Anarchists Block Shell Station

  • Posted on: 10 November 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href= Blackout</a> -
by Zig Zag

Public Action Against the Tar Sands draws large police presence

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in East Vancouver, some thirty protesters gathered at a city park and then proceeded to blockade a Shell station located at Clark Drive and 12th Avenue. Organized by BC Blackout, an anarchist project opposing industrial expansion & resource exploitation in the province, the rally targeted Shell for their participation in the Alberta Tar Sands and other environmental atrocities around the world.

The blockade lasted for approximately 1 hour, during which scores of leaflets were handed out to pedestrians and drivers, who were also exposed to banners reading “Blockade Pipelines” and “Get the (S)Hell Out of the Tar Sands- No Pipelines, No Tankers,” (both referring to planned pipelines including Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, the Pacific Trails Pipeline, and Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline). Numerous motorists honked in approval as they drove by.</td><td><img title="protest" src=""></td></tr>...

The same Shell station was blockaded on October 23 by Rising Tides Vancouver-Coast Salish Territories. Unlike that picket, which saw no police presence at all, today’s direct action saw as many cops deployed as there were protesters (approximately 30). This included motorcycle cops, bike cops, as well as members of the Public Safety Unit in “soft hats” (as opposed to helmets and shields). The PSU were transported in two Sprinter vans.

Before the rally begun at China Creek Park on Broadway near Clark, commanders of the PSU approached the protesters gathering to “lay down the ground rules” for the protest. A Staff-Sergeant informed the anarchists that this time “there won’t be any fires in the street” (probably referring to the previous May Day rally on Commercial Drive).

Although police prevented a total shutdown of the station, the blockade succeeded in drastically reducing business for the Shell station. Some protesters asserted that the large police presence, and their surrounding of the Shell station, probably helped deter some motorists from using it. There were no arrests made and the protest dispersed without incident (at the time of posting).


I fucking love this. If I wasn't already involved in a very active Earth First chapter I'd start a local Blackout yesterday.

If I was a total fucking clueless liberal I would have started a local Blackout as well.

the blockades won't stop the tar sands extraction, will they

Yeah but planning blockades will stop people from organizing something that might actually be effective.

neither will bitching on the internet. The action wasn't as well planned for as it could have been. But it certainly provides a context for further actions. Actions like these will never stop the tar sands, and they won't stop capitalism, but broad struggles, rather than posturing on the internet, will be better at stopping the tar sands and destroying capitalism!

Ha! BC is blockading half of a Shell gas station for an hour, while there is an ongoing blockade of an actual PIPELINE in Sacul Texas right now for over 40 days facing felony charges and lawsuits. Up your game Canada!

Creating a public spectacle is a perfectly fine strategy. With enough public support hopefully there will not be an actual pipeline to blockade.

Also, you're assuming they don't have other actions in the works.

Cause convincing consumers to not patronize Shell and instead patronize Chevron, BP, or Conocophillips is clearly the best strategy to stop industrial expansion and resource exploitation. Example #10,045 of why primmies are just liberals.

Example #10,045 of why liberals are just liberals.

Looks like a fake black bloc. Just sayin'

Most back blocs are fake back blocs just saying.

This looks cool though. I mean, blowing the station up would have been more effectual, or breaking its windows at three a.m. and scurrying back into the dark, or just notbgiving a fuck...but this, meh, I can live with.

yeah, anarchists in my town went and supported a strike and picket over a wage disupute. HA, so much for the abolition of wage-slavery? AMIRITE???? Liberals.

It's not that goddamned easy to get from Canada to Texas. Seems like the people in Texas should be taking care of Texas. Hopping on the social action tour bus might feel empowering, if you like that Grateful Dead atmosphere and having your picture taken at the "trendy" protest locales of the moment. But it's not realistic for everybody, much less meaningful, much less the best use of their energy. There's absolutely nothing shameful or inferior in trying to change the corner of the world where you actually live.

And ragging on people that their actions aren't good enough (or more to the real point, not as hipsty or noisy or dangerous as YOUR actions) is a great way to discourage them to the point where they just say "To hell with it, then," and go back home to their video games.

What in hell good is any social movement that so easily throws basic human respect out the window? What's the benefit of treating people rotten...what's the big payoff that comes from trying to shit on other people's achievements? I'm not seeing it.

to me this just seems like busywork for guilty liberals. after all canada is the land that gave us 'adbusters' who pioneered the divorcing of 'anti-corporate' from 'anti-capitalist'...

You're writing off everything anybody does in Canada because it's Canada? Heh. Bet the people in Canada could come up with quite a long list of all the lovely things the US has given them, even besides a pile of superior attitude.

i would assume that anyone making nationalist comments on an anarchist website is probably just exercising a perverse sense of humor, but then again, that's because i have a sense of humor.

"What in hell good is any social movement that so easily throws basic human respect out the window?"

please don't mistake comments on anarchist news for a "social movement". it's only here to give the trolls a reason not to go outside and do something.

So...did the people in Sacul make the pipeline go away? Or...did they maybe find themselves stuck up a tree, and now sitting in jail, asking other people in their community to come up with thousands of dollars to bail them out?

You might want to rethink that "Ha." Felony charges and lawsuits, just for the sake of bragging about your felony charges and lawsuits, aren't necessarily any badge of honor.

you just sound like a coward

Good point, any critical consideration of what is and isn't effective is just cowardice. If only there were more Real Men like you, brave internet warrior, to show us sissies the error of our ways.

Yep; you got me. I'm afraid of looking like a pompous nitwit if I ever start waving "I got arrested and YOU didn't" around as though it gave me some kind of automatic hipster street cred.

Yeah...let's compare Texas and their (possibly first ever?) blockade to BC and their near-continuous decade of blockades...such as Wetsuweten, where blockades went up against the PIPELINE well before Texas....


not one newspaper box in the street

not one kitty-themed banner

No YOLO anywhere

I honestly think this represents some of the worst characteristics of the activist ghetto. A bunch of self appointed specialists of social change bringing fire to the masses and showing us the error of our ways. I can't tell if this is liberal consumer politicians masquerading as environmental radicals, or if all the radical environmentalists are just liberals. Either way this shit is embarrassing.

“Get the (S)Hell Out of the Tar Sands- No Pipelines, No Tankers,”

Oh I get it. If you remove the S from Shell then it says hell, and by putting the S in parenthesis it's a play on words. I see what you did there, clever. By employing that kind of wit, I bet you will convince the masses of the righteousness of your cause in no time. Have you all considered giant puppets? No direct action is complete without giant puppets.

Wow. Fuck the people who frequent this site. If whatever it is isn't a fucking riot or armed blockade today then it gets nothing but hate. No matter what it could be building toward, testing the waters for, or otherwise associated with. You numbnuts are so fucking short sighted.

Oh my, he called us numbnuts...on the internet. :(

It sounds pretty successful to me. You went directly to a source of power, disrupted some of their operations, and most importantly, you passed out fliers and probably made some people aware of the problem who had not given much or any thought before to the hazards of the pipeline.

Plus, you went in, you made your point, and you wrapped it up without any pointless injuries or arrest.

Maybe some of the people here would be more admiring if you'd lit some matches, exploded the gas station, killed some little kids in the process, and were now lying in the hospital dying from fourt-degree burns, or sitting in jail waiting for all kinds of fundraising actions just to bail you out and fatten the police coffers?

But consider the source. While you were at the Shell station doing your action, they were probably sitting in front of their Intel-powered computers, typing away on this website, complaining about each other. That's why you've struck a nerve - while you were out raising awareness, they weren't doing jack.

Good on you. Your action sounds like a well organized, efficient, effective use of your time and energy.

^this is activism

Well, thank you. I'm a big fan of efficiency. The people who took the time to plan and carry out this Shell blockade made their point and are still walking around free and healthy, able to do more work on another day, and that's no insignificant achievement. It's weird that a successful action should be getting so much negative commentary. One-upsmanship serves nothing and nobody.

Seems to be a lot of Negative Nelly's around here, think positive.


You spend so much time figuring out what's not anarchist, you don't have any time left to actually DO anything.

^ this is passivism

Yeah. These dicks are too busy quacking "liberal!" at everything that moves and jacking off to riot porn to think about what'll actually be most effective.

Just quote borderline-incomprehensible poststructuralist theorists at them, or maybe some French Feminist "ecriture feminine..." Watch their heads explode. LIBRUL! LIBRUL LIBRUL LIBRUL! Nobody's a Real Anarchist except for me! QUAAAACK!

@News is utterly steeped in the worst kind of militant self-flagellation. Perhaps it's what was bound to happen when ultra-leftist (sorry, "post-leftist") scene kids interbred with self-important internet braggarts, or maybe just too many oogles and juggalos discovering Occupy protests. Either way, it's gettin' old. You can see a breaking point about a third of the way into this thread where everyone else just loses their shit, and it's been a long time coming. Kinda amusing, really.

Where are the bombings? The armed raids on police stations, seized military stockpiles or large-scale infrastructure shutdowns? If (Canadian/American) anarchist militants are achieving this, then they're victims of the largest coverup since those Roswell aliens shot Kennedy. Every single other thing that happens manages to get dismissed as bourgeois liberal reformism. So where's the insurrection?

Guess what kids? This ain't quite like the movies. We don't just transition seamlessly between getting high, having sex and blowing shit up. Things like patience, tolerance and self-discipline are involved, that is, if you actually care whether anything changes for anybody beyond you and your immediate circle of friends.

I fail to see how this was a "liberal" protest. I guess its so totally anarchist to wave signs and bang on buckets in front of a jail as long as you call it a noise demo, cos thats what they do in Greece, right. But if you do what you can to block a gas station, (with no legal repercussions I might add) in solidarity with First Nations groups, then your a liberal? Get over yourselves. Diversity of tactics means, DIVERSITY of tactics, and the @ scene would probably benefit greatly from realizing that not every action, or whatever you want to call it, has to be a major confrontation.

You do what you can with the people you have on hand. Sure if you can get enough peeps together to really kick off militant resistance go for it. But if you don't there is nothing wrong with still getting out in the streets and expressing other forms of resistance.

maybe you should start rethinking "in solidarity" so that it might actually reflect something meaningful

Maybe you armchair dickheads missed the part about how there was more riot cops than protestors, trying to spoon with us for the duration of the demo? Because they're bitter about previous anarchist demos? I'd love to see more militancy too but it wouldn't make much sense in this context.

"Some people - many, too many people who act as /militants/ - this inappropriate and anti-anarchist word - in our milieu and who enjoy the privilege - a poor and sad privilege - of being considered by most - most even in our milieu, alas! are unfortunately a herd - as the sole, unique, true guardians of the divine fire that burns and sparks on the mystic altar of the sacred Vestal Virgin, of Saint Anarchy - have already been barking for a long time, for much too long a time, that the dark era of heroic anarchism is now fortunately surpassed, that the time has finally come to no longer let ourselves be dominated by the dark and tragic shadow of Henry and Ravachol, that Jules Bonnot's rebel automobile was only a sad and tragic expression of anarchist decadence condensed in a certain intellectual degeneration of bourgeois morality itself; that... But whats the use of going on? Let's stop here!"

That fucking automobile of Bonnot's! There were no bullet holes in it like there were in Bonnie and Clyde's! Damn it!!

For some people the fight is in their own home or right outside their front door. Not everyone has the privledge of traveling to fight in other locales though I'm not against it. Everything is subject to criticism.

Absolutely. There's usually meaningful work that can be done locally; it's just a matter of looking around, and setting aside whatever impulse to go "where the REAL action is" or, worse, to avoid causing disruption in the town where one lays one's own head at night.

Ironic, too, that anyone would make the claim that meaningful work can't be done without traveling thousands of miles away, when the target of that work is the petroleum industry. Unless they're walking or biking all those miles, that trip from Canada to Texas would consume one hell of a lot of gasoline.

"Unless they're walking or biking all those miles, that trip from Canada to Texas would consume one hell of a lot of gasoline."

the only way this would be a legitimate criticism would be if all the 'actions' under consideration were so laughably ineffectual the effect could be compared to one road trip.

oh, right, they are

"Sometimes people have to do something even if it is ineffectual to keep the fire burning in our hearts." - Lumpenmensch

and that something has to be a liberal style protest

seriously, why do all anarchists seem to buy into the activist hypothesis that 'if it doesn't happen in the public realm, it didn't happen'. the point is not that they should have blown up the gas station rather than handing out flyers at it. the point is that they should have been doing something else entirely that didn't involve creating a public persona for themselves as righteous crusaders. desertion is always possible where insurrection is not. if your idea of 'something' is automatically within the mold of anything even vaguely related to classical politics, yr doin it rong.

did you know this was a site dedicated to anarchist news?

"The spectacle of the public protest gives us the opportunity to bask in the limelight and enjoy the media attention that people of our demeanor would normally never enjoy. It is a day out in the sun for the children of sorrow." - Shadowcell

Actually there was no "righteous crusading" going on. All we were doing was passing out info and attempting to disrupt business as usual. The action was originally planned as an escalation from previous march-in-circle demonstrations that were done by NGO types. It turned out poorer than expected. Oh well, well just have to do better or something else next time.

Check out the blog to see what other actions we have done in the past that turned out better before you go jumping into an internet insurrectionary circle jerk!

Great point. Knocking on doors or writing letters to the editor, volunteering childcare or transportation for families effected by the Tarsands, doing reserach, etc would be fine and not require a celebratory post on a-news.

no such thing as desertion, sorry

(no defending activism, just saying)

I don't think anyone suggested people from BC travel to Texas, I think that one poster suggested that people in Canada match the commitment of texas where they are.

But why would anyone assume that the Canada people are any less committed than the Texas people? Not getting the inner need some "activists" here have to keep announcing that they're the best, or the only "true" whatever, and that everybody else is worthless shit. Hell, if all somebody's bringing to the table is a lot of demeaning, hypercritical snobbery, they may as well just hang it up and go work in a corporate office somewhere.

so, dyou think anyone gave a shit about your flyers? because i think more likely all they cared about is the price of gas... god knows that's all i care about when i'm at a gas station and i don't think a bunch of smelly kids yelling at me would have had much impact on my feelings, other than another distracting object of my hatred besides capital itself.

Actually, most of the people we saw avoiding the gas station were put off by all the riot cops.
They make people nervous for some reason.

from the tar sand blockade in Texas with love thanks bc blackout. it great to hear of actions up in Canada. keep up the fight.

if any one gets cold this winter come on down to Texas we are always in need of help.


your a ding dong


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