On this episode, Kumars and Roqayah are joined by Ryan Shapiro, a PhD student and transparency researcher at MIT. Ryan talks about his past work as an activist in the animal rights movement and as a scholar of government repression of animal rights activists, research described by the FBI as having the potential to cause “irreparable damage to national security”. He shares his extensive history of animal rescue operations, including rescuing animals from factory farms and thwarting whale poachers. We hear about the impact of the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which designates investigative journalists and animal rescuers seeking to uncover and remedy animal abuse in the meat and dairy industry as terrorists. "Ecoterrorism" is considered the #1 domestic terror threat while ever increasing white supremacist violence continues to be ignored.
Ryan explains why Department of Justice calls him the “most prolific” Freedom of Information Act or FOIA requester, including uncovering evidence of CIA involvement in Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment and the FBI cover-up of a plot to assassinate Occupy Houston leaders. We also discuss Property of the People, the transparency nonprofit Ryan co-founded to file FOIA claims and challenge the government in court. Ryan, Roqayah and Kumars end by discussing their personal attitudes as leftists towards veganism and animal rights, including reflecting on the tensions between animal rights organizers and other corners of the left.
A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.
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