Friday, August 22, 2014

Animal shelters testing ground for tactics in Ferguson MO?

In Ferguson, MO recently, a Senator was told she could not enter a public building to serve petitions.l  Around the Senator, you could hear others protesting that it WAS a public building.  The Senator expressed surprise and irritation that as a State Senator, she was still barred from simply walking into that building.

If we subsidize the construction and day-to-day operation of public buildings -- like legislative chambers, or law enforcement agencies, or even animal facilities -- then what is the reasoning saying that we, the same public, cannot simply enter these premises?

I have been (relatively politely) escorted from an animal facility.  And I know others who have been not-so-subtly urged to leave those same premises.  So when I watched Senator Nasheed confronting a man who worked for the police department, it occurred to me how similar it was, to my experience.

It has been many years that Marylanders have struggled, to a greater, or lesser extent, against animal "shelters" or "services" that refuse to be monitored by the same public that pays the salaries of the managers there.  Recently,I've heard many people talk about being kept out of those buildings.  My own experience and that of the others I mentioned, has been within the past five years.

But, that's long enough, for the action of barring people, to have been tested on us working for shelter reform.  And now, with the testing over, in Ferguson MO (among other places), the same tactic is being used to keep people from knowing what is going on.  To keep them from opposing the things being done in their name.

If it was not time, before this, for people to start paying attention to the work of animal shelter reform, maybe it is time, now.  If we are the testing ground for oppression today, then maybe those who want to fight oppression, need to stand with us to oppose it at the local "pound."

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