Update: Undercoverkity was on the scene at today’s occupation and caught video of ALL EIGHT of the protesters. big crowd!
About a year ago I had the opportunity to speak with some law enforcement experts in activist extremism. It was shortly after a group of the usual suspects occupied Enbridge’s Line 9 pumping station in Westover, Ontario, what they told me has been resonating ever since: “The protest should have been a lot more successful”.
The answer to why the protests went pear shaped was simple- people in the media started catching-on to who was behind them. The head of ‘security’ at the first occupation was previously convicted and incarcerated for promoting violent crimes, protest spokesperson Trish Mills got into a physical altercation with court bailiffs, arrestee Gary Wassaykeesic called Westover a “shit little town“.
But, despite this, the protests haven’t stopped. The protesters, in their twisted logic, are using Enbridge’s maintenance activities as an opportunity to proclaim that they don’t adequately maintain the pipeline. Their response has been to interrupt maintenance activities (called “integrity digs”) and make claims against the company’s integrity. If you’ve been following this crowd, that probably gave you a good chuckle…
This Is Not A Grassroots Movement:
It’s not a coincidence we keep on seeing the same people leading these protests, and it’s no fluke that they’re the same people we saw leading the Occupy movement. The vast majority of anti-energy actions are led by the same core group of activists. They work together claiming to be grassroots, and most Canadian media let them get away with it- but the reality couldn’t be much different.
The spokesperson for today’s blockade is Lana Goldberg of Rising Tide. Goldberg was laser-focussed on union issues during Occupy Toronto, where she led the Steelworker’s flash mob on behalf of usury (yes, Occupy actually campaigned for a company to pay higher interest rates!). Goldberg led LeadNow.ca’s anti-pipeline protest in May, where protesters vandalized city furniture with hard-to-remove wheatpaste posters.
One of the first rules about protesting an organization’s integrity is to have some yourself. Rising Tide Toronto failed miserably at this today, representing Darryl Richardson as a concerned community resident with out mention that he’s one of their closest allies. Richardson is a hardcore anti-police fanatic who is unabashed to write outright nonsense in his battle against them. The Media Co-Op has received extensive backing from militant unions, Richardson reported abut Occupy on their behalf.
Another familiar face today was Dave Vasey, the former leader of Occupy Toronto. Like Lana Goldberg, Vasey is a participant in the Ontario Common Front, an activist organizing body led by Sid Ryan’s Ontario Federation of Labour. Sid was a strong supporter of the Occupy Movement, and assaulted a female journalist who asked him some hard questions on the last day.
Speaking of Sid Ryan, he recently shared a stage with Anglican priest Maggie Helwig at an Ontario Federation Labour protest in front of Ontario’s ministry of Labour. Helwig attended the protester’s December, 2013 pipeline blockade and locked herself to a large digging machine- but there were no Kryptonite locks today. Helwig is a strange priest, one who comforts violent aggressors– whenever one sees a militant protest in Toronto, it’s likely she’ll be there.
I don’t think there’s anything more to say about today’s protest- it’s the same people using the same tactics that have been covered ad-nauseum on this site. Their centre of power appears to gravitate around the Ontario Federation of Labour, and the upcoming People’s Social Movement (which will be covered in more depth later this week). It’s all astroturf folks…