February 17, 2016

English Edition, No. 4

Stop the Creation of Pretexts to Criminalize the Youth!

UN Secretary-General's Visit to Montreal

Stop the Creation of Pretexts to Criminalize the Youth!
UN Secretary-General's Visit to Montreal
Attacking the Youth Is Part of Agenda of Aggression and War
Youth and Workers Oppose State-Organized Promotion of Racism

Stop the Creation of Pretexts to Criminalize the Youth!

UN Secretary-General's Visit to Montreal

From February 11 to 13, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid a visit to Canada during which he met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

A significant aspect of the UN Secretary-General's stay was a visit to the Montreal-based Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRMV) with Mayor Coderre. The centre was set up by the Montreal municipal government in March 2015 in the wake of hysteria created by the monopoly media against youth, mostly from Collège de Maisonneuve, who supposedly wanted to leave the country to join ISIS. According to the CPRMV's director, trips will be made to several countries to present the "Montreal model" of combating radicalization.

Diagram showing what the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization says is the process leading to violent radicalization. Click to enlarge.

Ban Ki-moon praised the Mayor of Montreal, telling him to work "closely with the United Nations in our efforts to prevent radicalization and extremism." "[H]uman rights and human dignity should be placed on top," in the fight against radicalism, Ban said, adding that "we are living in a world of peril because of the spread of radicalism, extremism and violent terrorism." He said that it is of "highest priority to work with the member states including Canada to stem this flow."

On the issue of "addressing the root causes to stem this flow," Ban Ki-moon had nothing to say, which did not help the dubious reputation of the "prevention of radicalization" model Canada is pushing.

Ban Ki-moon also spoke with McGill University students on the topic "Threats and Opportunities: The Power of Young People to Shape a New Future." In his speech he described "the four greatest threats facing humanity" as "unemployment, climate change, armed conflict, and humanitarian crises."

His answer to these four problems was not to point to the need to settle scores with the moribund capitalist system and the imperialist system of states which are creating havoc and using force to impose their hegemonism and carry out regime change. The solution Ban gave was that young people should be appointed to influential positions in UN programs. He referred specifically to four UN "global responses" identified with each of the four "greatest threats." These were the UN Sustainable Development Goals (unemployment), the Paris climate change agreement (climate change), the UN Security Council resolution on youth (armed conflict) and the World Humanitarian Summit (humanitarian crises).

This resolution on youth is particularly offensive since links "radicalized youth" to armed conflict and on that basis makes them the target, not the imperialist powers and the rotten systems of oppression and exploitation. Adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on December 9, 2015 (Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015)) the UN press release announcing its adoption states, "Recognizing the threat to stability and development posed by the rise of radicalization among young people, the Security Council today urged Member States to consider ways to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels."

Ban Ki-moon stated at the time of its adoption, "That resolution is the first to focus solely on the role of youth in peacebuilding and countering violent extremism. The resolution represents an unprecedented recognition of the urgent need to meaningfully engage young people as important partners in global efforts to promote lasting peace. The resolution marks a shift in the way the world seeks to prevent and end violence by acknowledging the positive and constructive roles that youth play in building sustainable peace and preserving international security."

After setting out his thesis that youth must be de-radicalized by engaging them in imperialist schemes through the UN, Ban also referred to "the pull of violent extremism on youth." He said this equation should be turned around. "[Y]outh can end the pull of violent extremism. That is why I have been calling for empowering young peacebuilders," he said.

The "partnership with youth" to which Ban Ki-moon refers will be reduced to occupying "influential positions" within the UN while the demands of the world's peoples to end foreign interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries and the use of force to resolve conflicts are ignored.

Two days after Ban's visit a sensational story appeared on CTV News claiming "three Canadian women have given birth to children of ISIS fighters, while another two are pregnant." The article refers to a "larger study" which is not named and apparently not published but to fuel the hysteria CTV quotes Amarnath Amarasingam, said to be a co-lead author of the study. According to the CTV report, "the women are between the ages of 19 and 22, and are from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec."

No other information about the study or its claims has been published and no other news outlets published similar reports. It is not even clear whether the co-lead author quoted approached CTV to produce the story. Despite this, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale was quick to tell CTV that this is "obviously a very disturbing development," and used the occasion to reiterate the Liberal government's pledge to open its own "national counter-radicalization office."

"We will be moving forward shortly, as rapidly as we can, on the creation of this new office for community outreach and counter radicalization," said Goodale. "I'm concerned with every dimension about this type of problem, it runs contrary to everything Canada stands for, in terms of values in the world," he said.

All of it looks like a concerted attempt to create further pretexts to criminalize the youth who more than ever need to unite in action to build a bright future for themselves and take the initiative as well as resources out of the hands of the real perpetrators of crime and violence worldwide.

Attacking the Youth Is Part of Agenda of
Aggression and War

The ruling circles are making a concerted attempt to mobilize the youth for their agenda of aggression and war but in this they are having great difficulty. They need the youth as cannon fodder and to serve in the Liberal government's plans to use soldiers, special forces, training personnel and NGOs in the Middle East and Africa. Already military and political figures are suggesting that Canada's bilingualism and Quebec's French speakers are of great advantage to stationing forces abroad.

These sentiments were expressed to Embassy News in early February by Walter Dorn, professor at the Royal Military College of Canada who is being consulted by the government on such matters. Prime Minister Trudeau himself suggested to Ban Ki-moon that Canada could play such a role "because the Canadian Forces has a large number of francophone and bilingual officers," the CBC reports. Quebec youth are a particular target.

However, the ruling elite is having difficulty in mobilizing the youth and their families in this attempt. Journal de Montreal reports that a planned workshop with parents on the alleged fight against "Jihadist radicalization" hosted by the administration of Collège de Maisonneuve in Montreal had to be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.

The workshop was part of a series of measures announced by the administration of the college. These included "eight training sessions offered to staff on understanding the path leading to radicalization and possible means of prevention." This was explained in the 2014- 2015 annual report of the College presented to its Board of Directors on November 23.

Teachers and college staff were also invited to report their "suspicions" or "any situations involving students that may be in the process of radicalization" by sending a message, anonymous or not, to an email address set up for that purpose.

"Vulnerable students" have been targeted, meaning young people from immigrant families or national minority families who have "identity problems," "lack of prospects," and who had suffered "discrimination," "ostracism" and "exclusion," the report says.

A former military intelligence officer specializing in terrorism quoted in local media said the lack of enrolment was "a result of people being unwilling to give their names publicly." He suggested it is for fear of being targeted by government forces and police and having their names given to security forces.

But there is another reason that experts do not address -- that parents do not accept the racist logic of "prevention of radicalization" which targets national minority and Muslim youth.

Youth and Workers Oppose State-Organized
Promotion of Racism

On February 6 anti-racist and anti-fascist youth and workers gathered at Jarry metro station in Montreal to oppose the continued state-organized promotion of racism in the form of a provocation organized by something called "Pegida-Quebec." Allegedly connected to the German racist group Pegida, it announced a rally at 3 pm near the metro station and received permission from the City of Montreal to hold it whereby the City provided ample police protection.

The anti-racist opponents of this provocation shouted slogans and informed local residents about what was taking place.

Those who promote Islamophobia and encourage attacks on the working class and people will be opposed no matter what the circumstances, Christine Dandenault, leader of Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ), told Chantier politique.

Just like the police use the mobilizations of the youth against the anti-social offensive to hone their skills in imposing their rule, this event was also used by the police as an exercise in deploying their forces. This included police on bicycles and the riot squad on foot and in running mode. They carried out drills long before the few racists dared to show their faces. Paddy wagons and police cruisers could be seen on neighbouring streets, as well as a truck used as the base for drones to film demonstrators.

This was the third attempt by this formation to meet in public to promote its racist views in Quebec, but once again, they barely managed to show a few faces.


Read Chantier politique
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