Update: This report initially said that the Line 9 spokesperson claimed this dig would fix 400 defects, that was inaccurate, and has been fixed.
If you read my story Yawn, Another Line 9 Pipeline Occupation, then you probably don’t need to bother reading any further, today’s 12-hour ‘blockade’ of a Line 9 site is pretty much the same. The protests themselves are no longer very interesting; the tactics don’t change, they’re led by the same group of professional protesters, they keep using the same signs. Quite frankly, today was a dud- but that was to be expected, right?
What’s also to be expected is that the media would eat this up and spit-out some crap regurgitating the protester’s message. For the most part this was true; but, refreshingly, a couple of journalists were bold enough to question the gaps in the blockader’s logic. You’ve probably figured this out already, but the CBC’s reporting was deeply lacking.
UndercoverKity and I hopped in his car today and made out way out to Burlington to find out what the media wasn’t telling us…
Who Showed Up:
As already mentioned, the protest was led by the usual suspects- here are some highlights:
– Dave Vasey: Vasey was the main leader at Occupy Toronto and has appeared at all of the major Line 9 protests. He also holds the distinction of being the first person to get arrested during the Toronto G20. Dave is an angry man, who has regularly threatened me with violence- he’s the primary reason I decided not to walk into the crowd.
– Trish Mills: Last year when appearing in court for her participation in the Westover occupation, Trish Mills was the ‘badass’ who decided to get into a physical altercation with court security, she was later violently ‘de-arrested’ by fellow anarchists at an anti-police march. Recently she’s partnered with G20 convicted ringleader Mandy Hiscocks. Mill’s probation prohibits her from going near Enbridge properties, it’s unknown if she broke it today.
– Lana Goldberg: Goldberg is the Organizer of Toronto’s anti-social LeadNow climate rally on May 10th. She was a leader at Occupy Toronto, has participated in the Ontario Common Front, and was at the 2012 rail blockade in Sarnia.
– Bailey Lamon: Coming to us from London, Ont, Lamon is a regular with a group of anti-police zealots who call themselves The Indignants. She’s a regular on the protest circuit who was last seen at Sakura Saunder’s annual Barrick Gold protest. She and other Indignants participated in the Ontario Federation of Labour led Ontario Common Front. Last year Lamon’s house was raided by police last, when she was arrested in connection with a vandalism case.
– Lynn Adamson: You always thought that Quakers are non-violent, right? It’s assumed that Adamson is too, but she also works side-by-side with many of Ontario’s most notorious promoters of political violence. How does she justify this? It’s easy, she explains how the violence of capitalism is worse- so anarchist violence is a-okay! (Bad Quaker, bad!)
Once Again, The CBC Gets Played (Or, Are They Playing Us?):
Adam Carter of CBC Hamilton was the first journalist to put out a story about today’s (non) event- he was also one of the first on the scene at last year’s #SwampLine9 occupation in Westover. The day before the Westover blockade was going to be shut-down, Carter wrote a curious story about people being scared of Hamilton Police- quoting a #SwampLine9 anarchist without identifying that his source was part of the protest.
It’s hard to tell if Carter is one of Canada’s least observant journalists or if he’s just amicable to the cause, but his story completely neglected to report on who was there. He also didn’t tell his readers about the protester’s criminal history- but he repeated their message quite clearly (without questioning the obvious gaps).
We need better reporting than this from the CBC- otherwise, we may as well just shut them down.
Decoding The Protester’s Bovine Excrement:
When the CBC interviewed spokesperson Danielle Boissineau, she explained that they were protesting the pipeline’s “12,000 potential integrity issues”. Protester Brian Sutherland told the CBC that “Line 9 has nearly 13,000 structural weaknesses along its length, And yet Enbridge is only doing a few hundred integrity digs”. (Protesters were blocking one of the digs where they were testing and making repairs- in essence, they were increasing the possibility of a spill.)
The protesters were complaining about ‘integrity’ while they had very little of their own.
Unlike the CBC, the Hamilton spectator actually took time to talk with Enbridge and get their side of the story. They explained the obvious, that the premise of today’s protest is exaggerated nonsense. CHCH’s report was solid too, going as far as to ask the protesters the impact of pipelines over trains.
Same old, same old, same old…