This site is to honour the memory of "Kensington", the cat who was brutally tortured and murdered by Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers, and Matt Kaczorowski. For more information about the case, please see our FAQ.
Film festivals plan to air Casuistry
Several film festivals and a theatre are planning to air Casuistry: The Art (sic) of Killing a Cat. Please contact them and ask them to remove this pseudo-documentary from their programmes:
Canadian Spring: A Showcase of new and classic films from Canada, Taipei, Taiwan.
Casuistry is to air March 26, 27.
Please note: the website is in Chinese, if you can write in Chinese it will be more effective. But even if you can't write in Chinese, write anyway, to show them the widespread condemnation of this film.
Brooklyn Underground Film Festival, Brooklyn, New York, United States.
Casuistry is to air April 21.
Pioneer Theatre, New York City, United States.
Casuistry is to air April 27-May 4
Let them know that
- The makers of this so-called documentary are biased: for example, see this article by director Zev Asher which reveals that he and producer Linda Feesey are chummy with cat-killer Jesse Power, giving him a ticket to the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and a copy of the video, making excuses for him (he thought it was art, he was high at the time). (Note also the contempt for animal rights activists in Asher's articlehe thinks being distressed by the case means there's something wrong with us?)
- The question of whether this torture of a cat is "art" shouldn't even have to be asked. See this great critique by Brian Tohill of WSPA.
- The cat killers do not deserve any more publicity. (In fact, according to Zev Asher's article linked above, Officer Gordon Scott (lead investigator on the case) refused to participate in the documentary for that very reason.)
Also, Tampa International Film Festival (Tampa, Florida, United States) has decided to remove Casuistry from their schedule. Their website is currently down, so we don't have info yet on why they made this decision or how to contact them.
posted March 22, 2005
Kensington buttons and more available
We have opened up a shop at CafePress.com with shirts, buttons, and stickers of Kensington. 10% of the selling price goes to Freedom for Animals and the Kensington Stray Cat Rescue. Visit our shop now! (Please be aware that all prices at the CafePress.com store are in US dollars.)
posted February 11, 2005
Defending the Casuistry protests
Thanks to Erin Heath for her excellent letter to NOW, in response to their criticism of the protest.
Kevin Temple of NOW wrote in the December 23, 2004 issue:
THE CASUISTRY PROTEST Jesse Power's 2001 cat torture extravaganza still evokes ire. But if killing a pet is naturally repulsive, a movie that openly explores why someone would do this in the name of art merits a positive reception. The placard-waving fools who protested the screening of Linda Feesey 's Casuistry: The Art Of Killing A Cat at the Toronto International Film Festival in September really missed the point. Nothing is more offensive than the easily offended.
Here's Erin's response, in the January 6 issue:
Cruel twist on torture
RE Kevin Temple's Top Art Shows of 2004 (NOW, December 23-29). [Linda Feesey's Casuistry: The Art Of Killing A Cat] was not an exploration of why a soulless person would torture an innocent creature to death for kicks. Rather, it was a way to give Jesse Power and his cohorts a way to explain themselves. It wasn't a look inside Power's twisted, perverted mind.
What the film asked was [whether] Power's reason for killing the animal made sense. It did not pass judgment on this cruelty. It was just an idiot forum for other idiots to discuss torture and cruelty.
Your journalists should do a little research before they denigrate the work of the compassionate few who chose to speak out against the celebration and publicizing of a senseless and unspeakable act of cruelty.
Letters in support of Suzanne Lahaie needed
Unfortunately, FFA co-founder Suzanne Lahaie has been experiencing harrassment for the past four years and is having difficulty getting some members of the Toronto Police Department to take it seriously. She is asking for letters of support.
If you know Suzanne Lahaie personally, she would appreciate it if you could write a character reference for her. If you don't know her but believe that the harrassment she has been experiencing for the past four years is connected to the Kensington cat torture video case and the documentary Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, please write a letter explaining the connections you see. Please send the letters to our mailing address (above) or to info @ freeanimals .org.
A police officer has told Suzanne that she should expect this kind of harrassment (which has included vandalism of her apartment building and people following her and videotaping her, among many other incidents) because she is an animal rights activist. Every animal rights activist should be outraged that the police will not give us the same protection as other members of the public are entitled to.
posted October 26, 2004
Casuistry: The Killing of a Cat
Why I Protested It
by Suzanne Lahaie, Co-founder, Freedom for Animals
In no way did I expect Casuistry: The Killing of a Cat would be cancelled. May I remind you of the desensitized world we live in. The goal was to expose the truth about Casuistry: The Killing of a Cat; all involved; Kensington's murder case; and the harassment, starting with the posters I received in November 2000, which is still ongoing. The truth will prevail. Judgement day will come. I will see you in course.
posted October 4, 2004
Thanks to 53 Division
Freedom for Animals would like to thank Detective Peter Henry and fellow officers from 53 Division, Toronto Police, for respecting and working peacefully with FFA members and other activists. We hope in the future we can all work together as animal rights advocates and the law should. After the demonstration, Detective Henry shook hands with FFA's Suzanne Lahaie, and said he would write up a good report because it was such a peaceful demonstration.
Suzanne Lahaie, cofounder of FFA, would personally like to thank Detective Henry for all his efforts. She showed Detective Henry the posters she received in November 2000, which we believe are connected to Kensington's killing. Detective Henry seemed concerned about the posters, and asked for copies. Suzanne has contacted Detective Henry about this, and though he is unable to intervene in the case because it's been assigned to another division, we know he's done the best he could. We'd like to thank him for being patient and understanding.
posted September 30, 2004
Thanks for your participation
Freedom for Animals would like to thank everyone who came to our protests against Casuistry: The Art (sic) of Killing a Cat; those who sent donations; and everyone who contacted the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF's sponsors, and the federal government about Kensington's case.
Thanks to everyone's efforts, Kensington's story has travelled around the world. Let's all keep working together to ensure that no more animals will suffer the way he did.
posted September 18, 2004
Protest final screening of Casuistry on Friday!
Let's keep Kensington's memory alive and raise awareness about Canada's pathetic laws against cruelty to animals.
Please join us at our last protest, Friday, September 17, 1:30-3:15 pm, outside the Cumberland cinema (Cumberland and Avenue). We would like to see even more people on Friday than were at the big protest on Tuesday.
Remember, if you can, bring artificial flowers (white roses, blue forget-me-nots) for Kensington's memorial.
If Jesse Power or any of the other cat killers show up again, please keep calm, say nothing, and let the police take care of him.
Click here for full details about the protest.
posted September 16, 2004
Cat killer Jesse Power arrested at protest!
Jesse Power, former art student who was convicted of cruelty to animals for his 2001 video showing himself and two friends torturing a cat, was arrested at tonight's Freedom for Animals protest against Casuistry: The Art [sic] of Killing a Cat. Read about it at the City TV website.
posted September 14, 2004
First protest a success!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the first Casuistry protest last night. We reached a lot of people, and the response from the public is overwhelmingly positive.
Casuistry producer Linda Feesey showed up, and laughed in Suzanne's face when confronted about her use of unauthorized footage of Suzanne. We'll be seeing her in court.
The protests will keep getting bigger and better. Click here for the schedule, and come join us! (Please note we've added two more protests, for September 15 and 16.)
posted September 10, 2004
New posters to download
Please download, photocopy, and post our new posters:
Casuistry (PDF, 1 MB)
Peaceable Kingdom (PDF, 6.6 MB)
posted September 9, 2004
Call TIFF's sponsors
and let them know that you will not be buying their products unless they withdraw their support from TIFF for showing Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat. The numbers and contacts are here.
posted September 9, 2004
New open letter to TIFF
Freedom for Animals has sent a second, more detailed letter to the Toronto International Film Festival explaining our concerns, responding to some arguments people have raised in defence of Casuistry, and once more asking that Casuistry be withdrawn from the Festival.
posted September 8, 2004
Donations urgently needed
Freedom for Animals has learned from some animal protectionists who have seen Casuistry that it includes unauthorized footage of Suzanne Lahaie--footage that was included despite the fact that Suzanne refused to sign a release form and told Linda Feesey repeatedly that the footage was not to be used. We urgently need donations to cover the legal costs--so far our donations received in the course of the controversy will cover only 1% of the estimated costs.
posted September 7, 2004
Update: We need to find a new, more affordable lawyer. If you know of anyone who could help, please phone Suzanne at 416-591-5120.
posted September 9, 2004
We will protest at the Film Festival
FFA would like to make it clear that Freedom for Animals will be continuing with our protest plans. (A recent email has caused some confusion, but that email is from In Defense of Animals, not us.)
We would like to thank the many many people who have emailed or phoned to express their support. We're sorry that we don't have time to respond individually to everyone, but we ARE reading every email and listening to every message we receive.
Those of you who emailed will be getting an email from us with the protest plans once the details are finalized. There will be multiple protests, not just at the showing of Casuistry but throughout the festival. We will be distributing information about our Kensington's Law campaign for tougher anti-cruelty legislation.
Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers, and Matt Kaczorowski committed the worst acts of cruelty to an animal in Canadian history, yet got only a slap on the wrist because of Canada's inadequate anti-cruelty legislation--and now they're starring in a movie at the Film Festival! Where is the justice?
We urge everyone to contact Prime Minister Paul Martin, Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler, and your Member of Parliament and remind them that Canada needs better laws to deter future Jesse Powers.
posted September 2, 2004
Today Freedom for Animals learned from a reporter that the producer and director of Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, say that they have received death threats.
Fabricating claims of death threats is a common tactict to discredit the animal rights movement.
However, we would like to say that if death threats did occur, we condemn the use of violence and threats of violence. Freedom for Animals, in common with 99.9% of animal rights activists, is firmly committed to nonviolence and always will be.
Violence has no place in the animal rights movement.
posted August 31, 2004
Thus far, we have kept silent about the ongoing harassment Freedom for Animals' co-founder Suzanne Lahaie has suffered related to the cat torture video case. However, the police have been unable or willing to help, so we are hoping public attention will lead to a proper investigation.
Today Freedom for Animals emailed the Toronto Film Festival asking them not to show the film Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat. Click here to read the full email.
If they continue with their plans to show the film, we will be organizing a boycott of the Festival.
Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 14. The film features the three cat torturers, Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers, and Matt Kaczorowski, who brutally tortured and killed a cat on video in 2001. According to a review in the Toronto Sun, the film features the killers' "excuses" for what they did (they were disorganized, the razor was dull, they were on drugs) and apologists defending what they did (as well as a few critics). The director, Zev Asher, said, "I cannot condone or condemn what they did."
Freedom for Animals will be organizing a demonstration at the Festival to raise awareness of what happened and to counteract the pathetic excuses of the killers. There is no excuse for what happened to Kensington.
posted August 28, 2004
Jesse Power will appear in court at College Park on Tuesday, August 16, room 503, for theft. Freedom for Animals is encouraging members of the public to attend, and wear a Kensington shirt or button if you have one. We vow that no one will ever forget "Kensington" and what Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers, and Matt Kaczorowski did to him.
Freedom for Animals has confirmed (through the courts at Old City Hall) that Jesse Power, the former art student who helped torture and kill "Kensington" the cat, was arrested on June 9, 2004, for theft.
Kensington will never be forgotten. We vow to keep Kensington's memory fresh in all our minds. Freedom for Animals and Kensington Market Stray Cat Rescue will be organizing a yearly Kensington Memorial Day in memory of Kensington who was tortured, videotaped, and murdered.