In January, 2012, outspoken labour and anti-racism activist, Ken Stone argued that “Harper is Wrong in Demonizing Iran” in an editorial piece published by the Hamilton Spectator. On January 15, 2013, two Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agents showed up on his door and questioned him about the piece and his 2011 visit to the Middle Eastern country to attend a human rights conference on Palestine. And about his non-existent “relationship was with the government of Iran”.
RCMP and CSIS treat peaceful protest actions and questioning the Harper Government as ‘forms of attack’, label activists involved “national security threats”, documents reveal.
The Harper Government is intensifying its attacks on environmental and other activist movements in Canada, according to documents released under freedom of information laws, the Guardian (UK) reports. For the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s national police force and chief spy agency, respectively, monitoring environmental activists and labeling them a “threat to national security”, has become the “new normal”.
“Security and police agencies have been increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies,” the Guardian reports.
Norway’s experience with Big Oil offers lessons for Idle No More and other progressive movements determined to stop Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives from turning Canada into a petro-state.
Earlier, I blogged about a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which compares the Canada and Alberta experiences to that of Norway, another major petroleum producing and exporting country. The Harper Conservatives are progressively giving foreign and domestic Big Oil interests the driver’s seat. Canada’s lucrative tar sands are now 71% foreign-owned. Big Oil appropriates a disproportionate share of our petro-wealth.