Violent Defenders of the Fossil-Fuel Status Quo Have Shown Their Hand

November 25, 2021

In Canada, this is what the status quo looks like.

Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney has sunk to new depths of anti-green propagandising by accusing revered Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of “inciting violence.”

“This incitement to violence by David Suzuki is dangerous, and should be condemned universally,” Kenney spewed in an establishment-approved tweet. “In Canada we resolve our differences peacefully and democratically, not with threats of terrorism or acts of violence.”

What, exactly, constituted Suzuki’s “incitement”? “We’re in deep, deep doo-doo,” he said, at an Extinction Rebellion protest in neighbouring BC’s island-bound capital. “This is what we’ve come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”

Does this sound like a provocation? Or a plea for urgent action before anger spills over into violence?

Asked if he would support pipeline sabotage, Suzuki said, “Of course not.” He acknowledged that violence related to environmental issues is already occurring — but not at the hands of activists. “The violence is coming from the authorities, from government, from the RCMP,” he told the National Post. “They’re declaring war against those that are protesting.”

He is right. Citing anti-logging protests in old-growth forest at nearby Ferry Creek, Suzuki remarked that “the violence is all coming from the forces that want to maintain the status quo.”

He could equally well have cited the RCMP’s militarized crackdown on blockades of the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline, further north on BC’s climate-crushed mainland. The pipeline is slated to pass beneath a river, which activists have said is the source of local drinking water and which lies on unceded Indigenous land.

There is a certain irony, or hypocrisy, in Kenney’s words. In states that defend the fossil-fuel industry (meaning everywhere capitalism prevails and beyond), nothing that touches it is done “peacefully and democratically.” If that were the case, there would be no pipelines (which are widely condemned) and therefore no protests, no arrests.

Instead what we see is violent, state-sponsored suppression of peaceful civil disobedience. In the status-quo paradigm, merely criticizing the oil lobby, or sounding the alarm on the climate crisis, are deemed “terrorism.”

This is not democracy. It is fossil fascism.

Third Force rebels: Don’t let this cry for justice go unheeded. To make the planet livable, we mustn’t stop short of taking down the fossil-fuel industry. How far are you willing to go?

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