Anonymous for the Voiceless
Anonymous for the Voiceless (AV) is a grassroots animal rights organization specializing in street activism formed in April 2016, in Melbourne, Australia. Operating worldwide, Anonymous for the Voiceless now coordinate 100,000 volunteers in 591 AV chapters in 61 countries, with teams of volunteers organising and staging peaceful protest actions called 'Cubes of Truth'. These protests involve volunteers standing in a square formation wearing Guy Fawkes masks while holding screens showing footage of standard practice in the animal agriculture industry with the intention of empowering the public to support animal rights and be vegan.
The joint founders, Asal Alamdari and Paul Bashir, cited a UK vegan activist group 'The Earthlings Experience' as inspiration for their street actions, both in an online interview and on the AV website, which also cites the Martin Luther King Jr. quote:
Those who love peace must learn to organise as effectively as those who love war.
Cube of Truth
The Cube of Truth is an outreach and education method in which a group of black-clad people wearing Guy Fawkes masks form a square facing outward while holding signs and video screens showing footage of inside slaughterhouses, farms, and vivisection labs. The cubes vary in size according to the number of activists or space. Unmasked members of AV, known as "outreachers", talk to people onlooking and encourage adopting a vegan lifestyle. The AV activists offer a 22-day vegan challenge called "Challenge 22" to onlookers who decide they want to take the option of a vegan diet.
Cube actions are meant to be peaceful actions, in order to convince the greatest number of people.
The Melbourne group's actions began in April 2016, to be followed by a Sydney group from November. By June 2017, AV had carried out over 348 demonstrations globally, having convinced at least 12,144 bystanders "to take the needless violence in their diets and lifestyles seriously."
On November 5th 2017, AV held 200 Cube of Truth actions across the world on the same day for the first of the now annual 'International Cube Day' campaigns.
In May 2019, hundreds of AV activists participated in a 24-hour Cube of Truth in Amsterdam. Called 'One Dam Day', this campaign took place in Dam Square, Amsterdam. In July 2019, a campaign called 'Week of Truth' AV operated Cubes of Truth in New York City for seven consecutive days.
While it has been claimed that AV is a grassroots effort with no central organizing force beyond a website that links to each chapter and a series of Facebook groups that coordinate events, the organisation does have a small team which includes the Co-Founders and Directors. This team is responsible for coordinating volunteers globally, providing chapters with essential equipment and support, running activist training programmes, and delivering impactful online campaigns.
There are 591 chapters globally – to be considered an active chapter at least one Cube of Truth demo must be held a month, so there are estimated to be 7,092 of these cubes a year.
Anonymous for the Voiceless holds an abolitionist stance on animal exploitation, opposing all animal use by humans including the use of service animals to assist those with disabilities. Activists that bully or harass and do not comply with the group's principles are not permitted to carry the group's name.
- McCasker, Toby (31 January 2017). "'Cube of Truth': Anonymous hit streets with violent footage of animal farming". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- Gregoire, Paul (3 June 2017). "Stop Animal Cruelty: An Interview with Anonymous for the Voiceless' Matt Stellino". Sydney Criminal Lawyers. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
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- Mi, Dennis (9 August 2017). "I interviewed Asal and Paul from Anonymous for the Voiceless". Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "About Us". Anonymous for the Voiceless. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "Anonymous for the Voiceless advocate vegan diets, animal rights". CBC/Radio-Canada. CBC. 5 November 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- Bregolisse, Doris Maria (15 August 2018). "Animal rights activists planning protest at Kelowna Ribfest launch and main event". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- Hemmings, Amanda (21 February 2019). "'Truth' - Animal activism unmasked". The Breaker. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
- Haynes, Oliver (13 December 2018). "'Anonymous for the Voiceless'". The Ecologist. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "ACNC Lookup - Anonymous for the Voiceless". Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
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