The protesters who occupied the Line 9 pumping station in Westover had their first day in court on Wednesday. To celebrate, they and their allies arranged a pre-court protest. A motley crew of anarchists, rabble rousers, and useful idiots showed up- and, as expected, they seriously went off the rails. What was billed as a ‘peaceful protest’ became anything but.
Due to economic constraints (donations are much appreciated), Your Humble Narrator wasn’t able to make it out to Hamilton. Luckily, Ezra Levant was able to go to and document the mayhem for us. After a long day of travel and filming, he spent the entire night writing an epic monologue outlining his observations. On Thursday I had the pleasure of joining Ezra in his studio to watch the taping- it was the most entertaining afternoon I’ve had in a while.
The protests began with a march through the city. Activists came with drums, horns, signs and cowbells ready to make a lot of noise. Normally, the police let them get away with a lot of bad behaviour. But this protest was different, rather than turn a blind eye, the Hamilton Police took a lot of effort to keep them under control.
For example, when they tried to march into an intersection and “take the street”, mounted police officers warned them they weren’t going to be allowed this time- trying to block them with their horses. Despite this, the protesters didn’t listen and instead marched right through the horses and took the street anyhow. They probably thought they got away with it at the moment, but they would soon be disappointed.
Ezra embedded himself in the middle of the rabble and did his best to get interviews from a very hostile group. Much like my experiences, they tried block his camera and made a lot of noise while he was filming. But due to a lot of persistence, he was still able to get some great clips and expose much of their hypocrisy.
Watching the raw footage on Thursday morning, I kind of felt bad for the protesters- they were seriously outclassed. Despite their reluctance (and instructions not to talk) Ezra and his crew got some fantastic clips- showing how many of the protesters were seriously misinformed.
For example, Mike Roy of the Indignants had no clue that the pipeline is currently carrying oil imported from other countries. When Ezra asked his opinion on this imported oil, Roy defiantly told him that Line 9 is only carrying product from the Alberta Oil Sands. Wrong answer!
Most of the other interviews went in the same direction. The protesters had so much misinformation drilled into their heads it became obvious that most didn’t really have a clue about what they were protesting. Like many protests, the majority appeared more interested in creating a rabble than taking a deep look into the issues. No wonder the organizers instructed them not to talk to Sun News!
The protest ended when it was time for the Swamp Line 9 arrestees to go into the court. It’s unfortunate it’s not allowed to film in the courtroom because what happened inside would have made some great footage. First, the police approached some of the protesters and ticketed some of them who blocked the streets that day- this was a surprise to everyone, it looks like Hamilton cops are beginning to take things more seriously.
Then, much like the Black Bloc courthouse theatre during the sentencing of G20 vandal George Horton, the protesters got rather out of control during the hearings. They began by applauding the defendants as they spoke to the court- the judge quickly told them to stop or face the consequences. Then, one of the protesters decided to snap instead. The judge wasn’t impressed, and ordered her to be detained and taken out of the courtroom.
Things then quickly degraded. The crowd got more out of control- and, in the end, seven people were arrested. Five were charged with causing a disturbance. Two of the others weren’t so lucky- Alexander Tigchelaar was given an extra count of assaulting peace officers, Patricia “Trish” Mills was charged with both obstructing and assaulting an officer.
Mills was also arrested during the first Sammy Yatim protest– but, after the crowd threatened a riot, the police decided to let her go free in the name of public safety. The crown sees her as a potential threat- so, when she was finally given bail it came with conditions that she’s not allowed to associate with 20 of her fellow protesters. With a growing list of serious charges against her, there’s a possibility she may face jail time now.
The Line 9 protesters stated that the intention of their protests was to “raise awareness” about their perceived issues with the pipeline’s reversal. And, while they’ve definitely got a lot of attention from their actions, their abysmal behaviour appears to be backfiring. Disrupting courtrooms, attacking police, and blocking traffic only acts as a distraction from the message they’re trying to convey to the public.
Ezra’s show on Thursday was brilliant- clearly exposing the cluelessness and misdirected criminality of the rabble. There were moments during his filming when I had to work very hard stopping myself from breaking out in laughter. But, equally, I was left feeling rather sad.
Your Humble Narrator has met many of them in person- and, despite the horrid abuse they throw at me, I know that many are good people who’ve got caught up in some ugly situations. People who’ve known Mike Roy from before the Occupy movement tell me he was a great guy. Bailey Lemon seems the same- you can tell there’s a good person inside of her outside all of the confusion. And if you look deep, despite her charges of assaulting a peace officer, Trish Mills is probably a good person too.
Unfortunately, they’ve become useful idiots for unions and foreign funded NGO’s- it hurts to watch this. It’s equally disturbing to see how activistocrats like Dave Vasey and Sakura Saunders were there for the launch of the occupation but left before the arrests started. People organizing with them in the future should take note.
I was originally scheduled to come on the show and share some of my thoughts and research with Ezra’s audience, but his monologue was so epic that it took up the entire show. Instead, I’ll be coming into the studio on Monday. It promises to be an interesting conversation…