Friday Funnies; ‘Cause I’m Smokin’ Hot

Yeah, so BC is on fire. Again. 10 years of this oppressive heat & ash-filled lungs trend and of course, Canada decides it’s a perfect excuse to build a highly toxic, combustible pipeline through the path of the most fire vulnerable areas possible. No joke. The federal government has actually stated and paid to advertise that, ‘by throwing more carbon into the air, we will reduce our carbon footprint’. Can we possibly be more cutting-edge? 🙄

But I digress. Where was I? Right, so from trying to breathe through the latest ‘new normal’, in what is predicted to be a continuing trend of awful new normals for our summer air quality, to blinking non-stop at the political machinations over the entire of North America, a little escapism is more than in order. Yeah?

I make no apologies for my reliance on the sacred, the medicinal, the gucci-est high five to your face memes. Let us proceed. It’s always good to introduce yourself, so let me start with that…

Meet, Canuck.  Vancouver’s City Ambassador. He beat out Michael J. Fox. Not kidding. Like attracts like; we occasionally double date.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good drive-thru?

It’s true, what they say about sand, it DOES get everywhere

Not, hilarious funny, it’s good, but I just love a good appliance sale

If only I had a dime for all the times…😏

Musical Interlude
A couple for the oldies… (Click on the pic, if you’re a serious newb)

Who’s singing now?

Moving along…

Truth in advertising

See? BC fires. I’m tellin’ ya.

I like to conclude by tying a demo to my opening salvos. I think this sums it all up nicely.

Have a terrific final August, 2018 weekend. Stay hydrated.

RL

Getting Arrested? Piece of Cake; The 2nd Dino Age Is Over – Part 2

In Part 1, I shared my unintended practise run in taking ‘bold action’, as it’s called when one is willing to step in and interfere with business as usual. I’m referring to the Kinder Morgan (KM) case to build a bitumen pipe through Burnaby Mountain.

The plethora of issues surrounding that are really only now becoming more widely-known. Some include highly unusual, if not illegal government proceedings; significant spill dangers for the inlets surrounding Vancouver; the lack of emergency plan and no way for an entire university, an elementary school, and several neighbourhoods on that mountain to escape in the event of a fire or explosive emergency.

These buildings and neighbourhoods are all situated within meters to blocks from the current 60 yr. old oil tanks and potentially new ones that would hold the highly toxic bitumen mixture. The economic story is yet another picture that’s been distorted in the name of “national interests”. As, Sue Andrews noted, “For the addition of 2,500 temp jobs mostly to foreign workers, 90 permanent jobs and $50M a year in taxes. Pathetic. One TV series brings in $60M a year”. Also for the record, Alberta made more money from liquor and gambling over the last 2 years than selling 3 million barrels of bitumen per day.

refinery fire wisconsin

April 27, 2018, Fire rages after explosion at Canadian-owned oil refinery in Wisconsin https://globalnews.ca/video/4171316/fire-rages-after-explosion-at-canadian-owned-oil-refinery-in-wisconsin

Next is the issue of getting arrested for protesting unjust decisions or actions. In protection of Kinder Morgan interests, politicians, some media (who have thrown-out all pretense of non-biased reporting) and employees of the Fraser Institute writing op-eds have been working overtime to inject the fear of action by inferring that exercising our right to protest is akin to terrorism.

They have loudly and widely reported that the process is now ‘criminal’ without explaining what civil and criminal disobedience means. They have resorted to referring to the: accountants, writers, grandmothers, high school cooks, students, truck drivers, fishermen/women, teachers, etc. as, ‘eco-terrorists’.

They choose these words purposefully, the smoke and mirrors of swaying public opinion. They trot out recent polls that say ‘most British Columbians support the pipeline’, while ignoring that their simplistic polls asking ‘for or against’ does not take into account that many of those who are for it initially, have a change of heart when they get more information.

Many are under the impression this pipeline is about getting gas for their own cars or fuel for their homes. When they realize that pipeline has nothing to do with that nor providing ‘huge economic opportunity’, plus our having to pay KM major subsidies, they change their vote. (See the recent poll on the 574,000 BC citizens willing to be arrested).

So, what does this process of action and arrest really look like? It’s all a fairly simple event, really. On this typical day, we began by meeting on the field where the base camp is situated. We received instructions on the rules & what the process looks like. The rules for engagement: say or do nothing to KM employees or the police, stay peaceful, be sober, discard anything that could be construed as a weapon, even a nail file.

We then walked a short distance to the KM gate where some of us chose to sit in front of it, knowing the KM employees would call the police. Arresting officers came out, read the injunction out loud, then warned us of imminent arrest if we didn’t leave. They gave us 10 minutes to think about it.

We used that 10 minutes to stand up and voice our thoughts to the supporters and media that surrounded us, then 2 of us chose to walk away and take our arresting action another day. The other 2 were escorted down a short trail to the side of the KM gate to a temporary outdoor office cordoned off by police tape. Their personal contact details were taken and they received a notice to appear in court on specified date. Then they re-joined us. That process took approximately 15 minutes.

From that point, you can expect to be supported in court by legal advisors to various groups involved in these actions and general supporters. It’s then you will learn if the outcome includes charges dropped or stayed, or a $500 fine and/or 25 hours of community service. Help is available for those unable to pay the potential fine.

Donations are welcomed at Terminal City Legal Collective  or the Raven Trust Fund.

We all need to be aware Canada is a corporation. We are its shareholders and we have a right to speak out when the executive screw up. I raise my hands to all who have warriored up on behalf of their family members now and those to come.

RL

 

The 2nd Dino Age Is Over – Part 1

I went to Burnaby Mountain on May 5th with the intention to support efforts and possibly even get arrested in protest of Kinder Morgan’s plan to build a new pipeline. However, by the end of this day, what I’d received instead was an unexpected teaching on respect and humility. This teaching centred on awareness that our actions are rarely about only ourselves.

The call to come out asked for us to take, or support those taking, ‘bold action’. Bold action is taking a spot in front of Kinder Morgan’s gates to halt movement in or out of their yard – a simple disruption of business. Kinder Morgan sought to halt these disruptions by requesting an injunction to keep all non-employees or contacts away from their gates and fences by 5 meters. If you disobey that injunction order you’ll be arrested for civil disobedience – recently revised to criminal disobedience. It’s not as ominous as that sounds.

The difference between civil & criminal disobedience is that civil means Kinder Morgan is essentially suing us for disobeying their injunction. It was a process too expensive for Kinder Morgan, so Canada acquiesced to pressure and moved it to ‘criminal disobedience’. This means the cases will be heard by the Crown as opposed to ‘Kinder Morgan’ in a civil case.

Don’t misunderstand, this is a serious step and there’s no guarantee how an eventual judge will deal with your case, but the fears of criminal record for life that will inhibit your ability to cross borders, volunteer, get a job, or a place to live is a very unlikely outcome. Several people told their stories of being arrested up to 10 times in various events and life carries on quite normally. Although we learned today, if you’re arrested 3 times in regards to this injunction, they’ll escalate your court date and you could even face jail time.

What you can expect as an arrested protector is a court appearance to plead guilty or not and make your statement about why you were on the protection lines.  The likely outcomes are at most, a $500 fine and/or 25 hours of community service. Support and help is available for those unable to pay the potential fine.

I know what my community envisions when an Indigenous person is arrested. They know it’s rarely the gentle handling we see other people get when they’re arrested. They know we are typically held longer and the appearance of lumps and bruising after being released is common. Despite this and after the education, I joined the willing to be arrested. I mentioned this to a friend sitting with me and his hesitant reaction surprised me. As he began to explain, my phone rang. It was my mother. She asked what I was up to; I told her where I was and that my arrest was imminent.

I’d thoughtlessly made my mother panic. I’d forgotten to let her know what I’d planned and learned about the process. I simply blurted out my intentions.  Her reply to me was simple. “Not today, Robyn. Today is not your day”.

I was taken aback at the finality in her tone, but I’d heard the fear under the certainty of her statement. I wasn’t in the place to take the time to explain and I knew then I had to do that for her and other family members in the right way, before I took that next step. I chose to step away, but not without affirming to all that I’d be back.

This isn’t about ruining lives, mine or anyone else’s. This isn’t about ruining oil industry livelihoods or their employee’s ability to feed families – stopping this extraneous pipeline is not going to stop the industry. We’re evolving. It’s just simply time to move onto avenues already available to take the place of oil and oil products. We need to remember industry has always been a process of evolving, especially when we learn a process is failing us.

We know enough now to do better. We can be just as, if not more, successful with those sustainable and healthier alternatives. We didn’t all switch from unleaded gasoline on a lark nor in a day.

The oil industry served us spectacularly, but we keep learning of its equally destructive powers and effects and they’ve been overlooked for too long. There’s no time left to ignore that. The damage to entire communities, to waterways, to land bases all over the planet must be seen for what it is.

I know what my great-grandfather meant for us all, when he signed treaty. I know it didn’t look like what Kinder Morgan is proposing, nor the “Eagle Spirit” pipeline, nor the Site C Dam. Our grandfathers stood up then for us and now, it’s our turn to do the same for their grandchildren. They meant for us all to live in success, but not at the cost of the very riches that provide that.

This isn’t an us or them scenario; we’re in this together whether we actively participate or not on any side. We will all succeed at maintaining our bounties or we all lose by ruining our own life-sustaining gifts. It’s really about the same lesson of respect I received; in the end, like our grandfathers on all sides then, our actions and intentions will affect all. It is our choice however, in what we choose to serve now.

RL

Part Two:  Getting Arrested? Piece of Cake; The 2nd Dino Age Is Over

If you want to support those taking bold action, please donate to:  Terminal City Legal Collective  or the Raven Trust Fund