Over the past few weeks and more to come, illegal acts of public protests have shut down Canada’s rail systems affecting the transport of goods and food to communities across the country threatening thousands of related jobs. Gaggles of protesters have without notice illegally shut down major traffic intersections in cities for hours at a time blocking access to medical appointments, to funeral processions, and for thousands of normal citizens trying to get to work, school, or simply exercise their freedom as Canadian citizens.
We’ve all seen the heavy news coverage. The illegal actions are supposedly in support of unelected hereditary chiefs of the West’suwet-sen Nation who have determined that regardless of support from all major elected First Nations councils in the northwest of British Columbia, a major natural gas pipeline will not proceed across their territory. This is despite supreme court rulings approving the construction, despite the vast majority of First Nations elected leaders signing economic development deals with Coastal GasLink (the company building the line), despite court injunctions demanding the removal of illegal blockades, and despite a majority of Canadians opposing those protesting the pipeline.
But of course the real issue now is not about a government-approved, First Nations supported natural gas pipeline promising to bring considerable economic and social benefits to populations that for decades have suffered high unemployment, disproportionately high crime and high-school drop-out rates.
The real issue is what John Ivison of the National Post accurately calls “mob rule” and what Diane Francis of the same newspaper characterizes as “an existential threat to Canada and its sovereignty.”
Let’s call it what it is. Domestic terrorism.
In Canada, section 83.01 of the Criminal Code defines terrorism as an act committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public “…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.” Activities recognized as criminal within this context include death and bodily harm with the use of violence; endangering a person’s life; risks posed to the health and safety of the public; significant property damage; and interference or disruption of essential services, facilities or systems (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/victim/rr09_6/p3.html).
Let’s check that list in terms of what we are seeing in Canada today by swarms of anarchy-believing behavior.
Domestic terrorism identifiers under the Act:
“An act committed in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, cause of objective.” The illegal protesters actually boast about this.
“…intimating the public with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or refrain from doing any act.” Shutting down national railway systems, creating massive chaos on roadways, bridges, and blocking entry to the sitting of Parliament in British Columbia puts a giant check in this box.
“…endangering a person’s life; risks posed to the health and safety of the public; significant property damage; and interference or disruption of essentail services, facilities or systems.” Let us count the innumerable ways by simply scanning the daily national headlines.
Lets call it what it is: Domestic terrorism.
Let’s not be afraid to name names and expose the premeditation to this terrorism. For example the It’s Going Down website based in America today screams out on a loving Valentine’s Day this giant headline.
“This Is Insurrection”: #ShutDownCanada Action “Cancels Trains Nationwide” As Act of Sabotage Continue (https://itsgoingdown.org/action-shuts-down-trains-sabotage-spread/) To help us understand, the American website informs us that “The rail blockades, whose impact has been compounded by additional port blockades, freeway shutdowns, and the occupation of Liberal and other political party offices, are starting to have a sizable impact on the economy.”
Meanwhile, our milk-toast politicians in Canada are doing what good Canadian politicians always do. Send a couple of carefully-worded e-mail admonitions to the anarchy-oriented, increasingly empowered law-breakers hoping to achieve “dialogue,” discussion, maybe even sharing an herbal tea.
Meanwhile the troublesome embers of discontent within an obscure small First Nations band with confused leadership in British Columbia’s northwest have been skillfully stoked by all manner of anti-capitalist, anti-industrial, anti-anything mobs into a raging conflagration of Canadian safety, security, and confederation. Check out today’s (Feb 14, 2020) latest post on It’s Going Down
” As the Wet’suwet’en, the Mohawks of Tyendinaga, and Coast Salish people all burned injunctions handed down by colonial courts today, we thought to act in solidarity with them.
Overnight, we burned a small road crossing signal box on the CN line. It’s default is to activate the road crossings if tripped, so no people were in danger. We chose rail because it has a long history aiding in the colonization and confederation of Turtle Island and the displacement and death of Indigenous people with deep economic impacts. It is impossible to defend, even in the busy city – so tonight proves.
Fuck the state. Fuck the colonial courts. It’s time to stand up and shut shit down.”
Lovely message Mr. Prime Minister.