Canada’s 3rd day of action against secret police bill #C51

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Photo: Mike Roy

Photo: Mike Roy

Saturday, May.30th 2015 was the 3rd National Day of Action held in Canada against Bill C-51, a piece of legislation supported by the ruling Conservative government and Liberal Party of Canada that attempts to address and eliminate potential threats of “terrorism”. It has been compared to the Patriot Act in the United States. C-51 passed in the House of Commons just weeks ago, making its way to the Senate who could, if they wanted to, scrap the bill entirely. At this point in time 15 Canadian Senators oppose C-51, while 5 are in support and 52 are undecided.

Photo: Mike Roy

Photo: Mike Roy

National days of protest have been happening every month since the bill was proposed in addition to consistent campaigning from anti-C51 organizers all over the country. With the understanding that it could be law any day now, people are shifting the pressure from their M.P.s to Senators. Some are optimistic that it can stopped, while others are expecting the worst possible outcome.

Photo: Mike Roy

Photo: Mike Roy

The bill is allegedly a response to the Ottawa shooting and acts of violence that the government likes to blame on “Islamic extremism” or “violent Jihad”. As pointed out by the general population who oppose it, including four former Canadian Prime Ministers, the problems with C-51 range from increased surveillance, spy oversight that Edward Snowden has called the weakest in the Western world, spy agencies like CSIS acting as secret police forces, and preemptive detainment of anyone that law enforcement deems threatening based on suspicion alone.

One major concern is how the Canadian government categorizes who and what types of actions will be targeted by their definition of “terrorism” that remains vague enough to include just about anyone, let alone political dissidents who are already being targeted by the state. Many activists and political figures, like Green Party leader Elizabeth May, have raised concerns about law enforcement clamping down on peaceful protesters, including Indigenous Land Defenders opposing environmentally harmful projects on their territories such as fracking and oil pipelines.

The Canadian government as well as CSIS, CSEC, RCMP and local police forces will have access to all of the information about us available, and yet we get access to very little of theirs. They can share our information between each other, including internationally with other spies who are part of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance. They can watch everything we say and do online. They can track us in real life. They can and will infiltrate us, and they will legally target anyone that they deem hostile and any group they consider “threatening” to Canada’s interests. In the end, what C-51 comes down to is an information war. The more information a government entity has on you, the more power they have…including the ability to threaten, intimidate, and manipulate you through fear and control. To be without privacy is to be without autonomy because surveillance forces us to police ourselves. Therefore the powerful win. And rather than question the motives of politicians or question power at all, many people still operate under the framework of “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” evidence that the conditioning process is not imminent but already occurring. In the end, society ends up doing the National Security work for the spies and politicians under the illusion of protecting freedom they don’t have, while truly believing that they have it. In other words, there is a serious power imbalance perpetuated by C-51 that is nothing less than fascist.

Photo: Mike Roy

Photo: Mike Roy

Who will win the war?

 

Written by: Bailey Lamon http://twitter.com/UptheCypherPunx

Co-written, Photos: Mike Roy http://twitter.com/theindignants

 

More info: http://stopc51.ca/

More photos: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.918474454861055.1073741947.257145594327281&type=1

Great video from 2nd day of action: http://www.facebook.com/RevNews/videos/vob.784550233/478289328991301/?type=2&theater

Hashtags: #c51 #c51dayofaction #rejectfear #cdnpoli #StopC51

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About Author

Mike is from London, Ontario, Canada and is a student at Western University taking Media, Information & Technoculture. He is a photographer, videographer and writer. In his spare time he is an activist involved with Indigenous, environmental and civil liberties issues.