About the upcoming trial regarding the incident of 2018 with the hunter in Evia (Greece)


Republished from a counter-information website. “About the upcoming trial regarding the incident of 2018 with the hunter in Evia On May 26, 2022, the court case for the incident that happened about 3.5 years ago, on December 26, 2018, in Evia, concerning a dispute with a hunter, will be heard at the Single-Member Court of Appeal for Felony Cases in Chalkida. The persons brought on trial are two.

For reasons not at hand, however, both this text and the political opening of the case is now being done only by the signator. What happened in December 2018 was a spontaneous attempt to prevent a hunter from pursuing his killing hobby and kill an animal. After being asked repeatedly to stop to no avail, tension ensued, the result of which was that his shotgun was thrown somewhere in the woods. With the hunter in a furious state the end of the incident came with our departure from the scene. The hunter called the police and as a result we were stopped on the route by a number of their vehicles and arrested us.

The charges held against us were robbery (for the shotgun) which is a felony and theft (of a cell phone) which is a misdemeanor. At the same time, a restrictive condition to leave the country was imposed, which is still in force today. More about the incident and the statements, role and attitude of the hunting clubs on the case can be found in the previous text published here (editor’s note: this text can be found translated inside the blog here).

These accusations only serve to depoliticise a spontaneous but political action in favour of non-human animals and against killer hunters. Depoliticizing actions that disrupt law and order, jeopardize normality and challenge the power and privilege of some is something that is done overwhelmingly by civil justice. With the law as a tool of civil democracy, power camouflages the characteristics of our actions and judges them on the basis of their inclusion or not in its legal code. Laws, however, are nothing more than the written ratification of vertical and horizontal powers. This is why the war against powers often lies outside the context of a legal life. Having said this, the conclusion is not that the action in Evia was illegal. It is that actions against authority can often either be illegal or, with the proper management of the criminal code, they can become.

In short, this text is not an attempt to prove innocence nor a call to support the signator in the face of two unjust and false charges brought by the state’s judicial system. It is a call for solidarity in the struggle against the authorities. In this case, power was embodied by an individual who, carrying his privileged position as a member of the human species, went out to have fun by killing free non-human creatures moving in their natural environment. Hunting as a symptom of anthropocentrism and speciesism exists to confirm the latter. Killing at will other sentient beings (whether they move on land, sea or air) on the basis of superiority over them is one piece in the chain of the polymorphous exploitation of non-human animals.

Next to this is the snatching and imprisonment of animals in structures of confinement, exploitation, torture and murder. Some examples of these are zoos, marine parks, pet shops, fish farms, factories in the meat, milk, cheese, egg, leather and fur industries. The same claim to the superiority of the human species arms the hands of science and drives non-human animals into experimental laboratories in the name of finding a cure for human diseases and the cause of financial grants for experiments, promotion and academic advancement through the publication of experimental research and the profitability of pharmaceutical companies from the production and sale of medicines. The life and existence of animals is considered so inferior that experimentation on them for the production of cosmetics, detergents and other grooming and household products does not, for the most part, arouse any social reflex.

On the other hand, the more fortunate of them are legally protected according to the culture and laws of each country, as is the case in Greece mainly with cats and dogs. Even in this case, however, these animals are named as “companion animals” (editor’s note: otherwise called “pets”) since their existence could not fail to serve people in some way. At the same time, the culture of speciesism, embracing eugenics and purity logics, arms the hands of the state and all kinds of ‘animal lovers’ with the tools of sterilisation, chipping and confinement in apartments on the grounds of “saving” non-human animals. But this too is nothing more than a camouflaged mentality of speciesism which again places humans in the position of deciding for non-human animals, this time as their superior protectors. But let these “animal lovers” answer whether they would choose the same for homeless people.

Or if they understand the term “aanimal welfarist” in the same way they understand the term “philanthropist”. I assume they wouldn’t neuter, chip and jail a human friend due to weather conditions. All of these authoritarian practices and the corresponding structures can and do exist only because they serve the construct of anthropocentrism and the culture of speciesism on which the majority of human society is built. The two together strip non-human animals of their characteristics and allow them to be transformed from subjects with intrinsic value in life into profit-making machines, objects of entertainment, consumer products, experimental tools and stuffed teddy bears for humans. And hunting is nothing more than a part of all this. The president of the local hunting club – of Istriea – said that the whole “hunting family” is being harmed and threatened by the action in Evia.

This action, however, carries behind it the opposition not only to this particular hunter, not only to the hunters, but to all those who embody the authority of speciesism. The liberation of non-human animals from the shackles of human domination is the cornerstone of antispeciesism, just as the liberation of all from the shackles of all powers is the core of total iberation. All forms of power coexist, interact and feed off each other. Patriarchy challenges the equal value of femininities over masculinities just as speciesism challenges the self-worth of non-human animals over human animals. The war against the self-determination of the bodies of human females, their violation and non-consensual treatment as mechanisms of reproduction, means of producing entertainment, pleasure and as tools for the validation of masculine domination stands side by side with the corresponding treatment of the female bodies of non-human animals. Cows in the context of the industry, stacked side by side, imprisoned and immobilized, are subjected to repeated rapes in order to produce babies that will never grow up with their mothers since they will end up in a slaughterhouse to become meat for humans.

And their mother’s milk will never end up with them as it will again be turned into a product for humans. Probably the supermarket shelf that will adorn what should be food for their babies will be near a refrigerator that will contain their own butchered bodies packaged and frozen. Women trafficking  is not so different from trucking cows to some facility for confinement, oppression, torture and rape. To conceive of “liberation” as something that only fits the human species is the same as conceiving of “classless society” as a society of white supremacists and dark-skinned slaves. Or as a society where patriarchy will still exist and/or children and the elderly will continue to be oppressed by the “productive” age and people of different abilities and ways of thinking will live in the shadow of the “normal” ones. Such a society cannot be liberating. To conclude and return, the significance of the forthcoming court does not lie in its legal aspect and verdict and – as far as I am concerned – is not a process directed towards the individual on trial nor a reference – by extension – to the atomocentric view of liberation struggles. It lies in the socio-political promotion of ways of life that stand against oppression and power. And from my perspective, solidarity in this case in particular is understood as solidarity first and foremost with the non-human animals themselves, such as some rabbits that may have been saved that day. With this as a starting point, I invite people who share these issues to express their solidarity in whatever way they wish. For until all is free, none is free.