An article from today’s Toronto Sun, followed by a rebuttal from the band…
Anti-Terror Cops Probed Ottawa Punk Band
May 21, 2008
OTTAWA–All it takes to get noticed by Canada‘s top anti-terrorism team is a shocking band name and a provocative logo.
At least, that’s the contention of The Suicide Pilots, a self-described “no-name punk band” based in Ottawa that promotes itself with a cartoon image of a plane swooping toward the Parliament Buildings.
Access to Information documents released by the band’s lawyer yesterday show the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team took a look at the group last year as a result of the band’s outspoken and politically active drummer, Jeffrey Monaghan.
Monaghan was alleged last spring to have leaked the environmental plan of the Conservative government, and was marched in handcuffs by the RCMP out of his contract job at Environment Canada.
He was never charged with anything, but his musical tastes, including a song titled “Harper Youth,” quickly attracted state scrutiny.
“Subject is a self-described anarchist and drummer in a punk band that compares (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper to Hitler,” says an RCMP report dated two days after Monaghan’s May 9, 2007 arrest.
The band’s MySpace page depicts a “9/11 type drawing showing an airplane crashing into the Parliament; there is also anti-Harper songs from the band,” says an assistance request from the national security team to the Tech Crime unit.
The documents show that the force’s integrated cyber-analysis team, the commercial crime unit and national security team were all involved.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service was apprised. “Advise CSIS of our findings,” states a timeline for May 29.
The last entry is dated Sept. 8 and is marked “NFAR, CH” – RCMP jargon for No Further Action Required, Cancelled Here.
The band, in a statement, said the investigation is indicative of “Harper’s `War on Terror’ gone mad.”
The RCMP declined to comment.
Response from THE SUICIDE PILOTS:
It appears some idle bureaucrats in Ottawa’s spy departments have been evaluating the terror-ness of The Suicide Pilots.
A note on our logo: Please, please, notice the plane has a face. Unless you’re a crude and improbate crap-sack, you will recognise that “planes” do not have faces. Therefore, if this “plane” has a face, is it really a “plane”? Now, silly reactionaries, ask yourself that question. If you’re being snide, let us help you: The answer is no! (our apologies for all individuals that did not need that condecending explanation). That is not a plane. It is an image of a plane with a puzzled face. That means it’s a symbol, or metaphor, or whatever the fuck you want to call it. Please feel the freedom to interpret it any particular way you’d like. We’ve displayed the image publicly and have therefor accepted the risks of independent interpration. So please, eat that shit up.
Authoritarian states have a long history of suppressing dissent. Some of history’s most powerful images of dissent have been expressed through various means of art (for the record, we don’t consider our art, or expression, or music – for that matter – particularly important). The fact that the gargantuan “War on Terror” apparatus of the State has identified and catalogued our work is an example of the ridiculousness of this phony war. Of course, there have been many individuals directly impacted by this war’s racism. We do not want to understate those abuses. Along with the renditions, racism, and other forms of oppresion perpetuated by the “War on Terror” campaign, the spying on social activists, artists and others, displays the real character of the State. It shows a closed group of power-hungry meglomaniacs entirely concerned with protecting their power and suppressing movements that challenge their authority and legitimacy.
Paranoid governments are prone to attacking artists and dissendents. Perhaps the paranoia evident in this enormous police apparatus is an expression of the system’s weakness; the tighter their grip, the more people will slip through their fingers. As more folk find themselves on the fringes – disenfranchised, manipulated, persecuted & cast aside by a system emphasizing property and profit – resistance to this abusive structure will grow. Things desperately need to change; the more those at the top of the hierarchy struggle to hold on to the reins of power, the more apparent it becomes, even to those who never thought themselves radical, that change is imminent. We would like to believe that this bloated, top-heavy, cop-shop-State – being built by people, can be broken down just the same. Sarah Polley shall lead the charge that sees Harper swingin’ in the breeze, so much crow meat…..Apologies to Ms. Polley if they take that last sentiment as seriously as our poor little plane.
For centuries the buildings atop of Garrison Hill (aka parliament hill) have coordinated the violence of this colonial enterprise. No empires last. When in Rome, do as the Vandals.
FOR A LIFE WITHOUT DRUDGERY
FOR A HOLIDAY WITH NO BEGINNING OR END
FOR A SOCIETY WITHOUT PARANOID COPS AND TERRORCRATS
FOR A MEDIA WITHOUT SENSASIONALISM AND TRIVIALITY
SMASH THE STATE!