Anti-military and anti-colonial activists drop banner during Remembrance Day ceremony at McGill University today

Banner reads Canada Kills: Colonialism here, imperialism abroad. End occupation, resist Canada. #RememberThis

Phtoto of dropped banner

Today, activists, including Reclaim Turtle Island, call for an end to the Remembrance Day ceremony on McGill campus. They say the ceremony is designed to manufacture sympathy for the Canadian Forces despite their inherently imperialist and colonialist missions and their continued perpetration of atrocities and genocide both here and abroad. With military vehicles and equipment showcased and the speeches emphasizing the “heroism” of all members of the Canadian Forces, the ceremony does nothing to remember the truth of war and colonial violence, but instead serves to present past and present-day Canadian Forces as glorious and exciting.

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McGill University Open House 2015: Campus Tour of Military Research

The third annual Campus Tour of Military Research took place today during McGill University‘s Open House. Following the distribution of 500 flyers to prospective students and their families, attendees were guided to many military-funded laboratories, and given introductions to their activities. It is always encouraging to see McGill’s brutal honesty at this annual event, which is so contradictory to their secretive approach every other day of the year.

Sure hope this information doesn’t deter anyone from choosing to attend McGill in the future! Open House DM Tour for social media
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#RememberThis: a call for campus alterations

[a call received and transmitted…]

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Demilitarize remembrance

Published 15 October 2015 in the McGill Daily

No celebration of imperialist and colonial violence on campus

Every year, on November 11, the Royal Canadian Legion brings active and veteran members of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), artillery, armoured vehicles, and other weapons to McGill’s downtown campus for Montreal’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony. We respect the wish of veterans to mourn and never let the horrors of war be forgotten. Yet we doubt that their cause is served by mythologizing the exercise of military power rather than reflecting openly on its real effects, and by leaving no space to question whether Canadian society – which inflicts violence and dispossession on so many – was ever worth dying for. Remembrance Day’s glorification of military service and uncritical celebration of the Canadian state support the agenda of the political class that wants the discretion to send troops abroad at any time to kill and terrorize in defence of its own interests.

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Anti-recruitment presence at TechFair 2015

Students opposed to military recruitment were present at this year’s edition of the McGill TechFair, where Canadian spy agency CSEC and defense contractor CAE, among other companies with military ties, were recruiting McGill students. At New Residence Hall on October 7, 2015, the anti-military students held a banner reading ‘Demilitarize McGill’ and distributed the flyer reproduced below. Anti-recruitment actions at this job fair in the late 2000s were the principal reason that Canadian Forces recruiters were dis-invited from the event. Students and others are aware they can do the same for CSEC, CAE, and all organizations involved in strengthening military power.

A flyer that begins: "CAE and CSEC want you! The employment opportunity of a lifetime... Help perpetuate colonialism and the domination of imperialist powers by working in the military-industrial complex!"

Callout for Event Proposals: Remembrance and Militarism Event Series

Every year, the Royal Canadian Legion holds a Remembrance Day ceremony on McGill’s campus, bringing active and veteran members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP, artillery, armoured vehicles, and other weapons onto campus in a bombastic and uncritical celebration of Canadian warmaking and policing.

We believe that, regardless of any individual acts of bravery and self-sacrifice that military personnel may have committed, the overall histories of these institutions are stories of imperialism, genocide, and tragedy, not the triumphant heroism the official history proclaims. As red and white poppies begin to appear on lapels this fall, we want to invite reflection on Canada’s history (and present) of militarism, resistance to state violence in all its forms, and celebrations of those who have stood up to these institutions over time.

Join us in countering the official Remembrance Day ceremony with two weeks of popular education, critical discussion, and movement-building! Demilitarize McGill is currently soliciting event proposals to be held in the first two weeks of November, 2015. Events can include panel discussions, workshops, film screenings, walking tours, performances, etc. Events in English or French are welcome; we will arrange for whisper translation as needed.

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Summer update! ‘Intimidation’ on campus, McGill profs aiding state surveillance, and more…

This summer has been rich with outrage, resistance, and uncomfortable revelations (for the powerful) across this land, and McGill campus has been no exception.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 6.47.53 PM

Screen capture of May 27th, 2015 Journal de Montreal article.

Intimidation, on campus and off

Earlier this summer, Demilitarize McGill shared a communique we’d received about sabotage in McGill’s Macdonald Engineering Building targetting the Aerospace Mechatronics lab, and the story blew up in Montreal media. Soon McGill professors Inna Sharf and Andrew Higgins were making news appearances on the radio and in the Journal de Montreal; claiming they were victims being “intimidated.” We’d laugh at the irony of tenured McGill profs—who benefit from lucrative contracts to develop technologies that enhance the deadliness of military drones, aircraft, and explosives terrorizing entire populations—claiming victimhood in the face of a few crickets, if there weren’t literally lives at stake.

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Demilitarize your campus!

McGill University is not an anomaly in their military involvement. Across Canada, the US, the UK, and Israel, universities are sites of this kind of research and development. The Canadian Department of National Defence, weapons contractors, and the defence departments of the US, UK, and Israel use the labour, resources and prestige of universities to improve their capabilities to wage wars at home and abroad.

A protest organized by Students Against War against military recruitment at UC Santa Cruz in 2005. Two protesters hold a banner reading "Military Off All Campuses" with dozens of people marching behind them.

A protest organized by Students Against War against military recruitment at UC Santa Cruz in 2005.

While McGill University is receiving some pressure to end its collaborations with the military, and while crucial pressure is being applied to the government from other sectors of society, we need to spread this pressure to other universities in order to make it more impactful. The campaign to “Demilitarize McGill” is not the only one of its kind, other campus campaigns against militarism have developed in the recent past and provide great examples of where to start (for example, see Study War No More or Students Concerned About Militarism.)

We’re happy to work with interested groups and individuals to get things started at other campuses. For more information on how we can help check out our Demilitarizing Your Campus page. For resources such as zines and research guides, see our Resources page.

We look forward to intensifying and spreading opposition to imperialism and militarism with you!


McGill covers up explosion and fire in weapons lab

Students active with Demilitarize McGill have revealed that on May 31, 2013 an explosion and fire occurred in the lab facilities of the Shock Wave Physics Group, injuring workers. Two researchers suffered from smoke inhalation, and the uncontrolled explosion and fire, previously unreported, resulted in damage to property. The SWPG, located in the MacDonald Engineering Building, regularly conducts experiments involving explosions in its lab complex located on a busy university campus.

On March 19, 2015, in response to an access-to-information request for incident reports for the Macdonald Engineering Building between January 1, 2011, and present, the University released no documents regarding the explosion and fire of May 31, 2013, and explicitly stated that no documents were withheld under any provision of access-to-information law.

However, Demilitarize McGill is in possession of the Montreal Fire Department’s Intervention Report which details the emergency calls made by McGill security reporting an explosion at approximately 2:13pm and calling for the Fire Department. The report describes a “small explosion fed by two recycled tires in a boiler room, no damage to the building but a lot of smoke in the room [and] two researchers overcome by smoke inhalation”. Three fire trucks were dispatched to the scene.


AIA retaliates in solidarity with Demilitarize McGill

Via Contra Info

“In the evening hours of March 24 2015, we slashed the tires of a McGill security division SUV and attacked the James Admin. building with flying chunks of concrete, vanishing quickly thereafter into the darkness of night.

We claim responsibility for this latest attack in retaliation to the University’s profiling, surveillance and harassment of students and activists affiliated with the group Demilitarize McGill.

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