Many environmental movements, environmental justice activists, Indigenous Peoples’ struggles, their politics and their ideas have been, and continue to be constructed as ‘extremist’ and threats to ‘national security’ by state and corporate security and intelligence agencies, and subject to surveillance, infiltration, criminalization and more. Many of today’s political policing and state security policies, practices and concepts have their origins in counter-insurgency techniques in colonial regimes tested against earlier anti-colonial/independence struggles. This presentation draws from Dr. Aziz Choudry’s recent edited book, Activists and the Surveillance State (Pluto, 2019), which foregrounds resistance to state spying and repression through collective organizing, activist research and political education in the UK, Canada, South Africa, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
Aziz Choudry is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Movement, Learning, and Knowledge Production in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. His research focuses on learning in social action and knowledge production in activist/social movement milieus, including local and transnational community organizing, NGOs, trade unions and social movement networks. He explores questions of education, learning, ‘development’, social justice, and resistance through a critical, interdisciplinary, anti-colonial lens which connects theory to practice. His most recent book is Activists and the Surveillance State: Learning from Repression.
This lecture is part of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Winter 2019 Colloquium Series: The Sociology and Anthropology of Climate Change. It is co-sponsored by Climate Commons.