Friday, June 6, 2014

Montreal Simon, Dr Dawg, .... Now What?

Montreal Simon, riffing off a post of Dr. Dawg's. The Doctor provides the following:
And now we learn—surely this takes the mouldy cake—that all federal departments have been ordered to track and monitor every single demonstration taking place anywhere in Canada. This will be coordinated by a mysterious outfit called the Government Operations Centre, which will feed the information to its “partners,” whoever they happen to be. One shudders to guess.
Obviously this further develops the politicization of the public service, which has been proceeding for some time. It violates, as one astute Tweeter pointed out, most of the Treasury Board Values and Ethics Code, and, as the seasoned intelligence specialist Wesley Wark notes, it’s illegal, too. But since when has that ever stopped the Harperium, with its high-level parade of perps?
Our democratic right to demonstrate our disagreement with the Harper regime will now be more closely monitored than ever. Most Canadians, of course, do not “dissent,” in the sense of dragging themselves to a demonstration or a rally, or even writing a letter to an MP. With this latest revelation, though, how can any of us maintain our blissful state of denial, lulled by pundits and assured that it can’t happen here? Indeed it can. Indeed it is. Take the red pill, folks. Surely the time has come.
Simon provides some quotes from the links Dawg provided:
The federal government is expanding its surveillance of public activities to include all known demonstrations across the country, a move that collects information even on the most mundane of protests by Canadians.

The email requesting such information was sent out Tuesday by the Government Operations Centre in Ottawa to all federal departments. “The Government Operations Centre is seeking your assistance in compiling a comprehensive listing of all known demonstrations which will occur either in your geographical area or that may touch on your mandate,” noted the email, leaked to the Citizen.

Wesley Wark, an intelligence specialist at the University of Ottawa, said such an order is illegal. “The very nature of the blanket request and its unlimited scope I think puts it way over the line in terms of lawful activity,” said Wark. “I think it’s a clear breach of our Charter rights.”

Wark said the only lawful way a Canadian government agency, with the appropriate mandate, would have to monitor a demonstration would be if that agency could establish that the protest would constitute some kind of threat to civil order. “But it has to be specific and it has to be justifiable in law to mount such surveillance,” he added.
My question is simple: Now what? Yes, yes, yes. harper is an anti-democratic menace. he's a vile, evil, destructive threat to our standard of living and our way of life. But what do you propose we do about it? What are the concrete steps that you, we, somebody else with more resources, should take to stop him?

That's the big question isn't it? Flash mobs to "raise awareness"? A protest in Ottawa one afternoon? Coordinated rallies in communities across Canada on the same day? Going to the polls in 2015 and hoping that Liberal-NDP vote-splitting doesn't give harper another government? Or that his "Rigged Elections Act" and his talent at election fraud gives him another majority? Throw a brick through a window while wearing a black mask?

Our pundits have actually done a fairly good job of calling out harper for what he is, by the way. It hasn't mattered. Lawrence Martin, Carol Goar, Paul Wells, Andrew Coyne, Murray Dobbin, Michael Harris; just to name a few, have all sounded the alarms about the significance of harper's behaviour. Informing people who read about politics that harper is a menace isn't sufficient to bring the man down. It will take something else. I've put something forward. Perhaps you people can come up with something better?

(For the record, as with Murray Dobbin, I've tried to contact harper critic Michael Harris, to discuss a movement to bring down harper and redeem Canadian democracy. Unlike Dobbin, who told me he was too busy, ... watching the paint dry I suppose, ... Harris hasn't even bothered to respond.)

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