COMMUNITY SAFETY NOTICE: Man who filmed women in Third Space women’s centre

COMMUNITY SAFETY NOTICE

Please be advised that a man named Tristan Harris (pictured below), along with another unknown man, recently filmed two women in the UVic Women’s Centre without their consent or knowledge. Tristan Harris then posted an edited version to Youtube shaming the Women’s Centre for standing against white supremacy. One of the women noticed his camera in hand and asked if he was filming them, Tristan Harris explicitly told them he was not filming them.

On Wednesday evening, June 21st, 2017 a man that has been identified as Tristan Harris  came by the Third Space women’s centre looking to discuss our poster board outside our space. Our poster board is currently featuring an anti-colonization campaign(for more on this refer to the appendix at the end of this article). If you see this man near the Student Union Building please contact the UVSS Third Space at 250-721-8353 or contact UVic Campus Security at 250-721-7599. More details on the incident below.

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Tristan Harris found two women who were studying in the Third Space women’s centre and approached them to ask questions about the poster board. He identified himself and added that he serves in the Canadian Armed Forces, and that he came to UVic to see this board after viewing a post on Facebook. Later our centre was informed from a member that a video had been posted on Youtube by Tristan Harris of the women in our space. A video that was edited and visibly showed the faces of two of our members, as well as the conversation that Tristan had engaged them in, along with his own text commentary being displayed on the screen. Our centre has assisted our members in reporting this incident to the University of Victoria Campus Security, the Saanich Police, and the Military Police.

The women were studying and trying to answer the man’s questions regarding our board. UVic, and the student society building are on private property, and regardless, we have the right to express ourselves. Tristan posted the video and incited aggression against our centre. The real irony here is that Tristan Harris serves in the Canadian Armed Forces, an organization that is intended to defend Canada’s values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. They support human rights around the world, including our own charter, specifically section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication”. So it is hypocritical that a soldier with the oath of service to protect those rights, the right to express ourselves and form our own opinions, one of the essential features of a supposed democracy, desires to vilify people who are enacting those rights! Freedom of expression is an essential part of the right to dissent, and a basic feature of personal development. Now, although freedom of expression is protected, there is a delicate balance with aspects of harm. Our board is our own opinion and people may be upset by what we say, or celebrate it, or have discussions about it, but we are calling out an ideology, a polity, a social and cultural issue! We are not, as Tristan Harris has done, inciting harm against individual citizens because of their beliefs.

Among the replies on Tristan Harris’s facebook feed were people inciting that acts of arson against our centre, or a good beating! So is this what Canadian soldier’s do? Read it for yourself below.

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Appendix

Anti-colonization: As a university and advocacy group we feel it is vital to provide critical thought and lenses to things we see in our society. Canada 150 is billion dollar party for Canadians to show pride in this nation. How can we be proud of a nation that leaves so many people in disparity, a nation with an increasing disparity between the wealthy and poor, a nation that does not have clean drinking water, housing, education, employment, mental health services, health services for all? How do we support a nation that is founded on white supremacy? How do we support a nation that still benefits from the exploitation of people around world, and on its own stolen lands? Canada, as a colonizing power continues its legacy of violence, and institutions, such as this university, indoctrinates students into these contemporary colonial thinkers. Our student society is also complacement and fails to act in meaningful ways, other than boiler plate territory acknowledgements, which are rushed through at meetings.

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UVSS Women's Centre

UVSS Women's Centre is an intersectional feminist collective funded by UVic students. Run by a volunteer collective made up of self-identified women, non-binary, and fluid gender persons. We strive to be a strong, intersectional feminist voice on campus, which is located on theunceeded lands of the Lekwungen, WSÁNÉC, and Wyomilth nations.

34 thoughts on “COMMUNITY SAFETY NOTICE: Man who filmed women in Third Space women’s centre

  1. This man should be banned from UVIC permanently. What a disgrace to men in uniform. Filming people on private property is illegal. Will the centre press charges? What an incredibly creepy and unethical thing to do.

  2. White supremacists do not enjoy being called out on white supremacy. Also most white people think white supremacy = ‘Nazi’, and learning that this is just not true is shocking. What white supremacy actually means is putting white people above everyone else, setting whiteness as the standard. People who live in a system which benefits them completely do not like to have this pointed out to them. It’s uncomfortable because it challenges everything they know, everything they’ve ever believed, and it offends their white supremacist sensibilities. They believe claiming that white supremacy exists is racist against white people because they do not know what racism actually is. They believe it’s not liking someone based on their skin colour. What it actually is, is the way the entire system is built to ensure that white people succeed and thrive, or do better than their contemporaries in whatever financial or social bracket they’re in, and that if Indigenous people or people of colour succeed it’s because they stole their success from a white person who’s much more deserving, just because they’re white.

    I would suggest that if people have a problem with being reminded of exactly what this ‘great country’ is built on, they ought to do some research, find out what actually happened, and give it a long hard think. Having a problem with pointing out that colonial practice is alive and well, and having a problem with people calling Canada out on a legacy of white supremacy, is white supremacist. Also, colonization isn’t something that happened. It’s still happening so that white people can live here, make judgements about who else gets to live here (and exactly what quality of life they can have), and practice race-based discrimination against anyone else who wants to live here. Which, of course, is also white supremacy.

    There are tons of resources out there on colonization and racial relations in Canada. Denying white supremacy basically amounts to climate change denial at this point: holding onto a fantasy. Also, the fact that a member of Canada’s Armed Forces would pull a stunt like this, especially after how many Indigenous people have given their lives serving in the Forces and lost their land, their homes, and everything else while they were away losing their lives, is not just baffling, it’s offensive. I sincerely hope the Canadian Armed Forces take disciplinary action.

    1. Your implication that there is a system in place, like all white people have gone to some sort of meeting and came to the conclusion that only white people should succeed and that they are the standard , is completely ridiculous and offensive. Isn’t that tantamount to saying all black people steal or all native people are drunk? All white people are white supremacists and benefit from it. Think about that for a second and you’ll see how completely completely ridiculous you sound. It’s illegal to discriminate based on race, gender, disability, age and beliefs. There are also many institutions who hire minorities JUST to meet the quota of representation even though the people being hired are not as qualified. But remember, all whites are racist. Especially those who saved all those slaves from persecution when they got here through the underground railroad.

      1. White supremacy does not mean all white people. White supremacy is a system, a mode of operation, not people. Look at how many places in this country have unsafe drinking water, then look at where those places are, and there is a correlation, and it is racial. Look at populations that lack access to health care, schools, community services, housing, and there is a correlation, and it is racial. And as for all those slaves you claim Canada rescued, try looking up Chinese indentured slaves who built the railroads, 1923 Chinese exclusion act, Indigenous genocide, residential schools, 60’s scoop, highway of tears, Japanese internment camps, Japanese interned labour that built the trans-Canada highway, Trudeau’s white paper,the Indian act, assimilation, colonization, broken treaties, Viola Desmond, and more. CANADA IS RACIST AS FUCK!

  3. Shame on you for not listening to someone who felt genuinely offended and marginalized. Too often people think that the world revolves around them and their values. When someone else comes from another place you don’t understand you would call the police and don’t even have the decency to try and empathize with the person who clearly has a different background than you. Let’s talk about privilege… you seem to have a lot of it while others seem to have it taken away.. This dececration of the symbol that unites us and the subsequent backlash caused by someone who found it hurtful, offensive and inconsiderate to others in the community is a prime example of the entitlement and privilege afforded to some and not others in this country. This is not an intellectual way for university students to express their ideas.

    1. Shame on you. Tristan had no intention of having a genuine conversation, only to secretly film people in a space intended to provide safety and then shame them on the internet. We welcome conversations.We called the police because the women’s centre is a safe place for people and this man, who was asked explicitly if he was filming and said no, shamefully lied and then published his disingenuous conversation on the internet without permission!!

      1. The problem is that the symbol does not unite us. It never has. It’s been enforced like everything else in ‘Canadian’ history. The fact that people have a problem with somebody writing truth on a ‘Canadian’ flag, but not how ‘Canada’ actually came to be and continues to exist, is the real shame.

      2. Actually he intended on filming the “flag” , if we’re calling it that, and then to have a conversation with the people in charge of allowing it. He was filming it so they wouldn’t be able to trump of some crazy story of an enraged , white male coming in and berating the staff. All he ended up capturing though were a couple of racists showing their true colors and then trying to brush it off as an attack on them.

      3. What he intended, which is heresy, and what he actually did are not the same thing. He came there looking to shame people by posting a video on the internet, because that is what he did. With a disregard for anyone else but his own selfish desire to gratify his own needs.

    2. What an ignorant and completely inaccurate assessment of the situation. If you saw the video you’d know that it was heavily edited and was a conversation about the project which Tristan was only there to film rather than listen or learn from. Perhaps if he spent more time in university rather than on YouTube he would know how to engage in a meaningful conversation without hiding behind a keyboard and a crappy YouTube account. Being offended by a poster is not a reason to put all ethics aside and record people without their consent. The fact that you value Tristan’s hurt feelings over the safety and well-being of the people he publicly shamed says more about you than anyone in the women’s center. You should be ashamed of yourself. Apparently having your privacy invaded by a creepy man makes people privileged. Give your head a shake!

      1. He didn’t force anyone to say what they said. He merely caught it on camera . I did see the video, in fact i shared it and it got a lot of backlash from people of all races. I’m metis and i find it highly offensive what was said in the video and the flag itself.

    3. You speak of “entitlement” and “privilege” while describing someone who thought a “desecrated” flag was “hurtful” and “offensive”. Yet this flag you speak of was modified to highlight the 150 years (excuse me, more than 150) of colonialism, assimilationist policies and outright genocide of Aboriginal peoples.

      “entitled” my ass. The only one who are entitled are the ones claiming their feelings are hurt by the display.

      1. Why would a country based on white supremacy bring in immigrants from countries that aren’t white to the tune of almost a third of Canada’s population at this point? Wouldn’t that be antithetical to the white supremacist mindset?

  4. i think a better course of action than a witch hunt for tristan is to remove those two women who clearly expressed offensive and racist remarks about the country

    1. First, those women are valued members of our community. Second, we are addressing issues that we see in our communities, and on these lands, especially as settlers. Third, the University of Victoria is not paid for by taxes, neither are the University of Victoria Student’s Society fees, neither are the fees for the UVSS Women’s Centre.

      1. You’re deflecting and not addressing the remarks made which were very clearly racist. If you want to stand by those racist remarks then power to you but you’re not winning any allies with behavior like this and doing real harm to your reputation.

      2. care to explain how Asians typically do better here than white people economically? Or are Asians part of the white supremacy problem too?

    2. A witch hunt? Last I checked it’s illegal to film people on private property. Hopefully the cops do an actual “witch hunt” for this creep. I am more concerned that my tax dollars are going towards paying a morally bankrupt excuse of a soldier. This man is deplorable and should be stripped of his position in the army!

      1. when they arrest anyone who makes a video on a college campus that captures people without their consent, then they can arrest him. otherwise , fair play. Shouldn’t say things you wouldn’t want people to see publicly

  5. Tristan has done far greater things for this country than ANY of you have. I mean have you saved a mans life while stationed in Sydney Austrailia? Have you ever fought for your country and won awards and medals? I think not. Canada has the right to free speech but something so blatantly representing racisim is off limits? I mean dont all lives matter in this university? Or is it just the elite entitled white man that gets to smite all minorities. How about before setting up a witch hunt for the monster of a person who allowed this to occur…

    1. Right! It is a well known rule that when a man saves a life he is entitled to film women without their consent in women’s centres.

      But seriously, just because this person has won medals, or whatever, means nothing in this context. If anything it shows that he has down a disservice to those awards by filming these women without their consent so he could shame them on the internet and collect a bunch of likes on social media.

      Let us not forget too, that police, and military, both will defend their own even when that person has down some clearly wrong. And let us also not forget that this is the same military that denies women safety when sexually assaulted by their comrades. In fact the military is so entrenched in rape culture there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to sexual assault in the Canadian Military(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_assault_in_the_Canadian_Forces).

      And big surprise in this article from last January that reveals a problem with racism in the Canadian Armed Forces (http://aptnnews.ca/2017/01/19/racism-and-discrimination-rampant-throughout-ranks-and-elements-of-canadian-armed-forces-says-report/).

      1. also, on the point of consent. He doesn’t need it. A university is in essence a public sphere. There was no effort made by tristan to invade the space, it was open to the public. Unless there are specific signs somewhere in the building stating that the only people allowed in the area are students of the university I see no issue with this. It’s perfectly legal to film people in public spaces , no permission required. Now if he was to sell the film, then he’d need a release. This “people can’t film me if I don’t say it’s ok” is completely out of touch with reality, You’re filmed every day without your consent. CCTV cameras, random people shooting videos that you get captured in , etc. You’d be laughed out of a courtroom if you even made it that far

      2. You mean uneducated, racist, misogynist, pieces of shit can join the army and use that power to abuse others? You don’t say. Tristan fits right in. He’s a disgusting excuse of a man in uniform.

  6. There is no system of white supremacy. There are capable hard working people and there are people who aren’t. There are people who invest in their community and themselves and there are those who don’t. Reserves are a mess because they are mismanaged by the people in charge of them. If they have no access to things then they can move somewhere where they do or invest in the things they need. If I lived 3 hours down a logging road with no access to anything it’s not the governments responsibility to provide it for me. Stop acting so entitled and thinking the government is responsible for building infrastructure in remote communities because it isn’t. THE PEOPLE LIVING THERE WANTED TO BE IN CONTROL OF THEIR OWN LAND AND THIS IS THE RESULT. I am Metis and it really annoys me when ungrateful immigrants think they can come into the country and dictate how we should live and act. Don’t like canada and it’s so white supremacy based ,then please, do us a favour and leave. You are a guest here. Learn your position on the totem pole ,as it were

    1. The women’s centre is not a public space. There is a sign in front of the door that says this office is not open to everyone. So, yes this disgusting military man filmed women in a private office, lied about filming when asked, and posted it on the internet. The fact that you are defending such terrible behavior is deplorable.

      1. well we really only have the word of the the people being filmed that they asked about being filmed and considering what they said on camera I wouldn’t believe them anyway

    2. You are a disgrace and do not speak for all indigenous people. The fact that you have no problem with the shitty living conditions faced by indigenous people as a result of broken treaties says a lot. To suggest the state of life in some indigenous communities is as a result of not being hard working is ignorant and deplorable. Do you also think all indigenous people are drunks? Would it be fair to assume that your an alcoholic because your Metis? No it wouldn’t. It’s ironic that your username is Concerned Taxpayer, haven’t you heard, native people don’t pay taxes, they just collect government handouts. Oh wait, that’s false like the rest of your assessment of indigenous issues. You have a lot of internalized racism that you should probably deal with before worrying about a poster at uvic. Take a history lessons and talk to some elders. Better yet take some history lessons from some elders, get your head out of your ass and stop embarrassing your community.

      1. I am quite informed of why certain reserves that are constantly in the news are in the news. They are poorly managed. Did I say it was because they are ignorant? No. Corrupt leadership? Definitely in a lot of cases. And maybe before you start lecturing me about stereotypes maybe you should realize saying every white person contributes or is benefiting from or is in some way perpetuating white supremacy is AL:SO STEREOTYPING. Making sweeping generalizations sucks doesn’t it?

  7. For someone who supposedly knows a lot about indigenous issues, your oversimplification of such complex issues is disgraceful. Of course some reserves are badly managed, that doesn’t negate the fact that the Canada continues to break treaties and fails to fulfil it’s responsibilities to indigenous people (that it is legally obligated to fulfil).
    As to your other argument, perhaps you should do some research before making yourself look like an idiot in a conversation that you’re ill equiped to critically engage in. Being able bodied comes with privileges that I enjoy because our society was made for able bodied people. I benefit from it regardless of whether I chose to acknowledge it or not. Much like our country was built for white people, hence the cultural genocide through residential schools etc. I don’t think I’ve ever had to explain to an indigenous person why Canada is racist. Your wilful ignorance is embarrassing. You are so far removed from reality that you can’t see outside your little bubble. Take the blinders off buddy, and perhaps read some books by some indigenous authors. You are proof that ignorance knows no ethnicity and you might be indigenous but you are ignorant as fuck!

  8. There is a disturbing pattern of gross entitled men posting photos and videos of women without their consent. Tristan Harris is not an isolated case, he’s part of a much bigger problem. He’s Victoria’s version of that Canada Creep guy. I am so disgusted.
    http://www.capebretonpost.com/news/regional/2017/6/17/canada-creep-voyeurism-suspect-faces-new-charges-in-ongoing-investigation-police.html
    http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/fortney-canada-creep-case-highlights-the-darker-side-of-social-media
    A lot of what this Canada Creep guy did was not illegal, just posting harmless innocent photos and videos of women taken in a public space without their consent. The Canada Creep guy did it because he found them attractive, Tristan Harris did it because he didn’t agree with them politically. Regardless of the circumstances it is deplorable, disturbing and as pointed out in the above links, a sign of some deep rooted problems. It’ll be interesting to see what the media can dig up on Tristan Harris when they get a wind of this.

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