Nina Wilson is one of the more interesting people who came out of the Idle No More movement. Wilson and the other three founders worked with the Suzuki Foundation to help bring the movement to public attention in late 2012. In 2013 the four founders were recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine on their annual Global Thinkers list. But, despite INM’s initial success, things haven’t been going well for the movement.
INM’s problems have been similar to what happened with Occupy- both had a serious lack of transparency. Wilson has been one of the most outspoken critics of Defenders of The Land, a union-backed group (and privately owned company) that’s been trying to wrestle control of the movement.
Now it appears that Wilson is moving forward and beginning something new…
During Occupy, anyone who challenged the professional protester’s stranglehold of the movement was either pushed out, attacked, or otherwise marginalized. It appears that Wilson’s experience has been very similar, she’s been shaking things up for many weeks now, and the activistocrats she’s been battling are trying to push her out of the movement she helped start.
DOTL is the abbreviation for Defenders of the Land, they’re led by Russ Diabo; an indigenous man who works closely with the unions and the Social Forums mentioned in Idle No More Unmasked Part II. Other indigenous ‘activistocrats at DOTL include Clayton Thomas-Muller, and Ben Powess- both part of the same “Love Is The Movement” gang who wrestled control of Occupy.
We’ll cover more about Diabo and DOTL in Idle No More Unmasked Part IV (I promise, it’s still coming), but the quick version of the story is that they took the money on behalf of INM and have yet to provide any accounting for it. Your Humble Narrator personally asked Diabo if he’d release the books, his response was a vague “In the fullness of time“.
Wilson appears to be a woman of very strong spirit, and not someone who suffers fools gladly. She’s been battling with INM’s hijackers for some time now, and it appears she’s sick and tired of them. So, she’s now moving on- starting a new initiative more reflective of her own values.
Wilson’s outline of her new initiative sounds very similar to the description she gave last year of the INM founder’s original plan (before Suzuki arrived) to build ‘spirit cabins’ on the paths of pipelines being built in Saskatchewan. In this new incarnation she’s proposing is what’s called an ‘action camp’- a tactic made popular by Earth First! and the Ruckus Society where protesters occupy land to protest and/or blockade development projects.
Canada has a few action camps. The most well-known is the Unist’ot’en Camp located east of Kitimat, BC- a group who’ve been intimidating workmen in the region and threatening them with violence if they return. In Ontario there’s the Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp, who have set themselves up beside what they claim is a sacred rock. It’s unknown how many people are actually at the camps during the winter, both camps are connected to anarchists, far-left radicals and militant unions- organizations that often make embellishments- they could be empty.
There’s no indication Wilson wants her camp to be violent, INM’s founders wanted their movement to be peaceful from the start. Her declaration that all receipts will be scanned and published is a breath of fresh air after watching the shameful performance of the union/NGO affiliated radicals. Many people left the Occupy movement with the same goals- it will be interesting to see if this can be accomplished.
The first test of the viability of Wilson’s plan will come when she launches her Indigogo crowd sourcing campaign- how much will she raise? This time she won’t have the Suzuki Foundation’s image makers and cStreet’s professional fundraisers- and, with the unions gone, it’s likely there’ll be a whole lot less support from the politicians. It will be interesting to see who joins in.
Stay tuned for more news on this story as it develops…