The ramshackle two story shack built dangerously under a power line acts as a giant, symbolic middle finger to Canadians who value commerce under the rule of law. Indeed as can be seen in the picture above, the squatters in the encampment that they have named “Camp Cloud” like to use the shack to stand upon and literally give the finger to Canadians.
The shack and the surrounding mix of tents, trailers and trash send a message to the the world investment community. It says that the administration within Canada is so cowardly, they will let a group of miscreants set up an illegal encampment in a community and impede legal commerce with impunity. It says that following process and law in Canada is pointless as crazed, extreme minority groups can bring your efforts to a halt on a whim and the state will do nothing to protect your investment. It tells neighboring property owners in Burnaby that compliance with bylaws, construction standards and public safety rules is only expected of them as legal, taxpaying homeowners. Self-identified “water protectors” can squat at will without paying any taxes and while flaunting all local laws.
The continued presence of “Camp Cloud” sends the message that violence is an acceptable means of discourse as the squatters repeatedly have assaulted people in the area as shown in the video below.
The City of Burnaby sneaks in during the early hours to drop eviction notices for “Camp Cloud” and scurries away. The city gives the squatters 72 hours notice to vacate due to a plethora of safety and bylaw violations. The squatters scornfully ignore the warning and are rewarded as the callow authorities do nothing to enforce the law.
The camp grows more deeply entrenched and the violent, entitled attitude of its dwellers grows. Why shouldn’t it? It appears that they are above the law. Warnings are toothless.
Enough is enough.
If the authorities will not clean up “Camp Cloud” it becomes incumbent upon citizens to do so. Energy workers have endured a deep recession for years only to have economic recovery hindered by illegal opposition to energy infrastructure. Many of them are more than happy to take a day to come out to clean things up. Many Burnaby residents are ready to come out and help clean up their community. Many citizens in general are tired of a government that lets extremists walk all over them.
I created a facebook group late last night to gather these citizens and organize the cleanup. By this morning the members neared 200 and it continues to grow. Click here to join in the organization effort.
Its time to bring this standoff to a head.
The illegal and dangerous squatter encampment called “Camp Cloud” is going to come to an end in coming weeks. Whether the clean up is done by authorities or whether it is done by the group I am organizing is up to the state. I and others are going to continue planning, gathering people and organizing them under the assumption that we will have to do this ourselves.
We are left with no other choice.