" ... Have social justice groups been infiltrated and controlled by government agents ... "
We can assume they’ve infiltrated everywhere
By Tavis W Dodds
Lots of new ideas have emerged this February, some of them real ideas and some of them indoctrinations of the public with the agendas of corporate interests. Christie Blatchford suggests in her Globe and Mail column that First Nations issues should be handled by foreign correspondents because reserves are so alien to Canadians, and a subsequent article by former Prime Minister Paul Martin said that he thinks so too. This is a good idea, but it is already in effect: Canadian media is controlled by a CIA-like-foreign-media-bureau operating here in Canada. ...
In heavily-censored documents released early February it was made clear that CSIS has been involved with monitoring anti-Olympics protest groups, documents dated July, 2007. This should come as no shock: the articles about anti-Olympics demonstrators in BC media are blatant misinformation campaigns. The Sun misquoted Thomas Malefont as having said that he used to piss his pants in alleyways every day, and they tracked down Anna Hunter’s bronze medalist father and misleadingly quoted him as being disappointed by his daughter’s social justice work (low blows, guys).
But what didn’t make it into the coverage is even more illuminating: the first times the Anti-poverty Committee came on the radar were in relation to what was described as violent looting by people in black ski masks in Pacific Centre Mall, apparently to do with a protest against Campbell’s $6 per hour “starting wage,” and then a dramatic airport escape of 56-year-old Iranian refugee Kobra Nateghi from being deported, an escape for which three men described as APC members were charged.
Of course it seems likely that some sort of covert security force was already involved at this point, but if you think that these sorts of incidents wouldn’t have attracted the attention of the CIA, then maybe you also believed it when they told us that the VPD raided DERA’s offices to look for the Olympic flag stolen from City Hall. The only thing known for sure about APC is that very little reported about the APC is true, and that truths about groups like APC have no place in BC news because dissenting voices aren’t “corporate enough.”
Have social justice groups been infiltrated and controlled by government agents? Consider parallels between Vancouver activists and the activists at the Montebello SPP Summit in August 2007. Bush, Harper and corporate reps met secretly to discuss security, but outside, three undercover agents were discovered instigating violence to legitimize the police firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd. Democracy Now reported on the incident and mentioned a document on the presidential method of controlling protest that bears startling similarities to how the Canadian protest was handled. Stockwell Day, Canada’s J Edgar Hoover, didn’t mention US intelligence’s role in the manipulation of public dissent. He didn’t even accept Canadian responsibility, putting the whole thing on Quebec in an explanation that took him several days to come up with.
One thing we do know is that with security being controlled by a secret North American Union, there is no real difference between CSIS and the CIA. This isn’t even secret, really, only unreported; VANOC’s “bid book” assured the IOC that “the country has established security intelligence and law enforcement regimes which work closely with international agencies.” After 9/11, the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) and, in 2003, the Integrated Security Unit (ISU) were created to unite police, surveillance agencies, and the armed forces.
We now know that CSIS had agents inside the team that blew up the Air India flights, the largest terrorist act in Canadian history, but just how much monitoring and how much instigating the state had to do with this horrifying 1985 tragedy is still a matter of speculation. But it’s a certainty Canada’s media was also intimately involved.
The same is true concerning the so-called Canadian terrorist cell discovered in Toronto that later turned out to have an agent in the group paid by CSIS for his participation. The group was exposed just as “debate” began over sending Canadians into Afghanistan. The story has since been quietly dropped, but when the “terrorist plot” first emerged it was anything but quiet with headlines about “Jihadists Among Us” and plots to decapitate MPs. “Corporate enough” columnists weighed in all with the same opinion.
David Suzuki suggests, in light of Canada’s censoring of scientists, that perhaps politicians that cover up global warming data should face jail time.
Good idea, but why stop there? Columnists indoctrinating us with state-sponsored opinions may some day also be held accountable, tried for conspiracy, treason or war crimes.
As Victoria was sending delegates to Portland to see how they’ve been repressing their poor, Portland author Kristian Williams was in Vancouver for a panel discussion on the Olympic Police State. Williams spoke about state repression of the population as a continuous conflict between controlling the population and putting down insurgencies, and you can’t have one without the other: you can control the population once the insurgency has been put down and you can put down the insurgency when you control the population. So then, says Williams, repression in terms of security appears in the form of co-opting existing resources, legitimizing the counter-insurgency by mobilizing community resources, taking control, and investing resources. The balance is then struck between community building and repression in what’s been called “armed social work.” There is a rise in police facilitation of protest in the forms of negotiation, free speech zones, or protest permits. The authorities then keep the population as a whole, especially poor and people of colour, in a perpetual state of uncertainty by facing insurgents before they exist, and in this way the state keeps out what Williams calls “Moses figures.”
Is it really all that crazy to suggest the recent attacks in the media on the Mental Health Act, and any other barrier to locking up the unorthodox, are attempts by CSIS/CIA to control dissent? After all, that’s how they put Louis Riel away and have been controlling contrary voices in Canada ever since. Yet today Riel ranks eleventh on the CBC’s poll of the most popular Canadians.
Another hopeful note on just how much of this corporate media the people actually believe: look at the 2001 Camp Campbell occupation of the Legislature Lawn, a demonstration that was suddenly ridiculed by Michael Smyth and columnists in nearly every major news outlet, all coming to the conclusion that these people aren’t legitimate protesters, an opinion that arrived in all their heads the day before the state applied for an enforcement order to remove the camp. People obviously didn’t buy what they were being told, however, because in the 2005 Victoria mayoral election, Ben Issit, at 26, came 1,200 votes away from ousting incumbent corporatist Al Lowe with a campaign based a great deal on Issit’s part in organizing Camp Campbell. People are waking up.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
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