"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
This article was prompted by the fact that as of 7-24-05, this organization has officially changed its name. It was originally called the Pokémon Liberation Front, as you may know. Recently, I was contacted by another group calling itself the PLF (West Coast Chapter), and at first, I thought we would form a partnership. However, it seems they are not above committing acts of terrorism to achieve their goals. Certainly, it can be very frustrating to see the oppression of our pokémon brothers and sisters (or in some cases, gender-nonspecific siblings) continue, despite our best efforts to enlighten the public. So we can't help but understand the desperation some pokémon activists might feel, which would drive them to such extreme lengths. We cannot entirely condemn their actions.
However, neither can we condone them, and while we wish to keep apprised of the new PLF's activities (particularly the peaceful ones), and perhaps maintain some sort of ties to them, we also wish somewhat to distance ourselves from them. The public perception of this organization can only be harmed by direct association with terrorists. And, though we held the name first, it has occurred to me that the term "liberation front" has often been used by other groups, with their own, unrelated goals of liberating... whoever, as the case may be... from whatever imprisonment, slavery, or tyranny and oppression they may face. Such groups often resort to terrorism, and so the name seems more appropriate for this new pokémon rights group than it does for us. Therefore, we have opted to allow them to retain the name, and we have changed our own, to reflect our nonviolent ways. We are henceforward to be known as the Society for the Nonviolent Advancement of Pokémon, or SNAP, for short. (LEAF, or "Liberty, Equality, And Fraternity," is a sort of unofficial prefix to our new name. It represents the state of affairs SNAP hopes someday to help bring about.)
As I've said, we don't entirely condemn the actions of groups such as the (new) PLF, but we find these acts both morally ambiguous at best, and also counterproductive. We must treat others with the respect and civility with which we hope they will treat us, and all sentient creatures, including pokémon. If we were to go about destroying public or private property, even killing those with whom we disagree, it is our feeling that we would not have an ethical leg to stand on. Such actions would make us seem like hypocrites, thus rendering our position untenable. We respect the sanctity of all sentient life, including those who stand in the way of the realization of our goals. To do otherwise, I feel, would not just seem but be hypocritical. To achieve our ultimate goals, we must work toward them in a manner which demonstrates our sincerity to those we wish to influence to change.
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