The AVA Summit Bans Press Office, Issues Statement on Their Welfarism

Since the Animal Liberation Press Office announcement was issued below, the head organizer of the AVA Summit Julia Reinelt has issued a statement in reply. Here are our comments on her pertinent points.

“…all tactics, including animal sanctuaries, civil disobedience, and personal transformation, will be welcomed to discuss in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Violence and threatening activity will not be permitted or condoned.”

Not ALL tactics, Julia, you purposefully choose to permit discussion of massive violence condoned and perpetrated by animal abusers, while censoring anyone who advocates for the use of force in their defense. You only parrot the prevailing societal viewpoint that violence by the oppressor is the only acceptable violence. We strongly disagree and have for the entire 18 years we have been in existence. Fighting for animals using whatever means are necessary is vital in the struggle for animal liberation, and these tactics should be discussed as one part of the struggle.

Julia goes on to reference her “Code of Conduct” which explicitly states no one should be “harassed” for their “food choices”, as if choosing to exploit and murder a sentient being was a choice. I guess she forgot to mention not to harass  anyone for their “rape choices” or “murder choices”. Speciesism would appear to run rampant at the upcoming AVA Summit, which endorses welfarism primarily over liberation. Still, the Press Office would have been keenly interested in presenting the liberation perspective and at least including the strategy of illegal direct action for discussion, had we not been prohibited from doing so.

Julia proudly states she supports civil disobedience and open rescues, and so does the Press Office. That’s our point, Julia, all tactics and strategies should be open for discussion so that each activist can decide what the support and how they wish to use their own efforts to help animals. Just don’t mistake these other tactics for direct action, which has a long history of effectiveness and efficiency.

It is worth remembering that organizations supporting the AVA Summit, such as HSUS with its $120 million annual budget, are using that donated money to pay half-million dollar salaries to their staff, and have a vested interest in seeing animal exploitation continue. They are also very much in opposition to even the mention of direct action, which does nothing for their bottom line. HSUS has denied the Animal Liberation Press Office the opportunity to discuss direct action at their own conferences in the past, and it comes as little surprise that they are doing so again, despite any denials by Julia and her staff.

No need to dispute the claim that this is their inaugural conference; same hotel, same organizers, same format, blah, blah, blah. Our original post is below.


The AVA Summit scheduled for Washington DC on October 20-23 just notified the Animal Liberation Press Office that, for the first time in more than 20 years, we are not welcome to table at the national conference. In an email received by the Press Office today, organizer of the conference Michael Webberman stated that they no longer support direct action, and that the Press Office would no longer be allowed to display information, books and merchandise, or discuss the issue, at the conference.

The prominent presence of HSUS and other welfarist organizations lends a clue to this change in attitude, as the new entity spun off from FARM to organize the conference obviously prefers the large financial sponsorship of these organizations, which have previously denounced direct action. The conference has transformed into one supporting exclusively sanctuaries, welfarist propaganda and promotion of well-funded animal welfare organizations.

For more information:

Michael Webermann 
Program & Partnerships

(202) 630-6213‬