A while ago, I was told by someone that the Resist.ca collective was preparing a statement after the response that they received at the 2011 Vancouver Community Mobilization Conference, when certain members of the community distributed pamphlets</a> describing Darren Thurston, his past actions, and how he became a cooperating defendant and snitched on his comrades in the Earth Liberation Front. This had the effect of marginalizing the Resist.ca collective. I was no longer on speaking terms with most of the collective at this time, however I was still talking to one member who said that the collective was working on a statement to clarify their relationship with Darren.
I haven’t seen or heard about anything that was posted until today, when I wanted to see if Google added snitch to Darren Thurston’s name when someone typed his name into the search engine. Here is the statement</a> that resist.ca offered to justify their prior actions. It seems that they are still in Darren’s corner, since they are reposting a letter from Peter Edelmann</a>, who Darren Thurston works for. While I have discussed the past issues with the letter at length (Darren’s co-defendants are still at large, and have to be caught to find out what Darren said about them, for starters), I find that this statement is not worth anything, and here is why:
- Hosting Darren's services means that Resist.ca supports people who do collaborate with the state. I don't care if Darren was friends with the resist.ca collective, he did collaborate with the state and resist.ca supported him.</li>
- We have no idea if hosting Darren's services actually hurt anyone or not, or whether it will hurt anyone in the future because I have no idea if his services are being hosted on resist.ca.</li>
- If Resist.ca was interested in being transparent, why wasn't this sent on the main mailing lists that it runs, namely van-announce? Also, what about other lists such as the lists of the Olympic Resistance Network, or the Anti-Olympics list, both of which are still active. Hell, why isn't this posted on the Vancouver Media Coop, a site that the Resist.ca collective hosts?</li>
- When the hell did this get posted? A year ago? Last week? It was clearly after the open letter from Peter Edelmann was posted, and I know for a fact that last April Darren Thurston still had an account on Resist that had a redirect to a box.net account with his legal files in it.</li>
What is truly frustrating about the Resist.ca collective is that people in radical communities in Vancouver deserve a tech resource that does things like offer servers that are actually hosted in Canada. However, given the fact that resist can't be transparent about this situation, still supports a known FBI informant, and is completely unapologetic about this, as witnessed in this statement, there is no way anyone can trust the Resist collective with anything important. Saying "nothing bad has ever happened" isn't good enough, and this is the main disagreement that I have with the other radical tech collective people in Canada when I talk about why I don't like resist, and recommend that people use fucking Riseup.net, which is hosted in the United States, or buy their own VPNs or do other solutions. If resist.ca actually gave Darren the fucking boot off their servers, that would be a good start.
It's prohibitively expensive to re-invent the wheel, and I personally don't enjoy having to say that Resist and others who stick up for Resist aren't trustworthy, but this is fucking important. While I may disagree with other members of the radical tech community in Canada about Darren Thurston and about resist.ca's trustworthiness, I at least know that the other services are somewhat fucking transparent. I can't say that about Resist. It comes down to trust, and nobody should trust the resist collective until they provide these answers:
- Does Resist.ca have any current service relationship with Darren Thurston? Does he have any services on resist servers, or a resist.ca e-mail account?</li>
- Can Resist.ca provide a date for the statement that they posted?</li> </ul> The fact is that I don't ever expect to get answers to those questions. I've made up my mind that resist.ca can't be trusted years ago when I heard the full details of the Darren Thurston situation. I was hoping that the situation would change, but apparently it hasn't, which is rather disappointing.