STANDING UP TO STATE INTIMIDATION AND CRIMINALIZATION
A campaign of community solidarity and non-collaboration with CSIS
Thursday, September 15, 6pm to 9pm
Georges Vanier Cultural Centre
2450 Rue Workman (near Notre Dame and Atwater; metro Lionel Groulx)
* Free, light dinner (with vegetarian & hallal options)
* Free child-care onsite (with games like pin the tail on the spy, find the secret evidence, etc.)
* Translation (whisper): english-french-spanish-arabic-punjabi-farsi-urdu
* Wheelchair accessible
The evening will include several speakers providing historical and analytic context, the projection of several short films, a presentation of campaign plans and a moderated discussion on strategy. A new “Know your rights” booklet about CSIS will also be launched.
Members of community organizations and individuals are warmly invited to participate in a community dinner and information and discussion event about how to protect our communities from harassment, intimidation and criminalization by Canada’s aggressive spy agency, CSIS.
For decades, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s spy agency, has profiled communities and social movements and subjected them to surveillance, harassment, threats and other abuses.
CSIS is the Canadian government agency mandated to bar immigrants from Canada on so-called security grounds, to initiate the “security certificate” process, to screen government employees, and to place organizations and individuals on blacklists. It also routinely shares information on people in Canada with foreign spy agencies. In its work, CSIS relies on guilt by association and profiling; it regards certain political and religious opinions, as well as entire communities, as suspect. It keeps a watch over indigenous communities, migrant groups, mosques and political organizations. CSIS has been heavily implicated in Canadian cases of rendition to torture but has emerged from these and other scandals – such as manipulation of evidence and the infiltration of labour unions – unscathed, protected by a broad mandate, secrecy and lack of accountability.
Over the last decade, CSIS’s budget has increased by 140%, reaching $430 million in 2009. In 2010, CSIS maintained almost 3000 employees. With the Harper majority and right-wing attitudes favouring surveillance and exclusion hardening in Canada, the problem of CSIS will likely only worsen.
The People’s Commission Network sees CSIS as a flagship of the current political trend and a powerful tool the state uses to implement racist and repressive policies. Since 2009, our CSIS Watch project has promoted non-collaboration with CSIS. We are now launching a public campaign to confront CSIS more effectively.
Come join us to learn more about the history, mandate, abuses, and current practices of Canada’s spy agency, to learn about the new tools that the People’s Commission has developed to protect our communities against CSIS (videos, pamphlets, workshop, website, etc.), and to discuss how, as individuals and communities, we can develop effective strategies to end CSIS intimidation and defeat the political interests it serves.
People’s Commission Network
The People’s Commission Network is a working group of QPIRG Concordia.