Follow-up Discussion: Opposing Carleton IRRG and Criminalization

An event regarding human rights, climate justice, and Indigenous land and water defense rights:

Follow-up Discussion: Opposing Carleton IRRG and Criminalization 
Tuesday, November 22
6:30 PM
University Centre Room 279
Description: This event will feature a presentation on the IRRG, the people affiliated and its promotion of police powers and national security laws against political activities, as well as a brief presentation on government “counter-radicalization” measures targeting youth and students, particularly Muslims. This will be followed by open discussion on the topic including what the Carleton community would like to do next to hold the university to account for its support of the IRRG. All those who took part in the protest or supported the action taken are encouraged to join in and bring a friend.

The following statement was released by students and community members who took action against / at Carleton’s “Infrastructure Resilience Research Group” symposium on Tuesday evening.

Attached also is a pdf version of this statement, as well as a pdf of the symposium agenda from IRRG.
One of those involved, Samiha, is cc’ed for any questions/further info – she also has the statement posted on Facebook for sharing:


Students Protest CU Symposium on Criminalizing Land and Water Protectors
– November 16, 2016, Unceded Algonquin Territory

Last night, students and community members protested a Dean’s Lecture included in the “2016 Symposium on Security and Infrastructure Resilience” at Carleton University. The protest lasted 1.5 hours until the event was cancelled. Students acted in solidarity with Indigenous communities such as Standing Rock, North Dakota or Muskrat Falls, Labrador, and others across Turtle Island who are being criminalized for affirming their right to decide over resource developments in their own territories.

The Carleton University “Infrastructure Resilience Research Group” (IRRG) held the Symposium with private industry groups, law enforcement and security agencies, and law professionals as training for dealing with “natural resource development projects and protests targeting critical infrastructure.” The official theme was “The Challenges of Dealing with Natural Resource Development Projects and Activism.”

The two-day, $600 per head Symposium featured workshops on “the threat environment, relevant legal provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Act [the widely-opposed Bill C-51] and other pertinent elements of the criminal code, the prosecutorial experience in cases involving violent acts targeting critical national infrastructure, the adjudication record, and overall lessons learned.”

Martin Rudner, the IRRG coordinator and moderator of last night’s panel falsely referred to student opposition as a “violent protest.” Additionally, he also suggested that one of the purposes of the IRRG is to “protect Aboriginal people from themselves.” This paternalistic attitude shows no respect for Indigenous people, their communities or their causes. We cannot condone those who frame Indigenous protestors and protectors as terrorists.

The activities of the IRRG Symposium are directed towards facilitating state violence against Indigenous communities. One recent example is the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick in October 2013, where community was subject to violent attack by police and private security agents for affirming their rights. As well, a November 8 APTN report revealed that the RCMP has been tracking dozens of Indigenous people considered “threats” for their stand in defence of rights.

Activities carried out by the IRRG are not academic and have no place on university campuses. Political problems require political solutions. They require a political process that recognizes Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and rights. Attention should be given to solving problems on a nation-to-nation basis rather than suppressing Indigenous voices.

Furthermore, Carleton University’s official acknowledgement of its presence on unceded Algonquin territory rings hollow when it allows such events to take place on campus with official sponsorship. We urge the Carleton Administration to refrain from sponsoring or allowing such events in the future.

Indigenous sovereignty is not terrorism, protestors are not criminals, and activities such as the IRRG Symposium are not welcome at Carleton University


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