Two Moments of Oil Railway Sabotage in Montreal

bolt cutters

September 10th, 2015

from Anarchist News

The infrastructures of State and capital continue to spread their tentacles, seeking to accelerate the extraction and transportation of resources to the market. The vast territory that is the Canadian North, often sparsely populated due in large part to the displacement, isolation, and genocide of indigenous peoples, is an immense source of profit; oil, gas, forestry, hydro-dams, uranium mines, etc. Various monstrous infrastructural expansion projects are currently trying to connect the Alberta Tar Sands through pipelines along the St. Lawrence river to the Atlantic. These projects entail expanding and constructing new infrastructure such as ports, rail lines, and highways all along this route on colonized territories.

We placed a copper wire connecting both sides of the tracks, thus sending a signal indicating a blockage on the tracks and disrupting circulation until the tracks were checked and cleared. This train line in particular is being worked on in order to facilitate the transport of oil eastward to the port of Belledune in New Brunswick.


To block train lines, one can :
1. Obtain at least 8 feet of uninsulated 3AWG copper ground wire (the kind that is used for wiring main service panels in a house).
2. Wrap the wire around each rail of the track, connecting both sides, and ensure good contact.
3. Cover the wire between the tracks so that it is more difficult to detect.
4. Smile at the possibility of causing thousands of tonnes of train traffic to be disrupted.

This simple act is easily reproducible, and demonstrates the vulnerability of their infrastructure despite their surveillance technologies and legal apparatus intent on dulling our teeth. The recent strengthening of the Canadian State’s capacity for repression through Bill C-51, now law, includes legislation requiring a mandatory minimum sentencing of five years for those convicted of tampering with capitalist infrastructure. For us, this legislation further emphasizes how integral the functioning of ‘critical’ infrastructure is to projects of ecological devastation (and the society that needs them), and how powerfully the simple act of sabotage can contribute to struggles against them.

We conceive of our struggle as against civilization and the totalizing domestication it entails; we seek nothing less than the destruction of all forms of domination. As a step in this direction, we hope to contribute to the formation of a specific struggle against these projects of industrial expansion. We want to organize to combat these projects in ways that are decentralized and autonomous, including with consistent and widespread railroad blockades. Autonomous self-organizing escapes a mass movement logic (to impose an agenda through ‘mobilizing’ others while waiting for the ‘right’ conditions to act) and the political recuperation imposed by reformist environmental activism. Convergences can play a crucial role in initiatives flourishing, but it is equally crucial that the struggle against these projects does not start and end there. Let’s up the tension against this world, let’s proliferate the attacks.