After the morning of September 11 2001, the world changed, and no matter who you think was behind the attacks. One thing is for certain. Liberties, rights, and freedoms have been callously removed or restricted in every first world nation, since that day. All in an effort to prevent “Islamist extremists” from committing large scale terrorist attacks in the future.
It was only a few years after those attacks that we saw the American government begin to shift their focus from foreign terrorist threats, to domestic groups.
Environmentalists, anti-abortion activists, anti-war activists, end the fed activists, pro 2nd amendment groups, and many others (basically if you are passionate about any issue) where all deemed to be domestic terrorist threats by the American government.
In Canada we have not seen the same. Our government has mainly remained focused on the idea of foreign terrorism. Until recently, that is.
Early in 2012 the Canadian government labeled environmentalists as a domestic terror threat. This I could half understand. There are some very extreme environmentalist groups out there. Watch the documentary called Endciv, and you will see where I am coming from. But this label used the same broad and open ended technique that the American government used. By not using any direct definition, anyone who attends an environmental protest or gathering could now be seen as a possible domestic terrorist. A good example is Greenpeace. Active environmentalists, yes. A domestic terrorist group? Extremely doubtful.
Then in October of 2012 a Alberta judge labeled the Freeman on the land movement as “paper terrorist”.
“Their main technique has been termed “paper terrorism” — clogging the court system with a flurry of seemingly incoherent documents that use the jargon recommended by the movement’s “gurus.”
Now CSIS and the Canadian government are openly calling Freeman on the land, left wing extremists groups, and a large number of other “left/right wing” groups as not only domestic terror threats. But among the top terrorist threats to the nation. Source
The rationale’s to the domestic terror threat label being added to some of these groups is mind blowing. Especially when it comes to the Freeman on the land. The reports from the government state “some also claim the right to defend themselves with deadly force”. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t everyone have a right to protect themselves? Even with deadly force if necessary?
There are some very troubling aspects of the Canadian government labeling these groups as terrorist threats. The first being indefinite detention.
We have also seen the American government pass legislation legalizing indefinite detention of American citizens in recent years. In Canada indefinite detention laws have been in the books for decades.
A person classified as a dangerous offender can be given an indefinite prison sentence. This means the offender is at risk for causing a “serious personal injury”. Once again the terminology is very broad. From my understanding, if a person affiliated with one of these groups is arrested and charged with an offense (regardless of what it was). They could have the dangerous offender title (because they belong to a possible domestic terrorist group) and be detained indefinitely.
There is also Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act which included provisions allowing for ‘secret’ trials, preemptive detention and expansive security and surveillance powers. Passed into law in 2001, the act expired in 2007. But in 2011 the Harper government reinstated it, in the Omnibus crime bill C-10.
Secondly we have seen a large increase in domestic military operations. It was only in October and November that the city of Hamilton Ontario had the JTF2 (Joint task force 2) conducting helicopter training for domestic terrorism.
Since that time I have also been told about several domestic terrorism training operations by Canadian armed forces insiders. That included going door to door and forcibly removing people from their homes to take them to a “safe location”.
It seems that we as Canadians are entering unprecedented and dangerous times in our nations history. We can only hope that enough people will “wake up” to what is happening around them.