I rarely cross post other people’s writings. My insecure vanity doesn’t let me share my space and limited readership with others often. 😉
The group “Rally 4 Resources” has really impressed me of late. They are a small group of people with limited resources but with their dedication they have been managing to make a good splash in support of resource development when we really need it.
They are organizing counter rallies at energy related events and they have been working to document and expose what the anti-energy movement is really all about.
Recently, Rally 4 Resources went to visit “Camp Cloud”. This is an encampment of protest squatters which is very reminiscent of the baseless “occupy” movement of the past. It is ramshackle, disorganized and over run with substance abuse. Despite that, they present themselves as a rational movement when they are anything but.
Enough out of me. I will let Rally 4 resources take it from here. Their pictures and video tell the tale better than I.
Our visit to Camp Cloud on May 2nd was a complete eye-opener.
We had expectations from media reports of a large protest community. The media had been talking about thousands on Burnaby Mountain protesting Trans Mountain expansion and that idea was driving the national news narrative that BCers were against the project.
Reality was so far from that. We found 8 sketchy people in various stages of intoxication at 5 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I gave them pet names like Punchy, Slurry, Ranty, Angry, Phony, Sell-out, Teen Rebellion and Rage Machine. But watching the video later we recognize some of these people from previous thug incidents in Northern BC. These aren’t protesters, they are known agitators like Matt Danes. Funny how the same people are never busy and are flown around to be involved in every issue in every city. Most of the tents and shacks were empty, just sitting there to be props in this piece of protest theatre, derelict vehicles, gas cans and propane tanks littered their camp and the irony was lost on no one in our small group of four.
We drove through it first to see if we were safe to approach our actual destination, the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Terminal security gate. We were kind of amazed looking at the garbage and not finding any people. We found one person on our first pass, he was using an electric saw to cut lumber for their newest feature, a carver’s cabin. Yes, an electric saw used to build a cabin on the shoulder of a highway in an anti-pipeline camp set up to protest oil and gas. So the reports of the camp using gas powered generators were confirmed right off the hop.
We carried on up the road to a park to check out the site of their Camp Cloud fb star filming herself kicking a RCMP officer while he made an arrest. There was indeed protesters’ motorhomes parked on the soccer field away from the protest camp like the video had shown. The man there was hostile so we went back down the road to the gate.
Along the way we stopped to talk to the locals walking and biking about their feelings on the camp. People were scared to be on camera, fearing retribution, and spoke of anger directed at the Burnaby Mayor and Premier Horgan, both were called some nasty names, complaints about the noise, traffic concerns, feeling under seige, and fearful of even walking their dogs alone. This is a beautiful residential neighbourhood surrounded by the green bush and park like space of the Kinder Morgan property. Some residents were concerned as their jobs were tied to the Vancouver ports and they openly wondered what the protesters would go after next.
We asked permission to be at the terminal gate and security obliged us to speak to workers as they left the facility and to present a banner “Pipelines to Tidewater” signed by pro-resource Canadians from across the country. The workers were hurting from the announcement the delays caused by the dithering and uncertainty necessitated 18 layoffs on site. They were very welcoming and appreciative to finally have a public show of support from the majority of Canadians on their site. Unfurling the banner stirred up Camp Cloud though.
They crossed the highway and demanded we leave in not so polite terms. They claim we were “trespassing on Salish unceded territory” despite the court order barring them from trespassing on Kinder Morgan property. Two men were instantly flexing and raging while a older man lectured us on how the world doesn’t have a demand for oil (false) and how oil gave all his dogs cancer(false and crazy). I giggled at the ridiculousness of his drunken claims but the laughing stopped fast as his camp mates circled around to flank us. Being circled and yelled at was definately overkill for just taking pics at the gate and ignoring them totally. This did not stop until I started filming with my cellphone. Once I was filming they retreated for a minute to get a phone to take our pictures and call in support from the city. We were soon accused of being from The Rebel (we’re not) and then accused of being paid professionals (we’re not).
So once again the whole crew crosses the street to bring their elder Rose Desjarlais to berate us. Their crew are extra cranky because we arrived during happy hour. She yells and tells us we cannot speak, we have no right to be there, and we don’t have the same right to protest as they do. She rambles on a story about how oil poisoned Alberta and her late mother, but fact is she lived to a grand old age of 96. She then says her family made good money working in oil and gas. Then switches back to saying she doesn’t care who loses their jobs. She did confirm her relationship to Chief Allen Adam, he’s her cousin. Her son is with her too. We perk up, a lot. Chief Adam is pro-oil. He’s so pro-oil he’s trying to build his own pipeline. Why is his family trying to shut down Kinder Morgan expansion and representing themselves as 1st Nations water protectors if he is trying to build pipe too? Oh because this is business. They are trying to shut down the competition of their family’s proposed pipeline. Suddenly it dawns on me this place has nothing to do with their cries of “leave it in the ground” or “water protectors”. They use propane, gas, drive F350s with Alberta plates and their cousins own projects that are Kinder Morgans’s competitors. What fools we were to think this was about the environment. It’s about money and power.
A Volkswagen pulls up quick and two young Starbucks looking hipster chicks hop out and start fixing their hair without putting down their mason jar drinks. Oh look, it’s the RCMP assaulting, previously arrested, facebook live attention seeking, Greenpeace Idol wannabee phony alias Uni Urchin. She sees the phone recording and fluffs her hair before giving us a valley girl line ” I hope, you like, you know, have water to drink…with your kids” followed by “Thanks but no thanks” and a smirk. So at this moment one of the hotheads is darting between vehicles on the highway. An older red compact car honks at him. He kicks the moving car and screams “F*ck you bitch”. He crosses back to us. Again the glowering teenager wrongly accuses us of being paid professionals before Uni herds her tipsy charges back across the road.
We look at each other very bemused since they came to the gate to harrass us. That’s all they’ve got, Chief Adam’s cousin, some muscle and the Greenpeace Idol valley girls that drove out to get on film. The two hotheads are still yelling, the girls get back in the Volkswagen and we thanked Rose for sharing her stories. We start the walk back to our car, a local stopped in his vehicle at the corner stop sign yells at the camp inhabitants to “get the f*ck out”. We are all a little relieved filming caused a signifigant change in their attitude and tactics towards us. We are all also stunned such a rag tag posse could be used by media to create the narrative Camp Cloud is a water protectors’ protest community impeding the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. We assume it must grow on weekends when the paid US organizers email their databases to get the Hastings social justice scene and Green politicians out to attend media events. It’s a nightmare for the usually peaceful suburban neighbourhood. It’s best called a grievance industry hobo circus taking US dollars to organize and some pretty bold home grown nepotism to shut down this Canadian resource project. Nothing more.
Respect the Burnaby residents who want the almost empty shanty town and garbage removed.
Respect the rule of law, get out of the way and let these hard working BC engineers, contractors and labourers earn a living. #buildKM
Respect the principle of our cooperative polite Canadian federation and let the west work and provide for their famillies, communities and transfer dependant have not provinces. #buildKM
Camp Cloud was a joke. End it before you have all of Vancouver’s street scene squatting there permanently.