Erin Flegg's blog

Sat, 2014-11-15 15:53Erin Flegg
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Meet the Kid Who Chained Himself to the Kinder Morgan Vehicle to Protest the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Jakub Markiewicz, self portrait, kinder morgan, trans mountain pipeline expansion, burnaby mountain

On Friday, community members from across Vancouver converged on Burnaby Mountain, the site of conflict surrounding the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, after the B.C. Supreme Court approved an injunction to remove a group of protesters, who call themselves the Caretakers of Burnaby Mountain, by Monday at 4 p.m. This article takes an in-depth look at Jakub Markiewicz, an artist, filmmaker and the youngest member of the Caretakers, who recently made headlines after chaining himself to a Kinder Morgan vehicle.

Living in the city, amidst streetlights and headlights and shop signs left on all night, it’s easy to forget just how dark the night can be. Burnaby Mountain isn’t far from its namesake city, or downtown Vancouver for that matter, but by the time six o’clock rolls around (thank you, daylight savings), the darkness feels like a vacuum. The moon, one day past full, is barely enough for me to see where I’m putting my feet in the wet grass.

“After a few nights of not using a headlamp, your eyes really do adjust to the darkness,” Jakub Markiewicz tells me, perched on a boulder the evening of Nov. 7.
Wed, 2014-01-15 11:11Erin Flegg
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Michigan Judge Dismisses Charges Against Activist Who Protested Inside Enbridge's 6B Pipeline

Chris Wahmhoff

When Kalamazoo activist Chris Wahmhoff walked up to the fourth floor of the Calhoun County Circuit Court on Monday and checked the docket, he found his case sandwiched between three other cases also involving Enbridge — a telling sign of the times.
   
When Judge James Kingsley started speaking in the courtroom, Wahmhoff thought all was lost. He hung his head and waited, as the five minutes the judge spoke dragged on. 

Then there was just thing magical moment of him saying ‘but,’ ” Wahmhoff says. He lifted his head to hear the judge say he would quash the motion. Wahmhoff immediately jumped from his seat and cheered, accompanied by a room full of supporters.

Then we were very heavily scolded by the judge, who said they were going to arrest every one of us,” he said with a laugh.

Fri, 2013-12-13 12:36Erin Flegg
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Port Metro Vancouver Hires Disgraced Edelman PR Firm, American Lobby Group to Push Coal Exports

Port Metro Vancouver

When it comes to shipping coal, it looks like the Vancouver Port Authority is taking a page out of the U.S. coal lobby's books. In an effort to combat negative public opinion about coal and the proposed expansion of coal exports through Fraser Surrey Docks, the port authority has hired public relations firm Edelman Vancouver to revamp its image.

Edelman is the largest public relations firm in B.C. and the company has a history of both pushing coal exports and disregarding public opinion. Until recently, the firm represented the pro-coal organization Northwest Alliance for Jobs and Exports, one of the largest groups in Washington state pushing for an increase in coal exports.

Edelman was fired by the Northwest Alliance after Lauri Hennessey, Edelman vice-president and spokesperson for the alliance, was recorded at an industry conference disparaging the people of the Pacific Northwest and calling the opposition “wacky” and “weird.” At the same conference, Hennessey acknowledged climate change in her address, but argued that the coal mined in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming — the source of the coal that would be shipped through Fraser Surrey Docks — wouldn’t have any adverse effects on the climate.

Edelman has now designed an ad campaign called Port Stories on behalf of Port Metro Vancouver. The ads have got it all: hardworking Canadians, poignant family moments and sweeping statements about how the port has shaped Vancouver as a city. There’s only one thing missing: any mention of coal.

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