A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) document warning of “violent anti-petroleum extremists” is just “another example of the Harper government’s efforts to criminalize legitimate civil dissent such as peaceful climate activism and pipeline opposition,” environmental organizations told DeSmog Canada for a news report yesterday.
“This is absolutely the criminalization of peaceful protest,” Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada told DeSmog. “The U.S. has identified climate change as one of the greatest threats to national security, yet here in Stephen Harper’s Canada, it is the people trying to stop climate change who are identified as the threat.”
The RCMP document, released to Greenpeace under Access to Information, “relies largely on publicly available newspaper articles for source material,” Linnitt writes, rather than professional analysis. “There is a growing, highly organized and well-financed, anti-Canadian petroleum movement, that consists of peaceful activists, militants, and violent extremists, who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels,” the report claims.
The full report is linked to the DeSmog Canada dispatch.
In Canada’s House of Commons yesterday, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper whether the broad language in the government’s new anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51, would permit security agencies to “investigate anyone who challenges the government’s social, economic, or environmental policies. What is to stop this bill from being used to spy on the government’s political enemies?”
Later, Green Party leader Elizabeth May asked Harper whether C-51 would apply to “activities that are by definition not lawful but that are peaceful,” like the recent protests against Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline. Harper replied that the bill “is designed to deal with the promotion and actual execution of terrorist activities, and not other lawful activities.”