Sep 10

Unifor Comms Staffer Appropriates My Voice For The Olivia Chow Campaign! (Feat. John Tory)

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If you’ve been following this site for long you’re probably familiar with my work examining how unions, NGOs and activists all too often appropriate marginalized people’s voices. My first awareness of this phenomenon came during Occupy Vancouver when activists from No One Is Illegal inserted homeless indigenous men into the camp, labelled them as “elders”, and tried to use their presence to pressure the city into accepting a (faux) sacred fire.

My research into appropriation of voice often leads me to Canada’s new militant union unifor (a merger of the CAW & CEP). The biggest example was with Kevin Annett, a man who falsely claimed to discover a mass grave of Indian Residential School children in Ontario- there was a CAW activist on-site at the ‘dig’, and Annett was employed by the CAW after the United Church defrocked him for his fraud. My favourite example of unifor’s appropriation was in February, when two white people (including one named White!) issued a press release capitalizing on the death of Loretta Saunders.

Knowing unifor’s history, I fully expected I’d find myself writing another appropriation story. But, considering our lack of agreement on things, I never thought I’d be the person whose voice was being appropriated!

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/09/10/unifor-comms-staffer-appropriates-my-voice-for-the-olivia-chow-campaign-feat-john-tory/

Sep 08

[Updated] Will Mia Nissen’s “Spotted Owl” Slow Burnaby Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion To A To Snail’s Pace?

The only "heat" comes from the protester's hot air...

It’s not just the bagpipe that’s full of hot air…

Update: The Oregon Aquarium says that the Pacific Sideband snail is “considered common”, not endangered.

In our last posting we covered how protesters against the expansion of Burnaby’s Trans Mountain pipeline attacked “the man” by yelling insults and expletives at the working man. Meanwhile, the Pulitzer worthy (well, more worthy than Linda Solomon at the Observer) geniuses at Burnaby Now newspaper have claimed that the battle is heating up. And how did they back this theory? With a picture of 19 protesters and another of a guy with a bagpipe.

Previous protests involved scores more protesters- adding the fact that Burnaby is a college town with a population of over 200,000, it’s becoming clear that the Trans Mountain protesters are going nowhere fast. So, what’s a protester to do when the public doesn’t give a damn? Simple, time to go hunting for Spotted Owls!

If you’re a fan of French cuisine, you’ll find their solution deliciously fun…

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/09/08/will-mia-nissens-spotted-owl-slow-burnaby-trans-mountain-pipeline-expansion-to-a-to-snails-pace/

Sep 04

Burnaby Pipeline Protesters Go After “The Man” By Attacking The Working Man (Feat. Mia “Gandhi” Nissen)

Mia Nissen: Compared herself to Gandhi in fake hunger strike

Mia Nissen: Compared herself to Gandhi in fake hunger strike

Mia Nissen is a clear case of what happens when an activist goes off the rails. Her first 15 minutes of fame came in January when the (dodgy) Vancouver Observer quoted Nissen comparing herself to Gandhi at the start of a “hunger strike” (7 days of fasting). Nissen locked her neck to the gate at Chevron’s Burnaby, BC refinery in May- continuing her mockery of the great Indian leader, she partnered with Dan Wallace, a man who openly promotes violence.

Things didn’t work out so well for Nissen after that protest; the RCMP let them walk away without charges, but Chevron has stepped in and is demanding the court takes action. The trial is scheduled for September 8th, most average people would probably tone things down at this point; not Nissen, instead, she’s decided to double-down on the crazy

But this time, rather than sticking it to “the man” with acts of economic sabotage, she’s decided to take her anger out on the working man.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/09/04/burnaby-pipeline-protesters-go-after-the-man-by-attacking-the-working-man-feat-mia-nissen/

Aug 15

Chevron To Take Vancouver Protesters To Court (Feat. Dan Wallace & Mia “Gandhi” Nissen)

Protesters at the May blockade of a Chevron property in Burnaby, BC

Protesters at the May blockade of a Chevron property in Burnaby, BC

Back in May, a group of three protesters locked their necks to the front gate of a Chevron facility in Burnaby, BC. They were a ragtag trio, Dan Wallace was filmed a few weeks earlier promoting violence at a May Day Rally, Mia Nissen compared herself to Gandhi in an article in the Vancouver Observer, and not much is known about the third protester Adam Gold.

Chevron got an injunction against the protesters, and police came to cut them off of the gate. They got away with their crimes in the end when the police dropped the charges. Everything looked good for the protesters until a few days ago when Chevron gave them a surprise- they’re not willing to put up with the police’s lack of action, and are pursuing a declaration from the court that the protesters failed to comply with the injunction. This could be the first step towards a civil suit.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/08/15/chevron-to-take-vancouver-protesters-to-court-feat-dan-wallace-mia-gandhi-nissen/

Aug 15

Line 9 Protests Unmasked: Part II – Anarchists Dance With NGOs & Unions At The Watermelon Ball

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Introduction:

In Part I of Line 9 Protests Unmasked we explored the history of direct actions against Enbridge’s pipeline reversal from the original #SwampLine9 protest in 2013 to the most recent occupation of a construction site near Innerkip, Ontario. The protests started off with a bang but quickly faded out as the media and public started to realize the protests were all led by the same group of radical (and some violent) anarchists.

Here in Part II we’ll jump back in time a couple years to an important event held at the University of Toronto on November, 17, 2012. The speakers list at the “Tarsands Come To Toronto” brought together a star-studded lineup of environmental activists who travelled from across the country to discuss ways they can stop the reversal Line 9. Analysing this event not only gives great insight into the networks behind the fight against Line 9, but also provides us with a deeper understanding of their motivations.

One of the more common criticisms about the environmental movement is that many people and organizations motivations aren’t what they look like on the surface. A popular analogy is that of a watermelon- 10% green on the surface (representing environmentalism) with 90% red in the middle (socialism). Adding to that, the dark pits could represent Black Bloc militants.

But how realistic is the watermelon analogy? In today’s story we’ll experiment with some exciting new relationship mapping software to analyse the networks behind the movement. The results are now in and, though they’re exactly what most readers would expect, they’re still fascinating. They also bring up some new questions- for example, what’s Bolivia got to do with it?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2014/08/15/line-9-protests-unmasked-part-ii-anarchists-dance-with-ngos-unions-at-the-watermelon-ball/

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