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Eric Purdy: Open letter to a Sonoma County jail cell

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And now it is Wayne Hsiung that is in the cage, yearning for freedom and companionship. They have committed a serious blunder by jailing a man as righteous as Wayne, and the price will be their empire of cruelty. When one side of a war commits uncountable atrocities, and has done so for centuries, and the other side assiduously practices nonviolence, and has done so for centuries, then perhaps one can be forgiven for making this mistake. But it is still a mistake. No industry can contend with an outpouring of courage and compassion on this scale. No industry ever could, and no industry ever has, and no industry ever will. Inevitably, as day follows night, the animal rights movement has won, is winning, will win.

ERIC PURDY: Wayne Hsiung, founder of DxE (Direct Action Everywhere) is sort of the Malcolm X of the animal rights movement… Wayne has just been convicted of several felonies for rescuing animals from cruel mistreatment that is literally against the law. This conviction was obtained with perjured testimony, bought and paid for by an industry which daily does the indefensible on an industrial scale, and delivered by a judge who excluded all evidence of animal cruelty from consideration, and gagged Wayne during the trial in clear violation of his rights to protest an ongoing atrocity, in clear violation of the First Amendment. So I thought I would write my friend a letter in his jail cell, but I had a few things that I thought other people might need to hear. So I decided to make it an open letter…

Wayne and Direct Action Everywhere have shown the whole world. Or at least that portion of the world whose eyes are not clouded with the cataracts of hypocrisy.

I could go on about the things that I know, things that are known to anyone who cares to know them. But Wayne already knows them, because he has been going into slaughterhouses and other factory farming operations for more than a decade to investigate and save whatever animals he could. (Which is very, very few animals. It has broken his heart, I feel.) So I will spare Wayne the details.

And now, finally, it is Wayne that is in the cage, yearning for freedom and companionship. It is Wayne whose precious output the factory farming industry is extracting for its own uses, using whatever methods it thinks it can get away with…

But what, in truth, can they get away with? They can buy as many politicians as there are seats in Congress. They can buy as many judges as there are benches for judges to sit on. They can buy as many cops as there are guns for them to hold and point at those who would rescue a dying hen. But what they cannot buy, what they could never in a million years afford, not even with all of their profits, and centuries of government subsidies, what they cannot buy is the truth. They cannot make people see what is not there to be seen.

They have committed a serious blunder by jailing a man as righteous as Wayne Hsiung, and the price will be their empire of cruelty. Inevitably, as day follows night, the animal rights movement has won, is winning, will win. Direct Action Everywhere has open-sourced and published its operational manual, and copycat groups will spring up wherever three or more people share a vegan meal and have courage in their hearts. Which is more and more places every day. No industry can contend with an outpouring of courage and compassion on this scale. No industry ever could, and no industry ever has, and no industry ever will.

And so, it falls to us to dictate the terms of a just and lasting peace. For no war, even among the nonviolent ones, is ever between absolute good and absolute evil. When one side of a war commits uncountable atrocities, and has done so for centuries, and the other side assiduously practices nonviolence, and has done so for centuries, then perhaps one can be forgiven for making this mistake. But it is still a mistake.

What, then, is worth saving from the old world, the world from before Wayne Hsiung’s conviction? There are several things that seem to me worthy and valuable things, and there are several things that seem to me fine and acceptable things. So let us list these, and then discuss how we will deliver these things without committing any more atrocities than we already have. For make no mistake, that is the war that we are fighting, the game that we are playing, the race that we are running. We must stop the atrocities, not by any means necessary, but certainly by using the means that are well within our grasp, that hurt no one except the plutocrats whose pockets are lined with the loot from boiling pigs alive, from confining chickens to quarters so close that they cannibalize each other from the stress of having no stable pecking order and no way to escape. SOURCE…

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