Call from the Alliance Gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie for nationwide action days from 28-31 May
From Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st May we are setting a sign. A sign of solidarity with the slaughterhouse workers, but also with all the other workers who have to work under the most adverse conditions for the profits of a few. And we are setting a sign of protest against the unrestrained exploitation of animals and nature in the name of profit.
With creative actions in front of slaughterhouses and in public places we will draw attention for the situation of the workers. We will respect the health of all of us and observe hygiene measures, but we will nevertheless leave our mark in public places.
With our actions we make it clear that the following immediate measures are urgently needed now:
- The animal industry must be shut down to prevent further corona infections
- The workers must be financially, socially and healthily safeguarded in the event of plant closures – at the expense of the corporations
- The workers must be provided with housing that allows for dignified accommodation that meets the requirements of the corona situation, e.g. in hotels, holiday homes or vacant apartments. And this not only in this situation.
But the workers are not only exposed to harsh conditions in times of Corona. Rather, the workers are exploited to the extreme by the animal industry in the sense of profit maximization. An end of the precarious employment of the workers is needed and with it an abolition of contract and temporary work!
In addition, a comprehensive agricultural turn towards a solidary and ecological way of production and organisation is long overdue.
Let’s take our protest to the public
Show your solidarity and draw attention to the exploitation of workers in the meat industry in various places: by hanging up signs and banners, by demonstrations in places of exploitation (slaughterhouses and fattening factories, supermarkets, etc.), bicycle demonstrations or by chalk marks in the city. Let your ideas run free!
You can tell us your planned actions in advance, and we will draw attention to them. And please post on your channels under the hashtags #GemeinsamGegenTierindustrie, #SolidaritätStattFleischindustrie oder #PeopleOverProfits about your action! Pictures, videos or written reports can be sent to our e-mail address email@example.com after the action, then we will publish it on our channels
Until our demands are fullfilled, we will not rest.
Together we are many!
Ideas and materials for your actions
Here are some suggestions for slogans:
- Shut down Tierindustrie
- Solidarity with the Workers in the Meat Industry
Flyer templates in several languages will follow.
The situation of the workers
As in almost every social crisis, the Corona crisis affects especially the people who are at the bottom of this society – like the migrant workers in the slaughterhouses and meat processing plants of the meat industry.
At the same time, the groups of the animal industry are classified as systemically important, even though the food supply would be able to survive without them. And they also benefit from additional government support. This is a scandal!
The workers, on the other hand, cannot even protect themselves from the virus because of the exploitative working conditions: Lack of protective equipment, which is denied to them not only during corona times, the non-compliance of distance rules, health-endangering hard work with 12-hour shifts 6 days a week. In the same way, they are exposed to an increased risk of infection in the overcrowded collective accommodation and the overcrowded collective transport vehicles that bring them to work.
Working conditions in the animal industry are worsened by corona and also in precarious jobs in general. Labour laws are being eroded more and more, existing rights are effectively even harder to fight for.
Appeals by trade unions and labour rights initiatives demanding the adoption of measures to protect migrant workers from corona infections were ignored and the inevitable happened: In slaughter factories, among others of Vion, Westfleisch, Müller-Fleisch and PHW/Wiesenhof, thousands of workers have already been infected with corona. As long as appropriate protective measures are not taken, further outbreaks can be expected. According to the authorities, however, the companies have the situation under control and the slaughtering can continue. And that all for the profit of a few. Only after a public outcry actions was taken and slaughterhouses were temporarily closed where there was no other option. As always in the capitalist system, the needs of people, animals and the environment are irrelevant as long as they stand in the way of profit.
Our comrade Laura was interviewed yesterday by “Arbeitsunrecht TV”. She reported about our work, our motivation and planned actions. She also mobilized for days of action on the occasion of the corona outbreaks in the slaughterhouses and processing factories, which will take place on the weekend of Pentecost. We will publish the call for action days shortly. Many thanks to aktion./. arbeitsunrecht for the interview.
The labour law initiative aktion ./. arbeitsunrecht has published a press release on working conditions in the meat industry:
Suspicion of sham work contracts + exorbitant rents: What are prosecution, main customs office and labour ministries doing?
[…] In the course of the corona crisis, the media are once again reporting increasingly unpleasant facts. The legal core of the exploitation business are the so-called work contracts between slaughterhouse operators and so-called work contractors, who in turn contract the workers, most of whom come from Romania and Bulgaria.
The exploitation via work contracts is regularly criticised – but not sufficiently questioned. The legal basis of the regulations governing contracts for work is more than shaky.
Sham contracts: Organized deception of the authorities through illegal temporary employment agency work?
According to our research, everything speaks for the fact that in reality these are not contracts for work at all, but in fact employee supply contracts (i.e. concealed temporary work or sham contracts for work). This would have far-reaching consequences, since to our knowledge none of the contractors has permission to supply temporary workers. We would therefore be dealing with a criminal system that harms both the workers and – by evading social security contributions and taxes – the community. […]
12.05.2020, Press release by aktion ./. arbeitsunrecht: Conditions in the meat industry: work contracts or illegal temporary employment agency work?
aktion./.arbeitsunrecht is a trade-union labour law initiative which campaigns for employees in the retail trade, the food industry and many other sectors. It provides information about companies hostile to works councils, supports works councils and trade unionists and also called for a day of action against the meat company Tönnies in 2019. Further information is available at: www.aktion.arbeitsunrecht.de
The meat industry – a systemically important branch of the profession? Friedrich from our alliance spoke about the meat industry in Corona times with the Anarchist Radio from Dresden.
You can listen to and download the radio report under the following link:
Here is the announcement:
It is clear that the animal industry is using the Corona crisis to strengthen its position of power by, for example, loosening or levering out so-called animal protection regulations and control rules for workers. The reason for this is their status as a systemically important branch of the profession. Prices have fallen massively in the entire production chain. In order to continue making profits, the state is now supposed to step in. President Trump orders further production by decree from 1950 (on the occasion of the Korean War) in order to be able to oblige industrial companies to manufacture certain products. And the managing director of Müller Fleisch considers it impossible that the record-breaking number of corona diseases among his employees is connected with his business model, i.e. the outsourcing of work to Eastern European cheap labour and their precarious accommodation. Isn’t it almost grotesque to support financially and thus existentially an industry that is significantly responsible for the development of zoonoses or pandemics in the form of intensive animal husbandry? An industry that has created a rationalised, perfidiously sophisticated system to efficiently exploit human and animal bodies every minute? An industry whose logic of exploitation and interest is solely focused on maximizing profit and maximum yield? In this context, what is hidden under a systemically relevant profession? In today’s interview we invited Friedrich, who has been involved in the animal industry for quite some time and can give us a more detailed insight.
We also congratulate the occupation of soil on their 1st birthday and document their anniversary text here.
On 04 May 2020 the occupation of soil in Neu-Eichenberg in Nordhessen will be celebrated for the first time! Exactly one year ago, activists occupied the field in order to get in the way of the construction of a huge logistics area. For a long time it seemed as if the privatisation and sealing of the 80 hectares of arable land could no longer be prevented. The investor Dietz AG had already signed a preliminary contract with the mayor and municipal committees were more concerned with the colour of the new logistics halls than with the future of the municipality.
Our experience shows: Resistance is worthwhile!
Despite the diverse and creative activities of the „Bürgerinitiative für ein lebenswertes Neu-Eichenberg”, the municipal council stuck to its plan. As a result, some people from the student environment of the Eco-agrar University in Witzenhausen decided to support the local resistance and take it to a new level by occupying the site. So they set out in the morning drizzle with a circus tent and field kitchen to organize a ” Ackerfest” – and then simply stay. After the first weekend, there was hope of surviving at least a week, despite the acute danger of eviction. But then came the next week, and another, and another, and in the meantime the occupation has lasted a full year. One year of occupation of the fields!
Right from the start, a lot of energy was put into building up infrastructure and social structures. Tents were put up and taken down, dishes were washed, construction carts were pulled up and around, there was plenary assembly, conflicts were fought or carried away, compost toilets, tripods and greenhouses were built and a lot of delicious food was cooked. Particularly impressive is the wooden tower, about 10 metres high, from which the entire 80 hectares can be overlooked. Thus the occupation changed with the course of the seasons and the people living on site. During all this time, a lot of heart and soul was put into keeping the occupation going.
The field is a social place of experimentation and lived utopias, where we strive for a self-organized, non-hierarchical coexistence. Already in the first summer we planted vegetables and organized a diverse cultural program with lectures, workshops, film screenings and concerts.
And the occupation as an investment risk is showing its effects: the investor mentioned at the beginning of this article withdrew at the beginning of the year because the protest had made the location “enormously less attractive” for him. We are also celebrating our first successes in terms of local politics: at the beginning of 2020, the municipal council decided to put a stop to planning for at least six months, thus providing scope to consider alternatives to the logistics area. These first partial successes were only possible thanks to strong local resistance and supraregional networking.
The struggle in the field does not take place in isolation! The occupation is largely supported by local residents and sees itself as part of the climate justice movement. Beyond Nordhessen we show solidarity with other emmancipatory initiatives, like the occupations in the Dannenröder Wald or Hambacher Forst. We also feel connected to the worldwide small farmers’ movement “La Via Campesina”, which fights against colonial exploitation and for food sovereignty, especially in the global south. We are convinced that in order to achieve climate justice and a good life for all, we must overcome the prevailing capitalist conditions. The struggle for food sovereignty is also taking place here in Neu-Eichenberg. One step in this direction is that the fertile soil will remain a common good and be used for local food supply.
With the occupation we also draw attention to the threatening sealing of arable land: Every day 58 hectares are used in Germany – this means that the sealed area has doubled in the last 60 years alone! Soils have many important functions. For example, by building up humus in the soil, carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere and thus the worsening climate crisis can be mitigated. In addition, soil serves as a buffer during heavy rainfall events, as a water reservoir for dry periods and as a habitat for many organisms. The special soil quality of our arable land is also reflected in the fact that in the drought summers of recent years there has been relatively little loss of yield. Such fertile soils hold great social potential and it is high time that more political attention was paid to soil protection.
But what will happen to our field in Neu-Eichenberg? Currently, two further concepts are being discussed in addition to the logistics area, which is still not finally off the table:
A company that sells software for photovoltaic systems has come up with the idea of building a solar park on a large part of the area. This proposal also provides for a commercial area on 15 hectares – including soil sealing. Not only would the fertile arable land no longer be used for agricultural purposes, but the land would also be privatized and thus removed from any democratic control. Green capitalism is no alternative!
In contrast, the concept of the initiative “Land creates future”, in which students of agricultural sciences from Witzenhausen have joined forces with practitioners from agriculture and horticulture to design an agro-ecological alternative for the 80 hectares.
With the participation of the residents of Neu-Eichenberg, the initiative would like to shape the concrete implementation of a regenerative agriculture with further cooperation partners in the coming period. “Land creates future” pursues the goal of an integrated concept with municipal energy supply, communal living in the buildings of the adjoining domain and local food production in the centre. Its vision is to establish a “practice, demonstration and research location in order to advance rural developments and systems of regenerative agriculture (…) and to make them sustainable”.
We too feel connected to the principles of agroecology. This year, a working group has come together on the occupation, which now already grows disobedient vegetables. With this we contribute a part to our own supply and want to give away vegetables to our neighbours from Neu-Eichenberg. In addition, a few people from the region have already marked out small plots of land on our recollectivised field, which they now cultivate on their own.
All people from near and far are welcome to come by and help with the gardening. Already during the first soil cultivation a neighbouring farmer helped us – this way new exchange is created and the resistance grows.
More information about the occupation of the fields can be found here:
“To free six animals saves six lives. But I personally want to live in a world where this is no longer necessary. We can create that world together by joining forces and putting pressure on corporations and politicians.”
We were together with the youtuber Pia Kraftfutter in a fattening facility where chickens are kept for the PHW Group, and liberated six animals.
Yesterday a video of the action was published on the YouTube channel by Pia Kraftfutter and by ARIWA.
For decades animal protection and animal rights organisations have been arguing with representatives of politics and the animal industry about the abolition of gestation crates. Gestation crates are metal cages in which the mother pigs currently spend almost half their lives and cannot turn around.
A vote in the Federal Council on the amendment of the Ordinance on Animal Husbandry, including the regulations on gestation crates, was postponed several times.
But the meat industry is not willing to back down even a few centimetres, because for them the abolition of the gestation crates would mean additional expenditure and thus loss of profit. With their lobby organisations, they are putting pressure on the Ministry of Agriculture, and successfully so. Both the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Bundesrat’s Agricultural Committee want to keep the gestation crate system permanently (albeit reduced).
The animal protection NGO „Deutsche Tier-Lobby“, with a broad alliance of animal protection and animal rights organisations, is calling on the Bundesrat to vote on 15 May for the complete abolition of the gestation crate system.
The abolition of the gestation crate system can be a step in the right direction. But it must not stop there.
We call for the abolition of the animal industry as part of a comprehensive agricultural turnaround towards a solidarity-based and ecological production and organisation method that is not at the expense of other sentient individuals and is not profit-oriented.
Together with 59 other groups from climate justice and other social movements, we have worked to develop 24 measures that we believe are necessary in the current situation.
“The Corona crisis shows us the shortcomings of our current economic system,” says the list of demands. “This is the right moment to make our economy sustainable, fair and crisis-proof.”
On the one hand, the cross-sectional paper covers short-term demands such as the evacuation of large shelters and decentralised accommodation of refugees. On the other hand, it contains long-term measures such as the socialisation of the health care system or the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity in order to avoid future pandemics. Among other things, we call for an agricultural turnaround towards a reliable, socially just, ecologically compatible and animal welfare-free food supply.
You can read the whole paper here.
The spread of the “corona virus” SARS-Cov-2 is currently affecting all of our lives and cannot be ignored as a current global crisis. We all cannot yet foresee how the situation will develop in the next months. Therefore, we must postpone our planned mass action against PHW for this June with a heavy heart. Because even if by then such an action should be possible again, to prepare and to mobilize for it is very hard in the current situation.
In the meantime, as an alliance, we will continue working on our topic, trying out new (digital) forms of action and also continue to grow – in terms of personnel and content. So that we can all endure the current, challenging conditions and in the future will be able to fight against the animal industry, against the climate crisis and against oppression and exploitation with all the more power! We’re going to observe new opportunity windows that arise in these times of change and exchange information with other movements about it. Nevertheless, our confidence to stand up against the animal industry is urgent and we are doing everything we can to prepare the camp and the mass action for 2021, and then next year – if circumstances permit – we will be all the more energetic and powerful!
So stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted. Until then: stay healthy, stay alert for authoritarian actions, stay active, be in solidarity and take care of yourselves!
Together with the Animal Rights Initiative Vechta, we are organising an open networking meeting in Vechta on 9 March. We want to get together in a relaxed atmosphere from 7 p.m. onwards and network with other activists from the region.
We will report about our current planning status and talk about participation possibilities. There will also be room for your questions and discussions.
When: Monday, March 9th, 7 pm
Where: Room E 033, University of Vechta (https://osm.org/go/0Gb9Z6wkE-?m=)
If you have any questions, please send us a mail in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is our invitation text, which you are welcome to forward to interested parties:
Alliance “Gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie”: Networking meeting in Vechta on 09. March (19 Uhr)
The alliance “Gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie” is planning a protest camp in Visbek-Rechterfeld for 13th to 20th June 2020! This is where the PHW Group has its headquarters: with its brands Wiesenhof, Bruzzzler and Co. it is the largest German poultry breeder and processor. PHW and the animal industry are recording record sales and growth rates, while the workers* in the factories have to slave away under inhumane conditions, the Amazon rainforest is constantly burning for new areas of feed and fuels climate change, and undercover research in animal factories brings to light appalling conditions again and again. This is a scandal!
We are a broad alliance of groups and people who want to stand together in the way of the animal industry. You are also already active against the animal industry, for climate and environmental protection or against exploitation? Or you have been waiting for a long time for an opportunity to become active and you are curious what we have in mind? We would love to meet you at our open networking meeting in Vechta on 09 March! On this evening, starting at 7 pm, we will present the alliance and the current planning status. In a relaxed atmosphere we can talk about possible questions and participation possibilities.
When: Monday, March 9th 7 pm
Where: University of Vechta (exact location to be announced)If you have any questions, please send us an email in advance: mail(at)gemeinsam-gegen-die-tierindustrie.org
You can find further information on our homepage: https://gemeinsam-gegen-die-tierindustrie.org
See you soon!
Animal Rights Initiative Vechta and Gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie