Activists interrupted a Burnaby, BC fuel truck refilling station yesterday, protesting Chevron’s involvement in the Pacific Trails Pipeline project, and showing ‘solidarity’ to the (violent) Unist’ot’en Camp. Replicating Greenpeace’s similar stunt in October 2013, three of the protesters locked themselves to the front gate. Their message for Chevron was to ‘frack off’, a slogan as stale as their tactics. But of course, the media ate it all up!
Talking to the media, the group and their representatives stressed that they’re just “ordinary citizens” who’ve decided that enough is enough! But, are they just ordinary folk or is there more to the story that the media didn’t tell us? I’m sure you’ve guessed the answer already, there’s much more to be told- including how one arrestee was recently filmed advocating for violence (and how another tried to cover it up).
Let’s have a look at who got arrested…
Dan Wallace: ” I advocate direct violence, direct action- against the cops”
On May 1st a group of masked-up anarchists got into a street fight with Vancouver Police. Protesters surrounded the PIDGIN restaurant with flaming torches at the previous year’s May Day rally- this year they were even more emboldened. Why was that? A good part was due to Dan Wallace’s fiery speech promoting that his fellow protesters get violent with the police:
“I totally advocate and stand with anybody that wants to destroy a system that’s going to continue oppressing people. I advocate direct violence, direct action- against the cops, they need to be put in their place. I advocate that we actually take a stand and show those motherf##kers who has the actual power- they don’t, we do. I advocate making sure that we put sugar in any engine of any destructive machine that’s making a path, pathway, for a pipeline or a fishing boat.”
Wallace was more recently seen at a May 23rd anti-fracking protest led by Simon Fraser University professor Stephen Collis (one of the best arguments against tenure you’ll ever see). Joined by a few representatives of the BC Federation of Teachers, the Vancouver Eco-Socialist Group, and a woman with her children and baby- protesters marched through the middle of a busy road with cars going on either side of them. It’s not surprising to see Collis with Wallace, the former advocated for people who support violence back at Occupy Vancouver.
Mia Nissen: Fake Hunger Strike Slaps Gandhi In the Face
Mia Nissen is a student at Simon Fraser University who once compared herself to Gandhi. However, a quick look into her Facebook profile leaves the impression she’s more of a Malcolm X or Baghat Singh type. The Chevron refinery wasn’t her first rodeo with Dan Wallace.
The Gandhi quote came from the story she had published in the Vancouver Observer (whose founder Linda Solomon is infamous for her fake Pulitzer nomination). Nissen explains in the article how she was following in the beloved Indian leader’s footsteps by holding her very own hunger strike. Problem is, it wasn’t a real hunger strike, turned out Nissen’s was less genuine than Theresa Spence’s; 7 days of fasting shows some commitment, but it’s an outright insult to compare this Gandhi’s deep and genuine suffering.
True to the form of the eco-obedience cults she works with; Nissen comes across as someone who is either somewhat paranoid, or deliberately spreading misinformation about the police. The article in the above screenshot was a story about a pipeline protest training that was led by some of the province’s most notorious promoters of violence. Nissen is in the centre of all this, it’s hard to believe she’s so naïve she doesn’t see it.
Nissen also attended this year’s May Day festivities, where Wallace openly called for violence. People were throwing things at the cops, and trying to forcefully push their way through a police line- one kid on a bike (who just moments before was cautioned by police) got thrown down and arrested in the middle of the scrum. Nissen conveniently missed out on all but the latter, saying that the ‘ONLY’ violence she saw came from the police- and not a word about Wallace’s call for it!
And, of course, she invoked Godwin’s Law comparing Vancouver Police to Nazis (ignoring the fact she was marching with modern day brown shirts). There’s only one way to put it, Mia Nissen is one seriously messed-up individual. She’s about as much of an ordinary Canadian as Nicolás Maduro- she’s no Gandhi either, she owes him an apology.
Adam Gold: Adam Who?
There’s not much information out there on Adam Gold, I still need to dig further. But, considering his admiration for Theresa Spence’s fake hunger strike, he probably thinks that Nissen is another heroic figure! His friends list on Facebook show’s he’s pretty deeply connected in the activist community- people like Harsha Walia. I suspect this won’t be the first rodeo we see him at.
Shirley Samples: Spokesperson Connected To Many NGOs
The protest’s spokesperson was Shirley Samples. A Forest Ethics document lists her as a resident of Surrey, BC, a ‘shareholder’ in a consulting firm called the “National Electric Company Ltd” and that she the NEB didn’t believe she was a qualified intervener. Samples had a story published on the Sierra Club of BC’s website about her participation in a canoe-based protest; and she recently appeared on Simon Fraser University’s radio station with Jay Peachy (formerly of Occupy Vancouver). Shirley was not arrested.
What About That Sign?
At the beginning of this article (the caption for the first picture) I asked a question, “doesn’t that sign look familiar?”. Well, in case you were still wondering, it happens to be the same sign that was profiled on the stage at LeadNow’s anti-pipeline rally on May 10. The guy you see on the stage is Art Steritt from the Great Bear Initiative (one of the places Shirley Samples hangs). Steritt was the guy who drove to the rally in his shiny BMW.
There’s a lot of money in the protest business if you’re smart enough to make it…