Thousands of Vancouverites Protest at Kill Bill C-51 Rally

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Photo Credit: Zack Embree

Photo Credit: Zack Embree

Notice any odd traffic patterns over the weekend? That’s because thousands of Vancouverites took to and/or sat in the streets on Saturday to demonstrate against Bill C-351. They started at the Vancouver Art Gallery and made their way through Vancouver. At the end of 4 hours of marching, they sat down in the streets at Broadway and Cambie, just over the Cambie Street Bridge.

Similar protests were held across Canada against the government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, which would give police much broader powers and allow them to detain terror suspects, and give new powers to Canada’s spy agency. According to StopC51.ca, more than 55 “non-partisan” events took place over the weekend.

A media advisory issued on Friday stated that more than 30 “leading digital rights, pro-democracy and civil liberties organizations” are backing the movement, including OpenMedia, LeadNow, Amnesty International Canada, the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the Council for Canadians, Tunnelbear and Women Against Stephen Harper.

StopC51.ca cites the key concerns with C-51. From their POV , it’s:

1. Reckless: It turns CSIS into a ‘secret police’ force with little oversight or accountability.

2. Dangerous: It opens the door for violations of our Charter Rights including censorship of free expression online.

3. Ineffective: It will lead to dragnet surveillance and information sharing on innocent Canadians that even Stephen Harper has admitted is ineffective.

Even the Globe and Mail is warning that Bill C-51 will create “secret police” in Canada.

If the bill passes, no less than 17 government agencies and even foreign governments will also have access to your sensitive private information.

We’re talking about sensitive information that can reveal everything from your financial status, to your medical history, your sexual orientation, and even your religious and political beliefs.”

They go on to say:

“This bill disproportionately targets indigenous communities, environmental activists, dissidents, and Muslims, many of whom are already subjected to questionable and overreaching powers by security officials, [and] will make it easier and ostensibly lawful for government to continue infringing upon the rights of peaceful people.”

Did you participate in the rally or take online “action”? We want to hear from you.

Last modified: March 16, 2015

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