“No pipelines” graffiti irks Commercial Drive resident

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      A self-described “old radical from the ’60s” has a message for the people who are spraypainting “No pipelines”—often with the anarchist symbol—up and down Commercial Drive.

      “If the world is going downhill in a handbasket, why make it uglier?” Brian Waite said over the phone.

      A retired resident of the East Vancouver neighbourhood, Waite told the Georgia Straight that he has no problem with the protest graffiti’s text.

      After all, he opposes Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain twinning proposal.

      But he’s particularly bothered by the graffiti when it defaces the Drive’s colourful murals.

      “It alienates any possible middle-of-the-roaders on this issue,” Waite said. “They’ll say, ‘Ew, look what they’re doing. I’m not going to support that.’”

      Anti-pipeline graffiti on Commercial Drive.
      Stephen Hui

      Waite speculated that anarcho-nihilist activists are behind the graffiti, or that it’s the work of “provocateurs”—with ties to the oil industry or law-enforcement agencies—or “stupid” people influenced by them.

      “It’s either somebody who sincerely believes in it but they’re misguided in doing what they’re doing, or somebody who purposely thinks that by doing this they will anger people so that the movement against pipelines will lose some support.”

      By speaking out against the graffiti, Waite—who was radicalized by the movement against the Vietnam War and describes his political views as Marxist—hopes to “shame this idiot or expose him”.

      “Think a little bit more deeply about what you’re doing,” Waite said. “There’s lots of more positive things you can do.”




      Feb 25, 2014 at 9:23am

      I maintain the belief that this graffiti is a false flag by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 9:31am

      I frequent the Commercial Drive are often. When I saw this last week I shook my head. No, it doesnt generate support, and yes, its an ugly eyesore that accomplishes absolutely nothing. There other ways to get your message across- painting over a beautiful piece of art in a vibrant, eclectic, understanding and socially aware neighbourhood is not it.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 9:42am

      You can tell Commerial Drive has jumped the shark when people start Bitching about a bit of graffiti and smokers toking at a coffee shop.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 10:17am


      It's all in the eyes of the beholder.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 11:52am

      It's hilarious to hear all the hipsters cry in their lattes. All they're doing is mixing social activism with art. Who are you to decide that's not acceptable? The Drive must be getting soft in it's old age.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 2:03pm

      The "No Pipelines" graffiti is starting to get old... it's probably Mohinder in diguise.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 2:07pm

      crudely spray painted words on the side of a building is not "art". I've seen some pretty awesome pieces around Vancouver ruined by idiots who sign their name and nothing more.

      That Mohinder 1 shit was also terrible.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 2:42pm

      This is the sort of thing that negates a genuine struggle, just like the"Golden Dawn","Jobbik",Swedish nazis, and others (why am i using Capital letters?),that rushed into Ukraine and commandeered the people's popular protest into a bloodbath.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 3:14pm


      I'm with you on the possibility that there is someone who is only pretending to protest. I wish I could be with you on the notion that the vandal cannot be that stupid.

      As for the Pidgin and Cuchillo protests, they were not things I went to see myself (the picket was effective in that sense), nor am I plugged into the activist scene to the extent that I would recognize a pretender, but they were AFAIK protests by legit activists. Wendy Pederson was the main one or one of the main ones. Nick Ellan had his picture in the Straight; Kim Hearty was on Youtube. The evils of insensitively located fusion cuisine were decried at legnth in the Mainlander.

      While I happen to think protesting a lawful business in the DTES was D-M-U-B dumb, these folks seem to be sincere about making Vancouver a more just and equitable place.

      They also use their real names, unlike, uh, us.


      Feb 25, 2014 at 3:20pm

      Holy Hell, now all of a sudden people on here are screaming "false flag" about THIS ?

      Yes, every negative thing that has ever cast social activists, community activists, peace activists and the broader political, social and activist left in general in a negative light is someone else's nefarious plot, because, you know, no single individual from any of the aforementioned groups has every done something stupid, anti social or irresponsible just to advance their own interests.

      No, not one single member of the aforementioned groups has ever acted like a normal human being, doing something stupid for their own gratification or edification, wihtout takign into account the broader consequences of their actions.