Monday, March 23, 2015

The New Corporate SLAPP to Canadians

Bill C51, the new expansion of "anti-terror" legislation in Canada, isn't really about the one-in-twenty-million chance of an act of terror having any effect on a Canadian. Rather, it is clearly about expanding the remit of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) to allow the the infiltration and disruption of environmental groups (and, by extension, other politically progressive groups), and to allow the prosecution (and persecution) of Canadian activists under "anti-terror" legislation.
The idea is clearly to scare the shit out of Canadians who question the neo-fascist politics of the Stephen Harper government. In this way it follows in the footsteps of the use of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) to chill public reaction to corporate domination of the public sphere in Canada.
The RCMP has already begun branding environmental action groups and individuals with the "terrorist" label:
Sgt. Cox would not comment on the tone of the January, 2014, assessment that suggests opposition to resource development runs counter to Canada’s national interest and links groups such as Greenpeace, Tides Canada and the Sierra Club to growing militancy in the “anti-petroleum movement.” via: Globe and Mail
It's all just part of the naked displays of corporate power rising around the world (particularly the developed world). Meaningful action on global warming is stymied because the massive oil corporations would see their value collapse if it was clear to the investment community that the on-book reserves would never be able to be tapped. This is the point being made by the divestment movement: we cannot burn any more fossil fuel if we hope to live on the planet. Therefore, what's in the ground must stay in the ground. And that makes those reserves worthless--a fact not reflected in share prices.
So corporations have enlisted (or compelled) the help of national governments to ensure that they are still able to realize profits--regardless of any threat to (or from) those same national governments, or to the global ecosystem. The global  one percent figure they and their descendents should make out all right without regard to what happens to the rest of us. And they may be right.

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