Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The 2015 Anti-terrorism Act and Environmentalists

Fourteen years ago in Operation Kabriole, the RCMP blew up an oil installation in Alberta to establish the credibility of one of their undercover informants investigating tarsands sabotage. In a nice touch, Alberta Energy Company, now Encana, were in on the deal and flew in an expert to explain to alarmed local residents at an AEC townhall that they had been the victims of 'eco-terrorists'. 

Prior to the Vancouver Olympics and the 2010 G8/G20, the RCMP embarked on one of the largest domestic intelligence operations in Canadian history.   Their target :
"grievances are based upon notions/expectations regarding the environment, animal rights, First nations' resource-based grievances, gender/racial equality, and distribution of wealth, etc."
Infiltration of community groups by undercover officers resulted in a colour-coded database for suspects - "Suspect (Red); Person of Interest (Orange); and Associate (Yellow)"  - that was still being maintained 18 months after the world leaders left Toronto.

In 2012 environmentalists were understandably pissed at being lumped in with white supremacists among the listed "issue-based" terrorist threats in Canada's new counter-terrorism strategy :  Building Resilience Against Terrorism :
"...domestic extremism that is “based on grievances – real or perceived – revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism."
Notice "First nations"(sic) were struck off the new list but the word "Terrorism" has been added as the reason for the list.

"The RCMP has labelled the “anti-petroleum” movement as a growing and violent threat to Canada’s security, raising fears among environmentalists that they face increased surveillance, and possibly worse, under the Harper government’s new terrorism legislation."
Quite. Bill C-51 with its new engorged mandate to act against “activity that undermines the security of Canada”.  Will you be afforded a warrant to go with that? Not necessarily.
"In highly charged language that reflects the government’s hostility toward environmental activists, an RCMP intelligence assessment warns that foreign-funded groups are bent on blocking oil sands expansion and pipeline construction, and that the extremists in the movement are willing to resort to violence."
So while Steve distracts us all with his imflamatory remarks about needing “sweeping new powers” to fight Islamists and "the international Jihadist movement" :
“They have declared war on anybody who does not think and act exactly as they wish they would think and act,” Harper said
... environmentalists note that the legislation could be used on them, and the rest of us think that his remarks about Jihadists are a pretty good summation of his apparent declaration of war on the rest of us. 
Back to G&M :
“These kind of cases involving environmental groups – or anti-petroleum groups as the RCMP likes to frame them – are really the sharp end of the stick in terms of Bill C-51,” said civil liberties lawyer Paul Champ
Or as former CSIS officer Francois Lavigne - a self-confessed "former barnburner" himself - put it four days ago : 
“I have never seen the RCMP and CSIS have such a cosy relationship with government,” he said. “They’re not supposed to be.”
RCMP spokesman Sergeant Greg Cox insisted the Mounties do not conduct surveillance unless there is suspicion of criminal conduct - having apparently forgotten all about their colour-coded database for people with "notions/expectations regarding the environment."


The RCMP report then wanders bizarrely off into language treating anthropogenic climate change as some kind of hoax perpetrated by enviros. Greenpeace quotes from it :
"NGOs such as Greenpeace, Tides Canada and Sierra Club Canada, to name a few, assert climate change is now the most serious global threat, and that climate change is a direct consequence of elevated anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions which, they believe, are directly linked to the continued use of fossil fuels…. 
Research and analysis done in support of ongoing RCMP criminal investigations shows that those involved in the anti-Canadian petroleum movement have an interest in drawing public attention to, and building recognition of, the perceived environmental threat from the continued use of fossil fuels. 
The publicizing of these concerns has led to significant, and often negative, media coverage surrounding the Canadian petroleum industry. The use of social media, including the use of live-streaming, provides the anti-petroleum movement the ability to by-pass the traditional news networks, to control and craft its message, and to promote a one-sided version of the actual events, leading to broadly based anti-petroleum opposition.” (emphasis added). 
So while you're watching Steve furiously waving his C-51Jihadi puppethand about, keep a closer eye on what his other C-51 oilhand is doing.


Apologies for not posting from the original RCMP docs - neither the G&M nor Greenpeace have released them. When they do, I'll amend the post.

Update : DeSmogBlog has it! : RCMP Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Assessment
Criminal Threats to the Canadian Petroleum Industry   2014-01-24

Plus : Radio Canada International interview with Keith Stewart of Greenpeace on the above doc

Update : Press Progress : 9 weirdest things about this RCMP intelligence report on the "anti-petroleum movement"
.

11 comments:

Hugh said...

I remember during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, there was a new law saying authorities can enter your home (with 24 hrs notice) to remove signs deemed 'anti-Olympic".

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Nice progression there of the law catching up with what the RCMP and CSIS were already doing. Somehow we don't get this kind of background on the news...

Anonymous said...

Keith Stewart, Greenpeace:

"In US, climate change recognized as major threat to national security. In Canada: environmentalists."

MyPetGloat said...

Harper is politicizing the police forces. The RCMP no longer operates independently of the PMO. He views anybody opposed to his interests or as he calls it "conservative values" as an enemy of Canada. Let's not forget he relabeled the Government of Canada in his name so he effectively identifies the country as Him. He isn't interested in sharing. He doesn't see himself as a servant of the people. He views himself as the dictator of the people. Canada is now Stephen Harper Inc. And any opposition to Stephen Harper is tantamount to treason.

Alison said...

Gloat : There's that. There's also the way they govern as if they think they're kids having an 'opposite day' at school - you know, where the kids and teachers swap roles. I think it's going to be very difficult to talk them down. ;-)

Anon@8:05 : Yeah -see comment above. Did you listen to the interview with Stewart linked in the post? It's really good.

Anon@7:26 : DeSmogBlog link has even more.

Hugh : 2010. I remember when a guy wrote a very innocuous letter that was not published to a local paper criticizing the Olympics on behalf of his dad who was too old to write it himself and he got a visit from the RCMP.
I remember when a guy who was never charged with anything was told he could not enter Vancouver during the Olympics even though he worked in Vancouver.
I remember when the RCMP visited the girlfriend of an Olympics critic at her job to question her.
We could go on ...

West End Bob said...

Hugh : 2010. I remember when a guy wrote a very innocuous letter that was not published to a local paper criticizing the Olympics on behalf of his dad who was too old to write it himself and he got a visit from the RCMP.
I remember when a guy who was never charged with anything was told he could not enter Vancouver during the Olympics even though he worked in Vancouver.
I remember when the RCMP visited the girlfriend of an Olympics critic at her job to question her.


Ahhh, such memories.

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were


(apologies to Ms. Streisand . . . . )

Hugh said...

If a pipeline blew up and polluted fisheries habitat, and ruined tourism opportunities, wouldn't that

"interfere with the economic or financial stability of Canada"?

If climate change caused by burning fossil fuels causes sea levels to rise, submerging cities like Vancouver, and destroying cropland, wouldn't that

"interfere with the economic or financial stability of Canada"?


scotty on denman said...

I think voters have suspected what you've so eloquently sequenced above, and I'm sure it will continue to grow ---better articulated due to efforts like yours (thank you very much.)

It's beyond me how this dangerous package can be sold. Like, are we to expect staged events and show trials---or, should I say, more of them: barn burnings, fuel-well explosions and drug-addled addicts getting their sabotage lessons from the best in the business?

I mean, the level of trust in H-boy's government is getting pretty low (even among veterans, for Pete's sake!) How spectacular would such staging have to be to overcome such distrust?

Anonymous said...

Where is the video of Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau explaining Canada's foreign policy as the motivation for his actions?
I mean how long does it take the RCMP to edit an audio track?

Alison said...

Anon@12:33 : :-/

Scotty : It's early days yet to figure out where the public will go on this bill. In my next post I linked to this Star story : "Canada faces high risk of terror attack, Jason Kenney says"
In the 200 comments under it, about 195 slag off on C-51 and the very questionable reasons for pushing it. So that's hopeful.

OTOH today's G&M cites an Angus Reid poll showing 82% public approval rating for the bill.
A poll is only a poll is only a poll, I know, but that is alarmingly high.

Hugh : Yup and by then the reasons for this bill will reveal themselves.

Anonymous said...

So under the new C-51 rules we would never hear about the RCMP blowing up tarsands sheds. Up til now the law required them to defend blowing up sheds in open court.

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