People making faces are "a conspiracy to harm."
November 14, 2014 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Energy giant Kinder Morgan subsidiary Trans Mountain filed a Facilities Application for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in December 2013. This would twin an existing pipeline for diluted bitumen from northern Alberta (previously) to the Pacific, increasing its nominal capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. Protesters under the banner Caretakers of Burnaby Mountain are obstructing surveying in a conservation area in metro Vancouver, and Trans Mountain (represented by lawyer and author William Kaplan) has been granted an injunction against the group as a warmup to a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit over claims of trespass, assault and intimidation. The assault? Making funny faces. posted by ricochet biscuit (35 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
“... all his faces were designed to express rage or loathing. Now that something had happened which really deserved a face, he had none to celebrate it with. As a kind of token, he made his Sex Life in Ancient Rome face.” --Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim
posted by chavenet at 2:26 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


Wow, that Marc Eliesen document sure is something.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is an...unfortunate typo in the first sentence of the second paragraph of this post.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:36 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ai caramba. I have alerted the mods. That'll teach me to trust the little red squiggles.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:39 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


If making funny faces is 'assault' Mr. Roquette is a very very Bad Boy! Some people need to just grow up!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:42 PM on November 14, 2014


[All set, fixed typo; the eyes of the pubic are saved from viewing anything untoward.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:42 PM on November 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm still seeing an untoward typo near the end there, LobsterMitten. Was there more than one?
posted by unknownmosquito at 2:44 PM on November 14, 2014


[...and again.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:45 PM on November 14, 2014


"There is a face," Hilarius said, "that I can make. One you haven't seen; no one in this country has. I have only made it once in my life, and perhaps today in central Europe there still lives, in whatever vegetable ruin, the young man who saw it. He would be, now, about your age. Hopelessly insane. His name was Zvi. Will you tell the 'police,' or whatever they are calling themselves tonight, that I can make that face again? That it has an effective radius of a hundred yards and drives anyone unlucky enough to see it down forever into the darkened oubliette, among the terrible shapes, and secures the hatch irrevocably above them? Thank you." - T. Pynchon, The Crying Of Lot 49
posted by hippybear at 2:45 PM on November 14, 2014 [23 favorites]


That is great! I just read the post above, thinking hey that is Pynchionesque prose if I ever read it! Lo! It is. Just finishing Rainbow. Back to the thread, get after these schmucks, Vancouver!
posted by Oyéah at 2:55 PM on November 14, 2014


If you have even fractional time to spend, they have the money, and several college educations to make you sorry for your moments of opposition. oil, pharmacy, chemicals, weaponry it is all gamed.
posted by Oyéah at 3:00 PM on November 14, 2014


Well, I guess I have to read The Crying Of Lot 49 now. Thanks, I think?
posted by selfish at 3:02 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's kind of weird that the faces issue blew up so big. The actual decision by the judge makes literally no mention of it at all. It was a shitty argument that withered into nothing. The assault the judge cares about was primarily the use of a bullhorn siren right next to workers' ears, using obscene and threatening language at them, and physically blocking their progress.

Which..yeah that's assault and intimidation. Whatever your views on pipelines, a bullhorn siren in your ear? That's like 110dB right in your ear. And the defence that the Supreme Court (not the supreme court of canada, but BC's superior court) doesn't have jurisdiction? Nobody's gonna accept that.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out in municipal elections in Vancouver. Her is the Tyee's summary on how it is playing out in Burnaby, where the mayor has been very vocal.

I heard one commentator talking about how interesting it will be if the pipelines have a big effect on the last provincial election (where the NDP flip flop on it was seen as a major factor) and the municipal, and I will certainly watch the Vancouver area elections with interest.
posted by chapps at 3:16 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Note Kinder Morgan's pipeline in Burnaby was the site of a major oil spill in 2007 that resulted in homes being evacuated.

For good reasons, they have less than zero trust or goodwill from the community.
posted by stp123 at 3:17 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


The faces thing is a sad sideshow. Neither side comes out as someone you would want to be associated with.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:24 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


they have the money, and several college educations to make you sorry for your moments of opposition.

They have faces they can make. And they've studied.
posted by hippybear at 3:29 PM on November 14, 2014


"The faces thing is a sad sideshow. Neither side comes out as someone you would want to be associated with."
Seriously. Are there good, less green flavored click-bait-ey, sources on the underlying conflict? The question of whether its 'assault' in any way that could be meaningful according to local law aside, I find it difficult to trust the critical reasoning faculties of anyone who would think that making a face was a meaningful form of communication to begin with.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:30 PM on November 14, 2014


It's kind of weird that the faces issue blew up so big.

Not really weird; that's how you win the propaganda war.

The actual decision by the judge makes literally no mention of it at all.... The assault the judge cares about was primarily the use of a bullhorn siren right next to workers' ears, using obscene and threatening language at them, and physically blocking their progress

I've read elsewhere that the argument was never that "mean faces = assault." It was listed, among those other things, as another example of the behaviour they described as intimidation and assault. True, it probably didn't need to be included at all, but it's become the story here, a huge PR victory for the protesters.
posted by Hoopo at 3:37 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


A poster at Juanita Jean's calls this a strategic lawsuit against public participation.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:40 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


It really can't be described properly as a SLAPP-suit under any useful definition. Usually slapps have some combination of forum shopping (choosing the easiest place to win), likelihood of failure (so it's just to delay / cause chilling effects, not to win), and a basis purely in speech grounds (as in they're rarely about what someone did but what they said).

Here none of those three exist. I don't have access to the actual draft order which makes out what the protesters have to do, but given the context of the order I'd expect it to be "no harassing language", "x feet away from workers and their route to-from the road & worksite (50? Something like that).

The democratic/political process is not really being stifled - the City has 2 different appeals going trying to stop the pipeline. It's longstanding law that while you have a right to protest, you don't have a right to block what's being protested. That's pretty uncontroversial - majority overruling of the legal system tends to go poorly.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:07 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wrong jurisdiction. You don't take a case like this to court. Dumbasses. You take something like this to mom.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:12 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


and mom will tell your sibling that if they keep making that face, their face will get stuck and they'll LOOK LIKE THAT FOREVER!!!
posted by pyramid termite at 4:36 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm oil and you're glue,
Sticks to me and...
No, wait...
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:39 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meh.

The actual complaint doesn't seem to mention faces at all. It notes that protesters were blocking work and asks for an injunction.

Sloppy, dumb reporting.
posted by jpe at 4:39 PM on November 14, 2014


Bitter Bitumen faces I say.
posted by clavdivs at 4:51 PM on November 14, 2014


The constant attempts to invoke mass outrage within Internet communities by various groups has left me numb. There has to be a more calm and reasoned approach to this.
posted by humanfont at 5:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


The constant attempts to invoke mass outrage within Internet communities by various groups has left me numb. There has to be a more calm and reasoned approach to this.

Close your eyes and accept your fate.
posted by Max Power at 6:08 PM on November 14, 2014


I love the angry faces protest. It's a really effective use of political theatre against something where, let's be totally honest, the fix has been in for quite some time. I mean yeah it's whistling past the graveyard but it's that or lay down in front of trucks and, probably, get severely injured with impunity.

Well, I guess I have to read The Crying Of Lot 49 now. Thanks, I think?

Oh God, don't. A picture of its cover is in the dictionary next to 'twee.'
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:59 PM on November 14, 2014


There has to be a more calm and reasoned approach to this.

I don't know. The oil companies own the Canadian and U.S. governments so it's either this or watch American Idol, at this stage.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:06 PM on November 14, 2014


Hey we have Canadian Idol
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:08 PM on November 14, 2014


The constant attempts to invoke mass outrage within Internet communities by various groups has left me numb. There has to be a more calm and reasoned approach to this.

I would like a frank, no-bullshit discussion of

0) how this project must have a saftey margin an order of magnitude greater than previous projects like it
1) what percentage of the company's earnings must go into maintenance
2) who oversees that
3) what percentage of revenue will communities in its flood plain receive for assuming the risk of its presence

This kind of discussion is what we get instead. I am certain this is by design. Our palette of discourse is only stocked with what information we have ready access to. Those channels are mostly owned by industrial giants, many with thier own energy holdings.
posted by clarknova at 9:07 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Our palette of discourse is only stocked with what information we have ready access to.

Well given that it's an NEB application, literally every bit of the 15,000-page application can be found on its website. Although personally I prefer the organization found in Transmountain's website. Same info, though.

Volume 7 seems to be the risk management discussion, about 800 pages worth. Admittedly it's not succinct, but it's not like we don't have access to the information.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:55 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


The injunction to allow work goes into effect at 4 pm today (westcoast time).

Sea Shepherd Vancouver has a live feed of what's going on -- a huge number of people are out to protest.
posted by wenat at 3:57 PM on November 17, 2014


Lynne Quarmby has been arrested.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:37 PM on November 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


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