Art Sterritt Shares “Close Encounters” Theory Of #BurnabyMountain Organizing (Feat. Ben West & Al Jazeera)

Art Sterritt parking his shiny BMW at a Vancouver anti-oil protest

Art Sterritt lair, hypocrite, and BMW aficionado…

Art Sterritt is leader of a foreign funded Canadian NGO called Coastal First Nations. Thug NGO life has been good for Sterritt, his group has brought in millions of dollars from American oligarch’s foundations including the TIDES Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Betty Moore Foundation. Sterritt presents himself to the world as an environmentalist- but doesn’t appear to walk the walk as well as he talks the talk.

Sterritt jetted down to California in October (bringing some family members to add to his carbon consumption) where he was awarded Stanford University Law School’s Bright Award for his work on the “Great Bear Rainforest” (a name made-up by environmentalists). Rumours indicate that after receiving his $100k cheque he may be looking for a bigger ride now (Hummer dealers are starting to get excited). Sterritt was recommended for the award by University of Victoria law professor Calvin Sandborn- who, like David Suzuki, has direct connections to violence aficionado Harsha Walia.

Like most TIDES funded NGO leaders, Sterritt made his way up to Burnaby Mountain this week- go team! It’s unknown if he drove his BMW, but pretty much a given he didn’t take public transit (that’s for the little people, not wealthy recipients of Foundation dough). Sterritt was interviewed by Al Jazeera while he was there- and used the opportunity to share what’s best described as his “Close Encounters” theory of protest organizing.

“No one is organizing these protests. It’s just individuals who decided they want to have a say and just going up and crossing that line the [police] drew in the sand and saying, ‘arrest me, I’m willing to stand up for my democracy.”

it’s Sterritt’s position that BC’s largest protest since the 2011 Occupy Movement errupted spontaneously without the assistance of a single organizer. It’s unknown if there were mashed potatoes involved, or if anyone built a giant chicken wire and paper mache statue of Burnaby Mountain- but by God, it was magic!

Joking aside, let’s get to the point- Sterritt’s “Close Encounters” theory is as close to reality as Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s claim that the people who smashed up Yonge street during the Toronto G20 weren’t being violent. People aren’t being drawn to Burnaby Mountain by astrally projected images, it’s because of the organizers who’ve been working hard to make the protest a success.

It’s understandable why Sterritt would want try to pull the wool over our eyes.  Kinder Morgan’s lawsuit scared the crap out of some NGOs and research shows some are already trying to backpeddle. Ben West of ForestEthics told a Vancouver Observer sized lie this week when Financial Times contributor Vivian Krause asked him about NGO involvement at Burnaby Mountain:

Really Ben, really?

Really Ben, really?

But Ben West is a really bad liar. You see thirteen days earlier West had already let the cat out of the bag in a Metro story by Matt Kieltyka:


Dear Canadian journalists: Ben West may be lying to you…

So, with only one screenshot, we’ve proven that both Ben West and Art Sterritt are completely full of Bolshevik. There are many other examples that conflict with Sterritt’s claim. Erin Flegg of Vancouver Observer/DeSmogBlog fame labelled herself as a Burnaby Mountain organizer in the story she submitted to VICE Canada:

“Erin Flegg is an activist and journalist who has helped organize the Burnaby Mountain protests.”

A November 20th article in the Vancouver Sun describes Simon Fraser University Lynne Quarmby as an organizer. A November 30th article in 24hrs describes SFU professor and Council of Canadians Member Stephen Collis as an “organizer and protest spokesperson”. And, if you look at the interactive chart for #BurnabyMountain Unmasked, you’ll see a long list of professional organizers.

The Musqueam denied Audrey Siegl was representing them at Oppenheimer...

The Musqueam denied Audrey Siegl was representing them at Oppenheimer…

In the above image we see No One Is Illegal’s Harsha Walia organizing “people of colour” to come up to Burnaby Mountain and “resist” (Walia carries a whole deck of race cards in her wallet). And finally, as explained in the Al Jazeera story, Walia is organizing people even after their arrests:

“The NEB’s handling of the Trans Mountain expansion has also led to infringements on the rights of cities, according to Harsha Walia, a Burnaby resident and legal liaison tracking arrests for protesters”

In his 1972 interview with Playboy about organizing, Saul Alinsky explained how arrests are valuable to organizers, saying “When you jail a radical, you’re playing right into his hands”. Walia is a professional, appearances indicate (curiously) that she started organizing almost immediately after immigrating to Canada. Seemingly in conflict with per job supporting arrestees, Walia wrote in her November 4th Rabble article that arrests are merely symbolic, the real value of protests Burnaby Mountain was ” affecting companies’ profit margins”. (Kinder Morgan lawyers take note)

Some Parting Thoughts On Al Jazeera:

Many people are suspicious of Al Jazeera’s work in Canada. Qatar has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and significant quantities of oil- so there’s no question we’re competing against each other. Climate change activists laugh off the idea of foreign interference (perhaps because of the foreign money they get?) as “tin foil hat”, but they should understand the situation better than most Canadians.

One the climate change movement’s mantas is that if the world burned through our existing fossil fuel supply it would almost certainly result in the death of the planet. Alarmists (as UN scientists call them) like Burnaby Mountain protester and Simon Fraser University (English) professor Stephen Collis claim that we can’t afford to draw out even one more drop of oil, UN Scientists explain that we have a bit more time.

Regardless of how long it takes, if governments ultimately rule that a percentage of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground, that energy will have zero value. So the longer Canadian oil projects can be delayed, the more other oil producing countries can get out of the ground before restrictions are enacted. That’s a pretty big motivation!

Al Jazeera has put a lot of effort into reporting on Canadian radical movements (without labelling them as radicals). When they hired CBC reporter Wab Kinew to report on the New Brunswick anti-fracking riots in 2013, his reports were so wildly divergent from reality they made Art Sterritt’s “Close Encounters” theory sound down to earth. Forget that the protesters were throwing Molotov cocktails, burning down police cars, and were caught with guns and improvised explosive devices- the Canadian government was repressing them!

Revolutionary activists who’ve appeared on Al Jazeera’s shows include Harsha Walia (an enthusiastic cheerleader for violence), Clayton Thomas-Muller (a man the RCMP have labeled as an extremist), Russ Diabo (leader of Defenders of the Land where Walia and Thomas-Muller have worked), and Pamela Palmater (a professor who walks around in combat boots calling for revolution). When people were questioning whether we should allow Al Jazeera to operate and broadcast in Canada, it was Judy Rebick who came to the rescue (matriarch to the previous three protesters).

So, why’s Al Jazeera so focussed on promoting the messages of hardcore Canadian revolutionaries, and why are they broadcasting bullshit like Art Sterritt’s “Close Encounters” theory? This wouldn’t be the first time the channel has been accused in meddling with other country’s affairs, they’ve been booted out of several countries for doing this including Bahrain, Egypt, and Israel. Even the left-leaning Guardian has questioned their editorial independence.

So are they doing the same here in Canada? It’s hard to say at this point, but something doesn’t smell right- you certainly don’t hear them attacking Middle Eastern oil very often…

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