Massin: “All social movements have had to disobey the law at some stage for it to change”

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Minyons Escoltes i Guies de Catalunya
  • Massin Riggs. Source: Action for Liberation
    Massin Riggs. Source: Action for Liberation.
  • Massin Riggs during the Meat the Victims Barcelona.  Source: Action for Liberation
    Massin Riggs during the Meat the Victims Barcelona. Source: Action for Liberation.
  • Action for Liberation's protests. Source: Action for Liberation
    Action for Liberation's protests. Source: Action for Liberation.
  • Meat the Victims. Source: Action for Liberation
    Meat the Victims. Source: Action for Liberation.

Interview with Massin, the co-founder of Action for Liberation, an organization defending animal rights.

How and why was Action for Liberation established?

Action for Liberation was established in Barcelona in October 2018 to fight against animal exploitation, species discrimination and to empower youths to change the future using social media as the main tool. Our activism is based on education. We organize educational street activism to show alternatives to animal products to the public, we screen documentaries or we organize on-site protests at facilities where violence against animals has been normalized, as well as conducting investigations in slaughter houses and on farms.

We give great importance to direct, non-violent action, wearing no masks. We are not ashamed of what we do and we want the public to know what is done to animals.

How can we collaborate?

People can collaborate by taking part in the actions we organize, sharing our actions and videos with investigations at slaughter houses and on farms on social media and making donations to our association to financially support the costs of animal rescue, activities, materials, etc.

What is your main challenge?

That’s a difficult question. We are a group of people fighting against the mega-rich who hold social power and money to manipulate the education and health systems. It is very hard to fight against these huge corporations that work side-by-side with governments. But truth is on our side and with this we will win the battle.

Tell us about the Meat the Victims campaign.

Meat the Victims is a campaign that started in April 2018 in Queensland, Australia, when 68 activists occupied a pig farm. The main goal was to force transparency in an industry that lives in secrecy and show consumers where the products they eat actually come from.

The action happens when a group of people temporarily occupy an animal exploitation farm until the media arrive to cover the action; talk about the cruelty that goes on at these farms and create a public debate on the products we consume.

When and how did the campaign go in Barcelona?

Barcelona was the first place in Europe to see an MTV action in December 2018. 41 activists entered a chicken farm where the animals were in caged for egg production. The most recent action saw 75 people entering a pig farm in Sant Pere de Vilamajor to expose the industry and show the public and the media where Catalan products come from.

What was the reaction to this action?

Many criticise this action, because we are entering private property without permission. But laws change as society moves forward and if we don’t enter these places to expose the reality of the industry, people will never change. Desperate times call for desperate actions and we are desperate for people to meet the victims of their decisions and change to a more ethical world for non-human animals.

All social movements have had to disobey the law at some stage for it to change. And as can be read on our t-shirts, and Martin Luther King, Jr. said “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”.

Which has been the most emotional moment for you in the association?

The most emotional moment for me was during the Meat the Victims Barcelona #2, when I rescued “Mercury”. When I picked it up, I looked into its mother’s eyes and saw her look of despair and sorrow, as if she was asking me to take her son and take him as far as possible and not to harm him. I couldn’t stop crying looking into her eyes.

How do you see the association ten years from now?

I hope that 10 years from now Action for Liberation can become an international organization that continues to prioritize youths and social media to continue our fight against all forms of oppression against non-human animals.

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