by Aiyanas Ormond
The Canadian government claims that the terrorist list and terrorist legislation are about keeping Canadians safe. But it is pretty clear by now that the world shaped by the terrorist list and Canada’s aggressive military and security posture is actually a very dangerous and scary place.
The list is really about creating conditions where massive state violence can be used against anyone who resists Canada, the U.S. and their imperialist allies’ plans for neo-colonial and economic domination.
Who is on the list?
There are three categories of groups listed:
The most targeted are groups with a large base of support from oppressed people engaged in armed struggle against a colonial or neo-colonial regime with which Canada is allied. This includes all of the organizations of the Palestinian resistance: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine among others, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the large guerilla armies in Colombia, and the main forces of the Tamil liberation struggle.
The listing of these groups gives oppressive regimes the green light to use massive military violence against civilian populations that support liberation struggles, including: the Sri Lankan military massacre of more than 70,000 Tamils in 2009, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, repeated massacres of Palestinians in Gaza, and the use of chemical warfare and paramilitary death squads against peasant based guerilla armies in Colombia.
Religious based right wing groups. Most of these groups are very small and the largest are the ones that have been historically supported by the U.S. and their allies but have ceased to be useful, such as al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic State. By and large, these groups do not have a significant base of popular support but receive covert support from U.S. regional allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and Turkey.
Part of the purpose of the list is to confuse people by listing popular groups that actually represent people’s genuine aspirations for liberation from oppressive regimes (those in the first category above) with these imperialist backed groups that actually just want to replace one form of oppressive regime (neo-colonial dictatorships) with another (theocratic capitalist dictatorships).
There are also a number of groups on the list that are paramilitary death squads that do the dirty work of Canada’s allies like Colombia and Israel. The list does not impact these groups because they are, in reality, supported and sheltered by the repressive states that they work for.
Who’s not on the list?
Of course the list does not include the imperialist powers that have shaped the terrifying world we live in: the USA, Canada and the other states whose wealth and power stem from the colonization, plunder and oppression of the rest of the world. Nor does it include the most violently repressive states like Israel, India, Sri Lanka and Colombia, responsible for horrific state violence against civilian populations.
Nor does it include the corporations that profit from the sale of the weapons and munitions used in all this violence, nor the rich people who live glamorous and powerful lives based on the profitability of the arms trade. And of course it doesn’t list the system–capitalism–that drives the violent scramble for land, resources and exploitable workers in the name of ever greater profits. Instead, the terrorist list and rhetoric separates certain types of violence from their historical context in order to justify the use of massive state violence against official enemies (“the terrorists”) so as to keep a profoundly violent and oppressive system going!