Archive for October, 2008

Shaw will replace tower destroyed in weekend blaze

Lori Jenks, Comox Valley Echo
Published: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CUMBERLAND, B.C. — A weekend fire caused up to $2 million in damage and destroyed a Shaw Communications transmission tower, knocking out some cable-TV and Internet services.

RCMP said a door appeared to have been tampered with and there was evidence that an accelerant was used in the building where the fire started, said RCMP spokesman Const. Dennis Flint. But he stopped short of saying the fire was intentionally set.

“Somebody can go in there and start fooling around and start a fire,” Flint said. “That’s not deliberately set, but they shouldn’t be there.”

Shaw CEO Jim Shaw said the company was alerted to the problem Saturday morning by unhappy cable customers who lost some of their channels. The company then sent a technician to the unmanned station.

After negotiating rough logging roads in the Trent River area south of Cumberland, all the technician could do was call the fire department.

Then an explosion in one of the tower’s propane-fuelled generators shortly before fire crews arrived forced them to wait another two hours to ensure there was no danger of more propane tanks exploding and to get hydro lines shut off.

It finally took 10 firefighters to put the fire out. A perimeter was set up to prevent the fire spreading to the forest, said Cumberland fire chief Ken McClure.

“The forest danger is at low right now,” McLure said. “This would have been a lot different if it had been in the middle of August.”

Despite police evidence, Shaw said the fire could have been the result of aging equipment rather than foul play.

“It had been there for some 20 years,” he said. “It was probably due to have a bit of trouble.

“I wouldn’t want to suppose that somebody started it when in fact some of our equipment could have overheated, caught on fire and started the fire ourselves, which can happen pretty easily because there’s a lot of electrical equipment in there.”

Six of the nine cable channels transmitted via the tower were back in service Monday and the rest were expected back by the end of the week. Internet service to Powell River was knocked out but has since been restored.

Shaw said the company is planning to replace the transmission tower. Anyone with information can contact Comox Valley RCMP at [stop snitchin’] or Crime Stoppers at [stop snitchin’].

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Ontario: Attack on CP Rail!

[Posted by Anonymous to friendsofgrassynarrows.com, October 21, 2008]

In an attempt to cause a shitload of economic damage to the infrastructure of the CP rail main-line, we cut down two telephone poles across the tracks just to the north of their main intermodal yard outside Toronto. A pile of fallen trees was ignited with gasoline across the tracks, and we molotov’d one of those weird grey box things that look pretty important and are full of electrical shit. We also tied copper wire across the tracks to signal the blockage so no one would get hurt. That was way more exciting than a turkey dinner!

It’s shit cool that all you people been bringing the ruckus all over the country to mess with the Olympics and its Spirit Train business. That exhibition of nationalism and colonization has got all the rich motherfuckers greasin’ the pockets of development tycoons. Sure this shit’s been loomin’ round all our hoods for a while, but you throw in the Olympic Games and crackers like Bob Rennie can’t get enough. This spectacle is quickening the pace of yet another yuppie takeover. It aint gonna stop if we ask it nicely; it didn’t before the Olympics and sure won’t after!

For us the Spirit Train is every train, they’re all spreading “Olympic spirit”, or more like the spirit of capitalism: construction materials, military equipment, useless consumer products, tourists… Fuck it all. Every ride on the rails is a ride for the same invasion that’s been goin on since the railway was built to colonize this whole place. This rail system has been developed and is utilized to serve our exploiters and enemies. As long as the exploiters exist, infrastructure will always be their weapon. So we wanna destroy it all… their railway, highways, cameras, telecommunications, it’s all serving the masters and their police. We’re not interested in expressing our dissatisfaction at a symbolic part of the problem. We want to actually dismantle the whole system and hit these cracker-ass-capitalists where it hurts. It’s not just the Spirit Train; it’s every train, the tracks and the social structure they maintain!

This is solidarity with all the comrades raisin’ hell wherever they live. Keep the struggle burning locally, and your solidarity reaches globally. This chaos was for the warriors everywhere who are still facing charges for their involvement in acts of resistance quite like this one. It don’t matter how hard they come down on us cause there are too many of us waiting to explode. Let’s show’em what we can do and aim for our actual objective!

Every train- stopped, every track- untied, every jail- destroyed!

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B.C. town on edge after pipeline blast
Locals scared and angry after recent attacks

Elise Stolte, Larissa Liepins, Tamara Cunningham and Andrew Bergland, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, October 17

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – It’s the question on everyone’s lips here in this remote northern B.C. town: Who’s waging war on the oil industry?

In less than a week, two explosive devices have erupted under sour-gas pipelines owned by EnCana outside the town, 590 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. In both cases, the pipelines did not rupture and no one was injured, but the level of violence involved – and the wording of threatening letters sent to local news outlets last week – has everyone in the region on edge.

“This scares the hell out of me and my family,” said Eric Kuenzl, a resident of neighbouring Tomslake, which is about 30 kilometres south of Dawson’s Creek.

He and six other residents of the town protested the development of a sour-gas well site in their area in June. Sour gas is natural gas tainted with toxic hydrogen sulphide. Many in the area believe sour-gas wells pose a risk to human and livestock health.

Despite his personal opposition to the industry, Kuenzl said he’s certain no one from the area could have planted the bombs.

“This has got to be done by someone from the outside. No matter what (local residents) think of oil and gas, they wouldn’t go out and kill each other,” he said. “Who knows? It could be the al-Qaida. It shows the extremes to which people are willing to go.”

The RCMP’s anti-terrorism Integrated National Security Enforcement Team has now taken over leading the investigation from local officers.

In June, an area First Nation staged a road blockade to protest oil and gas exploration in the region. The Kelly Lake Cree Nation had been voicing concerns about health and safety risks over oil and gas activity on traditional lands for years, and thought a blockade would force industry leaders to listen, said Chief Cliff Caillou, adding it was a peaceful protest.

He also said he doesn’t think anyone from his community is radical enough to use explosives to push the point.

“They’re trying to make it sound like it’s natives, but I don’t think that’s the case,” said retiree Lorne Husk, chatting with neighbours at a local coffee shop Friday.

He was citing a reference to “home lands” in an anonymous letter received by the Dawson Creek Daily News on Oct. 10.

The writer set a deadline of Oct. 11 for “EnCana and all other oil and gas interests” to close down operations near the community of Tomslake, and vowed not to “negotiate with terrorists” taking part in the “crazy expansion of deadly gas wells in our home lands.”

Two days after that letter arrived, a blast crater was found beneath an EnCana pipeline in the district. Evidence of a second blast – which caused a small leak, reportedly contained – was found by workers Thursday morning at another EnCana pipeline site about 500 metres from the Alberta border. Police believe the two attacks are related.

The bombings have left parents of children who attend a nearby elementary school on edge.

Tate Creek Elementary is reviewing emergency procedures after two bomb blasts in the area, worried the next explosion could come even closer.

“If they set off a bomb over there,” said Melissa Hedberg, pointing to a well site about a kilometre from her children’s’ small rural school, “the school probably wouldn’t even have time to shut off all the intake systems. There’s just no warning.

“They need to be thinking about all the innocent lives they’ll be taking when they set this off.”

The school is set in the low part of a valley and has pipelines all around it. The school has about 45 students and is located about 16 kilometres from the blast site.

After getting a heads-up about the latest blast Thursday, the school used its emergency protocol for the first time.

Students were brought inside the school, the furnace intake was shut down to limit what kind of air or fumes come into the building, and the doors were taped shut anywhere there were cracks or openings.

The school district has plans to install a one-hit, wall-mounted kill switch for the whole intake and furnace system soon.

The first blast occurred 15 kilometres from EnCana’s Steeprock gas plant. The second blast was just 10 kilometres away, according to a contractor for EnCana.

A woman who works for the oil and gas giant, who asked that her name not be used, said security guards for EnCana have been patrolling the roads leading to the plant.

“For the lunatics, whoever is doing this, to call the gas companies terrorists . . . gas companies aren’t using explosives; they are not endangering mass lives,” she said.

Other oil and gas companies in the region are tightening their own security. Murphy Oil Company Ltd., which is drilling wells and building a gas plant about 30 kilometres southwest of Dawson Creek, has instituted a “buddy system” for its workers in the wake of the blasts to ensure they not travel to any isolated sites alone.

RCMP Sgt. Tim Shields said investigators are looking into possible connections to a wave of “eco-terrorism” in the nearby Alberta Peace Country from 1995 to 1998 that’s often associated with farmer Wiebo Ludwig, a longtime activist who claimed sour-gas wells adversely affect human health.

Ludwig was released from prison in 2001 after serving two thirds of a 28-month sentence for five charges related to oilpatch bombing and vandalism.

“It’s something that we will be examining,” Shields said.

Calgary journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, author of the 2002 book, Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil, dismissed the RCMP’s description of the saboteur as an eco-terrorist.

“This is not the work of eco-terrorists, for God’s sakes. This is the work of a pissed-off landowner who’s probably a property-rights advocate, who doesn’t like the fact that either his health has been damaged, or his property has been devalued by sour-gas developments,” Nikiforuk told Canwest News Service on Friday.

“The list of suspects is long, unfortunately,” Nikiforuk said, adding it includes First Nations people in the area, ranchers and oil-and-gas workers “who might have a grudge.”

“Sour gas is like having a child molester in your neighbourhood,” Nikiforuk said. “You never know when it’s going to go off; when there’s going to be a problem. So it introduces to agricultural communities a level of risk and hazard that was never there before.”

Nikiforuk said he doesn’t believe the saboteur meant to hurt anyone.

“Whoever did this wanted to make the headlines, they didn’t want to kill people. If you want to kill people up there with sour gas, it would be very easy to do. There are thousands and thousands of pipelines, wells, and scores of sour-gas plants up there,” he said

“Whoever did this planned it very well, picked the locations very carefully, and seems to have been either skilfully adept at not rupturing a pipeline, or skilfully inept at not rupturing a pipeline – and I suspect there are signs here of skilful adeptness.”

“My guess is, there will still be more (acts of sabotage.)”

No information has been released on the type of explosive used.

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RCMP say bomb placed along EnCana pipeline

Globe and Mail Update
October 14, 2008

A hunter discovered a two-metre-wide crater underneath a British Columbia pipeline Sunday that RCMP believe was caused by a bomb.

The blast was discovered early Sunday morning under an EnCana sour gas pipeline in Northeastern B.C., east of Dawson Creek near the Alberta border, RCMP said yesterday. The blast damaged the pipeline, ripping insulation from the 30-centimetre pipe, but didn’t rupture it. No gas leaked into the remote area.

The bomb was planted right in an area where the pipeline emerges from the ground at a 45-degree angle, RCMP Sergeant Tim Shields said. RCMP believe the suspected device was deliberately planted, meant to damage the pipeline.

The blast appears to have come just after a threatening note was delivered to a small town newspaper in Chetwynd, B.C., west of Dawson Creek. The letter, delivered Saturday, urged local energy companies to pack up and leave the area. Though the affected area was sparsely populated and the damage limited, RCMP are taking the explosion seriously.

“This is a very remote area. There are no people around. Having said that, it is still serious because of the type of gas in the pipe,” Sgt. Shields said.

Police don’t know who might have planted the device, but there is a “significant sentiment” opposing gas and oil developments among the long-tenured members of the rural community, Sgt. Shields said. Dawson Creek Mayor Calvin Kruk said he wasn’t aware of any opposition in his community.

The hunter said he’d passed through the same area a day earlier, and there’d been no crater then, leading police to believe the blast happened late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning.

Several RCMP units are investigating, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. They’re appealing for any witnesses to come forward, and urging workers in the region’s booming oil and gas sector to keep an eye out for potential saboteurs. RCMP investigators will continue to work to figure out what type of device was planted.

“All we have is the crater and we don’t know what type of explosion caused it,” Sgt. Shields said.

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Police go to the wall, six vandals arrested

Barry Gray, the Hamilton Spectator

Barry Gray, the Hamilton Spectator

October 11, 2008
John Burman
The Hamilton Spectator [Ontario]
(Oct 11, 2008)

It appears somebody doesn’t like the extra heat Hamilton police have been giving graffiti taggers lately.

Even as police made their sixth mischief arrest in a month Thursday night — catching a tagger red-handed at Gage Avenue North and Lloyd Street — anti-police scrawl has begun appearing.

Sergeant Mark Schulenberg says the anti-cop, anti-law messages began showing up earlier this week, after police arrested a 14-year-old tagger painting park equipment in Waterdown.

“It could be pushback (for arrests),” he said yesterday.

The new messages include a sign painted on the John Street wall of the John Sopinka courthouse that has a crude suggestion for “The Law.” Two more on Wellington Street North near the detention centre say “Off The Pigs” and “Burn Prisons.”

There’s a plea for “No More Cops” in fresh paint on the wall of a store at Mary Street North and Barton Street.

“It may be someone trying to get a message out,” said Schulenberg, adding the signs are not tags, just “anti-police, anti-justice slurs.”

Nevertheless, he says, police have no intention of letting up on spray painters. “Graffiti has already been targeted as a strategic priority for us for 2009,” he said.

Schulenberg also noted police are getting more tips from the public about graffiti because “they’re tired of it.” Graffiti makes an area look as if no one cares about it, which can attract other crimes.

The sixth tagger charged with mischief in a month was caught in the act by a uniform officer on routine patrol Thursday at 9:30 on Gage Avenue North. He saw a young man near Lloyd Street spray painting the tag ‘SCD.’

The officer arrested two youths including the painter. The “artist” has been charged with mischief under $5,000.

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Halifax: Coordinated attack on political offices

[Submitted by anon on October 7, 2008 to anarchistnews.org]

On the night of October, 5th two simultaneous attacks happened against the Liberal and Conservative candidate headquarters. Both offices had their windows smashed and one was covered in graffiti.

This action was carried out because we have nothing but contempt to show towards this system of representative democracy that is forced upon us. Regardless of who wins these elections the only thing that will change is who will get to make our decisions for us. All these parties/politicians/governments are implicit in the intensification of capital through iniatives such as the G8 and SPP(Security and Prosperity Partnership) as well as the Olympic games taking place on unceded First Nations land in British Columbia during the winter of 2010. Complacent are we when we think a piece of paper in a box is true democracy. Our vote has been cast.

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Algonquins Hospitalized After Police Attack

Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective, October 7, 2008

UPDATE: An Algonquin man is hospitalized the morning after Quebec police shot him in the chest with a tear-gas cannister. A disabled teenage girl was also treated with oxygen in the local Health Clinic. Twenty two children under eight and two babies were caught in the tear gas shot by the police.

To view photos:


Tuesday, October, 7, 2008

Canada and Quebec use riot police, tear gas, and “pain compliance” on peaceful Algonquin families to avoid negotiations: ‘pain compliance’ perfect description of Conservative’s aboriginal policy, say community spokespeople

Kitiganik/Rapid Lake, Algonquin Territory / – Yesterday afternoon, the Conservative government and Quebec used riot police, tear gas, and “pain compliance” techniques to end a peaceful blockade erected by Algonquin families from Barriere Lake, rather than negotiate, as requested by the community. The blockade on Highway 117 in Northern Quebec began at 6:00am Monday, with nearly a hundred community members of all ages and their supporters promising to remain until Canada’s Conservative government and Quebec honoured signed agreements and Barriere Lake’s leadership customs. Around 4pm, nearly sixty Quebec officers and riot police encircled families after a meal and without warning launched tear gas canisters, one of which hit a child in the chest.

“Our demands are reasonable,” said Norman Matchewan, a spokesperson who was racially slurred by Minister Lawrence Cannon’s assistant earlier in the election. “We’re only asking for the government to uphold the agreements they’ve signed and to stop illegally interfering in our customary governance. The message we’ve received today is that Stephen Harper and Jean Charest are unwilling to even play by their rules.”

“We will not tolerate these brutal violations of our rights,” added Matchewan. “Forestry operations will not be allowed on our Trilateral agreement territory, and we will be doing more non-violent direct action.”

Nine people, including an elderly women, a pregnant woman, and two minors, were roughly arrested. While a line of police obscured the view of human rights observers from Christian Peacemaker Teams, officers used severe “pain compliance” techniques on protestors who had secured themselves to concrete-filled barrels, twisting arms, dislocating jaws, leaving them with bruised faces and trouble swallowing.

“In this election alone, the Conservatives have labelled us alcoholics and vilified our community’s majority as “dissidents,” said Michel Thusky, another community spokesperson, referring to an op-ed published by Minister Lawrence Cannon in regional newspapers. “Now they and Quebec have chosen violence over meeting their most basic obligations to our community. ‘Pain compliance’ is the perfect description of the Conservative government’s aboriginal policies.”

Barriere Lake community members had promised to maintain the blockade until the Government of Canada honoured the 1991 Trilateral agreement, a landmark sustainable development and resource co-management agreement praised by the United Nations and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. To end federal interference in their leadership customs, they wanted the Government of Canada to appoint observers to witness a leadership reselection according to their codified customary selection code, respect its outcome, and then cease interfering in their internal governance.

– 30 –

Media Contacts:

Michel Thusky, Barriere Lake spokesperson: 819 – 435 – 2171

Norman Matchewan, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 514 – 831 – 6902

Marylynn Poucachiche, Barriere Lake spokesperson : 819 – 435 – 2171

Collectif de Solidarité Lac Barrière

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Fire-ravaged condo was supposed to revitalize area

Updated Fri. Oct. 3 2008
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca

When the second phase of the Quattro condo development in the Whalley area of Surrey, B.C. was decimated by fire Wednesday, it not only destroyed the building, it scorched the dreams of the city of Surrey.

The municipality was counting on the tony $625-million project to revitalize the notorious area. Some 116 homebuyers were also slated to move into the complex next spring.

Billed as the city’s largest-ever commercial and residential project, the four-storey development at 138th Street and 107-A Avenue was completely engulfed by flames Wednesday afternoon, destroying the entire four-hectare development in a matter of minutes.

In May, more than 100 Quattro units sold out in four hours at prices ranging from $140,000 to $500,000 in what was hailed as “The Yaletown of Surrey.”

But developer Charan Sethi is calling the fire a delay, not a deal breaker for buyers.

“The building is insured and nobody got hurt,” Sethi told CTV News. “We’ll do our best to put it back up again, [buyers] may have to wait a bit longer,” he said.

Suspicious fire

Fire investigators still aren’t sure what caused the fire, but do say it is suspicious. There was a fire in the same complex only two days earlier, in a bathroom of one of the unfinished units.

Police photographed the crowd that gathered to watch Quattro burn, and every construction worker on site was brought in for questioning.

More than 100 workers were still on site as the building ignited around 4 p.m.

No one was hurt, but dozens were forced to run from the complex as the building ignited.

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