7 reasons the Harper Conservatives are creepier than you think
Help SHD.ca produce a documentary and action about creepy Conservative behaviour!
The Conservatives are spending $1.2 billion to build the most expensive government building ever constructed: a glass “spy palace” for military personnel who monitor emails and phone calls.1 On top of that, this year it was discovered that $3 billion dollars in anti-terrorism funding went “missing." The Conservatives still haven’t explained where the money went.2
The Harper government is systematically dismantling our ability to access information on what they do with our money. The current information commissioner, Suzanne Legault, has warned that the public's essential right to government documents "is at risk of being totally obliterated."3
This fade to black will keep the truth in the dark, while their invasions of privacy create a climate of fear and silence. These are unprecedented actions that undermine democracy in order to maintain power. This is a classic case of David and Goliath, if Goliath was sitting in the bushes outside David’s house with a pair of binoculars.
The Senate scandal was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the government’s lack of transparency.4 If the majority of the public knew the full extent of what the Harper Conservatives were really doing, the party would not survive the public backlash. In that sense, the Harper government is a lot like a vampire: if we drag them out of the dark and into the light they will perish.
*It should be noted that in this metaphor we imagine the Conservatives as the creepy old-timey “Nosferatu” kind of vampire and not the modern sexy kind.
The SHD community is uniquely positioned to take this battle on. Together our cross-country network has repeatedly cast big issues in a new light and forced the mainstream media and millions of people to take notice.
Together if we raise $12,000, we will create a groundbreaking short documentary that will
Do our best to get answers from Canada’s controversial CSEC spy agency. They’ve already told us that we were the first people to ever ask them for an on camera interview!
Give a national stage to the important stories of the victims of surveillance like Cindy Blackstock.
Talk to Canada’s leading expert on Access to Information and Privacy law, reflecting back government transparency and accountability issues in vivid and memorable ways.
Feature innovative creative action organized by SHD action coordinator Brigette DePape and Yes Men co-conspirator Sean Devlin.
If we raise $20,000, then when this crucial film is complete we can use our national database and develop new online organizing tools to support people in hosting local screenings on their campuses and in their living rooms (if their living room is on campus, bonus!). These pre-screenings will be followed by facilitated nation-wide conference calls to catalyze national action.
If we raise $24,000, we can coordinate actions in cities across the country on a national day of action. Our small staff will be able to support local hosts in preparing, promoting, and documenting their actions, while simultaneously leveraging national media attention.
**A portion of the money raised will go to covering operational costs for two months—the time it takes to run this campaign.
According to stories his mother tells, Sean has been using comedy to confront power since the age of two. In his teenage years he "matured" into a stand up comedian and filmmaker. In his early 20's he started exhibiting behaviour some described as "creative activism". He is the Executive Director at ShitHarperDid.com and an Action Co-ordinator and Thought Stylist at the Yes Men's "Yes Lab".
Brigette is a community organizer and writer. You may know her from holding up a Stop Harper sign in Parliament. She is ShitHarperDid's action coordinator. She has coordinated a number of actions, including with PowerShift Canada and studied community organizing with Marshall Ganz through the Harvard Kennedy School.
Sarah Berman is a Vancouver-based reporter, researcher and producer helping SHD.ca navigate Canada's Access to Information and Privacy law. Her work has appeared in VICE, Adbusters, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and Maclean's.
WHAT WE NEED
We want to produce a film of high technical quality. This will mean hiring a videographer, paying for sound equipment, writing, directing, interstitial B-roll, and editing. To produce a high quality film, we will need to raise $12,000. While $12,000 might seem like a lot to those who aren't familiar with film budgets, it's actually very little. We guarantee that not a cent of this money will be wasted, and that we will use the money very carefully.
In order to ensure the message is spread widely across the country, we will need to coordinate film screening. We will need to invest in a web tool which will enable people to find and sign up to host local actions. But developing a web tool which does this in the most accessible and user friendly way, will cost money. We will also need to hire at least one person coordinate hosts, and another person to coordinate social media. To coordinate national film screenings, we need to raise a total of $20,000.
To be confident that people have an opportunity to take political action on this issue, we will coordinate national actions. We will be able to use the web tool we already invested in. So, we will only need to pay for web design and for action coordination. It normally takes a lot more money to execute these kinds of actions, but we are confident that with our networks, and the infrastructure created through the film screenings, we can do this on a tight budget. We will need to hire a national actions coordinator to connect with and support local hosts, as well as a media coordinator. To coordinate national action, we need to raise a total of $24,000.
*We are a non-profit project of the Canadian Mobilization and Education Hub Society (a legally registered BC non-profit Society).
More about ShitHarperDid.com
During the 2011 election, we started out as a few artists. With your help we became an unprecedented national community of people speaking truth to power. Together we reached millions of people. As a result Elections Canada officially recommended that federal election rules be changed to account for the big impact that our little campaign had.
"The viral phenomenon that captured the digital zeitgeist during the 2011 election... is back with a vengeance."
"Viral comedy site with the unprintable name turns to political activism"—Globe & Mail
“Wreaking havoc on the Conservative party’s image.”
"Merry band of Vancouver pranksters relaunch ShitHarperDid with new focus on real activism"
“Winning the viral video war with a stealth campaign that’s been spreading like prairie wildfire.”
1 Greg Watson, CBC News, Inside Canada’s top-secret billion-dollar spy palace http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-canada-s-top-secret-billion-dollar-spy-palace-1.1930322
2 Lawrence Martin, Globe and Mail, Where the heck that's 3.1 billion? Where's the fury? http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/where-the-hecks-that-31-billion-wheres-the-fury/article15503778/
3 Voices-Voix, Access to Information, http://voices-voix.ca/en/facts/profile/access-information
4 Greg Weston, CBC News, Senate Expense Scandal Left No Paper Trail, really? http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-expense-scandal-left-no-paper-trail-really-1.1344795
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