If indications are correct this summer’s hottest pipeline protest will be at the Unist’ot’en action camp, an indigenous/anarchist ‘blockade’ near Smithers, BC that claims to be at the junction of several planned pipelines. The list of activists who’ve visited Unist’ot’en includes a who’s who of the militant community and their associated NGOs- Harsha Walia of No One Is Illegal, Harjap Grewal of the Council of Canadians, Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation, the leaders of the Elsipogtog anti-fracking protests, and Victoria anarchist Zoe Blunt.
In the last instalment about the Unist’ot’en we discussed how Bob Ages of the Council of Canadians was leading a fundraiser to build an illegal structure. Zoe Blunt brought up a bus load of volunteers and the ‘bunk house’ has now been constructed. The next wave of visitors is expected between July 16-20, during what they call the “Summer Action Camp”. Prominent militants and anarchists have been promoting the camp, some setting the stage for violent conflict with the police.
Zoe Blunt: “Is Shit About To Get Real?”
Tracie Marie Park (a.k.a. Zoe Blunt) is a Victoria, BC based anarchist and wannabe eco-terrorist© who explains her style of activism saying “basically, it’s a form of economic sabotage”. Blunt is an American who has made quite a reputation for causing trouble- often inflicting great damage on people who get in her way. Blunt leads fundraising for the bus caravans to the camp.
On May 15 Blunt wrote a story in the (labour funded) anarchist Vancouver Media Co-Op, asking the question “is shit about to get real”, and claiming that a representative of the Pacific Trails pipeline publicly declared there’d be an eviction on June 15th. Pipeline staff and contractors have been subjected to harassment by Unist’ot’en camp members, who refuse to allow them to cross over a public bridge and threaten to ‘confiscate’ (steal) their equipment. No violence has happened so far, but Unist’ot’en representatives have threatened pipeline surveyors if they dared to come back.
Considering the past mayhem and violence, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see an injunction- that said, Blunt and her comrades are not unknown to tell tall tales. Being a militant anarchist, Blunt next went onto giving warnings about the police:
Taylor Flook: “Help, We’re Being Oppressed!”
Taylor Flook is a Toronto based anarchist who first came to public attention when she was arrested at the Toronto G20 (she’s close with the ringleaders), and later as a leader at Occupy Toronto. Flook is one the the elite group of activists who share the Love Is The Movement Tattoo, all have publicly supported the Unist’ot’en Camp. Since Occupy Flook has been organizing May Day parades, leading “f##k the police” marches, and protesting Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline reversal. She recently launched an online fundraiser to pay for her trip to Unist’ot’en.
Flook organized an informational session/fundraiser for Unist’ot’en in Toronto a couple weeks ago. If you’re not up to date with the city’s problematic Quakers, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that it was held at the Toronto Friends house. As you can see in the above picture, Quaker activist Lyn Adamson was on the stage with Taylor. Adamson’s passion for the environment has clouded her judgement, she justifies working with violent anarchists (e.g. G20 ringleader Alex Hundert) saying that the violence of the oil industry is “much worse”.
So, it’s not really a surprise that Adamson contributed to Flook’s travel expenses.
If there’s one thing that can be depended upon in this life, it’s that the anarchists always love a good clash with the police- face it, that’s a big reason why many show up. We saw this during the G20 when Flook’s closest friends ‘peacefully’ organized chaos on Toronto’s streets. Their tactic was to intentionally bait the police into taking things too far; a few punks smashed some windows, Chief Bill Blair failed spectacularly with mass arrests- it was a slam dunk.
Right after, superstar activists like Judy Rebick and Naomi Klein came out in defence of the “political prisoners” who got arrested teaching the city’s youth how to street fight against the police. Elizabeth May made her infamous statement that smashing windows isn’t violent. It’s all a big, and dangerous, game, one that Flook recently helped to kick-start at the Unist’ot’en camp:
I nearly spit a mouthful of wine on the screen the first time I read this- the predictability so obvious it’s laughable. Flook warns her friends that she and fellow Unist’ot’en militants are at risk of being “arrested, brutalized, or beaten”- classic radical environmentalist Agitprop. Of course, she makes no mention of how Unist’oten members are already threatening innocent third parties with violence. Convenient, isn’t it?
But, wait, there’s more!
Here Flook goes all Elizabeth May on us, implying that the Elsipogtog anti-fracking protesters in New Brunswick were unfairly brutalized by the RCMP. The reality is that the RCMP decided to move-in on Elsipogtog only after they learned that there were guns and improvised explosives at the camp. When the arrests started protesters set police cars on fire, intimidated and threatened journalists, and got physical with the cops. It’s easy to laugh Flook’s follies off, but there are fools in her midst who believe this Agitprop- some of those fools are at risk of screwing-up their lives.
Dan Wallace: “Oka, Ipperwash, Elsipogtog!”
Dan Wallace’s first appearance on this site was during the mayhem of this year’s Vancouver May Day Parade. Wallace stood in a public square, surrounded by Vancouver Police, and praised Black Bloc anarchists while encouraging them to use “violence” against the “pigs”. He wasn’t disappointed, the crowd got into a street battle with the cops, and at least three protesters got arrested. Afterwards protesters twisted the story, trying to the blame the aggression on the police.
He walked away that day, but Wallace came back on the radar at the end of May when he locked himself to the front gate of a Chevron facility in Burnaby. When he got nicked the next day, the arresting officer warned Wallace and his fellow protesters that they may be responsible for financial damages to Chevron’s business (kids, don’t follow these people, they’ll screw-up your life).
Wallace followed in Flook’s footsteps on June 3rd, publishing his own diatribe about the ‘dangers’ facing the Unist’ot’en Camp. First he sets the stage for the conflict telling his followers:
“If you think that there’s not going to be a forced confrontation from the police and private security from any of the pipeline/oil and gas corporations than you are in serious denial”
It’s an interesting construction, implying that it is the police forcing the confrontation and not the people building the action camp. He then explains how his intention in planing direct actions is to prevent people from getting hurt in the future”
“Direct actions will bring more light and focus to how serious this is going to get and will also in turn prevent our people from getting hurt. Direct actions to prevent harm in the future is the only way to go now.”
Wallace tells us that he and his comrades are planning a “city-wide direct action” in the days to come, and more direct actions when the government releases its decisions about proposed pipelines. And then he makes a final warning:
“This is the time for peaceful direct actions until the police start moving in by force at the camp.”
Some Closing Thoughts:
Pardon the crudeness of the above picture, but I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate. Think about this for a moment- there are a gang of thugs running around intimidating workers and building illegal structures on Crown land. Yet, somehow, the RCMP and the government don’t have the spines to fulfil their duties and do something about the problem. The new structure should have made this easy, it’s exactly how they took down Occupy.
The camp was virtually empty a few weeks ago, now there’s a new building and a new group of protesters on their way to join-in. The bigger the camp grows, the more expensive it will be to take it down. The camp is in a very remote location- it will be challenging for the RCMP to bring in re-enforcements. Perhaps there’s some master plan they’re not sharing with us, time will tell.
It will be interesting to see what happens if arrests actually occur. Will Elizabeth May come up with some new conspiracy about the RCMP? Will the Vancouver Observer publish ridiculous claims that police ‘assaulted’ protesters by arresting them? Will Naomi Klein spread misleading stories about the protesters being peaceful? Will Wab Kinew be onsite filming a misguiding documentary on the payroll of the Qatari dictatorship?
It should be an interesting summer- or not, the pipeline companies may just bypass and ignore them. And maybe, if we’re lucky, environmentalists will wake-up to the fact that the militants are harming the cause…