I first used the phrase “gone wild” when I posted the video of Harsha Walia Gone Wild! video- where she promoted the use of violence by the Black Bloc during the 2010 Olympics. I’ve also written about Occupy Vancouver Gone Wild!, where Occupy Vancouver’s old-left contingent tried to take the stage and publicly accuse a man of “attacking women”, in a gross display of ruthlessness. There was Occupy Montreal Gone Wild!, where members of that group went “doughnut fishing” with the police. I covered the Vancouver Casseroles Gone Wild! when an elderly security guard got punched in the face. Kevin Annett’s gone wild too.
Today we talk about the antics of Occupy Victoria. Curiously, they are incredibly similar to what we’ve seen at Occupy Vancouver & Toronto. But, if you’ve been reading me for a while, you already knew that- and, you probably already know that many of the key players are on the same team. The old-left’s hijacking of Canadian occupations was so obviously a coordinated, cross-country, effort…
Occupy Victoria is a great example of where the old-left have met with some resistance to their plans. Members of the We Are Change (WAC) affinity group quickly called the old-left manipulators on their games. This has resulted in Occupy Victoria splitting into two distinct groups. It’s also resulted in some high-energy clashes. Most of you won’t be surprised to hear that things have got ugly, and the old-left are playing dirty again. This most recent incident is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
Ryan Elson is a member of WAC who has been researching and writing about the old-left. He’s also been instrumental in the battle to take down Kevin Annett. I’ve watched Ryan at work, and he has been consistently meticulous in his research. When most people would think they have enough evidence to publish a story- Ryan will be making an extra phone call to the city land registry to verify who owns a property.
Because Ryan spends a lot of time exposing hypocrisy and mistruths, he has often been subject to attacks by people who have things to hide. But, this is the purpose of journalism- right? I think George Orwell said it best:
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is Public Relations.”
There was a disagreement between the two sides of Occupy Victoria when people from WAC planned their Solutions Rally- an event where activists present solutions to issues that are important to them. The people on the old-left side were not happy about this rally, and put a lot of effort into crushing it. Their problem was with the speakers list- one of the people invited is a civil-rights lawyer who has represented a number of controversial clients.
It was early on when the old-left Occupiers changed the name of Occupy Victoria to the People’s Assembly of Victoria (PAOV).I’ve written about one of PAOV’s members before- Anushka Nagji was involved in the fiasco at Occupy Vancouver when she and her friends tried to create a fake police incidents at the Vancouver Casseroles marches. Both Nagji and BC Civil Liberties Association head David Eby lost a lot of credibility from their participation in the Casseroles.
One of the most well-known names involved with PAOV is Zoe Blunt– a radical Victoria activist who runs with the Deep Green Resistance (DGR) crowd.I wrote about DGR in my article about Why Eco-Terrorism Is A Real, And Present, Danger to British Columbia– this is a group whose leader has openly promoted the bombing of dams.
Their members are also notorious for playing dirty- I should know, they played very dirty with me, read my article about My Experience Being Cyber-Bullied (and real-life) At Occupy Vancouver & Toronto. I was also attacked by Macdonald Stainsby– on the the more senior members of DGR. Curiously, Stainsby was also used by certain factions of the NDP to try and discredit the work of Tezporah Berman. Many good-hearted activists have been a victim to their smears.
Ryan Elson is their latest victim- and, the attack they took on him was so outrageous that it calls to question the integrity of the people involved. Not that some weren’t already questionable before this incident- this is a questionable crowd.
Members of PAOV, allegedly including Zoe Blunt, were brutal in their attack on Ryan. They compiled highly personal documentation on him including phone numbers, address, and personal history onto a webpage. But, even worse, they took a conscious effort to “out” Elson for being gay.
Elson works in construction, and on worksites where he may be subject to people with homophobia, so I did not want this information published on the Internet. Now, due to their indiscretion, Ryan has one more thing to worry about at work. What sort of people do things like this?
The answer to that question may be answered by a screenshot Ryan posted on his blog. It’s one of the first postings of the webpage that was created to “out” Elson, and it was posted by someone I’ve written about before- Michael Madlove:
If Madlove was a Norse god, he would be Loki– the god of mischief. He was involved in the bullying and posting of online slander against me at Occupy Vancouver. Madlove has attacked a number of other people who the old-left wanted out of their way. His former (and long-time) friend Rob Gordon told me that Madlove is one of the most visceral people he has ever known. He was also featured on one of the trailers for The Occupy Documentary– here, have a look:
The slanderous attacks that occurred are not such a shock to most people who understand the old-left. This is their standard modus-operandi for dealing with people who disagree with them. What’s more interesting about this story is how Zoe Blunt exposed herself here. She called Ryan to confirm that they had the right phone number for him- Madlove said this himself.
Blunt, who’s real name is Tracie Park, is a high-profile activist who has been leading part of the fight against the Enbridge pipeline with the Vancouver Island Forest Action Network. If you want to understand Blunt, just try and envision the opposite of Tezporah Berman. Both are fighting to save forests, but Berman is out making partnerships, and Blunt’s DGR takes a decidedly more militant approach.
It’s this difference in their approaches that caused Macdonald Stainsby to be sent-in to smear Berman. She explained the attack saying “the most difficult thing I’ve done in my career as an activist was to speak-out against the work of the NDP”. Berman was referring to carbon credit taxes- the NDP wanted them, and she wasn’t sold on the idea.
Zoe Blunt/Tracie Park appeared in the DGR felating documentary End:Civ (Resist or Die)– a film about the end of the world from the perspective of a Maoist/Trotskyist obedience cult. Macdonald Stainsby was also in this movie, as was one person who explained how it is the activist’s duty to crush anyone who dared to discuss the possibility of a pacifist approach. Stainsby once wrote how it is the activist’s duty to exclude and discredit people with opposing viewpoints.
The film was made by Franklin Lopez- a man who is known for his work creating the Stimulator series of anarchist and anti-police videos. Lopez is the son of a Puerto Rico revolutionary and white collar criminal. His videos promote the use of violence and property destruction- he makes Black Bloc violence look cool, and helps the DGR’s recruitment efforts.
What we’re talking about here are some of the ugliest people in the Canadian activist scene- those who have been socialized into believing that they can build a better world by lying about people and blowing things up. The DGR crowd have been implicated in some of the dirtiest attacks in the activist community. Their organization’s key philosophy is to crush people who stand in their way- regardless of if what they are saying is true.
The common belief in activist circles is that you should support people who support something you believe in- even if you find the tactics they use to be abhorrent. There’s a problem with this line of thought- if we allow such behaviour in the activist community, how will it not bleed into other parts of our society?
The answer is that you can’t. Violence reverberates through any society- and, the social violence they used, combined with their promotion of violent attacks, is something we should all be concerned about. The DGR have dived into the far-side, they need to figure our how to take a few steps back, or the organization needs to be scrapped. If not, a lot of their less-informed members may find themselves in some serious trouble for doing something they don’t really understand. This would be unacceptable.
It’s time for the Deep Green Resistance to shape-up, or to ship-out…