Nicoal R. Sheen: ‘We are the voice for those behind the mask’

The Examiner
May 13, 2013

‘We are the voice for those behind the mask’As of March 2013 we have removed and destroyed approximately 200 fur traps in Ontario. The traps were snares and Conibears intended to murder beaver, rabbits and other innocents. Tragically we were too late for two rabbits and one raccoon, whose bodies and internal organs had already been eaten into by snares. We will be forever haunted by our memories of their bodies, we will forever continue removing traps and we encourage others to get in the bush and help smash the fur industry.”

The anonymous communiqué, ALF Destroys 200 Fur Traps in Ontario, was posted on the North American Animal Liberation Press Office website complete with photos and a link to an underground video by Animal Liberation Front trap saboteurs.

The North American Animal Liberation Press Office functions strictly as a liaison to the mainstream media to report direct action sent anonymously by the underground through communiqués.

“We are the voice for those behind the mask, since they cannot speak to the mainstream media themselves,” Press Officer, Nicoal R. Sheen of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. “They must strategically stay anonymous in order to continue their animal liberation activities.”

“The press office does not know and does not wish to know the identities of these anonymous individuals,” Nicoal elaborates. “We speak to contextualize their actions historically and ideologically. Without a press office, the underground would continue to be slandered as terrorists rather than represented as freedom fighters.”

After a few years of animal activism on the streets of Los Angeles, Nicoal was invited on as a Press Officer at the NAALPO. “Presenting the other side of the story to the mainstream media is incredibly important to the struggle for Animal Liberation.”

The independent individuals and autonomous groups (who risk their personal freedom) that comprise the Animal Liberation Front, are often slandered as juveniles, vandals, and terrorists for their direct action activities. The North American Animal Liberation Press Office provides the animal liberation movement with commentary, political purpose, and reasoning behind the Animal Liberation Front’s efforts.

“Direct action has been used in various movements before and in addition to the animal liberation movement,” Nicoal says, citing the Underground Railroad and abolitionists as prime examples. “Animal activists were not the first to employ direct action or deliberately break the law for social justice.”

“As social justice activists around the world know,” Nicoal states, “laws are not always moral and many times reinforce systematic injustices, murder, enslavement, and genocide. Those laws are meant to be dismantled and destroyed.”

As a full time activist for animal liberation and ecofeminism, Nicoal says, “I fight for a world where speciesism, sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism and other manifestations of oppression are eradicated.”

Nicoal believes there are many ways we can eliminate speciesism and animal exploitation. The most personal, Nicoal says, is living a vegan lifestyle. “Veganism is only the first step though.”

“Out of all the methods, tactics, and strategies concerning the liberation of animals,” Nicoal believes, “direct action is most effective for animals.”

Direct action includes, but is not limited to the liberation of animals from confinement and economic sabotage. As a result of direct action, animal exploiters have disengaged from murdering and enslaving animals and businesses have been forced to shut down, never to reopen.

Animal liberation is only a part of the complete picture; to dismantle all systems of oppression, our goal must be total liberation.

“We must continue to live and practice what we wish society to emulate for the liberation of all beings on this planet – human, other-than-human animals, and nature. This includes what or who we consume, the language we use, checking our own privileges, and how we are oppressors ourselves. We are the walking examples.”

Nicoal concludes, “We must break down every wall that separates us from achieving a diverse and inclusive global community for all.”