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Open letter: Four key reasons why we oppose Bill C-51

Photo: flickr/Gabriel Luneau

We are lawyers, activists, academics, and others who are gravely concerned about Bill C-51, which introduces national security-related amendments to several Canadian laws. We oppose the Bill, because it is overbroad, grants unchecked powers to government agencies, and allows for the unqualified infringements on the rights of people in Canada.

Some key deficiencies in Bill C-51 include:

1. Its overbroad definition of "threats"

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March 23, 2015 |
Is there a need to create a broad and vague definition of terrorism that police and CSIS may one day use to label organizations a "criminal threat" to Canada's economy or "infrastructure?"
Chris Alexander
| March 16, 2015

Bill C-51 solidifies Harper's attitude towards activists

Photo: flickr/ Leadnow Canada

Canada's Harper régime has invented the new crime of being a member of an "anti-Canadian petroleum movement," and equating such a stance with terrorism. Evidently believing it is in danger of losing the fight against pipeline projects intended to speed up Alberta tar sands production, its response is to place environmentalists under surveillance.

A secret report prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police claims that public activism against the problems caused by oil and gas extraction is a growing and violent threat to Canada's national security. The report goes so far as to challenge the very idea that human activity is causing global warming or that global warming is even a problem.

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Exclusive: Chris Hedges on Bill C-51 and the corporate state

Photo: wikimedia commons

Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

This weekend, protests were held in communities across Canada to protest Bill C-51, a bill that would increase powers for CSIS.

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Protest continues: All the rabble news about Bill C-51

PHOTO: Graffiti - Meagan Perry

Keeping up with the Canada-wide protests of Bill C-51? You've come to the right place. Read on for your list of "must reads" on Bill C-51, petitions, and for a curated Twitter feed rounding up all the action from the protests on Saturday.

Bill C-51 will give CSIS new powers to disrupt activities that potentially "threaten the government", and give the government of Canada new powers of surveillance. Many see it as another step toward silencing all forms of dissent in Canada. This weekend, there are protests scheduled across Canada to display opposition to Bill C-51. Click here to see a full list of emerging protests from our friends at LeadNow.ca

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The limits and possibilities of dissent in an age of militarized policing

Crisis and Control: The Militarization of Protest Policing

by Lesley J. Wood
(Between the Lines,
2014;
$26.96)

It's hard not to admire Lesley J. Wood. She is an associate professor of sociology at York University, an activist in the anti-poverty and global justice movements and a thoughtful writer.

For instance, instead of dismissing the sometimes brutal behaviours of enforcement officers during the G20 summit with an aggrieved insult or a rude gesture and letting it go at that, she put herself in their shoes, imagining herself "a police commander whose job and legitimacy depended on effectively maintaining the status quo." 

Why? Wood wanted to get beyond simplistic explanations that posit police as demons in order to build the capacity of movements and resist state repression and corporate domination.

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Labour's most important fight right now is Bill C-51

Image: U Manitoba Libraries
Opposing Bill C-51 is the most important fight right now for Canada's labour movement.

Related rabble.ca story:

ISIS, Harper and the true threat to Canada



Photo: flickr/Stephen Harper

"Belief in the inevitability of conflict can become one of it's main causes."
 -- Donald Rumsfeld

Defence minister Jason Kenney has been making the mainstream media rounds, dropping hints about Canada's potentially expanded role in the battle against ISIS. A move that could see Canadian troops in Syria and Libya, in addition to Iraq, for a mission that is not NATO, UN or humanitarian.

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We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

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Image: U Manitoba Libraries
| March 9, 2015
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