International Animal Rights Gathering (IAR)

International Animal Rights Gathering 2013 (1)

Vom 16.-18. August findet in Belgien das International Animal Rights Gathering statt. Als Raum wurde das Animaux en Péril nahe der Stadt Ath (ca. eine Stunde von Brüssel) ausgewählt. Ab dem 11. August wird eine Infonummer freigeschalten. Das Gathering will ein Raum für Austausch und Weiterentwicklung der Tierbefreiungsbewegung sein. Faschistische, rassistische, (hetero-)sexistische, abelistische oder andere Formen der Diskriminierung haben hier keinen Platz und werden von den Teilnehmenden des Gatherings ebenso angegriffen wie Speziesismus.


Das Gathering ist antinational und die Workshops werden sprachlich in möglichst viele Sprachen übersetzt.

Die Kosten belaufen sich inkl. Camping für die komplette Veranstaltung auf 15 Euro. Zudem kann für 5 Euro täglich vegan gegessen werden. Eine exakte Wegbeschreibung findet sich im folgenden Text.

Der folgende Text ist in englischer Sprache und beschreibt die Geschichte der IARG, die aktuellen Ereignisse und den Planungsstand des diesjährigen IARG in Belgien.

Gerne kann dieser Artikel komplett und in verschiedene Sprachen übersetzt und verbreitet werden.


The 16th annual International Animal Rights Gathering will take place from
August 16th-18th, 2013 in Belgium.

It will be held at the beautiful animal sanctuary Animaux en Péril near the city of Ath. Please see the information page for further details.
On August the 11th we will provide a phone number for further inquiries.
Foor during the gathering will be provided by Just Like Your Mom, an organisation providing vegan catering, tour support and events. Make sure you check them out.
The IARG is a peaceful event based on respect for others. Fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist or any other discriminatory attitude and bigotry are not welcome, and we ask all participants to be mindful of the wide variety of people attending the IARG. Anyone with known ties to fascist or nationalist groups will be denied entrance to the gathering and will be removed from the site.



>> About the International Animal Rights Gatherings

The International Animal Rights Gathering is an annual event which brings together activists from all over the world for a weekend of workshops, talks, discussions, films, information stalls, entertainment and networking. The aim of the Gathering is to promote and improve co-operation and co-ordination between activists from many different countries, with the aim of building a strong coherent global movement to fight animal exploitation and spread compassion. This is particularly important bearing in mind that most animal exploitation and abuse is an international business which operates across international borders, so it's vital that we as a movement also learn to think and work globally too.

This is the 16th international gathering, and ideally each year the gathering is hosted by a different country. Of course there are only a certain number of countries where the movement is big enough to organise a major event like this, but this number is growing all the time. Last year the gathering took place in Poland, this year Belgium will host the gathering.


>> History of the IARG
The gatherings have a long and interesting history, and have played a major part in the huge growth of the international animal rights movement. The very first International Gathering also took place in Holland in 1998, in the town of Leiden, at a squat called Eurodusnie. About 200 activists took part from many countries, though mostly from Europe, and as well as lots of great workshops there were some lively protests, after one McDonalds in the town was attacked, they decided to close all the McDonalds in Leiden.


The following year 1999 the gathering was held in Oslo in Norway, organised by the mainstream AR group NOAH. Around 150 activists took part, mostly from other scandinavian countries but quite a few others too. This gathering was described as quieter, more moderate, but it was yet another opportunity for activists to make connections and carry on building an international movement.


In 2000, the gathering was held in Berlin in Germany, where it was given the name the Intergallactic Animal Liberation Gathering. Here there was much in the program about the theory and philosophy behind the movement than in previous gatherings. In 2001, it was held in the UK for the first time, at a farm animal sanctuary in Kent, south east England. The following year, it was once again held in Amsterdam, Holland, and in fact for the next few years the International Gatherings took place in either the UK or Holland.


The gathering of 2003 was also in Holland, this time about 120 activists met up in a large squatted building on the outskirts of Amsterdam. This gathering became infamous for what happened some distance away from the site. On the second day of the gathering, an antivivisection protest was arranged some kilometres away from the site, and although this demo went ahead without problems, on the way back the activists decided to inspect a mink fur farm they spotted. Except some activists went a little further than inspecting, and some mink were released and damage caused. As a result, police arrested over 50 activists at the scene, which meant about half the gathering was now in custody! So the gathering really became one big prisoner support workshop, as we spent most of the time organising legal support and practical help for our imprisoned comrades. (PS We've learned from this, so please don't let this put you off attending the gathering this year!)


In 2004 the gathering was back in the UK, at the same animal sanctuary in Kent where it was held in 2002. It was at the 2004 gathering the numbers attending the event started to grow far beyond had previously been the case, with over 350 activists attending the gathering in 2004, three times more than the usual attendance. In fact the 2004 gathering was so successful, that it was it decided to keep the Gathering in the same location for the following two years, and in 2006 over 500 activists from over 25 countries took part. However the UK government was not so pleased with the success of the gatherings, and they used anti-terrorism legislation to ban two prominent US speakers and activists from entering the UK to attend the 2005 gathering, claiming they were a threat to public order.


This was one of the reasons it was decided to hold the 2007 gathering in a different country, and once again the Dutch movement stepped in to host the event. The day before the gathering, hundreds of the activists held a great march against animal abuse through Amsterdam, before boarding special hired buses to travel the 200km to the camp site. They were followed all the way by a huge convoy of police cars, vans and motorcycles, as well as a police helicopter overhead. They wanted to make sure we all got to the site safely!

The following year 2008, Austrian activists volunteered to host the event, and a really good site was found near Vienna. However with just a few months to go, in March 2008 police in Austria raided the homes and offices of all the activists involved in planning the gathering, who were then imprisoned, and charged with the now famous section 278, forming a criminal organisation. As most if not all of us are now aware, the activists were released eventually, but they were then put on trial in a historic court case which lasted over a year and has just finished, and happily all of the activists have been cleared of all charges.


However, with the gathering organisers locked up in various Austrian prisons, it was no longer possible to hold the gathering in Austria, and we were left with a desperate search to find a replacement venue. It was Swedish activists who stepped in at the 11th hour to organise a great gathering at beautiful site in Jönköping in central Sweden. Despite only having a few weeks to organise the event, the Swedish organising team did an excellent job. This time the demos happened after the gathering, with some great demos and other actions taking place in Stockholm and Malmo, with people from many countries learning to work together for the animals.


In 2009, the gathering was held for the second time in Oslo, Norway. The venue was to be the famous squatted community space, Hausmania, but with just one day to go, the Norwegian police arrived at the building and used the excuse of the risk of fire to prohibit the building being used for the gathering. This happened just as the activists from all over the world were arriving in the Norwegian capital. But just when all seemed to be lost, the clever Norwegian activists revealed their cunning back up plan; They had hired a school building in another part of Oslo, which was a perfect site for the gathering, with great facilities, much better than original venue! The police chief was not happy, and spoke to the person in charge of the school claiming the activists were terrorists, but she said this was nonsense, she had met them and they were nice people. So the gathering went ahead, and was a great success. Incredibly for Oslo, it was a baking hot weekend with temperatures reaching 30C + by the Sunday!


Italy hosted the gathering for the first time in 2010, and at a really beautiful location in Venaus, a few miles from Turin and in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Over 400 activists from over 20 countries attended. The scenery was spectacular, the weather was hot and sunny, and the program was inspirational. The venue was the site of protest camp in Venaus, against the high speed train link which is planned which would smash a hole right through Alps and destroy much of the scenery and land which we all found so beautiful and inspiring. The locals were very welcoming, the mayor turned up to offer his support and the local shop ordered in many vegan foods especially, and set up a vegan corner in the shop.


The 14th gathering in 2011 took place at the anarchist camp site 'Tot Vrijheidsbezinning' (meaning 'reflect about freedom'), at the edge of the village Appelscha, the Netherlands. With a full program of more than 40 workshops, lectures and discussions and the presence of more than 350 activists, representing more than 20 countries, this event has been a joyful and inspiring moment for the international animal rights movement.


In 2012, the gathering moved to Eastern Europe for the first time, to be hosted in Piskorzyna, Poland at the Tara horse sanctuary. 35 workshops, movies, and a concert by xTrue Naturex made this another memorable international event.

So as you can see the International Gathering has a long and distinguished history. Everything might not always go according to plan, but with so very many great activists all coming together in one place, you can be sure of one thing - it will be an unforgettable experience. See you all in Belgium in August!



>> Practical information

IARG Location & contact details

This year's gathering will be held at the animal sanctuary Animaux en Péril, and its exact address is Rue du Haut Aulnoy 29, 7822 Meslin l'Évêque in Belgium. It is at approximately one hour from Brussels by car, or 45 minutes by train. The nearest train station is the one of the city of Ath, and there's a direct connection from Brussels Central train station. We will provide shuttle busses between the train station of Ath and the gathering on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th, and back on Sunday 18th; if you arrive late (or early), we'll make sure you get picked up as well. We will make a phone number available from August 11th for last minute inquiries or to have the shuttle bus pick you up.
There will be plenty of parking space available at the site itself.
Because the gathering takes place on an animal sanctuary, we ask you NOT to bring any animals (including dogs) with you. There are animals present at the location, who we don't want to scare or upset.


Entrance fee 

This year's gathering's entrance fee is 15 euros (not including food).



For people who want to fly in on Brussels: both the Brussels National Airport and Charleroi Airport are equally suitable. Take the train to Brussels Central station and from there to Ath. We compiled a detailed schedule concerning trains from the airports to Ath, you can download the PDF file here.

If you're looking for more info on transport, these websites might help you out:

The IARG fully supports the Gateway to hell campaign. Therefore we'd kindly like to ask people travelling by plane to refrain from using companies like Air France/KLM.



There will be space available for tents, however small tents or sharing tents with others is appreciated. If you have special sleeping requests because of medical or other reasons, please contact us in advance so we can make sure we provide everyone with a comfy sleeping place. There are several toilets and showers present at the site, and we urge activists to bring eco-friendly soap, showering gel and shampoo.


For your and our safety

Please do not bring your phone, camera, laptop, tablet or recording device onto the site at any time; we ask you to leave it in your tent or you can drop it off at the office near the entrance, where it will be stored in a safe place. Anyone caught with any of these devices during presentations and/or workshops (with exception of the presenters) will be asked to leave. Please do not take picture, or record audio or video at any point.
We ask as well to refrain from any activities outside of the gathering's domain. People undertaking illegal activity during the gathering will be refused entrance onto the site – any illegal action can compromise the entire IARG, please be aware of your own responsibility.
Smoking on site is not permitted, with the exception of a designated area.
Although this goes without saying, no weapons are permitted at any time (including pepper spray).



There will be three delicious vegan meals a day; two hot meals will be provided through meal tickets (5 euros per day), breakfast is donation-based. We'll also have a vegan bar serving coffee, tea, cakes and snacks all day long. If you have special food requests because of medical or other reasons, please contact us in advance so we can take this into account with the food preparation.
We would hereby like to thank Just Like Your Mom ( for providing the catering and helping out on short notice. Check them out for vegan catering, tour support and events!


Drugs and alcohol

Please DO NOT bring any alcohol or drugs (except necessary medication) with you on site. We do not, under any circumstance, allow intoxicated people (by alcohol or any other drugs) on the site, this both for the security of other activists and animals residing there. People who are found to be intoxicated will be asked to leave, and upon refusal removed from the site.


Fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism and other discriminaritory attitudes

The IARG is a peaceful event based on respect for others. Fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist or other discriminatory attitudes and bigotry are not welcome, and we ask all participants to be mindful of the wide variety of people attending the IARG. Anyone with known ties to fascist or nationalist groups will be denied entrance to the gathering and will be removed from the site. We expect all attendants to remind themselves of their responsibility of the safety of the IARG.


What to bring

Here are some suggestions of useful items to bring:

  • Tent (please bring small tents due to restricted sleeping space)
  • Sleeping bag + sleeping mat
  • Cash money for the whole weekend - ATM machines are quite far away, so please bring enough money to last you the whole time!
  • Torch light
  • Mosquito repellant + tick remover / tweezers
  • ID such as passport or ID card (required in Belgium)
  • And finally... a good sense of humour and tolerance for a diverse variety of people :)



Contact us at:

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

schade ich wäre ja gerne gekommen, aber kategorische drogenverbote und heftige sanktionen für zuwiderhandlungen, das ist mir echt zu spießig... eure begründung, dass menschen auf drogen grundsätzlich eine gefahr für andere darstellen würde, ist eine diskriminierende unterstellung und alles andere als ein emanzipatorischer umgang mit drogen und ihren konsument_innen.

kannst ja trotzdem kommen.

das gathering ist halt keine fusion und vielleicht hälst du es ja auch mal drei tage ohne rauschmittel aus.