North of 9/11 - Cumulus Press

north of 9/11 censored at concordia university

North of 9/11 -

a historical novel

by David Bernans

more about the novel

read chapter 2 : September 11, 2001 (.pdf - 992 kb)

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order it online at - -

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Cumulus press releases :

Concordia University has officially blocked as a security risk a scheduled Fall reading by novelist David Bernans, author of North of 9/11. In so doing, the University, already an embarrassment of academic servility, has dramatized both the power of art and its own fear of that power. Another proud victory of art over authority. Bravo Bernans!
David F. Noble, professor, York University

Support David Bernans' fight against Concordia's capacity for (and indulgence in) censorship. Here are his 4 challenges to Concordia University to reform (read abolish) its secretive, biased and Kafkaesque Risk Assessment Committee:

  1. All Risk Assessment Committee past and present membership must be made public;
  2. There must be a public review of the Risk Assessment Committee’s policies, procedures and past decisions;
  3. The committee must offer reasons for the decision made immediately following each negative risk assessment (none have been given so far in Bernans’ case).
  4. Undergraduate and graduate students, full and part-time faculty and university staff should all have representation on the committee appointed by their respective representative associations.

It's time for the anonymous bureaucrats in Concordia's Risk Assessment Committee to be transparent.

Read letters of support written to Michael di Grappa (Vice-President Services & head of Risk Management Committee). Write your own letter to di Grappa ( and cc it to and to Concordia's independent newspaper The Link (

  1. PEN Canada
  2. Public Service Alliance of Canada, Québec region (PSAC-Québec)


david bernans a security risk at concordia universityDavid Bernans received his PhD in Political Science from York University in 1998. The Gazette has referred to Bernans as a “political gadfly” for his high profile efforts at holding Prime Minister Paul Martin to account for the cuts to health, education and social spending he made as Finance Minister. A documentary film was made about Bernans’ shadowing of Paul Martin called Waiting for Martin. He has published numerous articles in Le Devoir,, The Parkland Post, Alternatives, the Gazette, and elsewhere. Bernans grew up in London, Ontario and now divides his time between St-Pacôme and Montréal, where he works as a researcher, archivist, and translator while studying for a graduate diploma in Concordia’s Études françaises Department. On December 27, 2001, he and his partner, Anne-Frédérique Provencher, became the proud parents of son, Sasha.


Risk Management Committee Revokes Approval for '9/11 Retrospective' (5th anniversary) Reading of North of 9/11 at Concordia University.

Author defied Concordia 9/11 security ban with GUERRILLA READING on campus (details)

Censorship Timeline - the complete story :

Sept. 11 , 2007 : Concordia's 9/11 Cover-up
Exposing the Secret "Risk Assessment Committee."
there were films, musical performances, a discussion at the Concordia Co-op Bookstore in Montréal. David Bernans read his story, "Curious George Meets the Concordia University Risk Assessment Committee."

July 4 , 2007 : Concordia responds to another access to information request for documents related to the censorship of the 9/11 reading. It claims that the documents requested must remain secret, citing several loopholes in Québec Access to Information Legislation, including section 28 of the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information. Section 28 protects the secrecy of information held by persons or bodies charged with crime prevention. Bernans has contested Concordia's claims by initiating yet another set of hearings before the Access to Information Commission.

May, 23, 2007 : Concordia University legal counsel and David Bernans make representations in a Québec Access to Information Commission hearing. The university admits that the Risk Assessment Committee exists but claims that there are no membership lists to be made public. The committee keeps no minutes and makes no written reports (in other words, the committee exists but it leaves no paper trail). The university provides no documentation whatsoever to support its claim that Bernans was censored due to human error and book system problems. The Access to Information Commissioner grants Bernans another hearing to call witnesses. The hearing will take place on December 7, 2007. One of the witnesses will be Concordia VP Services, Michael Di Grappa.

Sept, 29, 2006 : The Risk Assessment Committee attempts to censor an event planned by the Concordia student group, Cinema Politica. The group was planning on showing a film critical of the Israeli occupation (Avi Mograbi's Avenge But One of My Two Eyes). Cinema Politica threatened to use the same tactics as Bernans and the university backed down. read about it in The Link.

Sept 19 :

  • "Concordia out for blood: novel" - The Link

Sept 14 :

Sept 13 :

Sept 12 :

  • "North of 9/11 author vows to get answers from Concordia" - Quille and Quire;

Sept. 11, 2006 :

"Sept. 11 RETROSPECTIVE: Troubling Directions North of 9/11" with David Bernans

  • 4:30 - 6:00pm @ McGill University, Leacock 232, 855 Sherbrooke West, Montréal.
  • ** GUERRILLA READING ** - 7:00pm @ Concordia University, Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop street, Montréal. Watch video of event by Santiago Bertolino.

Both events includd readings from the novel North of 9/11 (Cumulus Press 2006), musical performances and critical discussions of student activism in a post-9/11 Montréal. Bernans dedicated both events to friend, colleague and former Principal of Concordia University's Simone de Beauvoir Institute, the late Lillian Robinson.

Sept 08 :

  • "Row over 9/11 novel at Canadian university" - The Guardian, UK ;
  • "Concordia risk committee needs review, author says" - The Gazette;
  • "Concordia students rally around author of 9/11 novel" - National Post;
  • "Concordia students' group backs author" - Ottawa Citizen

Sept 07 : Concordia's Graduate Student Association holds press conference, 11 a.m., 2030 Mackay Street, Montreal, Quebec.

  • "Concordia GSA Supports 9/11 Author and Seeks Reform of the University Risk Assessment Committee" Press Conference - 11:00am @ 2030 Mackay street, Montréal. Author, David Bernans, will be on hand to answer questions as will the GSA VP Services, Chaher Alzaman;
  • "Concordia student group stands behind author" - The Gazette;
  • "More discordia" - Explainer, Hour - p.07;
  • "Suburban featured in Bernans' book" - The Suburban;
  • "Concordia rejects author's request to read book on anniversary of 9/11" - The McGill Daily - p.03;
  • "Author finds support with local co-operative bookstore" - News Briefs,The Link - p.13;
  • "Say what you want but not all the time" - Opinions & Editorials, The Concordian - p.30;
  • "9/11 Book Controversy Up North" - The Millions (A Blob About Books);
  • "Canadian author barred from book reading" - Webindia123;

Sept 06 : Concordia's Graduate Student Association call a press conference for Sept 07. Bernans interview on CKUT 90,3fm

Sept 05 : Michael di Grappa, VP Services finally (after 5 weeks and considerable media coverage & public pressure) responds to David Bernans.

Sept 04 : Cumulus Press issues a press release announcing Bernans' intention to read at Concordia on September 11, 2006.

  • "Cumulus Press Author to Defy Concordia 9/11 Security Ban" - Cumulus Press;

Sept 01 :

  • Public Service Alliance of Canada letter of support;

Aug 31 :

Aug 30 : PEN Canada writes letter supporting Bernans to head of Concordia's Risk Assessment Committee. David Bernans writes satirical "confession".

  • PEN Canada letter of support;
  • "Confession of a 9/11 terrorist" - David Bernans;

Aug. 29 : Cumulus Press issues a press release denouncing Concordia's censorship of one of its authors.

  • "Canadian author censored and deemed a security risk by Concordia University" - Cumulus Press;
  • "Who's afraid of David Bernans?" The Link - p.05;

July 26-Aug 04 : Bernans corresponds with University in search for an explanation. VP Services (and head of the Risk Assessment Committee), Michael di Grappa, agrees to "look into" the matter and "get back to" Bernans. (see Sept 5)

July 26 : Bernans submits an access to information request to Concordia University for information relating to his declined booking.

July 25 : Concordia University responds that Bernans' event approval was declined due to a negative assessment by the Risk Assessment Committee. No reason is given.

July 24 : Concordia security DECLINES request for '9/11 Retrospective'. No reason is given.

July 20 : Concordia Security APPROVES request for '9/11 Retrospective.'

June 13, 2006 : Cumulus Press author, David Bernans, requests a room for '9/11 Retrospective' reading of his novel North of 9/11 on September 11, 2006.

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