foxrock.

author by angelcakepublication date Tue May 06, 2014 12:53Report this post to the editors

for the record - no i do not xpect my fellow activists to bow down in my presense . but i xpect them to treat me with respect. i xpect them to listen to me,not shout me down . i xpect them to respect my spase , not make me uncomfortable with unwelcome an exploitative sexualized remarks (as has hapened to my friends an comrades ,not just me by any means ) . i xpect them to engage in dialogue in a respectful an non-patronizing manner with me.i xpect them to value my contributions equaly with thers .
i do not hate working class people . i hate patriarchy an gendered power relations . as an anarchist , i hate all opressive behavior ,whoever does it . i would react xactly the same if a middle or upper class man treated me in any of the ways described above . but if a working class man does so ,he is not getting away with it in the interests of solidarity . why should we defer to the interests of class struggle an ignore all other manifestations of opression ? i do not distain class struggle - why am i part of an anti-capitalist workshop which wil xplore how to make class struggle against capitalism more efectiv,if this is the case ?
i repeat my question ,an ask sombody - anybody! - to answer it . what am i suposed to do if i encounter an insident of genuine opressive behavior ? surely those males responding to me on this thred are not naive enough to believ that such insidents do not exist ???

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 13:01Report this post to the editors

Its not just your opinion that counts. Working class people will not accept nonsense from middle class life style anarchas.

You consider yourself to be oppressed because you don't like a remark made by a working class male.He doesn't consider it oppressive/. But you think you trump him because you are a woman?

In the real class struggle, in the real anti war struggle, in the real struggle for LGBT rights you freaks are divisive. You split and destroy campaigns.

Real activists don't attend yiur freak shows.

Stay away from the real struggle.

If you launch any physical attacks on real activists you will regret it. We're not all as gentle as Cairon.

author by fredpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 14:13Report this post to the editors


In my experience of real world activism, there are co-ordinators with a bit of cop on who do not tolerate any kind of bullying. Yes, as with any group of people who get together, there is always an asshole. Sometimes it's just an asshole. Sometimes it's one of those people full of anger who thinks activism is some sort of cheap self therapy. Sometimes it's even a provocateur tactic used to discredit a protest. "I'm never going to another of those protests. this asshole was sexually harassing all the girls" - you get the idea. None of the above people are great news for any campaign and we've probably all met somebody in one of those categories at some point.

if a guy/girl said something sexist / nasty to you on a protest you should normally just disengage and report it to the organisers who would determine what actually happened, take the offender aside and put him/her straight. Repeated transgressions would normally result in the offending party being sent away and word would go around to be wary of x at future protests.

It is simple, fair and effective justice. In my experience such a system works well in practice. No need for witch hunts making everyone have to watch their backs, treading on eggshells and the resultant paralysis and chilling of free speech and robust debate amongst activists.

Intersectionalism seems to me a bit like a variant on the individualism and "me feinism" promoted by capitalism. "My feelings are the most important thing". "I feel oppressed and that trumps all" etc.

I think real world activism is about compromise, working together and putting aside your own petty comforts, wants and needs to some degree for the greater good. In the past I have often joined with difficult people or people I disliked in common cause. We would occasionally have strong words, but when it came to the crunch, we put aside petty squabbles and stood together in solidarity. Over time I have usually reached an understanding with some of these folk. Some I even became friends with, or at least gained some respect for their activism. That is the nature of the rough and tumble of real world activism. It can be uncomfortable, you may have to be around some people you don't particularly get on with, dirty tricks can be employed against you, you can be arrested. It's not for the faint hearted.

If you are obsessing about your personal comfort, are very particular about who you are willing to engage with or talk to, cannot robustly respond to an offside comment or are worried about breaking a nail etc, then maybe activism is just not for you and you should return to the womb of individualism and atomised consumerism that has been deliberately created by capitalism for you.

PS: any chance you could make more of an effort spelling your words correctly. I'm not being a sexist oppressor or anything saying that, but it does make it very hard to take your posts seriously.

author by viva la veganpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 15:10Report this post to the editors

First of all if the left movement is so threatened by intersectional logic which is 'one struggle one fight' then this movement has problems. The problems are
precisely what i can read in your replies. Abusive, arrogant, hierarchically structured , white male, working class righteous dogmas which are very damaging to the movement. Of course because only you are - ' real activists'
who cowardly / anonymously attacking angel cake only on basis of her being female and middle class???? know it all. Only you can threat and harass people without an attempt to listen and understand the
subject of the argument. By standing up for the left movement identity you are ok to strip off the identities of other movements by suggesting them to compromise in order to fit your rigid agenda. I am wondering
is it how every other movement needs to bend for th Left (a capital letter??) vs dismissive 'life-style anarcha'?? I am not sure that this strategy is best for the uniting. Personally it is all very familiar approach by some lefts which is resulted as a complete disaster for the country of my origin with so negative attitudes towards lefts in general. Is any chance for us to learn from the past and not to step on the same rake twice??!!??

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 15:28Report this post to the editors

Your comment would is very disjointed and makes little sense.

So you think the Left should ignore the white male working class?

Are you going to build your Revolution on cranks and freaks who think their feelings are more important than anything else?

You people are 1. not sane 2. not anarchists. Almost exclusively middle and upper-middle class, many having gone to private schools.

You are saboteusr who disrupt every campaign you get involved with be it LGBT, Anti War or Anti Capitalism. I'm prepared to give the majority of you a fools pardon but there are Agent Provocateurs involved.

Intersectionality and White Privilege Theory were dreamt up by the CIA to divide ans paralyse progressive movements.

author by veganpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 17:10Report this post to the editors

agree with fred fan.

this is just smearing veganism and giving it a bad name. We never voted to be associated with this crap.
As if things weren't difficult enough for us.

It's a win win for corporates.
People cutting profitable animal products out of their diet hits their bottom line
so anything they can do to discredit us and make us all seem like crazy people is good.

So even if the left don't actually fall for this snake oil, the vegans by association with it, still end up looking like loonies to the rest of the left and less people will be inclined to make the jump as a result.

I'm vegan and I totally reject this nonsense.

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 17:29Report this post to the editors

Angel Cake said that Vegans are privileged!

Nothing could be further from the truth. It can be a real hassle keeping to a Vegan diet especially if you have a job where you have to eat out a lot.

I didn't have the moral fibre to keep being a vegan, I'm just a vegetarian now.

Keep the intersectional freaks away from veganism.

author by fredpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 17:38Report this post to the editors

First of all if the left movement is so threatened by intersectional logic which is 'one struggle one fight' then this movement has problems.

Not threatened. But very suspicious.
The problems are
precisely what i can read in your replies. Abusive, arrogant, hierarchically structured , white male, working class righteous dogmas which are very damaging to the movement. Of course because only you are - ' real activists'
who cowardly / anonymously attacking angel cake only on basis of her being female and middle class???? know it all.

er...everyone is anonymous here. I have no idea who the "angelcake" is or for that matter what gender it is
Most campaigns I have taken part in were non hierarchical. Everyone was considered an equal participant.
Only you can threat and harass people without an attempt to listen and understand the
subject of the argument.

bullshit. I have not threatened or harassed anybody. I just don't trust this divisive crap at all.
And I understand well enough the real world results of your intersectionalism.
By standing up for the left movement identity you are ok to strip off the identities of other movements by suggesting them to compromise in order to fit your rigid agenda.

This is not a movement. it's just some divisive bullshit dreamed up by a right wing think tank.
And it's actually you lot who want everyone to go along with your self destructive agenda.
I am wondering
is it how every other movement needs to bend for th Left (a capital letter??) vs dismissive 'life-style anarcha'?? I am not sure that this strategy is best for the uniting. Personally it is all very familiar approach by some lefts which is resulted as a complete disaster for the country of my origin with so negative attitudes towards lefts in general. Is any chance for us to learn from the past and not to step on the same rake twice??!!?? reckon if everyone on a protest treads on eggshells and tries to square an impossible circle of keeping every single person 100% happy without compromise, we will fare better?

I don't think so. People will just get tired of pandering to every single whim of a bunch of hypersensitive loud ninnys and won't bother turning up any more for new campaigns.
Pretty soon there won't be a left left.
Which is, no doubt, the whole point of this divisive CIA shit

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 18:11Report this post to the editors

There are some fascinating patterns emerging here. There seems to be a willingness to take a couple of examples of terrible behaviour by "intersectionalists" and tar the whole idea with it.

There are weird and wonderful people operating under every banner. It is not helpful to assume that the cases mentioned earlier in this comment thread apply to anyone/everyone else.

However, we have presented to us the most crude broad-brush analysis imaginable. CIA - MI5 agents of the state. Private schools!! This seems like paranoia. It seems like there is a lot of anger being expressed. It is not likely that such anger would sit well intersectionally when the idea is to explore privilege and oppression, not defend boundaries.

Angel Cake suggests that there is a gross misrepresentation of intersectionality going on here. The same seems to be happening with veganism. Veganism is NOT a diet, is it a radical philosophical view of humanity, other animals, oppression, discrimination, and for the rights-based vegans, rights violations.

@vegan. I agree that interaction with others brings about change. You cite the anti-capitalist who "eats the odd steak." That's the anti-capitalist engaged in rights violations in my book, and yours too perhaps. It does need to be questioned. Education via interaction may well be the key. However, I do wonder how people would react to the same point, only this time it is an anti-capitalist who engages in the "odd rape," or the "odd bit of domestic violence," or the "odd bit of Paki-bashing." How welcoming of these fine folks are we to be - and how long do we give them, so to speak?

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 18:44Report this post to the editors

You compare a meat eater to a rapist. You are the weakest link. People like you make it impossible to build wider coalitions.

You may well be an asset of an intelligence agency or then again you may just have been dropped on your head once to often as a baby.

author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 21:22Report this post to the editors

Just read the links about the London Anarchist Bookfair in full. I knew Ciaron had gotten hassle but I didn't realise how bad it was.

I'm making a donation to London Catholic Worker when the wages come through.

You can donate here:

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 21:38Report this post to the editors

@fred fan

I have never said, and never would, that rape and flesh eating is comparable in ~all~ its dimensions. However, in some senses, there are some similarities. For example, as I implied above, from a rights-based vegan point of view, both involve rights violations. Both involve perpetrators and victims. Both involve suffering. Both involve violence and both involve death (in terms of death, sometimes for rape victims, every time for the other animals of course). Many animal advocates point out that artificial insemination is widely used, including in Ireland, and many liken the process of artificial insemination to rape as it includes the penetration of both the cows' anus and vagina.

I would never dream to suggest, for example, that the psychological effects are the same, although cognitive ethology is confirming more and more that Darwin was right to suggest that human animals and many other sentient beings are different in degree and not in kind.

Perhaps you do not know much about how flesh and dairy are produced?

Are you know suggesting we ignore each other's rights violations for some greater good? If where we are heading is full of misery, suffering and violations, why go there?

Related Link:
author by fred fanpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 22:31Report this post to the editors

You are a sick freak.

Very likely a corporate shill sent in to destroy the animal rights movement.

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Tue May 06, 2014 23:17Report this post to the editors

@fred fan.

Why is it "sick" to see suffering where suffering exists?

I made no claim that these example were exactly the same or anything like that. We could talk about their differences. But there is absolutely nothing wrong to witness suffering where suffering happens to be.

I fear that your whole opposition to intersectionality is due to it laying bare your own privileges, a possibility Angel Cake raised earlier in the thread.

As for the animal rights movements, it seems clear to me that you have read not a single page of animal rights philosophy.

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 00:55Report this post to the editors

The Vegan Information Project (VIP) began a "mini-course" on social movements with case studies on animal advocacy in World Vegan Month, November 2013.

Its weekly events at The Outhouse in Dublin continue. The related link is an audio of a VIP workshop about intersectionality and alliance politics. I think it is fairly clear that this has nothing to do with the CIA or MI5, or any other hysterical claims made above.


Related Link:
author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 01:03Report this post to the editors

Recent talk and action in Dublin.

Related Link:
author by fred fanpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 01:51Report this post to the editors

Take your intersectionality and privilege theory nonsense and shove it.

This rubbish was designed by the CIA to destroy the Left. Not surprising then that you support imperialism in its attacks on Assange.

In the real world that nonsense is not tolerated.

You middle class tossers would get no respect in any real campaign until you've earned it. Fools like you are not suffered glady.

You and devil cake have studiously ignored the evidence of the physical attacks on Ciaron and the Occupy people.

Just try it on the real Left here and you vermin will regret it.

author by fred fanpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 02:16Report this post to the editors

Don't believe the lies that the intersectionalist vermin spread about Julian Assange. They support US Imperialism against Assange Most of the intersectionalists are just middle class fools but they are led by paid agents of the state. In Ireland they are likely paid by the Special Branch but one of the most prominent of them is more likely working for MI5.

Read the real story about the attempt to frame Julian Assange for rape.

The intersectionalists support US Imperialism.

Who do support?

Free Assange Now campaign

author by angelcakepublication date Wed May 07, 2014 07:50Report this post to the editors

@fred fan ,
think about the language you are using hear . "sick freak" for example . do you hav any idea who may be reading what you write , an how it may afect them ? this language feels violent an violating to me ,an i am disgusted by it . you show no respect to those who are trying to engage you in logical ,constructiv debate . what you write amounts to empty macho posturing . i ask you to hav some empathy for those you speak to ,an stop using such horible language towards my friends an fellow dedicated activists ,an me for that matter .
your asumption that roger (a selfless longterm campaigner by the way ) is a "middle-class tosser" who would get no respect in a "real campaign" is laughably wrong - as you would know if you knew anything about real liberation struggles . i think it is a safe bet that you hav not been engaged in anything lik the "real campaigns" he has . i dont intend to enter into a ridiculous "who is the real activist" type argument - but i do think you should check who your talking to befor you start yelling at them in this disrespectful manner. it mite save you from embarassing yourself .
on the assange argument - we hav not ignored this . roger , you wil remember (or would if you had actualy listened to anything he said ) adresed the issue of the attack on ciaran .he asked you to bare in mind that such "terible behavior" has nothing to do with most people who seek a broader understanding of the conection between liberation movements . ther you go - " terible behavior" . we agree with you about this .
your agresion is hard to understand in rational terms. we hav not onse used disrespectful language towards you,yet you respond with a torent of abuse . i dont hav anyhting left to say to such a person - xsept perhaps catch yourself on matey . an if your so conserned about us wrecking 'the Left' , then go an do somthing constructiv in the campaigning sense ,insted of sitting behind your computer shouting abuse at good folks you know nothing about .

author by Roger Yates - Vegan information Projectpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 09:42Report this post to the editors

Fred Fan. You do seem to have some anger issues you need to resolve. You make ridiculous assumptions about who and what you imagine you are dealing with. I have not supported any attack on anyone and I certainly do not support imperialism.

Rather than engage in rational dialogue, you sound like you have learnt a few "left" words and spray them around willy nilly.

What you don't explain is how intersectionality CAN destroy the Left. Seeing the interwoven nature of oppression may destroy systems of abuse and that's a good thing. However, it sounds like you support some forms of abuse which appears to be the main reason you dislike intersectionality.

author by angelcake - vegan information project publication date Wed May 07, 2014 09:45Report this post to the editors

@ roger - thanx for the above post :) i hope it is fairly obvius to all by now that we are not the CIA !
to evryone else reading this - you are welcome to attend our workshop on practical resistanse strategys for fighting capitalism , to share your skills an xperienses in a respectful an creativ atmospher with your fellow revolutionarys .
ID may be required on the door to prove that ur name is not fred . (this is a joke , by the way ) .

author by fred fanpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 11:48Report this post to the editors

You middle class tossers deserve no respect.

If someone disagrees with you then you say the person is somehow privileged

Freaks you are. I would love to see you trying out your language at an anti water charges campaign meeting. But then of of course you vermin are in favour of water charges. Yet another opportunity for you to kick working class people.

Devil Cake you clearly defended the 'anarchas' who attacked Ciaron.

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 13:28Report this post to the editors

@fred fan

You really want it both ways don't you?

You complain that you are accused of being privileged - we are ~all~ privileged in various ways living in Ireland. Some of us are also oppressed in various ways.

The VIP workshops are designed to explore OUR OWN privilege.

You, on the other hand, feel perfectly free to call people "fascists," "sick," "vermin," "freaks," etc., etc. That is quite apart from your veiled threats of violence. You show absolutely no sensitivity towards others who may be differently abled or carers, etc.

Your anger, it seems to me, is based on a misunderstanding of an IDEA coined by a feminist. It is true that some people seem to have abused the term - but that does not mean all those exploring intersectionality are the same - or that the idea is bad.

Your position is aggressively broad-brush.

Caption: Lecture on alliance politics (2013)

author by veganpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 13:47Report this post to the editors

"fred" and "fred fan" are different people, but yes, there are a few sock puppets operating on this thread on both sides I think. I'd like to disassociate myself from some of fred fan's comments.

Yes of course I know that veganism is much more than just a diet. Somewhat patronising of you to suggest otherwise I think. The supercilious privileged hierarchical white man coming out a bit in you there perhaps? ;-)

Not only that but I believe veganism is also a necessary step if humans are to survive for any length of time on the planet.

Roger, I think comparing somebody eating the odd steak
with a person who commits the "odd rape" is off base I think.

A rape is a premeditated direct attack

Meat eaters are often just uninformed and unthinking.

I cannot compare human and animal suffering as I only have half the necessary frames of references required, but I suspect humans would suffer more due to the more complicated emotional and psychological component.

Personally I agree with neither rape nor with eating of animals,

I would suggest that in order to change people, you need to engage. No point in preaching to the choir all the time. No point in condeming everyone who eats meat either without first engaging and informing. If they are informed and still choose to be a meat eater then a case can be made to say that are a knowing participant in the daily animal holocaust.

I as an advocate for animal rights, personally I am much less concerned with being on the high moral ground than with changing the system that "systematically" slaughters and tortures so many animals each day. I am happy to ally with meat eaters on occasions of mutual benefit, to join in their protests and hope they will also join in animal protests. and to engage with them first before judging them. While doing this, I will not be looking down my nose at them and nit picking about how they are hierarchical and privileged white people. I will be standing side by side in solidarity with them against a common foe, and they with me.

Alone my token veganism makes no difference to anything. Its when consciousness is raised and a lot of people start doing it that it begins to change the system noticeably. This will never happen if we remain aloof and are considered on the lunatic fringe. Aligning with folks like these intersectionalists will damage the animal rights movement and help it to be perceived as even more of a fringe group. Mixing with others on the left and talking while joining in mutual struggle with them gains respect and ideas like veganism can be introduced to a more receptive audience. Under such circumstances they tend to actually be listened to more readily.

On a seperate point, Roger, do you indeed consider Julian Assange a rapist?
Have you read about Anna Ardin the anti cuban activists at all? A murky character indeed. Personally I think she was hired by CIA to partake in a honey trap

Anna Ardin sounds exactly like one of the transectionalists attacking Ciaron!

author by fred fanpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 13:49Report this post to the editors

You may have privileges, I don't. But then you think a white unemployed male in Ballymun is more privileged than a senior coloured female banker in Ballsbridge

Its nonsense, nonsense which makes the Left look mad in the eyes of ordinary people. But thats what it was designed to do, thought up by a think tank at CIA HQ. Introduced into academia by ex-Maoists turned by the CIA.

I haven't made veiled threats of violence, I have warned you about the likely outcome of any attacks by intersectionalists on Assange supporters here. Some of us who normally have no interest in the politics of the SWP will also defend them if they are attacked. That includes attacks on their stalls.

But from what you say you are not the type of intersectionalist to do that.

author by angelcake - vegan information project publication date Wed May 07, 2014 14:02Report this post to the editors

interesting you should say that - i was actualy planning to say somthing about the anti-water charges campaign this evening ,as part of a discusion topic about reformism vs direct action . with this in mind,it is strange to discover that i am actualy in favor of water charges .you learn somthing new evry day .
your desperate insistanse that we are members of the privileged middle classes is absurd .you know nothing about us as individuals an ,as i hav pointed out above ,your asumptions about roger were totaly inacurate for a start .( as is your asumption that i went to a private school ,by the way )
your abusive language continues,i notise . despite me an roger apealing to you to consider the hurt you words may cause to many people . wel,at this stage, im done apealing to your beter nature - i demand that you cop on to yourself an stop verbaly abusing other activists in this apaling way .
i hav alredy told you that bein called a freak hurts me . it has opressive an violent asosiations for me ,as i hav made clear in my previus post . do you not care about this ? becaus you hav desided i am middle class an therfor deserve no respect ?
quite apart from my own feelings ,i am not going to listen to you calling my best friends "vermin" an worse . hav some respect for dedicated ,sincere ,genuin campaigners who would never treat you as you are treating them .
i recomend that you watch the link provided by roger above- you may learn somthing .
can you find the xact thing i said which proves i suport those who atacked ciaron ,pleas ?

author by fredpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 14:12Report this post to the editors


do you think ciaron is a chauvinist and a rape apologist as suggested by your transectionalist friends?

Were they wrong to bring up these things and express these views to him in this manner?

Isn't bringing up all these things for discussion part of intersectionalism?

Can't you see how this approach in practice will end up causing fights and divisions on campaigns?

What do you think of julian assange?

author by fred fanpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 14:21Report this post to the editors

So being called a freak hurts you? You are a tad too gentle for the real world. If you do anything about the anti water charges campaign then its likelky that you will pull down their posters.

I really don't care if I hurt you or your fellow travellers with my words. You may only be a fool, but you are a dangerous fool, destroying the Left. Its what you are: a Fifth Column led by state agents.

You wrote this: "are anarcha-feminists being 'divisive ' ???." You then went on to defend intersectionalists.

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 14:59Report this post to the editors

@vegan. Thankyou for your thoughtful post. It is a welcome change from the ravings of others.

I was not intending to patronising you with the "news" that veganism is more than a diet. That wasn't for you as much as for the conversation because there were some comments that suggested a restricted view of veganism "down" to its dietary component.

On the odd steak and odd rape issue. First, I was interested that you seem to suggest that a flesh eater, in many a case, does not really know what they are doing, which, as you point out, cannot be said in the case of rapists. You suggest that, once informed, a flesh consumer may be culpable. Just think of our own social circles - who do we know as individuals who we could honestly say is largely or wholly unaware of what "meat" is?

Backtracking to my original point, however, I was very careful to ask you about what you'd think if it were an anti-capitalist campaigner who suggested one could ignore the "odd rape" - and another two examples of harm. I'm not saying that these forms of harm are the same in all aspects, and I think we could have an interesting conversation about which one is "worse" (you and I both have mentioned psychology, for example) if we wanted to devise some sort of league table of harm. What I WAS saying - what I was assuming, in the scenario - is that an anti-capitalist, someone who we would assume is a critical thinker and who is not taken in my, for example, the mainstream mass media, would be aware of how flesh arrives at her plate.

So, the question again, how many anti-capitalists do we know who we think have little idea about where "meat" comes from?

On engagement (rather than preaching to the converted). That it what the Vegan Information Project is all about. We want to be an on-the-streets organisation, and have been so with our gazebo stall and "pay-to-view" events. The "mini-course" which we are involved in presently is more in-house and reflexive, in the sense that we've looked as a grassroots group at social movement theories, philosophy, and now intersectionality.

On tokenism and who and who not to be aligned with, I wonder if you could consider addressing our group on those points at one of our weekly meetings? Please write to if you are

Finally, Julian Assange.
To be honest, do not know if this man is a rapist or not, and I'd venture that the people saying he is, and the people saying he is not, do not know either - and have no way of knowing. I think this is a difficult (and disturbing) issue because, in theory, we can also ask the same question about Jimmy Savile. I have known enough innocent people who have been through "criminal justice systems" not to have a great deal of faith in them - and I'm sure the same applies to you. I have seen a lot of claims-making on both sides of the Assange issue - but how would I know?

This is a serious problem, in my view, for The Left - how does one construct a system by which the "truth" will emerge?

I apologies if this sounds like fence-sitting on this issue. I am just trying to be honest in replying that I do not know.

author by Roger Yates - Vegan Information Projectpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 15:14Report this post to the editors


One last point (which I forgot).

You talk about making alliances, etc., and yet you use the term "animal holocaust." I'm assuming that you know that this is a deeply unpopular term with many people. I've know people blow a fuse by the suggestion that what happens to other animals can be compared to the holocaust.

Haven't you?

author by angelcake - vegan information project publication date Wed May 07, 2014 15:34Report this post to the editors

fred ,

1 i do not know if ciaron is a chauvinist an rape apologist . i hav never met him . sinse i do not lik to condem folks i hav never met or spoken to , i wil give him the benefit of the doubt an asume that he isnt .

2 yes ,these people were very wrong to threaten an physicaly attack another activist in the way they did .read my posts - i hav not said one word in suport of these people anywher . i agree with roger - such behavior is terible .

3 no ,intersectionality is not about screaming rows an hysterical unfounded acusations. it is about apresiating that we are all fighting for liberation an against opression , an standing together without socialy constructed divisions between us .

4 no ,i fail to see how an understanding that all opressions are interconected would lead only to "fights an divisions" . i believ it would make them a much rarer ocurense ,as activists would see each others points of view an the comonalitys between ther struggles ,an treat each other with respect ,being mindful an critical of the privileges they hav as wel as the opressions they face.

5 i do not know the truth about julian assange . neither does anyone else xsept the people involved . so i do not know what i think of him . tell u one thing tho ... i am sickend by a system that doesnt giv a dam about violense against women unles it is politicaly advantagus to do so . ignoring the xperienses of those who hav survived rape until an oportunity presents itself to use fake zeal for justice as a weapon to stamp out political disent - this is despicable .but typical as wel,sadly .
thats what i think .

author by angelcake - vegan information project publication date Wed May 07, 2014 15:35Report this post to the editors

i second roger's invitation . it would be most interesting to here from you .

author by veganpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 15:50Report this post to the editors


I am using the term "animal holocaust" when talking to you, another animal rights advocate, not to non animal rights advocates. It is a descriptive term as It really is a silent holocaust when millions of animals march up a ramp to their deaths every day, don't you think?

I do think you are fence sitting a bit on the Assange affair so as not to offend your transectionalist friends perhaps? If this is so, I'm not too impressed.

Regarding other anti capitalist activists not being aware of the cruelty behind their food. I have found it common enough that human oriented activists often have not given much thought to animal treatment, being more focussed and oriented towards human rights issues. Also, animal rights have lost the PR war against well funded corporate animal abusers and accordingly perception of animal rights activists is usually along the lines of the negative stereotypes widely perpetuated by the media.

One must first overcome these negative stereotypes by showing you are not some middle class balaclavad human hating grave digging hysterical nutjob before you can begin to successfully engage. However in my experience, after the case is presented well, rational people generally come around and start to see both things as different aspects of the same systemic problems. People are deeply brainwashed to accept eating meat as perfectly ok and normal and you are going against a lifetime of this and a lifetime of habit when presenting the argument for veganism. I think it helps to show some understanding of this when engaging with people, rather than looking down on them for not seeing the light.

author by veganpublication date Wed May 07, 2014 16:03Report this post to the editors


I would prefer not to address your group on those topics, but thanks for the invitation.
I am happy to discuss it here with you and then you can raise any interesting aspects that arise
with your group.

One reason for this is my distrust of this divisive intersectionalist approach you are embracing.

I am still not convinced by your posts so far that it is not highly destructive in practice, and serving the interests of the state / corporates in further dividing an already weak left and further isolating the vegan / animal rights movement if they choose to embrace it.

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