Some breaking news on the pipeline hijacking in Flamborough. New videos were released by the Hamilton Spectator that give more insight into the hijackers and their lack of respect for civil society- things are getting very interesting. But equally, things are looking potentially dangerous- some of Ontario’s most notorious militant cop haters now have control of an oil pipeline pumping station.
The protester’s narrative already appears to have some serious holes. Their official statements about Enbridge’s licensing requirements conflict with what other environmental organizations have been saying. Indicators are the protesters have not been telling the whole truth. They also don’t appear to have entirely ruled-out the use of violence.
The first interesting video was a recording of spokesperson Elysia Petrone articulating the groups position- including shocking allegations that Enbridge has been “influence peddling” the police. Only in the minds of brainwashed revolutionaries (they’re a [dangerous] cult) would Enbridge need to peddle influence with the police in this situation. When a group including a convicted G20 ringleader takes-over an oil pipeline, the cops have no choice but to take action to remove them. Regardless, it appears the police are now requesting Enbridge to get an injunction- despite the clear presence of a no trespassing sign and Petrone’s own acknowledgement that the protesters are breaking the law.
It sounds more like Enbridge has very little influence over the police…
They also stated that Enbridge’s influence on the government resulted in the “cancelling the environmental assessment” for reversal of the pipeline. This however isn’t true- Environmental Defence more accurately states on their website “the Line 9 project is exempt from a full environmental assessment”. If the protester’s goal is to discredit the work of honest environmentalists, it appears they’re on the right trajectory- that’s very unfortunate.
This brings us to Alex Hundert, a name that’s synonymous with the Black Bloc violence during the G20. Freshly out of prison (including weeks in solidarity for trying to radicalise fellow prisoners), Hundert has an axe to grind. He hates the police in a way I’ve rarely seen- when asked about his use of violence at an Occupy Toronto meeting last March he responded saying “I don’t give a fuck about the law“. This evening Hundert put out a tweet taunting the police stationed outside of the pumping station.
It can be confirmed that Hundert is on-site as one of the protesters- he was captured in the Spectator’s video of Trish Mills locking the gates shut. The video also caught Hundert making derogatory comments about one of the cops (calling him a pig) and commenting on the officer’s height. He looked rather unnerved when he noticed that the reporter was filming him- like a deer in the headlights.
This is where the cop hating comes along, and another reason this is a very dangerous situation. Regardless of when the protesters get arrested, it’s likely they’ll do their damnedest to make it look like the arresting officers are violent beasts.
This may have been true for protesters at one point of history- but today, if anything, the police trend towards being underwhelming and slow to respond. The Sarnia rail blockade was a great example- even after a judge issued an injunction, the police were still reluctant to make the move. Nothing happened until after the judge began to express his disappointment.
During his conviction, and through his time in prison, Hundert’s had close support from Ryerson professor Judy Rebick. It appears that not much has changed, Rebick was one of the first people to tweet out to the world that the pipeline had been hijacked:
Rebick is fully aware of who the people are behind the hijacking. She took a godmother role with them during the Occupy movement, and stood behind them during the G20. Rebick, like Vancouver’s David Eby during the Olympics, spoke-out against the violence after it occurred. And, like the Olympics, it was common knowledge that the violence was planned long before it happened. History may have been different if either Rebick or Eby had the courage to speak out before the violence.
At best, promoting a dangerous group of criminals as they hijack an oil pipeline is a highly irresponsible act- both towards society and the protesters themselves. Some of them are just useful idiots who’ve got caught-up with a very bad crowd. It’s these people who often finding themselves serving long terms in jail. Protester Edward Lutz is already being prosecuted for his participation in an OCAP protest in February- this will only compound his problems.
Some people will try to justify the protesters behaviour by pointing out they aren’t personally gaining from what their doing. This is a very naïve position at best, the leaders behind this protest have made careers out of their activism, events like this enable them to attract funders and supporters- to raise their personal profiles. Saunders has been quite transparent this way, using the protest as an opportunity to promote her husband’s rap band’s new album.
The leaders behind this protest are fighting for a much larger agenda than a simple pipeline. They’re fighting for a socialist revolution. This May Day Sakura Saunders and Alex Hundert shared a float chanting anti-capitalist with John Clarke of the militant Ontario Coalition Against Poverty- an organization notorious it’s connection to the Molotov cocktails found at the Queen’s Park Riot in Toronto. Revolutions started by people who behave this way rarely work out well for the common (wo)man.
It’s been obvious to most Canadians since the G20 & Olympics that the people behind this protest have got too far out of control. There’s a militant and violent contingent that’s taking hold in the Canadian environmental movement. One of them is so obsessed with his cause of environmentalism (and hating the police) that he’s brave/foolish enough to engage like this a few months after getting out of prison. These are extremists.
We can’t build a better society based on violent, deceitful and manipulative acts. It’s unacceptable to support people who behave this way. Regardless of if you care about the pipeline or not…
Rabble is covering the protest very closely. CBC has a couple very biased articles which can be accessed from the CBC Hamilton page. CTV’s coverage is a little more neutral.
It astounds me how biased the CBC can be- I’d never had imagined it before I started looking into their work…
Anarchists taking over a protest , why does this not surprise me?
I’m relieved there are protesters ready to stop that pipeline. Thank you to them for doing it.
Yes, the Quakers are deeply involved in this- so, your being a Quaker, I understand why you’d take this position. But, equally, I’m astounded every time I see people from nonviolent religions backing violent thugs…
That pipeline already exists. Has been pumping oil for years. They are not stopping anything.