Wednesday was Barrick Gold‘s annual general meeting and, like previous years, Sakura Saunders and her merry band of anarchists came to protest. Barrick’s been having a hard time of things lately, between drops in the price of gold and some challenged project schedules their stock hasn’t been satisfying investors. So, it was sure to be a stressful day for Barrick’s executives.
Had only they known the comedic relief waiting outside they’d have had a great opportunity to unwind- there’s always a good laugh to be had when the Activistocrats put on a show. Besides the signs, the giant puppet of Peter Munk (with an uncomfortably large nose), the marching percussion band, and the presence of a prominent religious leader, the protesters were blessed with one of the most comedic of the obedience cult’s characters- Dee Shanger (a.k.a Captain Yarr) a growingly notorious cop baiter who think’s he’s a pirate.
Welcome to the world of the Canadian Socialist Obedience Cult…
Protest Barrick is an organization that’s (officially) co-led by Sakura Saunders, an American anarchist and professional agitator with a history of working with billionaire funded NGO’s and a current working relationship with the Mennonite church funded (and anarchist) Christian Peacemaker Teams – they’re the ones who sent Canadians to Iraq as human shields for Saddam. The CPT have a curious history with connections to most every major incident of anarchist violence since the early 90’s.
Saunders arrived with her anarchist husband, a rapper who (sorta) sings songs about the joy of going all “smashy smashy”- kind of like Vanilla Ice songs, but promoting violence towards windows & street furniture with a bit more of a suburban flair (Mississauga with a taste of Kensington Market). Curiously they were driving a late model Volkswagen with Oregon license plates on it. Interesting.
It was pretty much the same crowd, as always, but there were many less people this year. At last year’s event Saunders had the luxury of support of the remaining members of Occupy, today it’s all but dead. There were many familiar Occupy faces though including Dave Vasey, Trey Winney, and Katie Berger. The big star of the day was Alex Hundert, a G20 ringleader who has recently been released from solitary confinement after serving his part leading the orchestrating crimes back in 2010.
The Barrick protesters began their rally standing across the street from the Toronto convention centre, 45-60 people gathered drumming and yelling things out into their public address system. It was rather uneventful, and I was tempted to leave early, but UndercoverKity encouraged me it was worth the wait as Saunders follows the same pattern in her protests- there’s the inevitable charge against police lines to satisfy the urges of the cop haters (which is most of them).
When protesters crossed the street to the front of the convention centre they were told that all of the sidewalk except for the outer 18 inches was private property and that they were not allowed to cross that line. It was a curious statement that got my BS meter ticking. Thursday, after a trip to the land registry office, I confirmed that the police were absolutely right in what they were saying.
Here’s where Captain Yarr stepped in, Dee Shanger followed his normal pattern of bouncing up against the police with his notebook, yelling out his trademark phrase “I’m media” while live streaming video over the Internet entertaining those who like a good cop baiting but were unable (or too scared) to do it themselves. The last time we saw Captain Yarr do this was at the racist anti-police march NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo headlined at a couple of months ago.
Yarr crossed the 18 inch demarcation and was quickly directed by a cop to move back behind the line. Like clockwork, Captain Yarr yelled out “I’m media” and then screamed out that he was being “assaulted”. Meanwhile you could see on the cop’s face that he was trying his damnedest not to burst out laughing- at one point the cop says to Yarr “you can be media, that’s fine sir”.
Next Yarr points at me and says to the cop “why can that undercover be back there”! The cop breaks out a big smile and responded saying “you just said it sir!”. Sadly for Yarr he didn’t realize the officer was bring sarcastic. Dee Shanger isn’t the brightest bulb on the anarchist string (and that’s quite an accomplishment).
The protest ended without any major incidents, it was raining and the crowd quickly faded away. But then, on Thursday morning, Jeremy Oliver of Civilian Media put out the most curious tweets:
The tweets linked to a video recorded by Captain Yarr, and posted on Oliver’s Civilian Media YouTube account. He’s removed the video now- here’s a screenshot from the posting:
The problem is that there was never any assault. As you can see in the video at the bottom of this article, the cop was incredibly polite, professional, and he did an excellent job at not breaking out into laughter at the crap coming out of Yarr’s mouth. His work was a near perfect example of how to deal with anarchist agitators (could have done better not turning the camera though). But in the strange world of Dee Shanger, and now Jeremy Oliver, the cop was violently assaulting. Crazy.
It’s this sort of idiotic behaviour that’s turning the environmental movement into an unhealthy self-parody. Making false claims of police violence is the height of irresponsibility. What happens the next time there’s a real incident of police violence? Well, it’s likely people will take it less seriously each time someone cries wolf. Eventually someone is going to get hurt because of this- classy.
People who view themselves as environmentalists and/or activists should be most disturbed by what happened here. Each time these fools use environmental rallies as an excuse to battle with the police they’re cheapening the effectiveness of real activists and valuable causes. Isn’t it time to say enough is enough?