In the wake of the events at Charlottesville where hundreds of self-styled First Amendment advocates – Nazis, white supremacists and racists – marched, and where one person was killed, many injured and townspeople and counter-protesters showed up to defend bodies as well as promote messages of peace and tolerance, calls went out for groups of every nature to take a stand and denounce such far-right shows of bigotry, hatred and intolerance. Included in these calls was one by Dr. Breeze Harper of Sistah Vegan who asked “USA based animals rights and / pro-vegan organizations to release an official statement and action plan on how they do not support white supremacy/racism”. We responded with the following message on Facebook and reproduce it here.
Progress for Science, both as a small grassroots group and as individual organizers, denounces the hate and intolerance, bigotry and ignorance fostered by 45 and the white supremacists that form his core base of support. We denounce the actions of the thugs with tiki torches who virtually goosestepped thru Charlottesville and their like across the country and the world. We salute those who resist them every step of the way.
There are today (and have long been) many struggles plaguing our capitalist patriarchal society and the beings who live in it. We are actively committed to fighting these: to fighting racism and to learning how we ourselves unfortunately contribute to the racial hierarchies in our society and how some of us have benefitted from them. We are far far from being “post racist” in the US and everyone does and should “see color”. Refusing to face up to the reality of injustice only allows those perpetrating it to work more freely.
We also support the natural right of all to follow their true gender expression and sexual orientation. As feminists we will always answer all who tell those of us who identify as womxn to hush up and we will explain things right back and follow our own paths.
We support the destruction of class and the attendant impoverishment of a large segment of our society and enrichment of the few, we reject the concept of profits over lives, we reject the erasure of voices based on ability and age; we oppose the hyper criminalization and incarceration that forms the basis of the new Jim Crow.
We reject the policy of endless war adopted by the State, the pursuit of regime change, the corporate control of electoral processes. We are against agricultural practices that not only bring untold harm to animals but also to workers and communities and which result in the spread of unsustainable food production, the poisoning of land, sea and air, and famine and death. We reject policies that close our borders to folks who in their rich diversity only make our shared lives more vibrant.
We believe that the earth is ours only to cherish and respect and whose bounty we must share amongst all. She is not ours to own and ravage, her creatures are not here for human benefit. And we stand with the peoples who first stood on the lands we are now also standing on.
As a group we are primarily focused on ending the use of other animals in the pursuit of shaky and unethical science, all for human profit, monetary or otherwise. While we recognize that all oppressions are linked, we also realize that fighting specific forms of harm and injustice requires different kinds of strategies and focuses – introducing our own cause when supporting another does not effectively advance either: All Lives Matter waters down and robs of its impact Black Lives Matter.
If you are of like heart and mind, then Progress for Science welcomes you, if not then you are still welcome… to listen and learn, never to spread hate and lies.
Peace, love and solidarity – the P4S organizers