Mark Westcombe

Mark Westcombe

Volunteer with Animal Think Tank

Mark is a volunteer with Animal Think Tank, a collective which seeks to develop and share knowledge about how to build an inclusive and strategic mass movement for animal liberation. He has been vegan since 2005. He has twice organised the UK’s national Animal Rights Gathering. He has been a community volunteer since school involved in intentional communities, eco housing, green politics, Earth First! and lgbt organising. Professionally he works as a freelance group facilitator and trainer specialising in risk mitigation, strategic decision making and project direction on large, complex projects; as well as facilitating grassroots groups organise, strategise and resolve conflict.

Saturday
3:00

Ending Our Speciesism (BSL Interpretation available)

We are speciesist as a society; and we are speciesist as vegans. We all harm animals; we all invade their spaces and land; we all bystand the harm others do to them; we all prefer some species over others; and we are all ignorant and deny much of what happens to animals. To be effective advocates to end society’s crimes against animals we need to tackle our own, everyday speciesism. This workshop will look at what we can do in our everyday lives as vegans and advocates in our cause with the animals to bring about animal liberation.

Movement Building full timetable

Sunday
2:00

Why the Infighting?

Why are we fighting each other? We all want Animal Liberation, so why aren’t we united? We will look at some potential root causes to the disagreements, which once understood, can help us understand one another, become allies, and build a more powerful movement. Some of these issues are unique to the Animal Justice movement, while some have been experienced by other movements of the past from which we can learn. Understanding the ‘Ecology of Social Movements’, and our role in them, can help us build a more powerful movement together. This session will include an extended Q&A with the panel on the topic of infighting.

Movement Building full timetable

Sunday
4:00

How to Win

How do you win? This workshop will give you an introduction to effective campaigning. It will be aimed at local groups and volunteers, as well as vegans new to activism. It will introduce the idea of winnable goals; and thinking about actions that together can achieve these aims. We’ll help you understand how to put into practice the ideas of Grand Demands, Strategy, Campaigns, Tactics and Escalation. Successful movements have all used these ideas, from The Indian Independence Movement, The U.S. Civil Rights Movement, to The Colour Revolutions in Eastern Europe and now Extinction Rebellion. It is Animal Think Tank’s intention that we are all in a place to use these ideas within the Animal Justice movement to ensure our campaigning is effective and we achieve concrete change for Animal Liberation.

Movement Building full timetable