Animal rights group silently protests outside Rutgers dining hall
Anonymous for the Voiceless, an international animal rights and vegan outreach organization, staged a demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the College Avenue Student Center on Saturday, Nov. 3, where it protested the mistreatment and exploitation of animals.
At the demonstration, a group of people dressed in black and wearing the “Anonymous,” or “Guy Fawkes” mask, stood in a cube formation — the Cube of Truth — while holding signs and flat screen TVs displaying formerly hidden footage of various kinds of animals being exploited and abused in factory farms and slaughterhouses.
Tom Wramage, one of the group’s organizers, said its objective was to “show people what happens to animals during standard farming practices, such as testing animals through vivisection, and what happens to animals that have fur.”
Based in Sydney, Australia, Anonymous for the Voiceless has hundreds of chapters.
“Well over 700 throughout the world, to be specific,” said Alex Teitelbaum, one of the organizers of Saturday’s demonstration.
Of those 700, six are located throughout New Jersey. As an organization, it specializes in street activism, such as the demonstration that occurred on College Avenue on Saturday.
“The people who are standing in the cube, they don’t talk at all, they stay still, and that takes the messenger out of the message, and we have people on the outside of the cube talk to people about animal rights,” Wramage said. “It’s a pretty good system.”
The organization holds an abolitionist stance on animal exploitation and has staged 8,493 demonstrations in 806 cities worldwide since it was founded in 2016, all with the purpose of exposing the standard-practice mistreatment of animals in the food industry, as well as encouraging the public to take veganism seriously, according to its website.
Despite having a similar name and wearing the same masks as Anonymous, the international group of activist hackers, Anonymous for the Voiceless is an independent organization that is not affiliated with the hacktivist group.
“We’re not affiliated, but we wear (the Guy Fawkes masks) and hold signs that say ‘Truth’ to show the truth of what happens to animals,” Wramage said.
Anonymous for the Voiceless does occasionally reach out to other groups who work on vegan outreach and on educating the public about animal rights and veganism.
In fact, that was how Nick Delfino, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and the president of Rutgers’ Veg Society, first became involved with Anonymous for the Voiceless.
"I ran into somebody on Facebook who was the original organizer for New Jersey’s Anonymous for the Voiceless chapters, and he basically reached out to me for help planning this, where to go, stuff like that," Delfino said.