FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Anarchists call Police report comparing activism to hate crime "chilling"
May 24, 2009
HAMILTON- Local members of the provincial anarchist organization Common Cause fear Hamilton police are seeking to criminalize local organizers after a Hamilton police report identified the 2nd annual Hamilton Anarchist Book Fair as a potential source of hate crime.
While presenting the Year-End Hate Crime report (available online) to the Hamilton Police Board on May 19, acting sergeant Michael Goch stated police would be “actively monitoring” the book fair scheduled to take place on June 6.
Alex Diceanu, Ontario Treasurer of Common Cause responded, "As the organizers of the annual book fair, and as local anarchists and activists, Common Cause is deeply disturbed by these statements.
"This is a manipulation of hate crime laws to criminalize activism. At this time of economic and environmental crisis, alongside increasing political disengagement, activism and educational events such as the book fair should be encouraged, not chilled with surveillance."
The report also identifies the 2010 G8 summit (Huntsville, ON), the 2010 Olympics, “local native land reclamation issues”, “the anarchist movement” and “anti-government and anti-establishment reaction of economic crisis and job losses” as trends and events that “may have significant impacts and repercussions on the Hamilton community in terms of hate/bias related incidents.”
The "hate" they're supposedly worried about at the anarchist book fair is no doubt criticism of Israeli policies of torture, wars of aggression, land theft, and collective punishment. The only reason one could possibly have to criticize such things is seething anti-Semitism.
But the whole rest of it ... native land reclamation, the anarchist movement, anti-government and anti-establishment REACTION of economic crisis and job losses, ... these things are to be monitored for their potential to create "hate."
I feel it in my bones that the authors of that report are one step away from calling all this stuff "terrorism" and then all bets are off.
This is one of the main reason why I oppose anti-hate laws. They can be conveniently twisted into justifying criticisms of US imperialism, police brutality, Israeli imperialism, or government corruption and lies as "hate speech."
Supposedly though, once we tell the government and the police that they're being unfair and violating the spirit of the laws they'll realize the error of their ways and stop.
No. No they won't.