Tuesday, January 24, 2006

finding a middle way

Recently there was a demo in Oxford, in which several hundreds of people turned up, only to be barracaded from where they wanted to go. This annoyed several campaigners and so subsequently tried to remove the barricades. The police there tried to maintain order, unfortunately their attempts failed and things got out of hand.
Many people got arrested and suffered injuries.

In light of this, the Oxford City police have told me that it is not possible for them to facilitate our peaceful event. To Lament and grieve over the deaths and suffering of animals we will need to liaise with the City Safety Advisory
Group who can offer advice and guidance about the event and ensure that relevant partners (fire, ambulance, bus companies, highways etc) are all aware of the event.

The proposed plan is now passed on to a team that deals with the sensitive issues
around the construction of the building by Oxford University, and they will contact me regarding this event.

The route planned has been turned down. If we try to walk in procession, we will meet opposition. A line of police officers in combat gear I expect. Do we want to work against the police? Do we want to get lumped into the animal activists 'us' and 'them'? Should we think about holding this demonstration elsewhere? Broad St. has been recommended and also a static demo, a peaceful vigil rather than funeral procession. Light candles and pray, chant, do something peaceful, something meaningful and something to bring us closer to humanity.

This event is in the process of being reviewed and will no doubt change it's shape and form to find the middle way in which to proceed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Compassion for animals

Bearing witness to suffering

The Buddha taught that Dukkha - 'bad space, suffering' is the first noble truth. Then he taught that Vedana - 'something comes up' is the second noble truth. The third noble truth is Nirodha - 'earth bank' and the fourth is Margha - 'spiritual path'.

When faced with suffering, something rises in us, an energy, and we can react either negatively or positively. Bearing witness to the suffering of animals through scientific and commercial experimentation will have an impact on us, it may be grief, shock, despair, disgust or something else. Whatever it is, it is a reaction to the suffering. Can we find a way to react in a way that will lead to less suffering rather than induce more suffering?

Wherever in Britain you live, we invite you to come to Oxford on 1 April 2006 to bear witness to the suffering of countless animals all over the world.

The reason we have chosen to hold this event in Oxford is because of the construction of the animal research laboratory at Oxford University. If the building is completed, numerous animals will suffer through cruel experimentation.

Buddhists are against cruelty and harm to all sentient beings. Animals suffer and feel in much the same way as we do and to treat them as research tools is cruel and spiritually deeply offensive. All animals, including humans, are valuable for its own sake and should be respected and cared for.

People of all faiths are invited to join us on the day. We will assemble at 1pm on Cornmarket St for some chanting and silent prayer, and then walk in procession to the building site of the animal laboratory and then back to the centre carrying animal size coffins. We will then carry out a final ceremony.

Please join us to help bring a spiritual perspective to animal liberation.

This event is supported by Amida Trust and others - what about you?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

People for the ethical treatment of animals

Do animals have a right to live for their own reasons?

Should we take a stand against the inhumane actions of people toward animals?

Do animals suffer?

For more information about PETA, people for the ethical treatment of animals please visit http://www.peta.org/