I ran across a rather heated Twitter debate on the TIDES Foundation today- being someone who has followed them closely for a while, I couldn’t help but get involved. Particularly, because the conversation approached the issue of eco-terrorism, as subject I wrote about yesterday in my article about the unintended consequences that could come out of the Enbridge pipeline.
The conversation was with Sandy Garossino, a former prosecutor, who was also a candidate for Vancouver City Council, who was endorsed by the NSV (Neighbourhoods For A Sustainable Vancouver) party. As you will see from this exchange, she is left-leaning and supports environmental causes.
It all began with this tweet where Garossino responds to the recent story about the RCMP criminal intelligence assessment that came out on the subject of eco-terrorism.
I saw this article yesterday, shortly after I published my own article discussing the possibility of eco-terrorism. And, as an interesting coincidence, I happened to mention Wiebo Ludwig in my article. Ludwig is the eco-terrorist who was attacking natural gas infrastructure. He died recently, so I guess Garossino was trying to make the point that we no longer have to worry about such things happing.
How naïve! The reality is, as I explained in my article on the pipeline, BC has a history of eco-terrorism. Wiebo Ludwig wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last. Are you trying to push an agenda on-behalf of BC’s radical environmentalists Sandy?
Because, we all know that there are still many radicals out there. I, personally, have met a number of supporters of the radical Deep Green Resistance in BC. As has David Eby- Macdonald Stainsby, one of their leaders, ceremonially threw a pie in Eby’s face during the 2010 Olympics when Eby criticised Harsha Walia’s beloved Black Bloc after they smashed the windows at the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Anyhow, so Garossino gets called-out on her statement by a fellow tweeter:
My thoughts exactly! If it isn’t followers of Ludwig, we are most certainly at risk of other radical environmentalists. The philosophy of the Deep Green Resistance is that the only way to save the world from capitalism is to smash the machines of the industrialists.
Have a look at Garossino’s snappy comeback:
No dice Sandy- weren’t the people of the Interior of BC feeling a bit terrorized imagining that Ludwig could be blowing-up pipelines in their back yards? As the left-leaning Huffington Post stated- Ludwig was a Warrior to Some, Terrorist to Others. I’ll bet that many families living next to the pipeline will chose the latter.
Garossino started to get into a frenzy at this point and started tweeting out a number of messages trying to disqualify the RCMP’s investigation and to imply it was politicised. At one point, she asked for some evidence of “organized terrorism: in the conservation movement:
Garossino is obviously ignorant of, or ignoring the threat of organized extremists like the Deep Green Resistance. They are organized, and they promote the use of violence as the only way to save the planet. As their leader Derrick Jensen says “Love does not imply pacifism.” And, if you watch their movie End-Civ (which features Macdonald Stainsby) you will learn that they not only promote the use of violence, but give the imperative that anyone who talks about pacifism must be crushed.
I know this from experience. I spoke out against violence at Occupy Vancouver. I ended up being attacked from all sides, including social violence towards me and my family. These people are scary, and I am not the only person who they have terrorized. And, Sandy, have you forgotten about what happened in the case of the Squamish Five?
So, after another person in the conversation mentions that they are happy to see the RCMP following extremists, Garossino begins to go off the rails and moves onto stigmatization of mental health:
Her faux-pas didn’t go unnoticed though:
A good point was made, one I talked about in my article about the pipelines. Foreign interests like the George Soros funded TIDES foundation have been known to exert influence during pipeline debates- having a direct effect on a country’s sovereignty. I saw the same thing happening in Kazakhstan when Soros’ Open Society Institute began meddling with their internal affairs.
He makes a good point, one that I agree with entirely- and, more than one person agreed with it. But, this is the point where Garossino began to totally go off the rail, and took a shot at her own credibility by questioning someone else’s credibility before the conversation was finished:
The Twitterverse was not impressed with what Garossino said at this point. Vivian Krause stepped-in to correct her on her behaviour:
Then, I stepped in with my own comments:
You see, the TIDES Foundation gives funding to a group of radical environmentalists known as the Ruckus Society. I learned about this while researching Macdonald Stainsby and some of his compatriots at Occupy Toronto. Ruckus’ logo features a monkey wrench being thrown into a set of gears. In the Wikipedia link I shared with Garossino, Ruckus was connected with the violence at the Seattle World Trade Organization protests in 1999. Vancouver’s own Harsha Walia was there at the time.
Garossino then responded to me:
Curiously, she erased her tweet before I had a chance to respond- luckily, Twitter had emailed me with an alert that the tweet had been sent. This is a wonderful feature, I’ve found it incredibly helpful in the past when dealing with weasels. Considering that she erased the tweet, I guess she re-read the Wikipedia article and realized that I was right. It may not say “Black Bloc” but it uses the word ‘anarchists’. In this case, it is the same meaning.
Two of my favourite comments came at the end of the exchange:
I couldn’t agree with these comments more. First, breaking laws doesn’t make an environmentalist, it makes a criminal. Those people who feel they must smash the machine (like Deep Green) give a bad name to environmentalist movements. From my experience, most of these people are more interested in breaking laws than saving the environment.
And, the last comment is one that Garossino should read twice and take heed of. By jumping the gun, and taking question to another Tweeter’s credibility – before the conversation was finished – she took a direct shot at her own credibility. At best, her tactic was tacky- at worst, it was dirty fighting.
I’d also recommend to Garossino that she start doing her homework before getting into a debate like this. As much as the people on the right may be politicising domestic terrorism to counter environmentalists, the people on the left are putting us in danger by making a mockery out of the risks that we are facing. Both sides are culpable in this debate.
Sandy Garossino, I believe that an apology is in order here. Your behaviour in this exchange was not what the people of British Columbia would expect of their politicians- taking personal shots at the credibility of your electorate is simply unacceptable. Can you see past your pride and have the courage to do this?
I certainly hope so…