Seminar: Confronting the national security state (February 29)

Community solidarity & popular education: Confronting the national security state

Wednesday 29 February at NOON
Room 233, Education Building, 3700 McTavish
McGill University, Montreal

A “Meet the Neighbours !” Brown Bag Lunch Seminar on Community Education, Research, Knowledge Production and Social Change with the People’s Commission Network
Over the past decade, the debate over “national security” has intensified in Canada. A long list of new surveillance measures has been introduced; control mechanisms including a “no fly” list have been increasingly normalized; and policing and intelligence powers of the state have expanded. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s spy agency – which is mandated to protect national security – is a key indicator of this trend. Over the last 10 years, its budget has increased by 140%, reaching $430 million in 2009. In 2010, the agency maintained almost 3000 employees. CSIS has been heavily implicated in several Canadian cases of rendition to torture but has emerged from these and other scandals unscathed, protected by a broad mandate, laws assuring the secrecy of its operations, and a lack of accountability mechanisms.
The People’s Commission Network, a grassroots network of community organizations and activists, was formed in 2005 to examine the impact of this trend on migrant communities. It organized three days of open community hearings on immigration, security certificates, and related issues in 2006 and initiated a major forum on a range of issues on “security” in 2011.
The People’s Commission Network is currently engaged in a popular education campaign reaching out to communities in Montreal who are marginalized politically and socially by national security measures. Three members of the People’s Commission Network – Mary Foster, Abby Lippman and Jaggi Singh – will present the campaign and discuss its importance. See
All welcome to attend.