RCMP called ‘anti-petroleum’ critics a potential security threat
The RCMP had identified “anti-petroleum” critics as a potential security threat, according to a threat assessment dated January 2014.
By: Tonda MacCharles
OTTAWA—The RCMP has identified “anti-petroleum” critics as a potential security threat, fuelling concerns in Parliament that tough new anti-terror powers will be misused to target environmentalists, aboriginals and critics of the government’s economic agenda.
Prepared by the RCMP’s critical infrastructure intelligence team, the threat assessment dated Jan. 24, 2014 says: “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.”
Obtained by La Presse newspaper, the RCMP document casts climate change activists as outside mainstream Canadian public opinion, and points to handful of criminal acts between 2006 and 2013, particularly the anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick that turned violent.
An overwhelming consensus of scientists oppose the continuation of "society’s reliance on fossil fuels.” for sound scientific reasons and not as part of a nefarious anti-Canadian petroleum movement's ideology. Scientists advocate robust measures to reduce burning of fossil fuels. That means leaving them in the ground.
However, University of Ottawa law professor Craig Forcese and the University of Toronto’s Kent Roach have conducted a lengthy analysis of the bill and concluded it is overbroad in many aspects, including by potentially capturing protests that don’t have proper municipal permits for example.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May asked Harper whether the bill would cover activities “that are by definition not lawful but that are peaceful, such as when Conservative MPs refuse to fill out the long gun registry, or when Green Party members blockade Kinder Morgan pipelines. Will non-violent, peaceful activities be exempted from this act?”
It appears the Harper Government is creating a pretext to step up its repression of local communities opposed to fossil fuel development projects seen as potentially very detrimental to their interests. Projects largely being driven by the developers of the Alberta Tar Sands, and hydraulic fracturing.
Canadian mounties' secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat
Intelligence report identifies anti-petroleum movement as a threat to Canadian security and suggests those concerned with climate consequences occupy political fringe
By Suzanne Goldenberg
The Globe and Mail, which was the first to report on the memo, said the tone of the RCMP memo reflects the hostility of the Harper government towards environmental activists.
The memo warns: “Violent anti-petroleum extremists will continue to engage in criminal activity to promote their anti-petroleum ideology”.
The memo also echoes the accusations of former Harper officials of foreign funding of environmental protesters.
Visions of "Outside Agitators?
" These grassroots movements are springing up against risky and extreme fossil fuel extraction projects around the globe. Naomi Klein calls this bottom up movement "Blocakadia"
in her new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
. From Canada to the Niger Delta to the Ecuadorian Amazon the movement is growing and spreading.