Sunday, February 22, 2015

Anti-terrorism and Bill C-51

     Do we need protection from those who would attack us? Of course we do. We already have that protection. The laws we have work just fine, when they work. But to make them work requires that CSIS and the Mounties have the resources to do their work. But when you have a government that is more afraid of a deficit than of terrorism, those institutions are unable to do their job.
     Bill C-51 is part of a carefully orchestrated campaign to stoke fear, in the expectation that fear will shift votes in Mr Harper's direction in October.   
      C-51 sets up the framework for a secret police in the service of the government.
     It gives CSIS the power to "disrupt" what they might deem to be a terrorist plot. Sure, a judge must sign an order permitting CSIS to do this, but once they have that order, they can do whatever they think is necessary. C-51 does not indicate any limits.
     It criminalises intent. But intent is the eyes and imagination of the beholder. Anyone who is opposed to the government of the obviously intends to get rid of it, if possible. So who will decide at what point that intent is criminal, and that therefore I should be arrested?
     It criminalises unlawful protest. But lawful protest is that which has permit. If a permit is withheld, then your protest is unlawful. So who decides whether to give you a permit or not? Clearly, if the authority that grants the permit doesn't like the point of your protest, they can withhold the permit and automatically make you a criminal.
     Those who shrug off the dangers of  C-51 either don't know or have forgotten that the secret police forces we think of as the worst ever, the Gestapo and the KGB, both operated within the law. They were give the legal authority to do what they did.

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