EVENT | Policing and the Neoliberal Containment State in Canada


Policing and the Neoliberal Containment State | Panel discussion with Kabir Joshi-Vijayan

Monday, December 1 @ 7pm
Room 1700, SFU Harbour Centre (515 W Hastings St)
Unceded Coast Salish Territories

In recent years we have seen a massive bolstering of the capacity of the Canadian state to contain poor and oppressed communities. These shifts have worked to target, criminalize and incarcerate those who most actively resist neoliberal and colonial policies. This neoliberal “containment state” is grounded in new ways of criminalizing people and communities, an increase in police and police power, and an expanding prison industrial complex. The workings of the containment state are related to the broader economic plans of the Canadian ruling class, such as:

  • Increasing the rate of exploitation of people and the land;
  • Removing Indigenous resistance through the ‘treaty process,’ criminalization of those who resist it, and mass incarceration of Indigenous people;
  • The creation of a highly exploitable pool of labour consisting of super-exploited and criminalized migrant workers, desperately poor working class communities with little access to redistributive social programs, and communities reliant on environmentally destructive extractive industries for jobs and economic survival.

In this context, it is urgent for communities to come together to share strategies for resistance at the local level, and to create unity for a powerful response capable of building our aspirations for dignity, economic justice and liberation.


KABIR JOSHI-VIJAYAN on organizing against police targeting, violence and murder. Kabir has done extensive organizing in response to police violence and murders of youth from oppressed communities of colour in Toronto, including the Justice for Alwy campaign and the community response to the police murder of Sammy Yatim.

JENN ALLAN on grassroots community responses to police criminalization and harassment. Jenn is a copwatcher and grassroots community organizer against police harrasment and violence in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

AIYANAS ORMOND on the emergence of the neoliberal containment state in Canada. Aiyanas is a community organizer for the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and a member of Red Sparks Union. He is the author of the two-part The Mainlander series, “The Emergence of the Neoliberal Containment State in Canada.”

This event is hosted by The Mainlander as part of the BC Convergence on Policing, November 28th – Dec 1st.

Sponsoring/Host Organizations of the convergence: Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Society of Living Illicit Drug Users (Victoria), Committee to End Homelessness (Victoria), Critical Criminology Working Group (Kwantlen University), Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors, The Mainlander