At the Anti-Spe-Days in the Hambach Forest, we were able to hold a workshop on international mobilization for a mass action in 2021. Numerous new networks on animal liberation and animal rights activists from Europe have emerged. As part of the workshop, plans were concretized how the mobilization can be carried out effectively and strategically. The workshop also provided a framework for exchanging views on transnational experiences with repression and the implementation of actions.
At the end of September, a hot late summer is on the horizon in the Rhineland: from September 23 – 28, “Ende Gelände“ mobilizes into the lignite mining area, and in the same period (September 24 – 27) the international Forest Anti-Spe Days 2020 will take place in the Hambacher Forst! We call on you to come with us to the Rhineland and participate in the actions! Either at Ende Gelände or in the Hambacher Forst during the Days against Speciesism.
We will participate in the program with workshops in the Hambacher Forst and present us and our plans for the Mass Action 2021 to the international activists.
More information about the Forest Anti-Spe Days can be found on the official homepage:
From our today’s press release:
250 people followed the call of the alliance “gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie” to protest against the Tönnies Group’s claims for damages against activists. The company demands 40,000 Euros from 30 animal rights and climate justice activists* of the action group “Tear Down Tönnies”, who blocked the slaughterhouse for several hours in October 2019.
In compliance with the minimum distance and equipped with mouth-nose-covering, the demonstrators* moved loudly shouting from the market place in Kellinghusen to the Tönnies slaughterhouse. With chants like “We are loud and we are here – for the liberation of humans and animals” they made their demands unmistakably clear.
Several speakers described the precarious and unworthy conditions of the workers in the slaughterhouses and pointed out the responsibility of the meat industry for the destruction of natural resources and thus the human-made climate change. The needs of animals and their disregard by the meat industry were also addressed.
In a greeting message of the campaign “We don’t shut up, we shut down” it was explained how activists are fighting against the power company RWE, which also demands compensation for damages from climate justice activists* for an action against coal mining.
The group Tear Down Tönnies has started an anti-repression campaign against Tönnies. A call for donations follows, which you are welcome to forward!
Furthermore: We support the activists* and call for a demonstration in front of the then blocked Tönnies slaughterhouse in Kellinghusen on Saturday (29.08.): https://gemeinsam-gegen-die-tierindustrie.org/aufruf-und-infos-demo-kellinghusen-29-08/
On 21.10.2019 we, the action group “Tear down Tönnies” blocked the Tönnies slaughterhouse “Thomsen” in Kellinghusen. For almost twelve hours we prevented the regular slaughter and the killing of several thousand animals. The goal of the action was to draw attention to the precarious working conditions, the endless animal suffering and the strong climate and environmental pollution caused by the animal industry. Now Tönnies demands a high 5-digit amount of money as compensation for the lost profit and expenses incurred.
To a company, which makes its profit with the exploitation of humans, animals and environment, are we to pay compensation? We see it differently. If someone has to pay compensation, it is the corporations who are responsible for climate change, extinction of species, land theft and the destruction of our natural resources. And not those who take action against it.
Therefore we will take legal action against Tönnies’ claims. For this we are dependent on your solidarity and support. Civil lawsuits are unfortunately very expensive. That’s why we need your support to finance the process. We are happy about every support, be it a donation, a solidarity action or the distribution of our call for donations.
The attempt to stop protests with claims for damages must not be successful! Let’s show Tönnies that he has made a proper settlement with his claim… The trial will certainly be a good opportunity to bring all the “mess” of the Tönnies company into the public eye.
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We from the Alliance Gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie have decided to sign the “Pacto Ecosocial del Sur”. It stands for a social, ecological, economic and intercultural pact for Latin America and we share several values aiming at profound social and economic change for a better world. The whole text from the “Pacto Ecosocial del Sur” and all signees can be found here.
The 2020 virus pandemic exposed how global social inequalities further disenfranchise the most vulnerable people. Care work is routinely performed by women without adequate recognition, very often unpaid. Refugees are held in dreadful conditions overseas and in border camps while seasonal workers are flown to Europe to harvest asparagus. Indigenous populations struggle since centuries against diseases and predatory extractivism in their own territories brought by white settlers and modern economic practices, such as mining and soy monoculture production. In the German context, low-paid immigrants and irregularized people are subject to terrible working conditions in slaughterhouses, sanctioned by precarious and exploitative sub-contracts.
In addition to all these exploiting relations sanctioned by capitalism, environmental limits are being reached. An economy oriented towards the greedy extraction of natural resources is fostered by Global North actors, whose effects in the Global South include deterritorialization of local populations, outspread pollution and ecosystems destruction, increase in food insecurity and deepening of social inequalities.
Therefore, we from the Alliance Gemeinsam gegen die Tierindustrie sign the pact in solidarity, working for and supporting climate and social justice movements regionally and internationally. We understand that global solidarity is the first tool when working for dismantling structural power asymmetries. This fight includes post-colonial and racial struggles, gender equality as well as animal liberation and climate justice. It is our view that a pro-intersectional approach is crucial to work for a more just world.
Building upon the points outlined by the “Pacto Ecosocial del Sur”, an agricultural shift towards a solidary, ecological and plant-based production is critical, to be organized in a way that neither harms others nor is oriented on profit. Stopping the animal industry is in our view a crucial move when fighting against climate change and a global capitalism exploiting people, animals and nature. More information about us and our values can be found here.
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: