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Dangerous Ideas: Files from the Olympics Thought Police

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Dangerous Ideas: Files from the Olympics Thought Police

In May, I requested my police files through the Privacy Act, and after over three months and a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner's Office, I received 44 pages of heavily redacted records.

No real shocker as to what is in the files, though I was a tad surprised to learn that I only received 44 out of 138 pages of information collected about me from the period of 2008 to spring of 2010. 

I, like many others, was actively surveilled in the lead-up to the Olympics, considered a person of interest, and tracked on the "theme" of public order. Though of course no names are named it is obvious that the police were using informants/infiltrators/undercover cops throughout this period, these were the people who continued to recommend I be considered a "person of interest."

In 2009, the Joint Intelligence Group noted that I spoke at a Council of Canadians event about the tar sands in Golden, BC. The cops were acting out of concern for the Olympic Torch.

On Sunday, September 13th 2009, police sat outside and took notes as my friends and I ate together at a restaurant. This was part of a task to "surveil the target(s) and attempt to obtain a lifestyle and a current residence."

Check out the files, attached here as SET A and SET B if you're curious.

Again, if my file over the period leading up to and including the Olympics is 138 pages, I can only imagine the volume of material they've collected on other comrades. Yesterday I sent another complaint to the Privacy Commissioner to see if I can get the remainder of my records. According to ex-CSIS agent-cum-access-to-information-guy Normand Sirois, "The fact that you request your personal information does not necessarily mean that all information will be disclosed to you."

Anyhow, I share this as a point of interest, not as a newsflash. I hope it encourages others to ask for their files (it's free).

Whatever way you understand it, it's pretty fucked up that the cops are collecting information on folks for thinking critical thoughts, and speaking with others about those ideas. Pleading for police reform isn't gonna shift the game. My main reflection upon receiving these files is the importance of not talking to the cops. What you say can (and will) be used against you, and your friends. 

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Link for RCMP

Here's the link if you want to ask for documents from the RCMP

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