My Head in a Nutshell
from No Compromise Issue 17

By Anonymous

My name is not important but my experience is. I am a pretty involved activist and because of that I have been followed, listened to and had my e-mails tampered with. My ex-girlfriend even got an anonymous phone call about something that could only have been discovered by breaking into my e-mail.

So why should you know this? If you feel that you have a lot of potential to give to the movement, expect this to happen or worse. I am scared and I cry in the night because of shit that THEY do to me, but my story is important. Have they broken me? Yes, in a way that makes me say the line has been set. And if they cross it I will do what it takes to protect Mother Nature and her creatures.

The problem is that the AR movement does not have a community, so it is hard to get my story out. Our movement has full paid staff members who can live isolated from each other and from the rest of the movement. Do you think the Zapatists are getting paid? No. What about the Chile El Salvador revolutionaries? They were not paid either. In America, Bobby Seal received no salary. These people carried their movements forward by working together with passion and commitment, not with finance.

How can one start a community? Get four of your activists friends and get a home. You don't need a big place-small and simple is preferable. Choose one in a nice, bright area. If it is an apartment, try to get it with an electric safety gate around the complex to keep out unwanted people. Safety is very important!

When you've moved in, try to get other places in the same complex or area for fellow activists. Also look for available shop space near your new home. An informational shop is an important part of activism and can be run by volunteers living in the AR community you have established.

Being organized is also important. Always remember where your possessions, papers, and other items are located in your home, so you will know immediately if they have been taken or moved.

Share everything, but trust no one completely. Some people are too happy-go-lucky and do not understand that unity is important. However, I have worked in many other movements and have seen this type of community work successfully in this country and in others.

Take others' safety first and foremost, but support your activists that need help. Never isolate your activists. That is what They want you to do. Margaret Mead said "never doubt what a few can do." Well in this day and age the quote should be "never doubt what a mass of people can do."

Don't be afraid of oppression. If an activist does not feel oppressed, he or she will be more detached from the movement against oppression. An activist leading a comfortable life is more likely to loose track of what they are fighting for. An activist with too much freedom, financial or otherwise, can easily forget the urgency of helping those who are powerless and oppressed.

Now that They have taken my safety and my freedom, I can not leave the movement. I will always be a target until all animals are free. Only when animal oppression is over will they have no reason to watch my every move.

We need to begin to live together. We need to increase our productivity and be more efficient and effective. I do not live with activists. I drive alone. People are too scared to be with me. They say they've got my back, but they do not want to go down. Really, all they have is words.

When are we going to just walk into places and simply take monkeys out of their cages? When are we going to say "I will show you justice." They have broken me in a way that says TODAY is the day.

Where is our army? Is it a group of people working on salary? Or is it a group of people that collectively sacrifice their safe and comfortable homes to live together in sparse space and simplicity? At least we will have the freedom to leave. Those who we are fighting for don't.

These shared homes will increase activism. Today's businesses generate power from a capitalistic system. This allows business to own and control more of what oppresses us: the unjust system. It is businesses that are pleading with the government to oppress us more. We need to do something before this become a monopolistic state that is run by profit margins.

We need to start thinking community first and individual last. When people fights for individual freedoms, they separates themselves from the movement. We are not offending others, we are offending ourselves when we know what is right but are to damn brainwashed to do anything.

So remember live with others, share, and don't do crack and we might just have a movement.