Last week we asked Ceasefire.ca supporters to write to their local media insisting that Prime Minister Harper not exploit the recent tragic killings of two Canadian soldiers to push through new anti-terrorism laws that would give draconian powers to police and spy agencies. Thank you to everyone who submitted letters to the editors of newspapers across Canada!
Here’s what some of you had to say:
Capitalizing on terror
Like the true neo-con that he is, it seems Stephen Harper is about to take advantage of recent events to bring in more restrictions on civil rights and further erode our democracy. He could, however, restore stronger gun-control laws. That would be a plus.
Tashanna Ducharme, Vancouver, National Post, November 1, 2014
Re: Terror Bill Will Draw Heat, John Ivison, Oct. 25.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s admission that his new anti-terror bill was “already being drafted,” suggests that his government had planned to take away our civil liberties all along, not just as a reaction to the recent attack. I’m afraid that all of my years as a protester and advocate now means that I fall into the category of potentially being rounded up, should non-violent protest and outspoken criticism suddenly become suspect. I’m dismayed that more Canadians are not up in arms over this.
I was in Ottawa this week, where I attended a reception in the Centre Block for the Climate Action Network. Members of Parliament from all four parties and people from across the country were in attendance. While security once in the door was standard, there was no proper security by the entrance that would prevent a deranged person from storming their way in and causing serious harm. I hope Prime Minister Stephen Harper directs his efforts toward enhancing physical security and understanding the motivating factors that led to the recent tragic death of two military officers. He should respect those knowledgeable who clearly state that the laws we now have in place are sufficient.
Leonard Sawatsky, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, November 4, 2014
Throughout my life, I have aspired to be radical and to promote radicalization with those whom I meet. One definition of “radical” is to go to the root of a matter, an issue or an ideology. At the roots of my faith is to love the enemy, to love the Earth, to make peace and refuse to go to war, to serve others, to rid the gap between rich and poor, to honour women, the elderly and children, to hope for a better future and to have the courage of my convictions. Similar virtues can be found at the root of all religions. Will such radical thinking make me a suspect in Stephen Harper’s new security bill? If not, then stop using the word radicalization in a negative light and give priority to research the root causes of violent extremism and how to prevent it. Fighting the terrorists with the same weapons that they use has never worked and will never work. It will only lead to more terrorism, as we can plainly see in the Middle East.
Photo credit: CC BY 2.0 image “Caméra de vidéo-surveillance” by Frédéric BISSON on Flickr.