Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
It is that time of year again...
North Americans are not going to let us forget "9/11", that's for sure. I have just experienced another day in Europe where "9/11" was a major news item and the subject of TV documentaries. We hear, again, that all the names have been read out in New York and this is supposed to be big news for us. After all, these were white, middle-class, deaths, and these are the ones that count, it is implied.
I remember when critical criminologist Nils Christie came to Bangor University in North Wales a year or so after "9/11". He asked the students to identify the very worst thing that had happened in 2001 - a couple of students mentioned "9/11". When he asked the same question about September 2001, then "9/11" was mentioned again, and when Christie asked about September 11th, 2001, then there was no doubt: the very worst thing that happened on that date was an attack on the twin towers. Nils Christie shocked a few students by suggesting that wasn't the case.
Of course it wasn't the case. About 30,000 people died on "9/11" of starvation-related issues, as they have every single day from "9/12" to the present date. Not white, middle-class capitalist, though - sorry - these are poor and black, so that's okay: we do not write symphonies for them and we do not read out their names year on year.
I wrote the following "A few days after ‘September 11th’ 2001."
There has been an atrocity committed. Perhaps many thousands of people have been killed, and millions psychologically harmed in the United States of America.
We in Britain have been asked (asked mind, because we are ‘free’ and ‘democratic’) to observe a minute of silence for the victims of this particular atrocity. What interests me, notwithstanding the genuine terror of what occurred in North America, is why this atrocity has been declared so important. It is not the biggest by any means - and it is not even the latest - so why this one?
As I have been asked to observe a minute’s silence for these victims, can I claim another minute for other victims of needless slaughter and harm?
What about the estimated one to two million women and small children sold into sexual slavery every year? No plane has crashed into a rich, comfortable, skyscraper office in this case, true; but imagine the terror of having to “service” several men each day when you are an eight year old child. Imagine being beaten if you do not submit to being penetrated by adult strangers several times a day. So, a minute’s silence for them then, yes?
I cannot imagine how frightened you would have to be to deliberately throw yourself from a burning building: how terror-filled is that? By the same token, I cannot imagine starving to death as my parents look on helpless to help me. This happens every few seconds somewhere in the world (in ‘unfree’ and ‘undemocratic’ places one assumes). Maybe a minute’s silence for them? But wait, this atrocity continues on a daily basis - this one has not physically stopped - two minutes then?
What can it feel like to be locked into a form of transport and forcefully driven to your death. It is hard to imagine the feeling of fear and terror. Being forced into a situation against your wishes is obviously a horrible and terrifying thing: and being killed in someone’s “act of war” is not a consolation I should say. Yet, in the “war against cancer” and “the war against AIDS”, millions of unwilling victims are forcefully transported to their deaths in laboratories: while further billions (about 45 billion every year in fact) are transported to their deaths because others like to eat their bodies. Perhaps a minute’s silence?
But wait, ‘free’ and ‘democratic’ North America kills about three hundred of these particular terrified victims every SECOND and in Britian, ‘we’ kill about 26 per second: how can we accommodate our minute’s silence, when another and another and another is required long before the first has even begun?
I just cannot figure out when all these silences will end - but I also cannot figure out the grounds for starting with the victims of Tuesday’s atrocity. In atrocious circles, Tuesday is way gone.
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