The C-51 Bill tabled on January 30 by the Harper government is one more step in a long process of abandonment of the hypocritical corpus of “rights and freedoms” that once was the trademark of the Canadian state—a process launched after 9/11 and the “Global War on Terror” launched by US imperialism and its allies.

The Antiterrorist Act, 2015 grants special powers to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agents, who will now be authorized, with total impunity, to actively destabilize networks and organizations deemed dangerous, such as the RCMP cheerfully did in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Bill also creates a new crime of opinion by criminalizing “every person who, by communicating statements, knowingly advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general.” The police will be allowed to seize any publication and close any website containing what, in their view, constitute “terrorist propaganda.”

In addition, the new law will facilitate preventive arrests when they will “likely prevent,” still according to the police, terrorist activity. Those arrested could be held in custody for seven days without any charge.

These are just a few of the many measures contained in the bill, which does not define what is meant by “terrorism” or “terrorist propaganda” but explicitly targets any activity “undermin[ing] the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada.”

This new attack from the Harper government is obviously part of the current national and international context marked by an all-out war against anything the imperialist powers can associate, directly or indirectly, to “Islamic fundamentalism.” It is part of the rise of Islamophobia—which is the promotion of hatred against Muslim people and communities—that is more and more becoming the anti-semitism of the 21st century. By creating from scratch an enemy presented as “a threat to Western civilization and our values,” the ruling class hopes to divide the working class, mobilizing a part of it in the interests of imperialism.

But Bill C-51 is more than that. In fact, all forms of “radicalization” and any “instigator of social tensions” are targeted. Like its counterparts in the United States and Europe, the Harper government is strengthening the repressive arsenal of the Canadian state to crush any resistance and stifle any threat to bourgeois power. Among the threats that CSIS has already identified—apart from “Islamic fundamentalism”—are the supporters of the national liberation struggle of the indigenous peoples, radical environmentalists, and anti-capitalist networks. Their qualification casts a wide net and includes any genuine liberation movement, such as the one led by the Kurdistan Workers Party, which is still on Canada’s list of “designated terrorist entities.”

It would be wrong, however, to treat Bill C-51 as only the work of the Harper government. The process of hardening the repressive apparatus of the Canadian state began long before the Conservatives were in power and will continue if and when they long possess political power; it is part of a downward trend in all capitalist states that are battered by the crisis and facing the rise of people’s resistance. The totally pathetic reaction of opposition parties in the House of Commons—namely the Liberals, the NDP and what remains of the Bloc Québécois, who all support the objectives of C-51—says a lot about the current historical period.

Long gone are the days when the “welfare state” and the so-called “rights and freedoms for all” could dangle a better future for the exploited and oppressed. Today’s world is that of a permanent state of war and of systematic attacks against the working masses and oppressed peoples. In the name of the struggle against the “enemies of the West,” the ruling classes are waging war on all those who oppose the unjust imperialist order. It is clearer than ever that there is no other option than socialism, the overthrowing of the old reactionary states and the building of workers’ and peoples’ power in all countries, if we want an end to the various forms of oppression and exploitation and the recognition of genuine rights and freedoms for the working majority.

The Revolutionary Communist Party is determined to continue the fight against the bourgeois system in solidarity with all revolutionary, progressive, anti-imperialist and anti-colonial organizations and activists who fight for social justice and the end of the rotten system. Counter-terrorism measures and repression will not stop the march of history! Let’s unfold various initiatives to counter the plans of the bourgeoisie—nothing is stronger than the solidarity and self-organization of the proletariat and the oppressed!

Down with Islamophobia—Solidarity with our proletarian Muslim brothers and sisters!
An attack against one is an attack against all!
Workers of all backgrounds, unite against the capitalists and their state!
Long live the anti-imperialist resistance of the oppressed peoples! Long live the struggle against Canadian imperialism!
Long live the revolutionary struggle for workers’ power and socialism!

The Political Information Bureau, PCR-RCP Canada
February 4, 2015
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