In early January Vancouver activist Dan Wallace announced a potentially exciting protest called #ShutDownCanada. The organizer’s goal was to get people to join in from coast-to-coast-to-coast, block critical infrastructure, and “severely impact: the country’s economy”. Adding to the anouncement, Wallace declared the event would “respect diversity of tactics”- activist code that means it’s acceptable if some participants use violence.
The protests happened yesterday as planned, with only one exception- almost nobody showed up, and very little was shut down. Join me as we follow some of the highlights, lowlights, and abject stupidity of #ShutDownCanada protests from coast-to-coast.
Fredericton: Nobody Shows Up?
Earlier this week New Brunswick MLA Bruce Northrup stood up in the legislature and asked if the government was ready to deal with the potential interruption of #ShutDown Canada. Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman assured Northrup that there wasn’t going to be a problem and he was absolutely right! There were, in fact, zero protesters who showed up. Blogger Charles Leblanc did show, and there was nothing for him to film.
Leblanc did some great work covering the Elsipogtog riots last year, but he missed the boat this time. It turns out that about a dozen people showed up and marched away from their gathering place to the legislature. There were no reports of any arrests, wrongdoing, or frostbite.
Montreal: Maoists Gone Wild!
Montreal is well known for its activist militancy and yesterday’s protests were no different. That said, only about a dozen people showed up rather than the tens of thousands who came to last year’s student strike riots. The group consisted of some masked idiots, and members of the Maoist Revolutionary Student Movement.
Whenever there are Maoists involved, there’s bound to be some stupidity, and yesterday was no different. The masked idiots first stood in the middle of a busy intersection blocking traffic, when it came time to warm up they went inside of a bank- they were thrown out a few minutes later.
Toronto: Only A Handful…
Not many people showed up in Toronto, one person reported 30-40 but the pictures indicate only a handful showed up. Krystalline Krausof Rabble (who is, admittedly, an unreliable source) wrote that there was a lot of conflict in Toronto, and predicted not many people would show up. But where were all of the regulars?
Curiously, Occupy Calgary tweeted out a link to a video they said was of yesterday’s event in Toronto- it wasn’t, was from another protest last year.
Hamiltion: There They Are!
It turns out that Toronto’s regulars showed-up at the Hamilton event. Well known faces from Toronto included Kevin Annett fangirl Sigrid Kneve, anti-Semite Cathy Walker, and a handful of other protesters. The CBC’s dodgy reporter Adam Carter was there to cover the story, headlining it with a dodgy quote from Kneve saying that Canada’s problem with missing indigenous women is “A form of genocide“. Of course, being a dodgy reporter, Carter neglected to challenge the inaccuracy of Kneve’s statement.
Winnipeg: A Familiar Face In Canada’s “Most Racist” City!
Thanks to APTN’s coverage we know that about a half a dozen people showed up in Winnipeg, including a familiar face to readers of this website. Harrison Friesen (a.k.a. Harrison Helcrow) isn’t a very popular guy with Canada’s professional protesters, his “love affair” with them started during the G20 when he spoke out against people who planned to use violence. Krystalline Krause, an even more dodgy reporter than the CBC’s Adam Carter (yes, that’s possible) responded by making outrageous claims about him (she’s tried this when I spoke out against violence too, and failed). Later, when Friesen showed-up at Elsipogtog, people made another dodgy claim that he’s a “CIA and RCMP informant” who burned down the police cars.
Despite the incredibly small turnout, the police allowed the protesters to shut down one of the city’s most busy streets. One of Friesen’s fellow protesters was Winnipeg Sun columnist Harry Wolbert, a former executive with the Manitoba Liberals.
Regina: Train Signal Tampering Fail!
In August 2013 this website published a well-read story about how (now former) Green Party of Saskatchewan executive Daniel Johnson promoted instructions how to sabotage with train signalling. Johnson’s action was dangerous and abhorrent- when asked about his idiocy, Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May (who has a questionable position on activist violence) disowned the Saskatchewan party.
Johnson’s goal yesterday was to put this plan into action and shut down a CN rail line. Unfortunately, the police were onto him before he could even get started, and CN disabled the signalling in advance. Interviewed by Global News, Johnson proclaimed “This is probably my most embarrassing moment as an activist ever”. Making things worse, there were more police than protesters
Way to go Daniel!
Vancouver: Idiocy, Mayhem, And Anarcho-Kiddies!
A reliable source on the ground told this site that about 120 people showed-up in Vancouver, which is likely more than showed up across the rest of the country. The group showed up at Hastings and Main, blocking one of the entrances to Vancouver’s port- the other entrances were left untouched, so it’s assumed that the port’s business wasn’t impacted. Massive fail!
Things were peaceful at first, but when the size of the crowd began to get smaller, Vancouver Police announced that it was time to clear the street (they blocked a busy public transit corridor all day long). The police made an announcement telling protesters it was time to get off the street or they would be arrested. They then gently moved to the crowd as the protesters “resisted” by pushing back and yelling abuse at them.
Once again we see a familiar face. Jennifer Allan came to fame back in the days she was at Cop Watch Vancouver- yelling out racist abuse to the police, telling them that David Eby (now a BC MLA) would protect her from their “oppression”. Allan made a Facebook posting calling for more people to join the resistance, and then followed her old pattern of pushing back into the police and yelling out abuse. Allan recently joined the Salvation Army- they must be so proud!
Four people were arrested in the end, all of them were later released without charges. And, of course, Allan used the arrests as an opportunity to produce more AgitProp.
A Bit Of Racism To Finish Off The Day
Shaista Patel’s biography describes her as “a PhD candidate in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto”. Patel is a Muslim, but focusses much of her work on “indigenous solidarity activism”. She’s also a racist who posted “Somebody stop white people” to her Twitter account yesterday.
With allies like this, who needs enemies!