For the 3rd year in a row anarchists held a Mayday rally in Vancouver, occupied Coast Salish territories. This time highlighting the urgency of the ant-pipelines struggle while celebratate the Unistoten resistance camp actively blockading 2 major LNG (Fracked Gas) pipeline projects (Kitimat (Chevron/Apache, fed by Pacific Trails Pipeline LNG Canada and the Enbridge pipeline.
The rally assembled at Victory Square, along with a large deployment of Public Safety Unit cops from the Vancouver police. As part of this deployment, the PSU also had two video surveillance operators filming and documenting the crowd. This strongly contrasted with the “official” organized labour Mayday celebration that occurred earlier in the day in East Vancouver, which saw a small police presence primarily focused on traffic control.
Dan Wallace, a Lekwektaich and Haida warrior, gave an inspiring speech on the need for boots on the ground , direct action and how he will and others will not be intimidated by the ones in “clown suits” (Cops). An anarchist mother gave the history of Mayday and highlighted effective ways of organizing such as informally and decentralized. The demonstration as a whole stressed the need for an anarchist critique of work, while mainstream environmentalists and the state and oil companies dialogue back and forth with a jobs vs environmental destruction dichotomy.
The march of about a 125 or so started heading downtown along Hastings street as a flare was lit while anti-systemic tunes were blasted on the sound system. It immediately took all 5 lanes of traffic which seemed to anger the cops. A few blocks in, the police attempted to push the march onto one side of the street. The marchers stood their ground and a scuffle ensued. Multiple de-arrests were made but unfortunately 3 comrades were arrested. Meanwhile the police grabbed a teenager off his bike, tackled him and proceed to knee him twice in the ribs while placing him in a wrist-lock. (Video Below) From then on the pigs backed off and we continued to take up the whole street.
After the scuffle, the march continued down West Hastings turning onto Granville street. The crowed shrank and swelled to as much as 200 during its duration as people (notably a large number of shoppers on Granville st) used whatever they could find to mask up. Chants like “No Pipelines On Stolen Native Land and “Cops and Bosses We Don’t Need Em. All We Want Is Total Freedom.” were chanted throughout the demo with applauds and honks from passerby. It dispersed at the Art Gallery with no further arrests. All comrades have been released. This is only the first of many marches that will happen in hopes of building a culture of resistance and disruption of normality in the city. See you next time!