first off, understand that you CAN do this.

for the last 24 months groups as small as 8 have been disrupting and occupying pipeline construction sites all over Turtle Island. it takes even fewer than that to accomplish more clandestine activities which can be equally [or more] disruptive.

the reality is that you’ll take action if you want to see it done, which brings us to the second thing: it’s easy to get caught up in thinking this is about one pipeline but you’d be wrong.

those who work within this struggle understand that the fight against line 9 is one which lives and futures genuinely depend on. they understand that this is about indigenous sovereignty, colonialism and environmental racism. they know that just as much as this is about poisoned water, deforestation and global warming it’s also about class and capitalism. the fight against line 9 – or line 8, line 10, 11 or energy east [or the eastern mainline gas pipeline that will facilitate it] – is a way for those in so-called ontario to engage against all of these things.

so why blockade?

blockades and occupations have been successful. all of them have provided ways to spread information and dissent while building allies and networks. the weeklong occupation of an oil-pumping station last summer catapulted line 9 into the public consciousness of so-called southern ontario and sparked solidarity actions across Turtle Island. timed right, it also cost enbridge financially through delays, equipment rentals and pipeline shutoffs. more recently a series of short-term occupations have disrupted work on line 9 while building momentum and minimizing risk.

it’s estimated by industry that these delays – brought about in a variety of ways – cost enbridge over $100 million.

direct action works, and as long as line 9 rests in the ground operating unhindered it’s a threat that can’t be ignored and a fight we shouldn’t forfeit. not only would we be giving up on our duty to this earth [our mother] but we would be turning away from those who don’t have the privilege of moving on to the next ’big issue’ bandwagon. we would be failing to follow the example and spirit of indigenous leaders and warriors who have not given up their fight – against the tarsands and against line 9.

be strong with them.

build relationships. follow their lead. build trust with each other. and remember – we are capable and we are strong.

find the weaknesses in your enemy and use it as an opportunity.

enbridge policy dictates, for example, that contractors not engage with protesters. if [we] move onto a site they are to call police and wrap-up any work they’ve started. they won’t leave [us] alone there, but they aren’t going to wrestle us for control or keep operating heavy equipment.

police also have weaknesses. their protocols and chain of command can be one if we exert flexibility and quickness in response. knowing their protocols and priorities can create opportunities. for example, since their priority is their own safety common sense dictates they aren’t going to raid a site blindly. in that there are opportunities for preparation, or strategic withdraws – all the fuss, none of the arrests. other times we can make it impossible for police to force compliance. at a recent occupation it’s [reliably] rumoured that police came on site to arrest an individual in the early stages. when that individual refused to go with them police left without an arrest which allowed that individual to contribute to the blockade for another five days. what more could they do, surrounded by forty other dedicated land defenders?

stand together and empower yourselves.

creativity is strength.

in an ode to those too fearful to even attempt subversive tactics in exposed situations: during another recent occupation it appears individuals either moved cement barrels on to the site during the occupation or built them there – in front of police and private security without tipping them off.

other tactics can be of use against the untrained eyes of basic security watches: changes of appearance can confuse number counts, collectively obscuring your faces can provide more privacy to those especially at risk, and lighting directed at police/security during nighttime can obscure their vision if you need some privacy for a while.

inspired? get out there and cause some shit. here’s a step-by-step guide.