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(en) Canada, Montreals, [fracfriend] 1000 HAVE-NOTS STORM ELITE HOTEL IN MONTREAL

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 16 Apr 2004 10:16:39 +0200 (CEST)

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Over a thousand angry protestors marched on Montreals posh St. James hotel
yesterday, causing havoc and disrupting the tea-time of the idle rich. The
protest was part of a province-wide day of action marking the one-year
anniversary of the elections that brought Jean Charest and the Liberal
Party to government in Quebec.
Since taking power, Premier Charest has initiated a re-engineering of the
statea business-oriented restructuring of the provinces government, in an
attempt to undermine the many social-democratic programs still running in
Quebec. This has taken the form of anti-union laws, cuts to subsidized
childcare, plans to reduce the number of people on welfare and other
attacks on working people. One flyer for yesterdays protests stated As if
we didnt have enough trouble making ends meet with low salaries,
precarious jobs, insufficient welfare and high rents, this government has
given itself the clear mission of making us even poorer.

The Charest government has created a lot of enemies and yesterday Montreal
saw a 10,000-strong union demonstration, as well as protests organized by
a number of housing and anti-poverty groups and the North-Eastern
Federation of Anarcho-Communists.

Around 4pm people began to gather for a demonstration co-organized by the
Comit des sans-emploi (Committee of the Unemployed) and CLAC-Logement (the
Anti-Capitalist ConvergenceHousing Committee). After some fiery speeches,
the protestors marched down busy Ste. Catherine Street and right into a
downtown mall, chanting The social peace is over! and Make the rich pay!
Shoppers in fancy boutiques were startled by a thousand angry
working-class youth in their midst. The demonstration snaked its way
through the mall and the connecting train station exiting several blocks
later. The crowd, which had grown in size, then proceeded past the
American consulate and ended up at the St. James Hotelperhaps the most
expensive in Montreal at which rooms can cost up to $5000 (Canadian) a

Protestors rushed the doors and pushed passed the frantic hotel manager
into the exclusive first-floor dining room. Businessmen in expensive suits
were shocked as black-clad and masked anarchists jumped on the oak tables
or triedunsuccessfullyto pull the table-clothes out from under the plates
and glasses without knocking them over. Protestors played the grand piano
or pocketed silver forks and ashtrays. Others demonstrators sat down at
tables with the hotels dismayed, paying clients and helped themselves to
their wine and hors-doeuvres. Down with capitalism was graffitied on the
wall. Several hotel security guards attempted to grab a demonstrator, but
were quickly restrained by other protestors. Another security guard said
to one organizer, Dont worry, Im not going to stop you. They only pay me
$10 an hour. Im on your side.

After a few minutes of mayhem, the demonstrators in the hotel, made their
way out through the connected, ultra-chic, indoor shopping center of
Montreals World Trade Center, tipping over small indoor-trees as they
went. The protestors streamed out of the World Trade Center and around
from the side of the hotel into the gathering union demonstration.

As the proletarian hooligans, street-punks, students, red and green
anarchists, M-s and the odd Worker-C-t dissolved into the larger
crowd at the union demonstration, the completely-outmanoeuvred police were
left with nothing to do but flash their cars lights and glare from the
sidelines. There were no arrests.

Whether the militancy of yesterdays actions will catch on and snowball or
be lost in electoralism and nationalism remains to be seen. But the
potential for an uncompromising, gutsy, fighting poor-peoples movement
against the Charest government is there. The spirit of the day was perhaps
best expressed by a large sticker plastered all along the demonstrations
routeinside malls, on street signs, placards, SUVs and police cars. It
showed Jean Charests face next to the phrase OSTIE DE CROSSEUR! which
roughly translates as FUCKING WANKER!

For more information check out CLAC-Logements website at:

(or) http://logement.clac.taktic.org/charest

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