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#JA4me Campaign to Free Assange Continues With 2nd Day of Action

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As part of a new grassroots campaign to free Julian Assange, April.30th is the second day of action under #JA4Me where people all over the world are encouraged to mobilize in support of the WikiLeaks founder, who has been arbitrarily detained by the United Kingdom and Sweden since 2010.

On Feb.5th,2016 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention announced its decision after a 16-month investigation that Assange’s detainment is illegal, and that Sweden and UK must respect his political asylum with Ecuador and allow for his immediate release. However, both countries refuse to cooperate with this ruling despite international treaties, and insist on having him arrested and extradited to Sweden, whose legal powers refuse to guarantee he will not be further extradited to the United States. From Justice4Assange.org:

Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, has detained without charge in one form or another since 7 December 2010. He is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London which has granted him asylum and recognised that he risks extradition to the United States for his publishing activities with WikiLeaks.

The US periodically confirms that a criminal national security investigation into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is ongoing — for example to a US court on 4 March 2015, and to the Washington Post on 28 January 2015.

In Sweden, Julian Assange is not charged with a crime. But in a highly unusual move, Sweden issued an Interpol Red Notice and a European Arrest Warrant, immediately after WikiLeaks began publishing a cache of 250,000 US Diplomatic Cables on 29 November 2010. Such warrants are usually issued for persons whose whereabouts are unknown. But Julian Assange’s whereabouts were known (he had given a press conference and hundreds of interviews in London). His lawyers were in communication with the prosecutor and had communicated that he was available to answer questions from the Swedish prosecutor through standard means.

Questioning people within European borders is a routine and uncomplicated process, which is standardised throughout the European Union. Sweden often uses these means to question people.

In the initial ten days after 20 August 2010, the police opened the ’preliminary investigation’, it was assigned to three different prosecutors in quick succession. The penultimate prosecutor found that the case had no basis, and that there were no grounds to place Julian Assange under a criminal investigation.

The final prosecutor however, Marianne Ny, took over on 1 September 2010 and reopened the investigation. The Swedish investigation has been frozen since 2010. In November 2014, Sweden’s Svea Court of Appeal ruled that the prosecutor had failed her professional duty to progress the investigation against Julian Assange.

The photo above is one that was taken in London, Ontario, Canada where a banner was hung in the downtown core early Saturday morning. It reads: “UK + Sweden: Respect International Law, Free Julian Assange”.

#JA4me actions take place on the last day of the month and are meant to put pressure on the Swedish and UK governments, in addition to showing solidarity on a global scale. They can be anything from protests, banner drops, vigils, handing out information pamphlets, putting up posters, or anything someone can possibly come up with. The only “conditions” laid out by founders of the campaign is that actions remain nonviolent. But the longer Assange is detained, the scale and frequency of actions are meant to increase. The end goal is for Assange to be granted safe passage to Ecuador so that he can live and work under the safety of his political asylum.

The #JA4Me campaign began in March and has a website with resources for supporters and media, press releases, and banners for Facebook and Twitter, among other things. The campaign has gotten a significant amount of media attention since it went public, and its founders have cited the historic Free Mandela campaign as a heavy influence, even consulting with anti-apartheid campaigner John Minto. Supporters state that “By putting his life on the line to speak the truth: Julian Assange speaks for me. Now we will rise up for him until they set him free”.

Further reading:
https://ja4me.org/
https://justice4assange.org/
https://justice4assange.com/IMG/pdf/Affidavit_Julian_Assange_BILAGA_11.pdf
http://pastebin.com/cvNzg7aE

Activists turn Hamilton office into a circus.

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Last Thursday morning a dozen activists dressed as clowns paid an unannounced visit to the newly opened Enbridge Hamilton office located at 1430 Cormorant road. Enbridge is one of Canada’s largest oil and gas pipeline companies, and the activist wanted to let the Enbridge know it should expect increased tar-sands pipeline resistance in the Hamilton community.  

Upon arrival the clowns piled out of a nondescript white van one by one and into the modest industrial office building, reminiscent of a choreographed circus act.

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The action took about about 30 minutes with the clowns painting “Welcome to Hamilton” on the office windows and dancing around tossing about confetti and streamers.

One of the activist with a megaphone sporting oversized sunglasses and a large feathered hat jumped up on the table and made the following proclamation:

Ladies and gentlemen. Shippers, refiners, extractors and land destroyers of all ages. We are here today to tell you we are not afraid of you! We are not afraid to keep resisting you. And with that in mind we are the Hamilton welcoming party. Let me tell you about this fine community that you have chosen to call home. The people here are brave. We are strong, and we care about our community. We care about the land and the water. Because of that we will keep resisting you. We will keep shutting you down. We will turn your offices into a circus. We will keep crashing your hearings. We will celebrate every time somebody takes direct action against you. So Enbridge, hello and welcome to Hamilton.”

Video:

The Enbridge employees seemed confused with several closing office doors and others frantically making phone calls, not willing to comment.

This is the fourth known protest action taken against the oil pipeline giant since December and “It’s going to increaseaccording to the activists who all requested to remain anonymous.

On December 7th 2015 activists turned off Enbridge’s Line 9 oil pipeline by shutting off a valve then locking themselves to the equipment in the town of Ste-Justine-de-Newton on the Québec-Ontario border. This was followed by a similar action Monday December 21 outside of Sarnia-Wyoming, Ontario by three activist including Anishnaabe land defender Vanessa Gray.

Gray says in a statement: “The tar-sands projects represent an ongoing cultural and environmental genocide. I defend the land and water because it is sacred. I have the right to defend anything that threatens my traditions and cultures.

In both cases a number of activists and indigenous land defenders were arrested.

The last action was taken on January 24. According to an article on the Briarpatch Magazine website, valves on Enbridge pipelines 7 and 9 in Southern Ontario were closed. This time no activist remained on site or arrested.

When asked why the recent change in tactics for the group a spokesperson said:

In the last several years individuals from across so-called southern Ontario have been resisting the tar-sands and local pipeline projects. A diversity of tactics has been employed, and those involved have faced harassment, brutality and arrests for their actions. So when Enbridge decided to open a new office in Hamilton, Ontario – an area that’s been a hotbed of pipeline resistance – we decided to have some fun and throw them a welcome party.”

According to Bloomberg News a pipeline safety expert with over forty years of experience in the energy sector, Richard Kuprewicz, has stated that the probability of Line 9 rupturing is over 90% in the next five years of operation. This is due to the large number of fractures in the aging pipeline and the fact that Line 9 will carry a different kind of oil called diluted bitumen- which adds additional pressure and stresses to the aging pipeline.

The 39-year old Line 9 is a highly contested tar-sands pipeline that switched from low pressure crude

oil to tar-sands oil earlier in December 2015 between Sarnia and Montreal. Those involved in protests assert that the operation of line 9 is a violation of indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights.

At 300 000 barrels a day Line 9 runs between Sarnia and Montreal, crossing numerous farms, sensitive ecosystems, 14 First Nation communities and heavily populated neighbourhoods in Ontario and Quebec. The 39-year old pipeline also crosses numerous Ontario rivers – including the Ottawa River – flowing into Lake Ontario, the source of drinking water for millions of Canadians.

In July 2011 Line 6B which was built at the same time as line 9 burst and leaked 1 million barrels of bitumen in the Kalamazoo, Michigan river causing the worst inland oil spill in North American history. The cost of cleanup operations has been estimated thus far at $767 million with some sections of the river still closed off and clean up work continuing.

The activists are calling on oil companies and the Canadian government to stop extraction of the tar-sands and an end to the industrialization of a vast area of Indigenous territories, forests and wetlands in northern Alberta.

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Several attempts were made to contact Enbridge to comment on the clowns, no reply was received to date.

More Info:

https://www.facebook.com/PeopleVersusLine9

https://www.facebook.com/Dam-Line-9-275937225944648/

Mike Roy

cabl3.cable@gmail.com

#OpAnonDown Presents: Canadian Cabinet Leaks (#CCLeaks)

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[Photo is a screenshot from witness video https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10155899029770492&set=vb.701435491&type=2&theater]

First, a bit of background info.

James McIntyre was shot and killed by the RCMP on July.16th, 2015 in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. He was demonstrating outside of a meeting regarding the Site C hydroelectric dam set to be built on Peace River, Treaty 8 First Nation Territory. The Treaty 8 First Nation among other Indigenous peoples and environmentalists are strongly opposed to the dam being built because of its guarenteed impact on the ecosystem. It is also a blatant violation of treaties between the crown and First Nations stating that the government must properly consult and get consent from that Nation before starting any projects near or on territories that are legally their own (but come on, now…“Canada” is stolen). James McIntyre was from Treaty 8 and immersed in the fight against Site C. He was also a member of Anonymous, made clear by the mask he wore at the time of death. This is what sparked #OpAnonDown: A passionate and controversial response to the death of James McIntyre, also known as JayMack, land defender and brother in the Anonymous cause.

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It began as DDoS attacks on Canadian Government websites, and on Monday evening #OpAnonDown brought their level of retaliation to a whole new level. The Anons involved in this Op had given the RCMP a deadline of 5pm on Monday to arrest the officer responsible for JayMack’s death…a deadline that came and went, with no arrests but plenty of excuses from the authorities about fair and thorough investigations that most average folk who commit crimes miss out on. Because the RCMP refused to take action, #OpAnonDown released what appears to be a CSIS document from 2014, specifically a proposal submitted to the Treasury Board of Canada to increase funding by the millions to their 25 foreign stations around the world (see full document below).

The document, marked “secret” but “low-medium” risk, describes the need to increase funding in order to upgrade and expand their tools and corporate network environment, which have supposedly not been updated since the mid-80s. The document also cites the need for increased security to address recent “unlawful disclosures” of classified material. Meanwhile, documents obtained by The Toronto Star show that the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE) is also taking steps to prevent disclosures by potential whistleblowers, a Canadian Edward Snowden, if you will. Knowing all of this, in addition to the passing of bill C-51 which is meant to stifle dissent and criticism of the government’s agenda, it is clear that the Canadian government and its spy agencies are panicking about what information could potentially get out there and how that would impact the socio-political climate. For many of us, this is more of a reason to encourage disclosures.

According to the National Post, the government has only ever acknowledged three foreign stations belonging to CSIS; in London UK, Washington and Paris. Now we know that there are 25, that they were purposely kept confidential, and many of them are operating in “unstable environments” with up to 70 CSIS employees at each, intercepting around 22,500 messages per year. #OpAnonDown says that this is only the beginning and that more leaks are on the way of documents found on poorly-secured Canadian Government servers. #OpAnonDown is calling this series of disclosures “Canadian Cabinet Leaks” or “#CCLeaks.” There is a classic Anonymous press release to go along with all of this that gives the government the proper mocking it deserves for not giving a shit about its own security:

“Fortunately for us, Canada has been far more lax in defending its own systems. We have just released a secret document from the Canadian cabinet. We are excluding certain document security features, and, accordingly, some heading material. This is a painstaking process. We simply cannot release a document for every story we will be reporting over the coming months.

This first document, though, combined with remarks from Tony Clement after our DDoS attacks last month, show that Harper’s cabinet made direct decisions domestically, as well as for foreign spy stations, to update security systems at a leisurely pace over at least a four year period.

Congratulations! You left many doors open for us! We are now privy to many of Stephen Harper’s most cherished secrets.”

And then they called out Harper and Blaney:

“For instance, shortly after winning a majority in 2011, the NSA discovered that Stephen Harper had grown a bit too big for his Christian britches. He and the Canadian Security Establishment were attempting to spy on their Five Eyes partnes in the U.S.. Obama’s top intelligence officials were furious when they caught CSE in the act. They vowed to kill off Harper’s number one priority, the KXL pipeline.

By the way, Mr. Stephen Blaney, there is nothing more undemocratic than repeatedly cheating at elections then cutting the budget for the elections watchdog. All the while, your government has continued with unprecedented secrecy, antipathy to legitimate media inquiry, and outright contempt independent scientific inquiry.”

Every Anonymous Op is controversial. Divisions come from within and outside of Anonymous. Arguments are often around tactics such as DDoS or hacking, which may or may not be considered violent depending on how you look at it. Either way, it would be wrong to not see cyber warfare as a legitimate resistance/offense tactic regardless of how you feel about it being used. Some people are opposed to the Op because they are worried about Native folks being targeted further by law enforcement. There is also concern about whether or not revenge tactics in this case will do any justice. This is what sparked some of the early division within #OpAnonDown before the group split into two different Ops. Treaty 8 First Nation folks cancelled a Site C protest of their own because of alleged threats of violence from the hacktivists. However, the Anons currently involved in #OpAnonDown insist that they do not have violent intentions but are demanding accountability from the RCMP and consequences for the officer who killed JayMack, as well as carrying on his struggle against the Site C Dam by raising awareness about a variety of issues affecting First Nations, their sovereignty, the Canadian Government’s ongoing colonial violence as well as their general disregard for civil liberties and the right to dissent.

Others are opposed or critical because they question the Op’s genuity—that is, would these people give a shit about JayMack if he wasn’t wearing an Anon mask? The answer is yes, and one only needs to look at the history of Anonymous to understand that. Anonymous, while often seen as a group of pranksters and hackers just out to cause trouble “for the lulz”, is known for demanding justice in the face of killer cops and killer states…whether we’re looking at their support of #BlackLivesMatter, their recent call out for a Day of Rage in response to Sandra Bland’s death, or their assistance in overthrowing dictators through their amplification of the Arab Spring back in 2011, among several other examples.

#OpAnonDown is most certainly heating up as the government desperately tries to keep its cool. However controversial this Op may be, it begs the question of whether or not it is reasonable to expect accountability on the part of the government or law enforcement for JayMack’s death. If it is possible to achieve this by waiting patiently for the system to do the work on its own, what should that look like and is it sufficient? If the opposite is true, is enforced transparency not a legitimate step? For a government that demands full transparency for its citizens it is awfully secretive of its own affairs. Once again we reach the issue of power and what those who hold less power need to do in order to have a fair chance at winning against those who hold more of it. As we’ve seen time and time again, sometimes it is necessary to even out the playing field rather than fight an uphill battle. It is exciting to think about what #OpAnonDown has in store and what questions may be answered about the shady entity that is our Canadian Police State.

The press release ends with this:

“We repeat our insistence upon the immediate arrest of the RCMP killers of James McIntyre. Unless and until that happens, we will be releasing stunning secrets at irregular intervals. Of course, even if such arrests take place, we will still maintain access to information highly damaging to Stephen Harper and other supporters of Bill-C51.
Enjoy the summer, everyone. Fall will be Wild.
Until then:
We Are Anonymous.
Expect Us.
All your secrets are belong to the mask.”

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Further Reading:

#OpAnonDown Press Release: Canadian Cabinet Leaks #CCLeaks

The Cryptosphere–“#Anonymous to Canadian Government: Let’s Talk. Also, U Pwnd Again, d00ds!” http://thecryptosphere.com/2015/07/27/anonymous-to-canadian-government-lets-talk-also-u-pwnd-again-d00ds/

The National Post–“Anonymous releases hacked CSIS document, threatens to leak ‘stunning secrets at irregular intervals’” http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/anonymous-releases-hacked-csis-document-threaten-to-leak-stunning-secrets-at-irregular-intervals

The Toronto Star–“A Canadian Snowden? CSE warns of “insider threats”” https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/26/a-canadian-snowden-cse-warns-of-insider-threats.html

Vice Canada–“Everything We Know About the Death of an Anonymous ‘Comrade’ in RCMP Shooting” https://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/everything-we-know-about-the-death-of-an-anonymous-comrade-in-rcmp-shooting

Pastebin–“Some Canadian Anons in response to the #DawsonCreek shootings by RCMP of a fellow Canadian Anon, @jaymack9 (rest in peace)” http://pastebin.com/fUmhcKEx

Pastebin by Canadian Anons–“Criticisms of RCMP by highlighting News Articles” http://pastebin.com/XmPU3bc0

Some People Have Breasts, Get Over It: London Ontario Nipple Party Condemns Body Shaming & Boob Stigma

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[Photo: Bailey Lamon]

If men can go topless in public without shame, harassment, and horrified parents covering their children’s eyes…shouldn’t women be able to do the same?

That is the belief of 19 year-old Emily Monchamp of London, Ontario and a group of local women who wandered Victoria Park topless on Friday during Sunfest (an annual outdoor cultural music and art festival), to make a subtle yet bold statement that female persons (or any person of any identity who happens to have breasts) have the right to be in public without their shirts on, if that is how they are most confident and comfortable.

The “Nipple Party” was not a rally or a protest or even a formal gathering. It was a network of strong and progressive thinkers who joined together to build a support system based on a belief they had in common—or rather a disbelief, in shame and society’s justifications for shaming the female body in disproportionate amounts compared to the male body.

Chill out kids, I’m not saying men don’t experience it too…but you guys know you have it easy on this one. A local activist and male supporter of the Nipple Party, Mike Dwyer put it this way: “The previous night, I was watching the band Five Alarm Funk perform. The whole band is male, and several of them perform topless. They were sweating, jumping, flailing around, having a blast. But what if a female did the same thing? It would instantly be inappropriate. Talk about double standards. Will walking around the park topless change this? Probably not, but it at least starts the conversation.” Some people in the group did go topless while others chose not to but were still supportive of the overall message: respect, choice, confidence, and the need to stop shaming the female body and teaching girls and women that their breasts are offensive.

While it has been legal for women to be topless in public since 1996, legal does not mean socially acceptable. The stigma around breasts is still very much alive, and the reactions of some people to this particular action make that stigma clearer than ever. One woman who was interviewed by the London Free Press made it a relationship issue: “I’m a married woman so I really think there’s only one place to take off your shirt,” while others, even self-identified feminist activists, expressed their opposition citing ineffectiveness in general and a belief that women’s liberation means confronting the root causes of oppression, not simply walking around the park exposing one’s breasts.

While the latter is certainly true, I have to wonder how exactly a person is supposed to address the root causes of this particular stigma? If we are taught to hate our bodies, that our breasts need to be covered because they are offensive and inappropriate…when mothers cannot even breastfead their babies in public without getting harassed by police, security guards and random people…while mainstream media advertisers (and PETA) exploit and objectify the female body and make millions of dollars doing it…how can one honestly believe that fighting stigma does not require some sort of radical confrontation? The fact that women walking around topless is still “radical” in this day and age is very bothersome to me. It just goes to show how much work still needs to be done to make our society a better, safer place for women and girls.

Many females are taught from a young age that we should be “sexy”, but only “sexual” under certain conditions (such as marriage). We are taught that making our own decisions about our bodies, in this case about how much or how little or what to expose, is only okay if it fits within society’s realm of acceptability. In the case of ultra-westernized, conservative, racist, white-bred London Ontario I bet if a group of Muslim women were making a political statement by walking around the park freely without hijabs on, ya’ll would support that shit big time…not that I wouldn’t! But the point is that a) breasts are natural and not offensive and holy shit kids should know what they actually look like as opposed to learning about females from the University of 4chan, b) stop pretending that your personal decisions such as how to dress yourself make you a better person than someone who does it differently, and c) calm your tits…they’re only tits.

First Annual London TD Tar Sands Toxic Pool Party!

The first annual TD Tar Sands Toxic Pool Party was held by activists from Climate Justice London today at TD Sunfest. The activists sported bathing suits and rubber ducks while being covered with a black gooey substance that was later identified as Hershey’s chocolate and corn syrup.

Several activists played in a small pool while others handed out flyers and talked to curious people entering TD Sunfest.

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The theatrical demonstration was intended to educate people about TD’s involvement in the development of the the oil industry in Canada which is transforming one of the world’s last remaining intact ecosystems into North America’s gas tank.

Alberta’s boreal forest and wetlands are home to a diverse range of animals, including lynx, caribou and grizzly bears, and serve as critical breeding grounds for many North American songbirds and waterfowl. Oil companies are scraping up hundreds of thousands of acres of this wildlife haven to mine tar sands — silty deposits that contain small amounts of crude bitumen.

Extracting the tar sands and turning bitumen into crude oil uses vast amounts of energy and water, and causes significant air and water pollution, and three times the global warming pollution of conventional crude production. The rush to strip-mine and drill in the boreal will destroy and fragment millions of acres of this wild forest for low-grade petroleum fuel.

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More pictures from Kevin Jones: More pics HERE

Climate Justice London Facebook page: HERE

 

Mike Roy -July 12th 2015

Mikeroy.ca

Anonymous Leaks Info of Canadian Government Officials in Retaliation to Bill C-51

A faction of the decentralized hacktivist collective Anonymous is claiming responsibility for multiple leaks of Canadian officials’ personal data, including email addresses, credit card numbers and website login information.

The leaked database of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Society of Canada was stored unencrypted and implicates several departments at all levels of government: municipal; Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, as well as Provincial; Ontario and Alberta, and Federal Departments; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Environment Canada and Transport Canada. An administrative account was also created by Anonymous on the ITS website. So far there have been 3 separate data dumps with the warning of 1000 more to come.

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The leaks were publicized on Tuesday, June.23rd as part of ‘#OpCyberPrivacy’ but representatives of the group later denied their connection to Vice Motherboard: “#OpCyberPrivacy has not and will continue to not release any manner of private information.” However, the group of Anons responsible for leaking the information, regardless of Op labels, assert that this was done in retaliation to Canada’s recently passed anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51…which is extremely controversial as it jeopardizes privacy and free speech rights of Canadians under the banner of “National Security.”

While #OpCyberPrivacy still stands in opposition to C-51, they maintain that leaking personal data is an inappropriate and harmful response: “The documents leaked were the work of a small group unaffiliated with the main operation, whereas we have on several occasions voted against such actions. #OpCyberPrivacy officially denounces such action as anti-privacy. NO Canadians data should ever be leaked. It is against all we stand for.”

What this has not stopped #OpCyberPrivacy from doing is attacking government websites through DdoS and making them unaccessible, which is what happened during their first attack. The second attack was on a Montreal Police website.

#OpCyberPrivacy – Anonymous Message To Canadian Senators

Regardless of how one personally feels about data dumps, they certainly raise questions not only about privacy issues and who deserves to have privacy, but important questions about power. Under bill C-51, the Canadian government and their spy agencies (mainly CSIS, CSEC) have access to whatever information they want about anyone living in Canada. The government believes and insists that transparency from citizens is the only way to “protect” us from “terrorism,” and yet any sort of enforced transparency on their end is a crime. Why is that?

As a person living in Canada who is concerned about the impact of C-51, I cannot help but see this as just another way to even out the power imbalances inherent in legislation such as this…in other words, if they can gather, store and share our data as much as they see fit, why can’t we do the same to them? Transparency is needed to prevent and fight terrorism, afterall…

Leaks can be found here: https://www.cyberguerrilla.org/blog/anonymous-hacks-itscanada-ca-leaks-canadian-government-official-infos-opcyberprivacy-opc51/

Further reading:
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/anonymous-claims-it-leaked-passwords-and-credit-card-info-of-canadian-officials

https://news.vice.com/article/anonymous-claims-responsibility-for-cyber-attack-on-canadian-government-websites

Call Out: Happy Birthday Matt DeHart! Letter/Card/Donation Blitz

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Matt’s DeHart’s 31st birthday is on June 11th and unfortunately he’ll be spending it in jail, away from his family and friends due to a violent, ruthless investigation by the American government over information he allegedly had access to. Matt was deported from Canada in March after a failed asylum claim, giving him and his family no choice but to return to the country that tortured him over information in 2010.

Let’s all take an opportunity in the next couple of weeks to send Matt a little something to show we’re all thinking of him on his birthday, and continue to support him as his legal case moves forward. It can be a card or a letter, or if you can afford it, perhaps a care package or a donation to his defence fund. It’s really up to you. Reality is that Matt needs all the support possible and every little bit helps!

Congrats on surviving another year on this planet, Matt…and staying as strong as you have despite everything you and your family have been through!

Here are a few suggestions for supporters:

-Write a letter or send a card by snail mail (Address is on the flyer below, remember to include his inmate number!).

-Donate to his commissary fund: Money orders or certified checks by mail addressed to “Matthew Paul DeHart, #164682″ [no personal checks]. Money orders must be made payable to the inmate and have the purchaser’s info. Make payments online via: http://tponlinepay.com

-Send a care package via http://www.icaredirect.com/en-US/CorCentral/BowlingGreenCommissary

-Donate to Matt’s legal defence: https://mattdehart.com/donate

For more information on who Matt DeHart is and why he needs our support, visit the Courage Foundation’s website: https://mattdehart.com

MattDeHartJailSupport

Canada’s 3rd day of action against secret police bill #C51

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[Photo: Mike Roy]

Saturday, May.30th 2015 was the 3rd National Day of Action held in Canada against Bill C-51, a piece of legislation supported by the ruling Conservative government and Liberal Party of Canada that attempts to address and eliminate potential threats of “terrorism”. It has been compared to the Patriot Act in the United States. C-51 passed in the House of Commons just weeks ago, making its way to the Senate who could, if they wanted to, scrap the bill entirely. At this point in time 15 Canadian Senators oppose C-51, while 5 are in support and 52 are undecided.

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[Photo: Mike Roy]

National days of protest have been happening every month since the bill was proposed in addition to consistent campaigning from anti-C51 organizers all over the country. With the understanding that it could be law any day now, people are shifting the pressure from their M.P.s to Senators. Some are optimistic that it can stopped, while others are expecting the worst possible outcome.

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The bill is allegedly a response to the Ottawa shooting and acts of violence that the government likes to blame on “Islamic extremism” or “violent Jihad”. As pointed out by the general population who oppose it, including four former Canadian Prime Ministers, the problems with C-51 range from increased surveillance, spy oversight that Edward Snowden has called the weakest oversight in the Western world, spy agencies like CSIS acting as secret police forces, and preemptive detainment of anyone that law enforcement deems threatening based on suspicion alone.

One major concern is how the Canadian government categorizes who and what types of actions will be targeted by their definition of “terrorism” that remains vague enough to include just about anyone, let alone political dissidents who are already being targeted by the state. Many activists and political figures, like Green Party leader Elizabeth May, have raised concerns about law enforcement clamping down on peaceful protesters, including Indigenous Land Defenders opposing environmentally harmful projects on their territories such as fracking and oil pipelines.

The Canadian government as well as CSIS, CSEC, RCMP and local police forces will have access to all of the information about us available, and yet we get access to very little of theirs. They can share our information between each other, including internationally with other spies who are part of the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance. They can watch everything we say and do online. They can track us in real life. They can and will infiltrate us, and they will legally target anyone that they deem hostile and any group they consider “threatening” to Canada’s interests. In the end, what C-51 comes down to is an information war. The more information a government entity has on you, the more power they have…including the ability to threaten, intimidate, and manipulate you through fear and control. To be without privacy is to be without autonomy because surveillance forces us to police ourselves. Therefore the powerful win. And rather than question the motives of politicians or question power at all, many people still operate under the framework of “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” evidence that the conditioning process is not imminent but already occurring. In the end, society ends up doing the National Security work for the spies and politicians under the illusion of protecting freedom they don’t have, while truly believing that they have it. In other words, there is a serious power imbalance perpetuated by C-51 that is nothing less than fascist.

RossGreen
[Photo: Mike Roy]

Who will win the war?

 

Written by: Bailey Lamon https://twitter.com/UptheCypherPunx

Co-written, Photos: Mike Roy https://twitter.com/theindignants

 

More info: https://stopc51.ca/

More photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.918474454861055.1073741947.257145594327281&type=1

Great video from 2nd day of action: https://www.facebook.com/RevNews/videos/vob.784550233/478289328991301/?type=2&theater

Above the law

On November 5th, the London Anonymous group held a rally, entitled the Million Mask March, to protest government corruption, unjust laws, and police surveillance, among other things. Over the next few days, the police decided to conduct an investigation, in which they figured it was ok, to constantly harass non violent activist’s for their footage, going so far as to threaten to break down doors and threatening to confiscate computers, cameras, and harddrives. Nothing ever came of these threats, and indeed, most of the footage the cops were asking for was already online. In fact, the police released a press statement, thanking those members of the public who posted their video’s online, which included those being threatened. So, on one hand, you have the cops harassing people for footage, and on the other, you have those same cops, thanking those who were harassed.

On December 4th, Mike Roy, and Bailey Lamon, of The Indignants, witness 2 local thugs violently arrest a man downtown London. They start filming and taking pictures with their cellphones. After said arrest, they walk home. A couple of days later, the 2 said thugs visit Mike and Bailey. “We’ll toss your place upside down” they said. “We’re gonna come back with a warrant” they said. However, when confronted about what he said, pottruff immediately backtracks and responds 3 times  with “search your place”. And they never bothered coming with a warrant. In fact, they never bothered to come again for this. Seems to me, that if you stand your ground against these thugs, when they are threatening to violate your rights, as they violate your rights by harassing you, they back down. For a little bit. Which is kind of sad when you think about it. They keep trying the same thing, with the same results. You’d think they’d try something different.

Kevin Jones seems to have born the brunt of the harassment from London Police Services as of late. He has been constantly called and harassed over footage, and most recently over a facebook post he made.
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He was was called the next morning, and was informed ” that they have have been monitoring my Facebook posts and he says he is worried about me harming myself”

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I have been informed from people that work in the field, that it is difficult to get the police to do welfare checks on people, when social workers and others ask them to, as required by law. WHAT THE FUCK are they doing pretending to do a welfare check on a peaceful non violent activist, when they can’t even be bothered to do welfare checks on those who actually may need a welfare check.(and lets not get into the whole idea of cops doing “welfare checks” to begin with)

Kevin recieved several more calls after this from unknown numbers, which, if you’ve ever experienced this type of harassment, you’d know that the police never call you from a number in which you can call them direct.(even though they have cellphones) They always block their number. I wonder why they don’t have any transparency there. Seems to me, that public servants should be more than willing to give out their phone numbers to those who ask. Especially considering that pottruff is always looking for new avenues of communication. I’ve asked him several times in the past for his phone number, but he keeps on giving me the stations number. Apparently, it’s ok for him and his friends to call and harass non violent activists, but not ok for the rest of the world. Cops are obviously above the law, when it comes to harassment and intimidation.

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From the Canadian Criminal Code;

  • 264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
  • Marginal note:Prohibited conduct

    (2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of

    • (a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
    • (b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
    • (c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
    • (d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.
  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

There is a hell of a lot more to this story. Watch here for more stories, and check out our previous articles.

How That Catcalling Video Fails

 

10hours

While focusing on one specific aspect of social hierarchy can be successful in demonstrating a particular social issue, it can neglect to see how other issues of oppression might intersect with it. I will be arguing that the video called “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” is effective in the creation of discourse around gender related issues such as patriarchy and street harassment, but at the same time it is insensitive to, and neglects to see intersectionality, allowing for a subtle narrative to be created through negative race and class related stereotypes.

    The video addresses the issue of gender related harassment, utilizing and confirming the patriarchal heteronormative assumption that men would indeed harass and objectify the woman who stars in the short film. The video production was done with the intention of the woman being the object of “the male gaze” through the use of the camera (the gaze), presenting the woman as the center point, positioning the camera directly at her as she walks briskly, showing little emotion and looking straight ahead as she moves through the streets of New York city. As she moves through the streets, it is obvious that “the woman is passive to the active gaze from the men she passes by and this passivity adds to the hegemonic patriarchy to the films narrative.”  The text at the beginning of the film states “Ten hours of silent walking through all areas of Manhattan, wearing jeans and a crew-neck t-shirt.100+ instances of verbal street harassment took place within 10 hours, involving people of all backgrounds.” The problem with this statement is that when you watch the video, you notice that all of the men who harass the woman appear to be visible minorities, contradicting the videos statement about inclusion of “involving people of all backgrounds” and many are just sitting on the side of the street which further reinforces negative stereotypes of race and class.

    Looking at an issue strictly through a singular lense is problematic, because issues of oppression such as classism, sexism and racism are all interrelated. This video, however meaningful in its intentions, is actually very harmful in that it either completely ignores or it intentionally creates a subliminal narrative around race and class. This could be unintentional, but it reinforces negative stereotypes and a notion that people of color should be feared, as the video shows no examples of white males exhibiting this same behaviour.

    The video is successful in demonstrating its goal of creating awareness around street harassment, however its narrow perspective fails to see and even perpetuates negative stereotypes of social hierarchy. This film creates a subconscious narrative which utilizes pre-existing socially constructed racial and social stereotypes which should have been noticed by the production crew. Being socially aware involves being able to take a step back often out of our own privileged perspective to look at how intersectional power dynamics can positively or negatively affect a message.

 

 

By Mike Roy

Sources:

 

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman. Dir. Rob Bliss. Perf. Shoshana Roberts. Creative and Hollaback, 2014. YouTube. Web.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement. New York: New, 1995. Print.

Kaplan, E. Ann. Psychoanalysis & Cinema. New York: Routledge, 1990. Print.

Mulvey, Laura. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. N.p.: n.p., 1975. Print.

Oster, Erik. “Rob Bliss Creative Takes on Street Harassment for Hollaback.” AgencySpy. Adweek Blog Network, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.

Rosin, Hanna. “The Problem With That Catcalling Video: They Edited Out the White Guys.” XXFactor. Slate.com, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2015.