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Free entry. Vegan food at cost.
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First of this Year's Animal Liberation Workshps for Beginners a big Success in Linz

Despite the police special commission against animal advocacy refering to the ALWs as criminal, 50 undaunted people took part to inform themselves about animal advocacy.

Animal Liberation Workshops have been taking place in Austria since 2005. The idea behind these events is to reach people who are concerned about animals, but don't know how they could contribute to improving the situation for animals. Since 2005 there have been ALWs every two years in different Austrian towns and cities which have proved to be a huge success. The name animal liberation refers to the general liberation of animals from human suppression and exploitation, in the same way that women's liberation describes the women's movement, or as in liberation theology in progessive Christianity.

The ALW in Linz took place on the weekend of the 16th and 17th May in the Haus der Frau in the Volksgartenstrasse. Around 50 people came and listened to non-stop, high level, information packed talks and took part in the ensuing discussions. Following a talk introducing animal rights philosophy, the local animal rights groups presented their campaigns. After a delicious vegan lunch, participants gathered and led a demo march through Linz. With megaphones and drums, the demo brought people's attention to the suffering of animals.

In the demo workshop that followed questions were discussed such as; how best to draw the public's attention to animal issues? What is the purpose and effect of demos? Can a demo be emotional and angry or should it be factual and quiet? Given that Austria has so many animal rights demos and that there are 2 demos a week in Linz alone, this discussion was naturally very relevant for the participants.

A wide variety of photos from actions and projects over the last 10 years formed the basis for going on to talking about ideas for what is possible and how to achieve it. After the vegan dinner participants watched Jill's Film which portrays the life of animal advocate Jill Phipps, who was killed in 1995 during a live animal transport blockade where she was run over by an animal transporter.

The next day began with a presentation from the student animal rights group SAVE which aims to build up a network between animal rights groups in all Austrian universities. Following this, participants were introduced to many nationwide campaigns which are relevant to Linz, for example, the Kleider Bauer fur campaign, the campaign against intensive pig farming and the selling of battery eggs. In addition people were given the opportunity to reflect on the possibilities for improving the situation for animals by changing their own consumer habits or by being an armchair activist. A law expert gave a talk about human rights in Austria as well as giving a detailed account of the brutal police repression against animal advocacy.

The animal rights group in Linz did an excellent job with catering for all the whole ALW. For just a donation participants could enjoy a variety of dishes such as vegan kebab, pastries and mousse au chocolat!

It is great to see that people are not put off coming to these events through the current police brutality. The animal rights movement continues to grow and establish itself. Younger people are especially interested in animal issues. In Linz, where there are already 2 demos a week, people were motivated by this ALW to be even more active in the future!