Rodney Coronado – Reconnecting & Standing Firm
“I now believe that freedom is something that we can only achieve by following the laws of nature, not of man. Freedom is doing what we know in our hearts is right, and to hell with the physical consequences of not obeying tyranny. As Emiliano Zapata so aptly put it: I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees…“
Rodney Coronado is of American Indian descent. Here he talks about the trials and tribulations of carrying out direct actions as an Animal/Earth Liberation activist since the 80’s. The risks, consequences and loyalty to the movement, and commitment towards achieving the greater good.
Facebook friends request worth 4 months in prison. Democracy now.
Rod Coronado on extremism:
Extremism comes in varying degrees. Most people associate extremism with religion or politics, but the extremism that most concerns me is environmental, social and spiritual, which I differentiate from religion. Extremism to me is not what we as socially conscious individuals do to fight a greater evil. It’s what multinational corporations, governments and consumers do to the earth and animals that pushes the extremes of the earth’s carrying capacity at the expense of other life forms and future generations.
Extremism to me is continuing to manufacture and produce products that we know are destroying our ozone and contaminating our water. Extremism to me is the tyrannical degree of police and military repression that citizens sanction and that results in the imprisonment, torture and death of any who stand in the way of progress. Extremism is also the distance we have allowed ourselves to become from the laws and power of nature which taught us how to live in harmony with other life for millennia. This is an extremism that allows us to label those trying to reverse the destruction of earth and animals as “extremists” while calling the activities of the destroyers legitimate, and those responsible law-abiding citizens. I consider myself anti-extremist in every sense of the word because extremism tips the scales of all life on earth precariously close to disaster.
Rod Coronado on Violence:
I define violence as physical force directed at a sentient being or natural creation. I do not believe that violence can be committed against something inanimate whose sole purpose is the destruction of innocent life and natural creation. The violence that is legally committed against animals in labs, fur and factory farms, and in the wild is totally unjustified and unacceptable, as is the violence committed when the remaining wild places are destroyed. The violence committed against women, people of colour, indigenous peoples, and anyone who opposes the loss of human rights and freedoms to governments and corporations, is especially despicable. It prevents those with a close relationship with the earth from displaying the path of harmony.
Self-defence is not violence. Should anyone defend themselves from violence with violence, then I believe it is acceptable. But as a movement whose fundamental belief is respect and reverence for all life, there is no place for violence as a means to preserve life, especially when we have yet to exhaust the avenues of non-violent, illegal direct action against the tools and institutions of life’s destruction.