Sâkihitowin Awâsis – From Animal Rights to Anti-Colonial Organizing

Full video with closed captioning available here

Alright, Boozhoo Sâkihitowin Awâsis dishinikawshon, peyakoskan tapasinahikatew mêkwan sakâw michif otipêyimisowak, pi li clan carré. Deshkan Ziibiing niwiiken,
pi mon famee, Ongiara wikiiwuk.

So I just introduced myself in my language, the Michif language, and my Métis name is Sâkihitowin Awâsis, or Awâsis. My English, or GST name, is Cortney. I currently live in Antler River, or London, Ontario. I am from Niagara. I wanted to say thank you to the organizers and everyone listening in from all over the place. It’s an honour to be speaking to you today. michael, I really loved your Line 9 sign in the back, that’s great.

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Mya Wollf – Interconnections of feminism, animal liberation and radical sobriety

Full video with closed captioning available here

So I want to talk a lot about the interconnection of oppressions as they respond to – as we investigate radical sobriety, feminism and animal liberation. To start, the further we investigate oppression the more we can see that every single one of us has been involved in or affected by oppression at some point in our lives. The fact is that we live in a culture of oppression and we’re indoctrinated into this system of oppression from an early age, we learn that we should either be propagating oppression, be accepting it or turning a blind eye. This process of deconstructing and abolishing different forms of oppression is probably the hardest thing that any of us will undertake, because not only do we have to rise and fight up against those who push us down, but we have to have accountability for ourselves as oppressors. For anybody who has faced any severe trauma or severe oppression, it can be really hard to acknowledge that even though we were victimized we can still be responsible for the suffering of others.

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Remember when we were called Animal Liberation Ontario – ALO?

We used to sport the name Animal Liberation Ontario – ALO, along with a wicked logo. True story.

But now we’re called ELK!
So why the name change?

Well we have recently moved to the west coast and so we saw this as a great opportunity to re-brand ourselves according to the lessons we learned in our first year of existence. Specifically, we still operate as a space for promoting liberation for all species (obviously!), but we wished to drop the word ‘ontario’ from the name. We recognized that provincial and national borders are straight-up colonial violence, and that we are perpetuating their charade of legitimacy when we continue to use the names of settler governments who stole land to displace and murder the original human and nonhuman inhabitants.

Borders are nothing but lines on maps drawn by men with guns, calling themselves governments. Borders reinforce the notion that land (and animals) are property to be owned and divided among their possessors (for more on how the division of the world into states policed by armies hurts both human and non-human animals, see The Turtle Talk by pattrice jones). Borders reinforce the notion that some people can be considered as “illegal” for existing in that space (for more on some amazing work being done about this issue, check out No One Is Illegal).no borders

So because we at ELK believe that we also reinforce the violence of borders when we continue to use the lingo of the colonizing settlers, we opted to abandon the name ALO.

Fuck colonialism.
Fuck nationalism.
Fuck borders.


vegans are not going to solve world hunger.

this is an ongoing series short rants on the commonalities of oppressions. this one is all about some parallels between capitalism (political and economic systems of exploitation of workers, based around property and profit for the few at the expense of the many) and speciesism (political and economic systems of exploitation of non-humans, defining animals as property for the profit of the few at the expense of the many). one such parallel centers around the practice of excusing and/or shaming peoples as “consumers”. specifically, it is about a parallel between them, a commonality in how these two interact.

it’s called “consumer privilege”.

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