Every November 5th, the hactivist collective Anonymous arranges worldwide demonstrations to protest capitalism, mass surveillance and government corruption. As a group standing against political oppression, it would follow that those participating in the march would also oppose other systems of oppression that exist because of our society’s hierarchical structure. So – why were protestors violent towards living beings that are shit on by the government?
I’m talking about the shameful attack on horses at the event, and the subsequent assault of a woman attempting to protect them. As the march moved towards Buckingham Palace, protestors threw fireworks aimed at police officers on horses. Daisy Greenway, a protestor attending the event, told others not to harm the horses and one protestor responded that ‘police horses don’t feel’. What the fuck? Harking back to old stereotypes that animals are unthinking, unfeeling robots is a ridiculous lie, used here as a flimsy justification to comfort those committing acts of violence. The distinction is made that while horses feel, police horses don’t. I’m not entirely sure why the protestors thought that the horses had made a choice to be exploited as police property. I’m also not entirely sure why the protestors didn’t seem particularly bothered that sentient beings are OWNED by the police force and used to enforce the law.
Why anyone would consider engaging in such a cruel act at all? Those in power mask violence towards animals to make it difficult for humans to make the connection between animals and suffering. We need to keep reaching towards anti-oppression collectives to help educate about the oppression of animals that is so often ignored. Okay. Consider what happened next – Daisy, pulled a man away from a frightened horse. The man then attacked her. Daisy reports that sexist abuse was hurled at her during the assault. This is unacceptable, especially considering how hypocritical it is for people protesting violent systems to reproduce violence.
This is a message to anyone involved in Anonymous (or any anti-oppression group). How can you expect unity if you discriminate against minorities?
Note: The six horses that were injured at the march are recovering.