“Peaugres (Ardèche) : Cages that we call liberty.
A thought for all people, whether they are locked in cages or not, who would like to see them destroyed, aware that these are not only material. In our thoughts are also all living creatures that animate our desires to destroy as it does to live.
Last week, we attacked the zoo/safari of Peaugres, setting fire to its four entry boxes, small prefabricated cabins covered with wooden panels. We placed on each of them two devices, the first one (half a plate of firestarter) under one of the windows, hoping that the heat would blow up the glass and allow the fire to spread inside, and the second, (1.5 L of a mixture of gasoline and oil and the rest of the plate of the firestarter) at the foot of the window, under the wooden panels. Our idea was to multiply the places to start the fire so that it spreads more efficiently. In addition, we also verified that the fire could not possibly spread to the nearby forest (separated from that by land or bitume, and no wind).
All the cabins seem to have been destroyed, but we have no confirmation as to the effectiveness of the devices under the windows.
Below, some of the reasons that motivated this attack, and reflections that came to us during the preparation of the latter.
Zoos are prisons presented as places of entertainment, discovery, education and even awareness and conservation of an apparently wildlife. While very often they are born in captivity, and in the time they were discovered by Western settlers, decimated or caged to be brought here, to be exhibited, to be used as a gift and as entertainment, as product for circus or zoo businesses.
These places and the propaganda that surrounds them are the embodiment of the specist mentality that destroys the world of which they would be expected to be a sample. That is to say the superiority that human beings create over the rest of the living beings and by virtue of which they give themselves the possibility of disposing and enclosing non-human beings for their pleasure, whether it be culinary, emotional, cultural or scientific.
The zoos are not without reminding us that the settlers did not limit themselves to massacring and exiling non-human animals, and that it was under the guise of the same arguments and ambitions – to entertain and educate through exhibition – that they developed and popularized ‘human zoos’ throughout a bloody process of colonization. A demonstration of ostensible racism always present, among other things in mentalities and structures that denigrate and/or exotise a category of people.
And it is these places (in their so-called ‘safari’ form), firmly based on the speciesist domination that one would like to pass for places where you ‘become aware of the environment’, where you ‘discover nature’, where the animals would be ‘wild’ and ‘free’. But, without pretending to make an exhautive definition, animals ‘in the wild’ doesn’t mean locked up in parks that can only be too small, crossed by cars all day long, fed and cared for by human beings, depriving them of all capacity to be autonomous, and to move around.
The electrified walls and screens surrounding these parks are not their ‘natural environment’. This could be, for example, the areas currently being ransacked by the oil companies that provide the gasoline used by the customers of these safaris to see the animals, (and certainly, the oil use for our devices).
No more than for individuals in a society where we would like to be made to believe that there are no other barriers than those visible in prisons and on borders, no freedom is left to these non-human animals. A more appropriate word exists to describe their material situation: captivity.
This lie, the ‘natural, free and wild’ state, in addition to being a marketing argument, is found in the educational content that teaches its audience that ‘nature’ and the fauna that compose it are limited to enclosed and reconstituted spaces by humans. What it underlies is that it is normal to see bears and giraffes in France, it is normal that animals are in cages, it is normal that other species are enslaved to humans, who must ‘protect’ them.
The zoos are nothing more than prisons, businesses whose participants justify hypocritically the confinement under the guise of protecting decimated species, while participating to normalize, trivialize and exalt the domination of the human species on everything that surrounds it.
This idea, that there are beings ‘to be protected’ more generally serves as a pretext for the establishment of various types of confinement. It is found in the speeches of the state which, under the guise of protecting, monitors and controls the individuals it claims to provide security by the implementation of security devices (from laws, to cameras, through cataloging and the encouragement to denounce). It is underlying and also participates in maintaining other forms of structural domination such as patriarchy and racism. The state, the figure of the father or some other player seeking to establish a position of power, makes sure to anchor fear in individuals and deprives them of any means of being autonomous in the organization of their own defense; thereby creating not only a dependence on a protective instance but also the feeling of weakness and helplessness that self-feeds this logic.To illustrate this briefly, it is to tell a person categorized as ‘woman’ that she is at the same time in danger, weak and unfit to use physical or verbal violence.
This is the principle of the gilded prison, where certainly, the locked up beings are not free, but at least ‘safe’. And for people who refuse to submit to this protective/protected logic, and/or judged to be dangerous for others, for themselves or for social peace, much less gilded prisons are planned.
For the destruction of all prisons, whatever the shape of their bars.”