Bill C-51 and the International Day Against Police Brutality

The following text is taken from a flyer we distributed at the rally against Bill C-51 in Kingston on March 14, 2015.

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Tomorrow, March 15th, is the International Day Against Police Brutality.

Police inflict terror on our communities – they harass, humiliate, beat, and even murder us with relative impunity. They send our loved ones to jail, and they protect the rich and powerful through targeted repression against the poor, immigrants and communities of colour.

Bill C-51 will expand Canada’s policing apparatus by granting CSIS and the RCMP a wide range of new powers to combat “threats to Canada,” such as warrantless searches, preventative arrest and nearly infinite surveillance powers. But Bill C-51 is only one part of a larger, ever-expanding policing apparatus. When we limit our protest to one bill, one police agency or one exceptional power we can lose sight of the fact that terrorizing communities and crushing resistance is a primary function of any police, whether it be CSIS or the Kingston cops. The RCMP, Canada’s first police force, was created to imprison and murder Native people resisting Canada’s westward expansion. It is what police have always done and will always do, so long as they exist. This is why we are making the link to March 15th and calling for a world without police.

We can’t rely on the state to protect us from its own political police. Opposing Bill C-51 has brought us together today, but we can’t let reformers and politicians trick us into thinking a legislative amendment, improved oversight or another political party in power can really change what is fundamentally a system that protects a rich, white ruling class against the rest of us. The events in Ferguson and across North America this past year have reminded us that it is possible to fight back against the police, and we are inspired by those pushing cops out of their communities (rather than lobbying to buy them body cameras). We can imagine a world without police, prisons or borders. Let’s start here and now.

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