A group of the usual suspects occupied an Enbridge construction site in north Toronto today. Protesting the Line 9 reversal project, the protesters claimed that Enbridge was jumping the gun on construction. Enbridge claims this was a maintenance project- something anti-pipeline protesters often complain the company doesn’t do enough of. Are we confused yet?
The one day occupation consisted of about 20 people. There were a few new faces in the crowd, but it was basically the same group of anarchists, professional protesters and religious extremists we see at every other event like this. That said, something was different today- there was a sense rot, lost momentum, and perhaps a dying movement?
Your Humble Narrator was met at the gate today by a character well known to this site’s readers. Alex Hundert was one of the ringleaders convicted and incarcerated for his part in organizing the violence during the Toronto G20. Hundert warned not to cross the line into their territory, he then explained how he didn’t believe the police would arrest the protesters because that would only make the police look bad.
There were two people at the protest who have the Love Is The Movement tattoo. Taylor “Pottymouth” Flook (whose sister also has the tattoo) was walking around quietly, and seemed quite pleased when some generous person sent them all some pizza. The other was Dave Vasey, head of the now defunct Occupy Toronto, and lifelong professional protester. Vasey is also a pizza fan.
Following their well worn path of environmentalists exploiting indigenous voice, the activists recruited two native women as their spokespeople. The first, Vanessa Grey, is a professional protester who’s often seen at occupations and blockades. The other was Amanda Lickers, one of the most distasteful activists in Ontario- and probably most well known for making up a fake story about an indigenous grave site at a Vermont university and tearing up a memorial to the 9/11 dead.
Of course, no Toronto occupation would be complete without anti-
miningIsrael activist Sakura Saunders on site- she was being camera shy today though, hiding behind the construction materials. Her husband, and purveyor of cheap plastic trinkets, Darius Mirshahi was alongside her- luckily, we were all saved from having to listen to his anti-capitalist (c)rap.
No meeting full of hardcore and violent anarchists would be complete without the obligatory Quaker on site! Fulfilling their quota, Hundert and Saunders were joined in solidarity by Lyn Adamson- who, get this, teaches people how to engage in non-violent protest. Adamson has explained why she works with violent criminals – and the answer will knock you off your socks – but you’ll have to stay tuned for that story.
There was one interesting new character today, albeit from an organization readers will remember has a long and incestuous relationship with the anarchist community. Paul Costello of the Council of Canadians worked with Hundert and other protesters, and put up a sign from the charitable organization Environmental Defence (notice how the anarchist’s sign is the same design).
Some of the protesters locked themselves to a large Caterpillar backhoe with bike locks- including (as a police officer described) a man with a broken hand. The locks were only theatre though, the protesters unlocked themselves and went home at the end of the day.
Unlike most protests, there were few chants, no marching, and very little going on at this one. With such a small crowd present it’s not really a surprise, and it seems that the crowd is getting a little smaller with each stunt the usual suspects try to dazzle us with. That’s probably because each protest is less dazzling then the last, and most Torontonians don’t really care about Line 9.
Summing up today’s protest in one word- it came across as masturbatory…