UPDATE: One of the two people in this picture was originally identfied as Taylor Flook, who has written to me to say it wasn’t her. I am currently waiting for comment from her on who the other person is alleged to be…
It’s been frustrating watching CBC Hamilton’s coverage of the Enbridge pipeline hijacking. On the one hand their reporting has been useful- though it appears unintentional, Adam Carter’s picture of Trish Mills locking the gates helped expose we’re dealing with the usual suspects. But, his lack of naming names was embarrassing- particularly with infamous protesters like Alex Hundert and Ruby Montour taking visible leadership roles.
Today the CBC did a follow-up story titled National protests will support Hamilton Enbridge activitists [sic]- a piece showcasing how people ‘across the country’ will be protesting in a “day of solidarity’ for the hijackers. But, unfortunately, the quality of Ryan Mallough’s reporting was no better than CBC editor’s spell-checking skills. Like Carter, Mallough must have completely missed that he was being taken for a ride (or, not).
Solidarity rallies are a well worn activist tactic. Each time there’s an occupation activists will organize with their friends/partners in other cities to gather together for a photo-op. Idle No More was an great example where people held rallies in as far flung places as remote northern Alaska and Papua New Guinea. Observing these rallies is a great way to understand activists and their networks.
Mallough’s article starts by quoting Chelsea Flook, an activist with the Sierra Club who’ll be leading the solidarity rally in Edmonton. Flook, and her sister Taylor, are both professional activists with connections to CUPE, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Occupy movement- Chelsea was a leader in Edmonton and Taylor in Toronto. Taylor has a working relationship with at least three people connected to the Enbridge Occupation.
(On a side note, Chelsea worked with Eriel Deranger through the Sierra Club- Deranger was a speaker at Hollyhock with Linda Solomon this month. Deranger and Taylor Flook share the same tattoo.)
Next the article interviews Maryam Adrangi of Rising Tide Vancouver and the Council of Canadians. Adrangi is a member of the same tight knit club as the Flooks, the Derangers, Alex Hundert and Sakura Saunders. She once wrote an article on the Media Co-Op celebrating a banner drop that said “Free Alex Hundert”.
Are you noticing a pattern yet?
Next, Adam Carter published a provocative article about the Hamilton Police, discussing how officers have been involved in 4 fatal shootings over the past 7 years. Had Carter planned this article to coincide with the pipeline occupation he couldn’t have done better. The ‘activists are scared’ angle he took will no doubt assist the occupiers:
“But there’s a feeling amongst activists and people living downtown that police have changed the way they interact with the general public, says Lee Reed, a local musician and activist.”
But Carter neglects to mention something very important- Lee Reed is a supporter of the Line 9 protests and a close associate with anarchists who are running the occupation. He even played on-site at the Enbridge station on Saturday. Reed’s an active participant in an action designed to cause embarrassment to the Hamilton police. Why didn’t Carter disclose this important conflict of interest?
This isn’t the first case of CBC writing (seemingly) manipulative stories about activists and law enforcement. They put out another scaremongering piece in February- this time about activist Ken Stone receiving a visit from CSIS officers. The article left the reader with a feeling that Stone was visited because of a story he wrote supporting the Iranian Government. The reality was more complex- Stone has a long history working with a hostile foreign government.
It’s hard to say what’s going on at CBC Hamilton- they may just be clueless, the timing of the Hamilton Police story could be coincidental, Carter may have been tricked into quoting Lee Reed- perhaps they don’t have enough time to research the people they write about. Regardless, their lack of detail and inadequate disclosure are deeply disturbing.
Something to keep an eye on…
CBC and honest, unbiased reporting should not be used in the same sentence
CBC Ombudsman Info (Note, they do not pay attention to anonymous complaints)
P.O. Box Station A
Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6
Telephone & Fax:
Phone: (416) 205-2978
Fax: (416) 205-2825
Or to make things easy they have a nice form you can fill out:
I believe I’ll be writing a complaint. This sort of bad reporting shouldn’t be allowed at the CBC…
You will enjoy the videos here: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2013/06/20130625-170539.html
A Sun News reporter asks some good questions at the protest.
you know that masked photo was a cupe joke.
In over a year since I first published that picture, you’re the first person to mention that. I’ve had communications from both Taylor and Chelsea, why didn’t they say something? Interesting.
Regardless, I used this picture as an example of their enthusiasm for people who engage in militant actions. I’d never expect that either Taylor or Chelsea Flook would be engaging in Black Bloc tactics – they’re too far up the Activistocrat food chain. They do, however, engage with militants at protest where they are being militant.
Take yesterday as an example when Chelsea was marching in a protest led by OCAP. The group swarmed the 52 Division police station then later threatened the police with a riot as they were trying to arrest a woman who’s currently on bail from the Swamp Line 9 protest. That protest has links to a major NGO that’s a lot like Chelsea’s situation.
So, thank you for bringing this to my attention. Speaking to her after the slanderous things she’s said about your humble narrator would be unthinkable at this moment. I will instead contact the Sierra Club and CUPE to relay my question, and my concerns they allow their executives to engage in public militant actions. What sort of a message is that sending?
Encouraging this sort of thing is no joke. Well, perhaps at CUPE…