Last weekend LeadNow.ca organized their Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities rallies across the country. LeadNow claimed they had events in over 100 locations (some possibly in people’s living rooms), and that many thousands of people showed up in support. The two largest gatherings were in Vancouver and Toronto- many of the usual suspects appeared, including (of course) leaders from the Occupy movement.
Like many Vancouver and Toronto protests, LeadNow’s rallies both had their moments of hypocrisy and anti-social behavior. Each protest left their own legacy too- Vancouver protesters spray painted a counter-protester’s sign, organizers in Toronto left scores of promotional posters wheat pasted on street furniture across the city. The former is a criminal act, cleaning-up the latter will take money out of the city budget.
That’s not fair, is it? LeadNow should be made to pay! (Keep reading and I’ll show you how…)
Chaos, Vandalism & Hypocrisy At The Vancouver Rally:
The Vancouver rally was officially led by US foundation funded ForestEthics. Their Sunset Beach location was convenient for those who could afford to drive, with convenient Beach Avenue parking. This worked out well for speaker Art Steritt, the Executive Director of the Great Bear Initiative society got to park his BMW only a few steps away from the stage! Professional protesting pays well, doesn’t it?
Ezra Levant showed up at the rally, and did a great show about it. He interviewed a few familiar faces including former city councilor (and failed VanCity board candidate) Ellen Woodsworth and Occupy Vancouver doxxer Michael Madlove, Levant reported that people began to surround and push themselves into him, but he managed to slip away. A screenshot from the video shows a familiar face in the mobbing:
Like MadLove, Chris Waddell was at Occupy Vancouver. In 2012 he participated in the infamous Casseroles marches where fellow Occupy Vancouver anarchists baited cops smashing pots and pans in their faces (and later making false claims of police violence). Waddle was covered on this site just three weeks ago after being filmed at the May Day anti-police march where several protesters were arrested.
Counter-protesters showed-up with signs that promoted their support for oil pipelines. The signs were spray painted by a passing vandal- the police did nothing, despite the red flag that someone had brought a spray can to the rally. Considering Vancouver’s recent controversy over anti-pipeline vandalism, it’s surprising the police didn’t take advantage of this opportunity.
Idling Traffic For Climate Change In Toronto!
The Toronto event was organized by Occupy Toronto’s Lana Goldberg, who was assisted in the background by Occupier (and speaker at the Marxism 2012 conference) Octavian Cadabeschi. The protest began in front of city hall; Goldberg emceed and speakers included Sakura Saunders, and the “official” representative of Idle No More Toronto (a group hijacked by the same crowd running the protest).
Besides this protest, Goldberg’s biggest claim to fame was a flash mob she did for the Steelworkers Union protesting a bank lowering a company’s interest rates (in effect, supporting the previous loan’s usury). She also works with the union led Ontario Common Front.
The rally was peaceful and friendly at city hall, there was no hint of intimidation. People representing Olivia Chow, the Communist Party, and the Marxism 2014 conference were passing out flyers. One protester came up and asked if I’d like to hold one of their giant puppets- we both had a good chuckle when I explained how his fellow protesters may react. Besides that, I’ve already carried one banner at a LeadNow rally- it turned out to be a massive deception, I won’t be falling for that again (will you?).
After the speeches someone announced over the PA system that everyone should march north up Bay St. As the crowd began to start moving the police headed up Bay to make everything safe for them. Only, the organizers were playing a trick- they didn’t march up Bay, but over to the cenotaph in front of Old City Hall (then up Bay). The anarchists can’t miss the opportunity to mess around with the police, it kind of cheapens their message though- doesn’t it?
While on the subject of cheapening messages, how hypocritical is it to block downtown traffic in the name of climate change? Scores of cars were left idling, people on public transit were punished too. There’s no clearer evidence how many protesters are more concerned with their own self-gratification than the causes they march for (and they clearly don’t give a damn about the innocent public whose weekends they’re interrupting).
No rally is complete without the protesters lying about the number of people who attended. Lana Goldberg stated that 1,500 people attended, the count was more around 800.
I began this story talking about the signs illegally posted across the city. They’re prolific, but adding insult to injury, they weren’t simply taped to the street poles- but securely fastened using a technique called wheat pasting. This stuff is really hard to get off, signs can last for many months into the future. The only way to really remove it is with a power sprayer- a challenging task on switching cabinet like the one above.
Toronto By-law 1074-2010 prohibits people from placing posters on poles and other street furniture. It also limits fastening posters (in approved places) only with tape or staples. The city has prescribed a $60 fine for each instance of an illegally placed poster (to a maximum of $5,000). LeadNow organized this rally, Lana Goldberg was their official organizer (and, according to LeadNow’s website, they pay honorariums):
If, like me, you find it insulting that a well-funded American influenced NGO is leaving Toronto taxpayers to foot the bill removing their signs- why not write to the City of Toronto and let them know how you feel! And if you happen to run across one of their posters, make sure to take a picture and send it in! In theory, each picture you collect could cost LeadNow $60. (And the opportunity to show LeadNow you care is priceless!)
The easiest way for Toronto residents, is to dial “311” on your phone and ask for Municipal Licensing & Standards Investigative Services. If you prefer to use email, the city’s website says you can send it to [email protected] This may seem petty, but it’s equally petty for LeadNow to make us pay for the removal- isn’t it?
Think of it as a counter-protest, or compensation for the extra carbon from the idling cars- taxpayers, revolt! (But, please be polite in your communications with the city, it’s more effective that way)