April 18th 2015 thousands of Canadians rallied in over 30 cities to voice opposition against the Canadian governments proposed anti-terror legislation Bill C-51, just days before it goes to a final vote.
Bill C-51 is the proposed legislation by the Canadian conservative government which attempts to address and eliminate the potential threat of terrorism within Canada. The problems with this bill as pointed out by over 100 academics and four former Canadian Prime Ministers is numerous, ranging from a lack of oversight and creation of a secret police force to preemptive detentions of possible suspects. One major concern is the way in which the Canadian government has categorized what types of actions will fall under this bill.
“The bill chills speech, deters participation in counter-violent extremism programs and sets up a “brave new world in terms of what the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) can do.” – University of Ottawa Professor Craig Forcese.
A 2011 secret Canadian Government document was leaked in December 2014 stating that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “defines radicalization as the process by which individuals, usually young people, are introduced to an overtly ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from moderate, mainstream beliefs towards extreme views. While radical thinking is by no means problematic in itself, it becomes a threat to national security when Canadian citizens or residents espouse or engage in violence or direct action as a means of promoting political, ideological or religious extremism.”
In other words, if a group of grandparents want to protest war, or a native community blocks a highway or access to a pipeline on their land, these things could all be considered as interfering with the economic and critical infrastructure of Canada and therefore fall under this new Anti Terror bill.
If Bill C-51 passes it will effectively eliminate the possibility of direct action and civil disobedience. If our individual and collective ability to dissent is taken away we will lose what little leverage we have historically used to make change, and if that happens there is no hope in waiting…there will be only one option, revolution.
Great little video: Here
Nation wide (CBC): http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/The+National/ID/2664712493/
“Bill C 51.” Bill C 51. Canadian Government, 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1513457-bill-c-51.html>.
Canada. RCMP. Criminal Threats To Canadian Petroleum Industry. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.<http://www.cfur.ca/wp-content/uploads/256093563-RCMP-Criminal-Threats-to-Canadian-Petroleum-Industry-pdf.pdf>.
Hedges, Chris. “Chris Hedges on C-51: They Have Won, and It Is up to Us.” Rabble.ca. Rabble.ca, 17 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. <http://rabble.ca/news/2015/03/chris-hedges-on-c-51-they-have-won-and-it-to-us>.
Toledano, Michael. “Anti-Oil Activists Named as National Security Threats Respond to Leaked RCMP Report | VICE | Canada.” VICE. Vice Magazine, 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.