Environmental Activists Create PR Nightmare For Canadian Banker Financing Pipeline ft. Joshua Kahn

Environmental Activists Create PR Nightmare For Canadian Banker Financing Pipeline ft. Joshua Kahn



all right you know I let me take a few discord questions we really have to leave really soon but we'll get to a few more things I couldn't we have a one or two pieces of sound to say but I couldn't transition to them after such an incredible thing I just wanted to know you guys know we're out of time for bad this week guys next week bad will be Samantha B so stay tuned let's see I this let's see um okay yeah I think I think you called in Daniel Winnipeg Greg strictly theoretical question what would Joshua suggest is a strategy for someone who's trying to force Michael to cover more Canadian politics a stream with that my friend David dull what do you want Christ maybe First Nations issues yeah actually actually that's the answer I think and if if I have of the three stories that I wish we had time to tell if I only had to pick one yes one is Canada is connected to Canada it's a cool story okay so there were several stories that I wanted to say in the main show but I if if there's one I have to land on and it's actually I don't know if you if you can still pull up the picture Matt it's it's a picture and image number eight but so in Canada there is the larger the world's largest open pit strip mine it's the size of the state of Florida choose a strip mine the size of the state of Florida and it is to extract tar sands oil which is the dirtiest oil on the planet just in order to extract it you have to use so many barrels of water and natural gas just to get it out of the ground so I spent many years campaigning around the tar sands from a variety of strategies one of those campaigns was that we targeted the Royal Bank of Canada for their funding of all of these tar sands projects it was it was basically you could call it a divestment campaign it's not technically divestment but we were getting we were getting a Royal Bank of Canada to pull all of their investments from the tar sands at the time this is like 2011 in in that in that year they had invested 2.3 billion dollars in the project and of course in order this is all on an indigenous territory it's in Alberta Canada which is like the Texas of Canada no offense to Alberta or Texas or Texas yeah Jesus Christ yeah to anybody don't get mad at me on YouTube it's about out burden yeah but it's fundamentally an affront to indigenous rights and sovereignty to the environment to clean water to like I mean no matter what issue you care about it look whether it's housing whatever it's the disaster so we had been campaigning for years against the Royal Bank of Canada the CEO his name was Gordon Nixon and in the framework that I described earlier when we talked about target setting the target was Gordon Nixon the CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada he is the single person who has the decision-making authority to pull their investments we were getting nowhere he didn't care we didn't have enough power we needed to change the relationship of power we needed to move the rock so to speak from I don't know if you listen to the main show but they do they give I you should get the rockin out though so what we started to do was search for other options and so we looked at secondary targets these are who has influence over him and we found out that his wife Janet Nixon had a public profile where she was like written up in all of these magazines as initiating this blue she's like a clean water enthusiast the truth she's like god damn it the water and but they loved it as their husband and wife to it like McCulloch all of the the big papers claim all of them would write up articles about like he's conservative and she's liberal and they're married and they there's this company and it's so it there's a liberal logic of like a wet-dry to that my board please so hey baby put down that pipe and get my pipe up so going after people's fate like your targets family is complicated in a campaign but there's real tactics of like a house demonstration or whatever which we could talk about another time but because she had a public profile were like cool she's fair game we're going after your wife right and so we developed a series of escalating tactics called please help us mrs. Nixon and so it was a three-month it was a series of tactics for three months in Canada in it started in Toronto where we started with kind of a culture jamming media campaign where we had graffiti artists and a number of like wheat pasters and stuff who all around the city put up billboards that said please help us mrs. Nixon and we quickly learned that in order to get them to stay off we need to build an alliance with the garbage Workers Union and so we had this huge base of environmentalists and we made an agreement with them that we would show up to their next like arbitration agreement and support them on a particular picket line that was coming up the following month if they didn't tear down our signs brilliant and so they didn't so because they stayed up there and all the other random like wheat paste and stuff was getting torn down it became part of this like local media narrative through Toronto and the media story was like what is this please help us mrs. Nixon thing is it like a new Hollywood movie coming out is this like an interesting guerrilla marketing campaign and we had an inside person in our in the company of RBC who we had had no traction with was not responding to any of our pressure tactics until this point started to forward us emails that they just from that alone started to freak out they even flied flew a like old retired executive to like consult with them on being like what is this media thing like really got under the CEOs skin all we just said all it said was please help us mrs. Nixon no context no mention of the issue nothing and so we kept building that up and building building we also let them know that we were targeting them directly so we there's a country club that we found out that they went to they have a particular gated community we went we put fliers aside please help us mrs. Nixon and all the mailboxes of their neighbors we like put it up on the like community billboard at their Country Club and so they knew they were being targeted they knew there was a media narrative that didn't know that it was about them and they were like freaking out and so this was building up to the main action day so the main action day the main action day was at this point there were like a lot of interested people and so there are a bunch of different local groups and we had at that point we were just like the sky's the limit with tactics who are like who's good at something we're not expecting and some was like I do pirate radio and we're like cool let's incorporate it so we made recordings of women from the from the front lines telling their own stories themselves from Athabasca fort ship one in the tar sands talking about how our RBC was invested in the destruction of the communities and their livelihoods and we put those on loop and broadcast them on public radio we mapped out where all the employees of the headquarters of Royal Bank of Canada where they commuted to work and so on all the freeway overpasses on those commutes we did banner drops that had a pirate radio station to tune into and on that station was on loop these women telling their testimonials and we have no way of measuring how many actual RBC employees tuned in but we could we measured the aggregate and it was tens of thousands of people listen to those stories on that morning so then on come about 8 o'clock we had activists dressed in suits riding the elevators of the headquarters of Royal Bank of Canada and handing out flyers but pretending to be employee other employees handing out fliers to their co-workers and so they would say things like some activists on the street gave me the stack of fliers did you know that we were invested in this dirty project I didn't want to be invested I don't feel good about working here do you hear do you want a flyer and so just riding the escalators for hours doing that and on all the fliers was like the big reveal the big reveal was a website that was please help us mrs. Nixon calm and on that website well before I say what's on the website the the major moment was indigenous women scaled doing a technical banner hang the gigantic flag pulls out front and that's the the banner that's on this image which is this is taken from a helicopter on the Morning News those are that's Heather Milton lightning in aerial d'orange a who are indigenous Canadian women who have scaled dropped this banner that said please help us mrs. Nixon calm and on the website was a video from rainforest Action network's executive director making a heartfelt appeal to Janet Nixon saying you know mrs. Nixon we've spent so long trying to get the ear of your husband and he just won't listen to us we know you care so deeply about water in the environment that we think that you're in a position to help us will you talk to your husband tonight Janet and he's like sitting by the fireplace there's like a puppy by his law I was like a picture of his family in the bathroom and the the mixture of different kinds of tactics we made every major media outlet in the country on that day and when I was doing security for that banner drop and Gordon Nixon who previously had not paid any attention to us at all walked outside didn't know that I was I was like doing action coordination and he stood next to me he looked at me and he looked at the banner and just pinches his nose and he goes doe deal worker from that opposite building comes out and she's like I can't believe that like the Nixon's showed their ass like this they gotta be so embarrassed and he looked at her and he looked at me after that we had a fundamentally different power relationship with that company and we spent the next year we still had a campaign we didn't win the campaign from that one action right but then when you know hereditary chiefs and other elders from that nation came to their shareholders meetings for example they were treated with respect and given a place we were we had it was part of a media narrative that they wanted to build on they were afraid of us we got under his skin emotionally we got under skin personally but then fundamentally we without we didn't build a mass movement around this campaign at that point yet and so we didn't grow our numbers but we did flex our month muscle in a way that was dangerous to their brand you know which they protect and care about more than anything else and they suddenly had to make a calculation of the viability of their brand as with their blue water project and everything else and were these investments worth that reputational risk to their brand that was the power relationship that got changed and that's the way that you can do this I mean what I've just described is like a multi-layered spectacle that's all it is it was we pulled it off with not that many people it did require a lot of resources but oh I forgot one part and then all I'm done I know are going late which is that we also got all the emails to all of their executives and when that video went on like went up we emailed our email list which had several hundred thousand people on it and said do you want to get involved in this fight email this video to the company executives and we crashed their company like intranet and so they couldn't even function for the day because they were there their internal servers got crashed and that was more effective than physical blockade and so there's there's like a lot of lesson you can pull out of it there is there is a way that you can build a spectacle that changes your power relationship that if you use it in the context of a campaign that is rooted in frontline advocacy you can win which eventually that campaign was really had like several different layers of success along the way that's awesome you've just watched a Michael Brooks show video and you can watch all of our full main live shows every Tuesday night at around 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time and subscribe to get all of the clips you want we're covering the globe we're focusing on international relations the intellectual darkweb we're having fun we're doing deep dives with a lot of amazing guests of course become a patron for the whole thing at patreon.com slash t MBS or subscribe to this youtube channel and help us keep growing and get that content out there subscribe below

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21 thoughts on “Environmental Activists Create PR Nightmare For Canadian Banker Financing Pipeline ft. Joshua Kahn

  1. I am a fan of your show but your guest stating there is a strip mine the size of Florida is 100% nonsense the tar sands deposit covers an area the size of Florida – not even 1% of this has been strip mined and almost none of the rest of the deposit will be strip mined SAG-D (steam assisted gravity drainage)

  2. Omg the pacing sometimes is incredibly awful. 22 seconds to go from being asked to tell a quick story to actually starting the quick story.

  3. And like Texas, Alberta will threaten to separate from Canada from time to time.
    Might be better of without all those brain dead CONservatives causing problems for the rest of the country anyway.

  4. I have no sympathy for the o and g sector but the "strip mine the size of Florida" is flat out wrong. Just using Google maps and not excluding the undeveloped space between the mines puts it at 80 x 20 km or 1600 square kilometers. I'm pretty sure Florida is bigger than that. This is what fact checks are for.

  5. Still picking my jaw off the floor
    Tar pit open mine the size of Florida

    Great segment, thanks to Joshua and all the people involved in that amazing campaign.
    Quite the inspirational story

  6. Of course Michael goes on his phone during the most important part of the story 🙄🙄🙄🙄 he always does that shit

  7. KHAAAAANNNNNN!!!! From hells heart ya gotta stab at them! Great story man! I love it. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Thanks for hitting the tar sands – it's a tumour festering in the middle of Canada's soul, and most Canadians don't even think about it.

  9. When this guy is in the thumbnail, I always get confused for a second why Sam is on Michael's show

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