Spring 2015 Week 8 Seminar: Steve Hewitt: ‘”Spotted throughout with Red”: Canadian State Surveillance and the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1969-1988.’

The Week 8 Modern and Contemporary History Research Seminar is on Wednesday 4 March 2015, at 16:15 in the Rodney Hilton Library. It will be delivered by:

Steve Hewitt (Birmingham)


Abstract: Drawing on Canadian state security records, the problematic nature of which will be discussed, this paper examines the tactics and strategy used by the largely all-male police against the Women’s Liberation Movement between 1969 and 1988.  It argues that ultimately the police’s own lack of clarity about what it was pursuing in terms of subversion combined with external factors, including the nature of the movement it spied upon, not just weakened its surveillance campaign but ultimately helped undermine counter-subversion as a dominant characteristic of the Canadian security state. Finally, the paper will argue that in an era of WikiLeaks and the revelations of Edward Snowden, it is crucial to recognize that certain groups and individuals disproportionately experience surveillance, both in the past and in the present.

All are welcome and there will be drinks.

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