Towards A Vegan Essene State

Posted on 31st July 2014 in Animal Rights, Articles, Self Determination

Vegans, for as long as the word existed, have been persecuted around the world. You know, you’ve done it yourself. We’re tired of having wieners waved in our faces, we’re tired of stupid questions like “where do you get your protein?” and “so you don’t eat chicken” as if chicken were a vegetable, fungi, prokaryote or other colonial organism. We’re fed up – so to speak.

Further, we want to live in a state where no animals are cruelly treated: used in factory farming or raised as commodities for human benefit; used in testing for the safety of human ego glamor products; used to test farmaceuticals to cure the ills that humans bring upon themselves from poor attitudes, bad diet and a disconnect from the very land which gives them life.

Vegans deserve a place where they don’t have to put up with inflated vegetable prices resulting from farm subsidies to the animal slaughter industry. Vegans don’t want to smell the burning carnage billowing out of restaurants as they walk down the streets of their communities. Vegans don’t want to have to breath in the dead skin cells of the omnivorous counterparts and would like to bring that cell count to a minimum.

For our homeland we propose that we create a state within a state within a state – we can be given land in Israel – perhaps the Golan Heights, southern Lebanon, Jerusalem or maybe somewhere in the Negev since they were going to take that place form the Bedouins recently.

We choose this place because we, as vegan Essenes, follow the same beliefs that Jesus did – according to the dead sea scrolls Jesus was an Essene and therefore a vegan. Since Jesus was a Jew, since an entire religion created in his name, and since that is where the 3 or so major religions claim as there homeland, we feel we should have a homeland too.

We hope the state of Israel, created as a homeland for an oppressed, persecuted and dispossessed peoples, will understand our plight and will give us a piece of the land that was given to them by the former empires of the world on a land where other people were living. They should be able to relate to that and empathize with us.

We will soon be petitioning the UN for the right to legal veganhood and seeking funding through the Vegan Defense Fund. We shall soon be publishing a complete manifesto of how we shall go about funding this large scale emigration, assimilation into the existent community and security concerns.

 

Adam Roufberg interviewed by Activist Radio about his experiences in the West Bank and on The Jenin Freedom Bus

Posted on 22nd April 2014 in Interviews, Reflections, Self Determination

Fred Nagel of Activist Radio interviews Adam Roufberg – peace researcher, human rights activist and former radio host at WVKR (RadioActiveLunch), to discuss his experiences in the West Bank and on the Jenin Freedom Theater’s Freedom Ride. [the interview begins at 24:00]

  

Listen to the interview >>

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The Freedom Theatre
The Freedom Bus
Youtube Videos from Nabi Saleh >>
Alrowwad – Beautiful Resistance >>

 

 

 

Breaking In/Out to/of Israel

Israel, a w(W)hite W(w)estern Jewish democracy (Orwellian Newspeak), is not always that easy to get into. You have to be crafty to break into such a fortress (aka Enchanted Prison). Those amongst we holy wanderers, political dissidents and ignorant travelers have different types of preparation to perpetrate. Some just have to pack their clothes and get on and off of a plane or two. Others have to clean up their facebook accounts, look tired, and prepare names and phone numbers of friends or friends of friends or acquaintances of friends and/or family and their friends and/or associates who might lend a phone number and rough location along with a corroborative report. Others, I’m certain, spend a little extra money on the latest grunge fads to like they are already a part of the Tel Aviv hipster crowd.

 

When you arrive, your boyfriend may not be allowed to enter. He will call you when he is at the gate departing with the news that he is being sent back and he is not exactly sure why and neither were the Israeli’s who are making him go back. You might get asked a series of questions pertaining to your travel intentions, who you’re staying with, and how long you’ll be there. You might have to provide a phone number and an address or two and watch as they call the number to make sure your story holds water. If you are a known activist or know any known activists you might likely be taken to another room and undergo an interrogation. You may be asked to strip. You may be asked to open your computer and login to your accounts so they can see what you’ve been up to. You might get a stamp on your passport indicating you are not welcome back to Israel for a decade – presumably when the social and political order is a bit more chill.

 

Whether you are entering or leaving, if you are actually acting with dubious intentions (maybe you’re an intellectual studying Palestinian Art as a form of resistance, or your teaching Pal children to build skateboard parks and learn how to skate, or your a young German girl working for the UN in Ramallah), you’ve gotta do a minimum of two things to enter safely: you have to have a viable story worked out and you’ve got to de-arabize or de-palestinianize your travel articles. Maybe you won’t abring Said’s book on the Question of Palestine or the book on Dabka but would rather grab yourself a copy of Hertzl’s Jewish State and pretend your coming to visit the holy sites and explore your Jewish or Christian roots. Maybe your contemplating Aliyah to get some of your tax dollars back. You’ll learn a couple of Hebrew words to pretend your on in being in on the know. Most of all, deep down inside, you’re prepared to be carted and cordoned off, questioned, cross examined, caressed, and sent back across the Mediterranean lest you be suspected of seeking a dialogue with like minded humanists (Allah forbid they be Arabs), learning a little bit about the cultures of both sides: the indigenous Arab populations and the mostly white implants (read colonizers) in Israel proper. [Note: everyone should have the right to a decent and safe place to live but the history of colonization implies dispossessing others of their homes and land and that tends to piss people off and cause protracted conflicts – something Hertzl was well aware of and wrote about].

 

Then, of course, there is a sort of un-re-decolonizing of the mind/heart/spirit triad that has to take place. It goes something like this: you realize that your spending so much time coming up with stories so that you can continue to enter and exit Israel. You realize that realizing how much time and energy realizing it takes up more time and energy. You realize that it is this way intentionally. You realize that for a brief period of time you are Israel’s bitch because they’re forcing you to make unethical decisions – you feel boxed into lying. You invent the term “flying ethics” (once again, to mock the flying checkpoints that Palestinians are subject to): literally ethics on the fly, a tactic used to avoid telling incriminating truths in the face of arbitrary and unreasonable searches and seizures such as: I was in Hebron, I visited the Darwish Museum, I purchased olive soap and sweets in Nablus, I ate felafel in Birzeit, there is a really beautiful human being that I’ve fallen in love with that lives in East jerusalem, and/or I am an ardent supporter and promoter of human rights and I support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

 

You realize its fuck all that you’re forced into this shituation to begin with and you can’t just smile and be honest and travel freely to visit a beautiful peoples in a beautiful culture in a not too beautiful circumstance. You realize that if you make it in or out you might not make it in or out again. You realize that this cycle is precisely what your being forced into again and you argue the virtues of honesty versus the virtues of lying knowing full well that they’re just toying with you and they know where you’ve been in any case and since they can’t really do to you what they do to the Palestinians at least they can have some fun with you, own your ass, watch you sweat, catalog the inventions that you’ve come up with, and determine whether or not you should be made an example of.

 

They know you’ve spent countless hours with your friends telling stories of what happened to them or people they know. They know you’ve been busy coming up with stories of your own. They know it doesn’t matter what you say, where you’re from or your station in life. If they want to fuck with you, in many splendid ways, they will. So, for just a little amount of time you are their bitch.

 

You can imagine the kind of intellectual tai chi chuan that is required to skate flawlessly through the system of checkpoints, questions and border crossings. It is, in many ways, however, like roulette. The outcome is seemingly random.

Wall Vaulting: The New Fad Sport of Nonviolent Popular Resistance in Palestine

by Enchanted Prison Guard

 

There are many forms of non-violent popular resistance – of which there are many types. There is the type in which civil society is simply rebuilding its own identity through the forms. There is the type of direct confrontation between belligerent occupier and the occupied. There is the type in which individuals educate themselves and act with the intention to educate others of the forms and types of non-violent popular resistance. I’m sure there are more. Please send me your thoughts.

Of course, some forms employ a mix of types. Sports for example, no matter where they are played, tend to build relationships of many types, some cooperative, some competitive, some mutually inductive and some mutually restrictive. In any case, so it seems, a new fad sport appears to be evolving in the West Bank of Palestine incorporating a study of the forms and types of Nonviolent Popular Resistance using sport, education, team building, media outreach, and communication with the police and military on both sides which directly engages both occupier and occupied with the intention of having fun and making a point. As you can tell from the title of this piece, pole vaulting the wall/Wall appears to becoming a popular sport in the West Bank of Palestine.

Teams are training in class rooms studying the principles of peaceful beautiful resistance: Gandhi, Sharp, King Jr., Galtung and international law are just a small part of the required reading material for the curriculum. Then of course there is the rigorous training in sport employing a mutually inductive cooperation through competition. These people are strong. Intellectually. Physically. Morally.

People are reaching out to the media to inform the world of who they are and what is their intention. To put it simply, in the words of one of the participants, “simply stated, the wall is not impenetrable. We penetrate it with love… in our hearts and we make it known that we are non-violent and this has a profound effect on any act of physical violence the Israeli Defense Force or Police might take against us. We get arrested. We have lawyers. Some of us spend time in jail. Some of us get tortured. A few of us have been brutally wounded. One of us was killed. We know the risks. We’re Committed. We just turn around and do it again. The word is getting out and it’s making it difficult for the Israeli Army to do anything in terms of physical violence at this point. We have a lot of international support through the media, the internet, and even the Secretary General of the U.N. Has commented in support of our actions.”

The group, of course, calls themselves Palestinian Wall Vaulters for Peace and they work with a group affiliated with security called Fighters for Peace which is comprised of former Palestinian and Israeli combatants who act, essentially as observers and human shields. They also work with “Doctors Beyond Boundaries” for obvious reasons as well as Free Legal Aid, an array of international lawyers working pro bono publico for other obvious reasons.

I am told there is a website in the works. Apparently some one bought the best combinations of domain names when they heard of the group and the group is not yet in a position to purchase any of them (for not so obvious reasons) and is reluctant to choose amongst the list of poor combinations that might be available.

Needless to say, they’re looking for support. They’re not asking for any money. Poles are cheap and the attire is not well defined yet. The wall/Wall is where it is and it is what it is so there are many locations for practice and performance.  The type of support they are looking for is in the form of acknowledgement (if not solidarity with the same forms and types they are engaged with): that they have the inalienable right to self determine, to human rights (at least at its current theory and practice) and to provide for their human needs unimpeded.

At the moment they are asking not to take or expose any pictures since it just makes it easier to be spotted as they usually set up “flying break points” spoofing on the “flying checkpoints” the Israeli Defense Force might set up. “We hope people will come to Palestine and experience our beautiful culture and experience all there is to experience in the West Bank,” says one of the organizers for the group.

Political Asylum in Palestine

Posted on 10th March 2014 in Poetry, Reflections, Self Determination

I don’t mind the too much smoke too much
the tiling and counter tops are exquisite
the rubble from house demolitions
and pulverized minds
everywhere barely noticeable
stray dogs disinterested in human flesh
in the Ghetto of Ramallah
a dusty place I am told
human skin meteorite and white phosphorous
nose food du jour
waiting for the next incursion

 

pole vaulting the wall
new fad sport
keeping the occupiers preoccupied
sipping pomegranate fresh
from the skull cup of your monkeyed child
lemon and mint overlooking Nablus
your guilt becomes neuroses
Shiraz from Ksiesh
sick on your own medicine
planning the next excursion

 

you’ve all become the victims
cut off from each other
you no longer know yourselves
the plan to prevent
civil unrest east and west
Damscus gate Jerusalem
ancient place of restructured history
occupied colonized uncivilized
there are no sweet angels
on stolen land

 

even the artists forgot the art
the politic an inescapable reality
all fighting amongst themselves
don’t have to talk to each other
coexisting the next best thing to killing
on the front lines of UN borders
where the felafel is always fresh
sustenance for the soul of combat
through dance music theater child
feel the warmth of the coffee and culture
homeless in the homeland
the bitter tide of privilege

The Last Revolution on Earth

Posted on 4th March 2014 in Notes, Reflections, Self Determination

Foreword: I want to be perfectly clear, since I’ve already lost a few friends over this prelude to a short story, that I am in perfect health (to the best of my knowledge). This piece is a back-handed thank you for all of the well wishes I’ve received for completing another revolution around the sun; it is a call to loving arms of non-violent popular resistance of internal revolution – a transformation of self loathe to self love so that all of us can begin to do the dirty work of loving everything around us from seven generations into the past into the future. Aho Mitakye Oyasin – All of my relations.

*      *      *

Preludium

It will come as no surprise to you, in the most general sense, that we are all mortal. You will die to feed the crumbling Earth. You’ve seen your parents go. An occasional sibling or friend carved out of the picture a little sooner than you expected. You mourn and you carry on with all of life’s enticements, distractions and the things we dedicate ourselves to under the impression that it makes a difference for the general state of affairs on Earth: ease the pain maybe for some or increase the level of violence and destruction for others depending on what your god sanctioned or how brutally you were raped of your capacity for compassion and empathy. So how will you deal with this news I am about to tell you.

This is my last revolution on Earth – around the sun. I didn’t chose to be here – to the best of my knowledge and recollection – to begin with. And I certainly was hoping I might have the opportunity to die healthy in some field in Upstate NY laying in a bed of sweet grass, heather, bedstraw, cleavers, clover and queen anne’s lace. Maybe I’ll make it back there in time. Maybe time will take me back before I get to kiss my sweet friends goodbye, visit the burial sites of my family who, too, were taken too soon or gave of themselves the ultimate sacrifice out of humiliation before the eyes of the divine. In my case, it will be a creeping death until I can’t take it anymore and decide to end my life when the pain becomes unbearable. When my disease ridden body can no longer maintain its physical integrity and I start bleeding from the inside out, my flesh rotting, my friends and family – the few left, can no longer bear to look at me when their suffering becomes greater than mine.

I’m telling you this because I want you to know that I love you. I have always loved you and was too afraid to express it. I was unable to share with you my deepest feelings and desires of love. Had I been bold enough and, maybe, not struggling with mixed messages of superiority and utter inadequacy I would have given of myself selflessly as I had always felt the need to do. As I have always felt compelled to overlook any intrusion of fear and simply give of myself what I wanted to give to you without inhibitions as to how you might perceive what is really nothing but generosity. Yet this sort of giving, this style of generosity is biblical and has no place in a modern western society where big brother is too busy watching us watching him watching us missing the point. Love has no place in a world phased on egotistical projections of narcissistic assholes whose inculcation was a message of rape, estrangement, dispossession disguised behind the mighty dollar and dogmatic regimes.

I realize I sound cynical, angry, twisted and without love or joy and this might well be true as I have spent my life learning and teaching compassion with the realization that we are all subject to the very same conditions and that the very core of our humanity is comprised of a simultaneity of utter despair and confusion of being too scared and afraid to accept what we know as deeply imprinted in our DNA and superficially masked by any number of devices we’ve designed for ourselves to pretend there is anything divine in existence- our existence. Our mortal existence. Yet I know there is not one soul among you who can look me in the eye and pretend that you know anything other than the fact that what we do here on this earth, how we live, and how we die, stays here. Unlike me, you shall have to mourn my death as I will be leaving here relatively soon. I will not mourn your death. I mourn the lives of those of you too scared and to traumatized to let go of the language that enslaves you in the cowards dream; in the oppressors nightmare that was created for you that you somehow came to believe. Even those of you who challenged the nightmare were still owned by it. You should have walked away smiling without a fight leaving the perpetrator to languish alone.

I can say that I’m happy to be leaving and if I had the courage I would do it now but after what I’ve been through and, more importantly, what those few remaining family members have witnessed and what my dear friends have each suffered alone, I don’t feel its right to put that burden on them – on you. Indeed, this letter is enough of a suicide threat to bring some to their knees and I don’t want to be responsible for any ones suffering as I have lived a life trying to avoid that: causing the direct or proxy suffering of any living being that wasn’t for the sole purpose of my sustenance and vitality. Now things are quite different and I don’t have a great deal of time to fret about niceties and to ponder ad nauseum what the right thing to do is based on every ones unique experiences and perceptions dancing on a mantle of thin ice for a race of people who will no doubt cross the finish line huffing, bleeding, drowning in their own love and loathe; your own. I know some of you get it and will read this farewell note as the blessing I intend it to be, seeing through the words themselves to embrace the essence of our collective mortality as something to dance macabre.

In reality this is a call to action. Not for me. I’m cool with my fate but I’m tired of your cowardice. I’m tired of watching people when they are needed the most to give of themselves shut down and close off to the people who are asking in silence to come to their rescue, to come to caress them in their time of greatest need when they are most vulnerable and feel most humiliated when their vision degenerates, when they become incontinent, invalid, and too damned ashamed to expose their base humanity as a result of foolish pride and vanity that we re somehow supposed to die a glorious and beautiful death that when we’re lain in our caskets people will tell us we look peaceful knowing full well that is only what they, what you, hope for yourself. That you will suck it up and live as a slave to anything that will buy you out of your inability to simply shed all of the mythos that drives your subconscious and steers you like a dangling marionette – a hollow ghost of the would be you that is both raging inside against the injustice teeming around you as you are cowered underneath your manger hiding from both the brutal warlord and the fanatic revolutionary.

Think about it. My fate is sealed. I will not be here for you to love or to hate within six months time and you will, like you have your grandparents, your heroes, untold child victims of war, forget not about me, but about yourself. You will forget that you are not living as a brave. That you are not living as this day meant something more than fulfilling some bogus mandate carved out for you by heartless oppressors. That beyond the dome above your head there is an infinity without questions or answers or meaning except what you decide for yourself and the rest them/us. Or will you?