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The first time I met David Suzuki was in early 2011. I was with a friend and her daughter, exiting Banyen Books in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood (and feeling relieved as we escaped the pan flute music) when I was jolted out of nirvana as my friend grabbed my arm with great excitement saying “look, there he is!”. Her daughter looked up and asked “who?”, “David Suzuki!” said mom. The girl looked up with a sense of wonder and excitement. Suzuki was mom’s hero, she knew that- look in her eyes was as if she just saw God.
The next time I crossed paths with Suzuki was in October when he came to speak at Occupy Vancouver. His visit was unexpected, announced out of the blue with no votes or discussion at the General Assembly. Some of us had a conversation when we heard about the visit, I proposed that it may be a good opportunity to ask hard questions and see what he’s made of. The response I got was somewhat unnerving, with one occupier saying, “You hurt David Suzuki, you hurt Canada”.
With all the positivity I’d heard about David Suzuki, I was shocked when I heard people speaking critically about him. I’ll be honest, the first time I heard Ezra Levant say “Saint Suzuki”, it kind of got under my skin. But the more I learn about his connections to militant extremists, the more I realize that David Suzuki is no saint. Now, after observing recent events on Burnaby Mountain, the situation has become very clear to me- Suzuki is enabling some very dangerous people.
Stunt 1: Tamo Campos Gets Arrested
On November 20th David Suzuki’s grandson Tamo Campos made his way up to Burnaby Mountain to participate in the protests. Campos’ bio describes him as a “sponsored snowboarder chasing winter for the last 12 years” who is “now putting roots into both environmental and humanitarian activism”. Campos was the founder of “the collective” called Beyond Boarding– the group has close ties to the RCMP monitored radicals at the Unist’ot’en Camp.
The 20th was the first day that the RCMP announced they were ready to make arrests. The first arrests happened at the protester’s tents, arrestees included Bridgette DePape of the Council of Canadians (Tamos & Brigette will be speaking together at Simon Fraser University next year), and Brett Rhyno (a Toronto anarchist transplant who has been spending time at the Unist’ot’en Camp since he’s come to BC) who ceremonially locked their arms together with other less notable protesters.
Tamo Campos’ official position is that he wasn’t intending to get arrested that day, but the RCMP mercilessly pulled him across the police line and took him into custody. His group Beyond Boarding released a deliciously sliced and diced video that claimed his arrest was an “injustice”:
But like with any good propaganda, BB’s video went a bit overboard with the sensationalism and was light on reality. A more realistic video shows how members of the crowd were intentionally baiting the RCMP officers, causing confusion, and encouraging others to push their way into the police line. Make sure to pay attention to the aggressiveness of the guy with the facepaint:
Only a blatant propagandist could make the statement this protest was peaceful. The crowd were yelling at, insulting, and one even spitting on RCMP officers- and similarly to many protests led by Harsha Walia (who posted the first announcement of Campos’ arrest), first nations people were placed on the front-line to help weaken the police’s ability to respond (it’s all about PR). Check out this video if you want a more in-depth look, it gives an interesting perspective from behind the police line.
So, why would Tamo want to get involved with something like this, he’s a good kid, right?
Up until this weekend, Beyond Boarding used to have a page on their website listing the group’s members “pledges” on how they plan to make the world a better place (the cached version is here). Campos’ pledge was that he would “organize a direct action for our Climate Crises”, it appears Burnaby Mountain may have been an attempt to accomplish his goal. And as we’ll continue to explore, it appears that Canada’s most prominent promoter of anti-police violence was recruited to act as stage manager.
The next day Campos came back to the mountain and (after making a big deal about being unprepared) he made a short speech in response to his arrest. The first part of his speech seems to make it clear Campos knew he was standing-up against the police:
“Anyways[sic], I’m a little flustered after yesterday, and a bit emotional- so hopfully I don’t choke up on this. Yesterday really put things into perspective. What is radical? Is it radical to expand fossil fuel infrastructure in the midst of climate change? Is it radical to use police force to quell public opinion and public opposition? It’s not radical at all to stand up and be arrested to unjust laws.”
Is it radical to organize a spectacle of angry jerks smashing their way into police lines? Anyways[sic], next, Campos curiously tried to weasel-out of the consequences of his actions by declaring Canadian law to be invalid- it was like he thought he was Kevin Annett or something:
“And indigenous people have had natural laws that pre-dated colonial law by thousands of years, and we need to respect that. Our government comes in and says they reconciled, have they reconciled, everything that happened yesterday was illegal. There were no treaties on this land we’re not being led by the people who rightfully owned these territories.”
So, basically, it’s Campos’ position that he’s above the law. Oh, and that guy with the facepaint who was baiting the RCMP officers? Well, he and Tamo Campos shared the same ride to the bottom of Burnaby Mountain…
Stunt 2: David Suzuki Comes To Burnaby Mountain
Next, Burnaby Mountain was treated with a visit from David Suzuki (who’d only recently arrived home from a conference in Malaysia). Suzuki came to protest his grandson’s arrest, and to give his support to the protesters. The David Suzuki Foundation made their support public a couple days earlier on a petition that was promoted by Harsha Walia (the list of signatories was a who’s who of Canadian radicals).
One of the first questions Suzuki was asked was “are you getting arrested?”. He gave a curious answer, saying that he didn’t want to lose his position with the CBC- even more curiously, nobody criticised the CBC for not allowing Suzuki to engage in what the protesters argued was their “charter right” to engage in civil disobedience.
Many observers called bullshit on Suzuki’s claim that the CBC would fire him, it didn’t pass the stink test- could there be another reason he wasn’t willing to risk being arrested? The answer might come from a June 2011 event in Washington DC where Suzuki, Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, Naomi Klein, and Bill McKibben of 350.org urged others to get arrested, but warned that some wouldn’t be getting arrested themselves because:
“half the signatories to this letter live in Canada, and might well find our entry into the U.S. barred”
The Canadian government has been sharing information about people who are arrested with the US Department of Homeland Security. If Suzuki (or Barlow, or Klein) was denied entry to the US, they’d potentially lose access to the US gravy train that’s been funding them. So, while Suzuki is willing to encourage other people to take this risk, he’s unwilling to do it himself (how dangerously hypocritical of you David).
Suzuki started his speech immediately calling out the RCMP:
“I did want to start by speaking to the RCMP first. To the RCMP, I come before you with great respect. But now you are here to enforce the law. That does not mean that you are above the law, or that you make your own law. My Grandson, was dragged across the line yesterday (or the day before) and arrested. You’re breaking the law! And I’m disappointed, I am disappointed, it grieves me. Because of the respect we hold for you!”
[Dear David Suzuki: I’m disappointed, I am disappointed, it grieves me- because of the respect that little girl I know holds for you. You used your position as a CBC “national treasure” to intentionally cast shame on the hardworking members of a respected national institution- people who were dealing with an incredibly difficult situation. What happens when one of those cop’s kids sees the video David, or perhaps one of their schoolmates? Do you feel their humiliation would be justifiable?]
Regardless of how much knowledge Suzuki had about the circumstances behind his grandson’s arrest, it’s hard to miss that his implication the RCMP acting like they’re “above the law” and making their own laws is complete rubbish (if you wish to contest that David, please show me the lawsuit or complaint you and/or Tamo filed). That’s a serious claim, one that should only be made once all the facts are known. Equally, if Suzuki did know all of the facts, it would have been entirely inappropriate for him to have treated the RCMP officers this way. Either way, it’s entirely scandalous.
Suzuki identified himself as a representative of the CBC when he arrived on the mountain and gave his excuse for not getting arrested. The CBC’s employment guidelines demand that their staff and associates treat people with respect, dignity and fairness. David Suzuki appears to have failed miserably with his speech about the RCMP- perhaps it’s a good time for the CBC to start an investigation?
Stunt 3: Suziki’s Granddaughter and Daughter Get Arrested (Feat. Harsha Walia)
The Suzuki clan saved the best for last on the final day of their spectacle.The day’s events started with a promotional activity for a protest group connected to the Secwepemc First Nation called the Klabona Keepers. Harsha Walia of No One Is Illegal and her husband Harjap Grewal work closely with this group. Fellow anarchist and occupier Anushka Nagji represented this group at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs during a September press conference (there’s lots more information on Nagji, and other characters in this story, on the interactive chart).
The Keepers presented themselves to the media scrum alongside with David Suzuki’s daughter Tamiko, granddaughter Midori Campos, and with Desiree Wallace & Hannah Campbell of Beyond Boarding (Wallace is also with the Capilano Students Union). When they were finished promoting a cause that has absolutely zero connection (outside the organizers, of course) to the protest on Burnaby Mountain, they then presented themselves for a ceremonially staged arrest.
The most shocking part of the arrests is that they appear to have been stage managed by none other than Harsha Walia. She helped guide the women across the police line, and guided them to hold each other’s hands and throw them up in the air once they got there. Video indicates Walia crossed the police line at least three times- curiously, Walia wasn’t arrested. It was almost as if the RCMP knew Walia was only stage managing and allowed her to get away with breaking their line.
Who Is Harsha Walia, And Why Is This Important?
If you ever find yourself in the company of law enforcement specialists on extremism, here’s a trick you should try. Say the name “Harsha Walia”, their ears will stand up faster then their favourite German Shepherd’s does every time he hears cat. Put simply, Walia is very well-known to law enforcement and is a person of great interest to them.
Walia tries to frame the situation that the police view her as dangerous because they’re racist, sexist, misogynist, colonialist pigs. A more realistic explanation is that it’s because Walia openly advocates for (and often supports) “activists” (thugs) who use violent tactics. Walia was on the front line during the Toronto G20, and was arrested for her part in organizing the mayhem. Luckily for Walia, her activities weren’t directly monitored by undercover officers, she was later released for a lack of evidence.
There’s likely no worse role model for young activists than Harsha Walia. Whatever David Suzuki’s connection is to Walia, it’s absolutely inappropriate for a CBC personality to be anywhere close to working with her- no less, to leave their family in her hands. Impressionable young people may take the Suzuki clan’s collaboration as an endorsement- remember, it’s not Walia who gets arrested…
Suzuki Clan Meets RCMP Labeled Extremists At The Unist’ot’en Camp:
The easiest way to explain how inappropriate it is for a CBC star like David Suzuki to be visiting and/or endorsing the Unost’ot’en action camp is to share the story about how the RCMP have been tracking them as part of their investigation into activist extremists. Clayton Thomas-Muller was at the centre of that controversy, he’s previously collaborated with Suzuki, and has visited Unist’oten.
This site has covered Unist’ot’en in-depth in previous articles- including one that identified five things every journalist needs to know about it:
- The camp doesn’t represent all local indigenous people, there are others who are supportive of pipeline projects.
- The camp isn’t all that indigenous (camp leaders Huson and Naziel have admitted this), it’s mostly led by anarchists and NGOs.
- The camp uses the threat of violence and equipment “confiscation” to scare away pipeline workers.
- The camp is supported by NGOs including the Council of Canadians (where Walia’s extremist husband Harjap Grewal works), Ruckus Society, the ultra-violent Deep Green Resistance, and the Indigenous Environmental Network (who are also RCMP designated extremists).
- The camp is getting money from foreign revolutionary groups. (And a Canadian foundation we’ll cover shortly)
Back in November camp leaders Freda Huson and Warner Naziel travelled to San Francisco where they were featured speakers at the Earth At Risk conference, an event that billed itself as an opportunity to “move us to the next steps in developing a strong and sustainable culture of resistance“. The conference is run by a Bellingham, Washington based NGO named the Fertile Ground Environmental Institute that claims their position “is simple: every successful social movement in history has used force to achieve it’s goals”. The event was funded by the Wallace Action Fund.
Other speakers at the event included Derek Jensen of the violence promoting Deep Green Resistance, University of Victoria professor and specialist in “warrior societies” Sakej Ward, and (very curiously) Chris Hedges (he was the Occupy movement’s #1 opponent of Black Bloc violence). Bringing it all together, Hedges will be speaking at the same series of SFU speeches as Walia, Campos and DePape in 2015.
You’ll also notice a strong influence from the Wallace Global and Action funds- we’ll dig deeper into funders in a few moments.
What’s Love Is The Movement Got To Do With It?
This site first published its research on the Love Is The Movement “tattoo cult” in July 2013. An elite group of activists all share a tattoo that says “Love Is The Movement”- curiously, this small group appear on the leadership rolls of Occupy, Idle No More, the Unist’ot’en Camp, Burnaby Mountain, the battle against Line 9, and the brewing battle over the Energy East Pipeline.
Four of the people with the tattoo have direct connections with Suzuki. RCMP labelled extremist Clayton Thomas-Muller has collaborated on a presentation with Suzuki, brother/sister team Eriel and Ryan Deranger participated with Suzuki in last year’s (TIDES funded) Neil Young fundraiser for the Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation, and Occupy Edmonton leader Chelsea Flook helped organize the Common Causes “counter summit” for the 2013 Conservative Party of Canada convention.
Tattoo wearer Sheila Muxlow runs a BC based NGO called the WaterWealth Project, a group whose employee list makes-up the leadership for the “grassroots” (and TIDES funded) PIPE-UP Network; she was also previously employed by the Council of Canadians. Clayton Thomas-Muller visited Muxlow in BC earlier this year where they worked on local organizing projects. Beyond Boarding has co-promoted events with both WaterWealth and PIPE-UP.
In 2012 this site described the film Occupy Love as the place Where Judy Rebick, Michael Moore, Hollyhock, Renewal Partners, Soros & The Black Panthers Intersect. The film was conceived at the TIDES funded Hollyhock Social Change Institute on Cortes Island. Occupy Toronto matron Judy Rebick met filmmaker “Velcro Ripper” at Hollyhock, the film’s co-director Nova Ami had previously enjoyed funding from Hollyhock director Joel Solomon’s NGO Renewal Partners. (Solomon was on a panel in California earlier this year with RCMP labelled extremist Clayton Thomas-Muller, who appeared in the film).
Once the film was complete Rebick, “Ripper” and Ami took it on a premier tour across Canada and the US. After that stage was complete, David Suzuki’s daughter Severn Suzuki took it on a “Love Is The Movement” tour across Japan (named after the film’s tagline).
Show Me The Money!
One of the more interesting discoveries found while researching Suzuki’s connections was the wide influence of an American foundation called the Wallace Global Fund. The fund helped cover the costs of the Earth At Risk conference with the leaders of the Unist’ot’en camp, violence advocate Derek Jensen and Chris Hedges. The previous two are directly funded by the Wallace Global Fund- who’ve also funded the Council of Canadians, Indigenous Environmental Network, the David Suzuki Foundation, and 350.org (where Thomas-Muller now works).
The Wallace Global Fund also funded the New York City People’s Climate March in September where their Executive Director Ellen Dorsey led the highly covered NGO plan to divest from fossil fuels- other participants included the Rockefeller Foundation (who’ve funded many of the same anti oilsands groups), and Desmond Tutu (who was in Alberta earlier this year with Love Is The Movement activist Eriel Deranger). Suzuki and Tutu both work together with 350.org (more on that in Part III).
Another interesting source of funding is the Ruth And Henry Goodman Fund for Social and Ecological Justice based out of Vancouver. This fund gives it’s money to a who’s who of Canadian militants- including the RCMP designated extremist Unist’ot’en Camp. Other beneficiaries include the Council of Canadians, David Suzuki Foundation, Hollyhock, the Media Co-Op, Rabble, Common Sense Canadian, BC Civil Liberties Association, ACORN Canada, PIVOT Legal, NDP MP Libby Davies, and the list goes on. (Each of the links includes organizations whose members have spread slanderous attacks on Your Humble Narrator- Ruth and Henry must be proud!)
AstroTurf: From Occupy, To Idle No More, To Burnaby Mountain:
David Suzuki couldn’t make it to the first day of Occupy Vancouver- he was asked if he could, but was in Iceland on October 15th. He showed up a few days later though, first at Occupy Montreal and then Occupy Vancouver. Curiously, when Suzuki introduced himself in Vancouver (and not in Montreal), he made a special effort to note that he wasn’t representing the David Suzuki Foundation. But there was a representative of the Foundation on the stage who offered his organization’s assistance.
A few days later the David Suzuki Foundation contracted media consultants and contributed their time to Occupy Vancouver. I was at the training, I’m sure the foundation will be happy to hear that the training provided me with a lot of valuable information that helped lead me to writing this very article. I had no idea how deep Suzuki and his foundation were helping to lead grassroots movements like Occupy at the time, but something didn’t smell quite right- little things, like how the foundation bought Occupy Vancouver’s Google keywords.
Suzuki’s involvement got a whole lot more clear during Idle No More, when this site first exposed how the movement’s founders didn’t hit the big time until the David Suzuki Foundation showed-up. Clayton Thomas-Muller showed-up next and with a little help of an American fundraiser, helped funnel Idle No More’s money into a union-allied group in Toronto called the Defenders of The Land (who refused to release the bookkeeping). And guess who’s involved with DotL!
Well, that wasn’t really a surprise, was it? But don’t worry readers, there’s still one last surprise left to share:
We covered a group called cstreet in the Idle No More Unmasked series. They’re a Toronto based company that made INM’s fundraising website, they also made fundraising sites for the Neil Young concert, Greenpeace, RAVEN Trust, Hollyhocker Van Jones (former “Green Czar” to president Obama), and Olivia Chow. In a new discovery researching this story, we now know that cstreet made the website for Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson’s political party Vision Vancouver.
It’s a small, small, world indeed…
Stay Tuned For Part III!
In Part III of Burnaby Mountain Unmasked we’ll dig into some of the other NGOs involved with Burnaby Mountain, their connections to violence promoting anarchists, and some of the most entertaining lies they’ve told us. Special guests will include Tzeporah Berman and Ben West of the (Canada hating?) ForestEthics, the militants at the Council of Canadians- and 350.org the grassroots organization that’s so AstroTurf even the anarchists question their genuinity (but, curiously, they still work with them).
For a larger version of the relationship chart- please follow this link.