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Columnists

The criminalization of dissent in the U.S.

Early in the morning on Friday, September 24, FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota's Twin Cities kicked in the doors of anti-war activists, brandishing guns, spending hours rifling through their homes. The FBI took away computers, photos, notebooks and other personal property. Residents were issued subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. It was just the latest in the ongoing crackdown on dissent in the U.S., targeting peace organizers as supporters of "foreign terrorist organizations."

Columnists

The G20's symbolic violence

This week's mass processing inside (and outside) a Toronto courthouse helped clarify June's Jailapalooza festival during the G20, the largest mass arrest in our history. Of 1,100 detained, all but 227 had the charges dropped or were never charged. Most had no links to burning police cars or battered bank machines. They were picked up while protesting peacefully or looking on.

Why? Police say they wanted to prevent recurrences, after the dramatic events. Some intimate they were embarrassed by criticisms of their earlier inaction, and overreacted. Why had police gone missing at the crucial time? There's been no clear answer. One possibility: to justify the vaulting security costs via shocking images of violence.

Columnists

Harper tries to intimidate us into perpetual war

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Stephen Harper insisted last week that we will not be intimidated by terrorism. He then did everything he could to ensure we will be intimidated by terrorism.

I've always been confused by the assertion that we won't be intimidated by terrorism. Has anyone ever suggested that we should be intimidated by terrorism, that because a man ran into the Parliament buildings brandishing a rifle, we should abandon parliamentary democracy?

Obviously not.

Photo: Iouri Goussev/flickr
| October 29, 2014

Is the Harper govt trying to scare Canadians out of their civil liberties?

Photo: flickr
So, Harper -- with his majority government -- has finally dragged Canada into the Iraq war we missed out on in 2003.

Related rabble.ca story:

Not Rex: Terror in Canada!

So, Harper -- with his majority government -- has finally dragged Canada into the Iraq war we missed out on in 2003. Now all we have to do is stay vigilant against ISIS attacks that could... maybe... be coming towards Canada.

But don't worry! The head of CSIS and the RCMP have all the home grown ISIS sympathizers under surveillance. Nice to let them know, eh!

Redeye

Privacy concerns over Canadian universities outsourcing email services

October 12, 2014
| Canadian universities are outsourcing their email storage and transmission to Microsoft and Google, leading to concerns that US intelligence services could gain access to private information.
Length: 18:17 minutes (16.75 MB)
| September 12, 2014
Columnists

A world of fear: Tracking 'terror' in Tunisia

Photo: Chasing Donguri/flickr

While I was visiting my family and friends in Tunisia this summer, I came across a new feeling, or maybe it is an impression -- a feeling or impression that I never encountered before in the country that is proud today to be called the sparkle of the "Arab Spring."  

I grew up there in the '80s. I remember seeing in people's eyes the fear of authority, humiliation, loss of dignity, the sorrow of poverty, suspicion, but I didn't see the "fear of terrorism." Even in the darkest hours of the country, during the '80s, when there were violent incidents attributed to Islamist militants, I didn't hear from people around me that they were afraid.

Columnists

Thirteen years into the War of Terror

While facilitating a youth workshop recently, I realized that this generation is completely shaped by the events and politics of 9/11. Though few of the youth were able to define terrorism (beyond "blowing things up"), most of them were quick to normalize surveillance, military occupation, online tracking, CCTV cameras, extraordinary rendition, torture, deportations and incarceration.

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