quinta-feira, 30 de julho de 2015

Anarchists and the legislative dilemma – the 2004 Hunting Act in England and Wales

by Will Boisseau

This paper considers anarchist responses to the 2004 Hunting Act in England and Wales by drawing on interview material with hunt saboteurs and related animal rights activists across the UK. The paper starts by considering traditional anarchist responses to legislation, including the claim that ‘capitalism and the state work in tandem, so legislation will always enforce the primacy of property… This is the reason why legislation designed to protect animals from cruelty often ends up making things worse in the long run’. However, by using the criteria set out by Uri Gordon, who offers four coherent ways in which anarchists can deal with dilemma of ‘“supporting” statehood’ whilst showing solidarity with Palestinians, I argue that the same four reasons can explain why it is not inconsistent for anarchist animal advocates to support progressive animal rights legislation. The paper develops into a consideration of the relationship between anarchistic hunt saboteurs and law enforcement agencies since the Hunting Act. Although anarchistic activists may well support the Act, and wish the see it strengthened, I argue that anarchists should not appeal to a hierarchical structure of law enforcement to implement animal protection measures. The paper will conclude by drawing lessons for the on going struggle to prevent hunting in the UK.

Will Boisseau is a Ph.D. student at Loughborough University. His research – which follows a Critical Animal Studies framework - focuses on animal advocacy within the British left, particularly within anarchism and the parliamentary left.

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