CSIS Watch


PROFILES, PRISONS & RESISTANCE: From Solitary to Guantanamo North to House Arrest

Surviving 12 years of detention without charge in Canada

Monday, 14 May 2012, 7pm
Centre St. Pierre, 1212 Panet (Beaudry Metro), Montreal

Speaking event with Mohammad Mahjoub

with Adil Charkaoui reading his prison poetry. Adil Charkaoui is a Montrealer who won his case against a security certificate in 2009.

Free childcare. Whisper translation. Wheel-chair accessible.

“Fair trial is not a right, it’s a privilege of the powerful and rich.” – Mumia Abu Jamal, Live from Death Row (paraphrase)

For almost twelve long years, Mohammad Mahjoub, a torture survivor from Egypt's Mubarak regime, has been detained without charge in Canada. All on the basis of secret information which the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has admitted was likely obtained under torture. Mr. Mahjoub remains under heavily intrusive control orders and is still on "deportation row". However, for the first time in twelve years, he is permitted to travel outside Toronto.

Mr. Mahjoub is one of five Muslim men who have been struggling for justice in Canada against so-called security certificates. Security certificates allow the government to indefinitely detain or deport people on the basis of their profile.

Mr. Mahjoub will tell his story in a six-city speaking tour, as the Justice for Mahjoub Network gears up for a day of protest to mark the 12th anniversary of his arrest on June 26th.

** More on Mahjoub: www.supportmahjoub.org/background/summary-2/ ** Security certificates: www.supportmahjoub.org/background/security-certificates/

Montreal event supported by: People's Commission Network, www.peoplescommission.org; No One Is Illegal Montreal, http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.ca; Open Door Books, http://opendoorbooks.wordpress.com; Certain Days Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, www.certaindays.org; Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui, www.adilinfo.org.

This event is part of Mohammad Mahjoub's TWELVE YEAR TOUR, which will take him to Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto. Full details of tour: www.supportmahjoub.org/the-twelve-year-tour/


  • We need financial support. Cheques should be made out to "No One Is Illegal Toronto" with "Justice for Mahjoub" in the subject line. Mail to Justice for Mahjoub Network c/o No One Is Illegal-Toronto, 260 Queen Street West, PO Box 60006, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z8. (Please confirm that you have made the donation by emailing justiceformahjoub@gmail.com.)
  • Please pass on this message to your networks and encourage people to come out to hear Mohammad Mahjoub.
  • If you can't be in Toronto, please consider organizing a local event on 26 June, the 12th anniversary of Mohammad Mahjoub's arrest, to demand that all remaining security certificate detainees be immediately freed, that all five receive compensation and citizenship and that authorities responsible be held accountable.

The Twelve Year Speaking Tour is supported by:
CAIR-CAN, www.caircan.ca
Canadian Labour Congress, www.clc-ctc.ca
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, www.iclmg.ca
No One Is Illegal (London, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver - Coast Salish Territories), www.nooneisillegal.org
Prism Magazine, http://prism-magazine.com

Coordinated by:
Justice for Mahjoub Network
WEB: supportmahjoub.org
EMAIL: justiceformahjoub@gmail.com
FB: facebook.com/SupportMahjoub

Profile the Profilers !

Profile the Profilers !

Thursday, March 29th at 8am

Meet in the parking lot at the corner of Peel and St. Antoine (in front of the CSIS office)

Spies, experts in interrogation, and profilers  We are seeking your talents for the surveillance of shady individuals who are threatening the security of our communities.

Following a detailed study of the declaration launched by 70 community organizations endorsing a campaign of non-collaboration with the Canadian Security  Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Peoples Commission Network (PCN) has identified a real threat to our community: CSIS agents themselves. Thanks to the testimonies of their victims, the PCN has been able to document the menacing tactics used by CSIS agents and we are now ready to give  them a taste of their own medicine: surprise visits at work, harassment, and intimidating interrogations. On March 29th, we will greet these secret agents at the doors of their bunker with our cameras, our questions, and our own inquisitive actions.

We invite you to join us at this gathering to subject CSIS to what these agents have done to our communities.


To  profile the profilers, you will need :
- To look like a secret agent
- To have a camera or a recorder

Study in Action: A grassroots undergraduate and community research conference

Study in Action: A grassroots undergraduate and community research conference

Featuring contributions to social and environmental justice research by students, activists, and artists

March 3-4, 2012 at Concordia University

7th floor, Hall Building, 1455 de Maisonneuve West (Guy-Concordia metro), Montreal

Full programme: www.qpirgconcordia.org/studyinaction

Exploring Contested Spaces (Saturday, March 3, 3:30pm)
- Gentrification, Consultation and Resistance: The Case of Shauhnessy Village (Kelly Pennington, Concordia University/Right to the City)
- Montreal’s Security Industrial Complex (Cleve Higgins, People’s Commission Network)
- Witnessing and Photography in Student Movements (Allison Cooper, McGill University)
- Place and Displacement: Mapping Narratives of Kouchibouguac (Julia Gregory, Concordia University)


Community solidarity & popular education: Confronting the national security state

Community solidarity & popular education: Confronting the national security state


Wednesday 29 February at noon

Room 233, Education Building, 3700 McTavish

McGill University, Montreal

A “Meet the Neighbours !” Brown Bag Lunch Seminar on Community Education, Research, Knowledge Production and Social Change with the People's Commission Network

Over the past decade, the debate over "national security" has intensified in Canada. A long list of new surveillance measures has been introduced;  control mechanisms including a "no fly" list have been increasingly normalized; and policing and intelligence powers of the state have expanded. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada's spy agency - which is mandated to protect national security - is a key indicator of this trend. Over the last 10 years, its budget has increased by 140%, reaching $430 million in 2009. In 2010, the agency maintained almost 3000 employees. CSIS has been heavily implicated in several Canadian cases of rendition to torture but has emerged from these and other scandals unscathed, protected by a broad mandate, laws assuring the secrecy of its operations, and a lack of accountability mechanisms.

The People's Commission Network, a grassroots network of community organizations and activists, was formed in 2005 to examine the impact of this trend on migrant communities.  It organized three days of open community hearings on immigration, security certificates, and related issues in 2006 and initiated a major forum on a range of issues on "security" in 2011.

The People's Commission Network is currently engaged in a popular education campaign reaching out to communities in Montreal who are marginalized politically and socially by national security measures. Three members of the People's Commission Network - Mary Foster, Abby Lippman and Jaggi Singh – will present the campaign and discuss its importance. See http://www.peoplescommission.org/en/csis.

All welcome to attend.


Political profiling and institutionalized racism: How the system protects itself

Political profiling and institutionalized racism: How the system protects itself


Tuesday, 28 February, 7pm

Belle époque, 1984 Wellington (Charlevoix metro), Montreal

Join the People's Commission for a presentation and discussion of the role that Canada's spy agency, CSIS, plays in immigration and political repression. As border controls and inter-state cooperation in "security" intensify, political repression and the criminalization of activists keep pace with the creation of new special police squads, infiltration of social movements and use of conspiracy law. In this context, the People's Commission's campaign around CSIS is strategic and timely.

This workshop takes place in the lead up to the month against Police Brutality and Political Repression, which will include a public action against CSIS on March 29th.


Standing up to state intimidation and criminalization

Standing up to state intimidation and criminalization

Thursday, September 15, 6pm to 9pm

Georges Vanier Cultural Centre

2450 Rue Workman (near Notre Dame and Atwater; metro Lionel Groulx)

A campaign of community solidarity and non-collaboration with CSIS

Yavar Hameed, National security, immigration and racism
Tanie Hallé, criminalization, political repression and CSIS
Adil Charkaoui, CSIS: harassment of immigrants, the case of the Muslim community

The evening will also include: a discussion kicked off by Jaggi Singh on the importance of not collaborating with CSIS; the projection of several short films on CSIS; presentation and discussion of campaign plans; and the launch of a new "Know your rights" booklet about CSIS.

  • Free, light dinner (with vegetarian & hallal options)
  • Free child-care onsite (with games like pin the tail on the spy, find the secret evidence, etc.)
  • Translation (whisper): english-french-spanish-arabic-punjabi-farsi-urdu
  • Wheelchair accessible

Members of community organizations and individuals are warmly invited to participate in a community dinner and information and discussion event about how to protect our communities from harassment, intimidation and criminalization by Canada's aggressive spy agency, CSIS.

 For decades, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada's spy agency, has profiled communities and social movements and subjected them to surveillance, harassment, threats and other abuses.

Members of community organizations and individuals are warmly invited to participate in a community dinner and information and discussion event about how to protect our communities from harassment, intimidation and criminalization by Canada's aggressive spy agency, CSIS.

For decades, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada's spy agency, has profiled communities and social movements and subjected them to surveillance, harassment, threats and other abuses.

CSIS is the Canadian government agency mandated to bar immigrants from Canada on so-called security grounds, to initiate the "security certificate" process, to screen government employees, and to place organizations and individuals on blacklists. It also routinely shares information on people in Canada with foreign spy agencies. In its work, CSIS relies on guilt by association and profiling; it regards certain political and religious opinions, as well as entire communities, as suspect. It keeps a watch over indigenous communities, migrant groups, mosques and political organizations. CSIS has been heavily implicated in Canadian cases of rendition to torture but has emerged from these and other scandals - such as manipulation of evidence and the infiltration of labour unions - unscathed, protected by a broad mandate, secrecy and lack of accountability.

Over the last decade, CSIS's budget has increased by 140%, reaching $430 million in 2009. In 2010, CSIS maintained almost 3000 employees. With the Harper majority and right-wing attitudes favouring surveillance and exclusion hardening in Canada, the problem of CSIS will likely only worsen.

The People's Commission Network sees CSIS as a flagship of the current political trend and a powerful tool the state uses to implement racist and repressive policies. Since 2009, our CSIS Watch project has promoted non-collaboration with CSIS. We are now launching a public campaign to confront CSIS more effectively.

Come join us to learn more about the history, mandate, abuses, and current practices of Canada's spy agency, to learn about the new tools that the People's Commission has developed to protect our communities against CSIS (videos, pamphlets, workshop, website, etc.), and to discuss how, as individuals and communities, we can develop effective strategies to end CSIS intimidation and defeat the political interests it serves.

CSIS 101 - Knowing Your Rights

CSIS 101 - Knowing Your Rights

Sunday May 15, 2011
3:00PM to 5:00PM
All Saints Anglican / First United Church, 347 Richmond Rd

(Back Door entrance on Madison St.: N. of Richmond Rd., half block W. of Churchill)


Speakers: Mary Foster and Matthew Berhens of CSIS Watch.

Suggested donation: $2 to $5 on a sliding scale. No one turned away due to inability to donate.

The Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization (OMWO) and the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) invite you to an information session on CSIS.

  • What is CSIS?
  • CSIS mandate and powers
  • Techniques CSIS uses
  • Track record of CSIS
  • CSIS and your rights
  • There will also be a facilitated discussion after the talk

About CSIS Watch: In April 2010 the Montreal based People's Commission set up CSIS Watch to monitor CSIS and encourage solidarity among communities harassed and targeted by CSIS.

For more information email Farhat at farhatrehman@rogers.com or Yahya at yahyaottawa@gmail.com

All welcome! Refreshments will be served.

Outsourcing Torture: Talk by Abdullah Almalki

Outsourcing Torture: Talk by Abdullah Almalki

Tuesday, April 12th, 6-8pm

Dawson College, on Blvd. de Maisonneuve just west of Atwater

Room 4C.1 (metro Atwater), Montreal

Abdullah Almalki is a Canadian who was detained, tortured and interrogated in Syria on behalf of Canadian authorities. Mr. Almalki will be in Montreal to speak at a number of CEGEPs over the course of four days.

All are welcome to come out on Tuesday, April 12th to hear him tell his important story first-hand.

CSIS: Our Friendly Local Terrorist

CSIS: Our Friendly Local Terrorist

Montreal Launch of Our Friendly Local Terrorist

by Mary Jo Leddy

Monday, 20 December, 6 à 8
le cagibi café
5490 St. Laurent, Montréal

Our Friendly Local Terrorist tells the story of the fourteen year struggle of Suleyman Goven, a Kurdish man accused by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) of being a terrorist. Mary Jo Leddy was "accidentally" present at Suleyman's first interview with CSIS. During that eight-hour ordeal he was propositioned: you work for us as a spy and you'll get your papers; otherwise-no guarantees.


Suleyman Goven, the Toronto-based editor of Yeni Hayat, an online source of news about Canada, Turkey and elsewhere from a social justice perspective. Our Friendly Local Terrorist is based on Goven's diary and covers his political persecution in Turkey, his flight to Canada, and his epic struggle with Canada's spies in Canada.

Maria Forti, part of Project Fly Home, the support group for Abousfian Abdelrazik. Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan on the request of CSIS. Never charged, threatened, beaten and tortured, he was held for two periods totaling almost two years. In this context, he was interrogated by two CSIS agents. When he was released, his name was added to an international "terrorist list" and he was blocked from returning to Canada for another three years.

Jaggi Singh, an organizer with No One Is Illegal, Solidarity Across Borders and the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC). He is also active with the CSIS Watch project of the People's Commission Network. Jaggi is currently under restrictive house arrest bail conditions, related to criminal conspiracy charges he and other co-accused are facing in relation to the protests against the G20 in Toronto this past June.

CSIS, Our Friendly Local Terrorists is organized in the lead up to the People's Commission Network conference, "Whose Security, Our Security! Countering the National Security Agenda" which will take place in Montreal from 3 to 5 February 2011.

and featuring an exhibit of posters and artwork from Montreal struggles against the national security agenda.

Sponsored by:

Between the Lines

The People's Commission Network is a working group of QPIRG-Concordia qpirgconcordia.org 514.848.7585 info@qpirgconcordia.org

Contact the People's Commission Network: QPIRG Concordia - Peoples's Commission Network c/o Concordia University 1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8 commissionpopulaire@gmail.com

This website is based on the Fluid 960 Grid System