An anniversary that Ottawa would prefer not to celebrate
Date Written:  2013-01-09
Publisher:  Life on the Left
Year Published:  2013
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23723

A look back at Operation Ham with an op-ed piece and a reprinted article from 1978.



An op-ed article in the January 9 edition of the Montréal daily Le Devoir reminds readers of a federal police action 40 years ago to the day that was part of a larger campaign of illegal police activity directed against the Quebec independence movement during the 1970s.

My free translation of Christian Gagnon’s piece, below, is followed by reproduction of an article I wrote in 1978 (!) as an introduction to a book on police "security" operations directed against the Canadian left, the labour movement and Quebec nationalists as well as other opponents of the federal government and state, real and imagined, during those years....

The article is, I think, a useful reminder and analysis of some of the key measures adopted by Canada's rulers in the early years of what later became known as the neoliberal assault on working people.

In the wake of the McDonald Commission report, the Security Service was removed from the RCMP and its functions turned over to a new agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. As the treatment of security certificate detainees and other victims of today’s "war on terror" demonstrates, the CSIS continues many of the practices pioneered by the RCMP Security Service. No doubt the young aboriginal activists of the inspiring Idle No More movement are among their contemporary targets.
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