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      Repeal Undemocratic Bills C-51 and C-59!

      By Janine Solanki

      Today in Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has undefined powers of “disruption” which include actions that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You are also are subject to mass surveillance, government agencies can share your personal information without your consent and violate your freedoms with secret “no fly lists”. And with vague and broad definitions of “terrorism” activists come under threat of having this term used against them.

      This and more are the result of the much-hated Bill C-51 “Anti-Terrorism” law passed in 2015. After four years of empty promises to "fix" the human rights violations, the Trudeau government passed “National Security” Bill C-59, which doesn’t address many of the fundamental human rights concerns regarding Bill C-51, creates an even worse cyber surveillance regime and gives the Communications Security Establishment powers to launch cyber-attacks!

      Soon after Bill C-59 was passed recently we received another chilling reminder of how these bills threaten our privacy and rights to protest and organize. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) published thousands of pages of heavily-redacted documents disclosed by CSIS that suggest the spy agency spied on the peaceful protest and organizing activities of Indigenous groups and environmentalists who were opposed to pipeline expansion – and actively shared and received classified information with oil and gas corporation representatives.

      Since Bill C-51 was introduced, the Working Group to Stop Bill C-51 has been consistently organizing to stop and then repeal Bill C-51, and now Bill C-59. Alongside regular protests and banner drops, the Working Group to Stop Bill C-51 also periodically holds educational forums and publishes a brochure to keep the issue of this anti-democratic law in the public eye!

      On August 6, the 219th bi-weekly action took place at Metrotown station. The info table at this busy transit hub attracted many people to sign onto the petitions against Bill C-51 and C-59. On August 19 the 220th action setup at Vancouver City Centre Station. The big pink and yellow “Repeal Bill C-51!” banner and picket signs drew the curiosity of people walking by, and organizers had many great conversations with those opposed to the bill or wanting to learn more.

      Find out about the next action to oppose Bill C-51 and C-59 at http://www.RepealBillC51.org/ and on Facebook or Twitter @stopbillc51

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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