(AA) ++ Canada Report Fall 1996

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 01:21:56 +0200


FREEDOM - CANADA REPORT - FALL 1996

During June and July Canadians were amused by tbe conflict between Ottawa
and Washington over trade with Cuba. Surely this must be some kind of a
record for hypocricy. First off, Jesse Helms is all for boycotting Cuba, but
was against similar actions against South African apartheit. Canada was more
than happy to boycott the Boers but balks at doing the same to Latin
America's last dictator. The US government wants to force Castro pack his
bags but is more than willing to trade with China, infamous for its Tibetan
genocide and Indonesia with its slaughter of Papuans and Timorese.

It was a hot summer for youth-police relations. Several riots and
numerous minor altercations involving punks and cops ensued. As well, the
language and Quebec nationalist issues bubbled away all summer long.
Anarchists can be forgiven for seeing this as a nonissue designed to keep
working people divided so the elite can do what it wants with us.

June 10 - The populist Reform Party finished its convention today. Party
leadership was able to beat back "extremist elements" and delegates
representing Quebec and minorities were given much display. Reform
endorsed the "flat tax", repeal of gun control and a reaffirmation of their
belief in individual rights. Radical decentralization is on the agenda .
Reformers would strip the Feds of most of their powers leaving them with
defence, foreign trade and regulation of inter-provincial trade. Support was
also given to partition of Quebec should any area wish to remain in Canada
after independence. Anti-native sentiment, or at best some very misguided
thinking, seems behind a statement in favor of "eventually abolishing"
special provisions made for native people. Since many of these provisions
were made by treaty and are considered virtually sacred by Native Americans.

June 24 - Some 2000 people did $600,000 damages to the Legislative buildings
and surrounding businesses in Quebec City. 70 were arrested. Three or
four people managed to get inside the legislature and start a fire.
That the seat of the provincial government was attacked is an indication of
how people feel about government and politicians. The crowd, though mainly
young, also included older persons. The League Antifasciste Mondiale blamed
anarchists for the riot. Copies of Demainarchie, a magazine produced by
young anarchists was displayed by the police at their press conference .
- the same night a riot occurred in the city of Trois Rivieres where 500
young people fought the police and burned automobiles.

June 26 - Police in Charlottetown, province of Prince Edward Island, safely
explode a bomb found in a propane refinery. A neo-nazi group called 'Loki'
has claimed responsibility. The same group is believed to have exploded a
small bomb in front of the Provincial Legislature last year.

June 27. - Police arrested a member of the Demainarchie collective in Quebec
and seized his computer and literature. Two days later a Montreal anarchist
had his home raided and his computer and literature taken.

July 4. The Demainarchie Collective denounced the League Anti fasciste
Mondiale for causing the arrest of anarchists and police theft of property.
Accusing anarchists of starting the riot is an example of "organized lies"
which seek to criminalize the movement.

July 12 - Old age pensioners occupied the Quebec Health Ministers office and
refused to leave. The protest was against the elderly being forced to pay a
share of drug costs under the new changes to health care. Demonstrations
continued for three weeks on this issue.

July 30 - Punk protest ended in 70 arrests. Young anarchists involved in
support of protest.

Aug 1 - A threatened boycott of department stores which do not display signs
in English was successful. The stores went bilingual. About half the
population of Montreal is anglophone, yet xenophobic Quebec nationalists
forced the Quebec government to forbid English on signs. The government
threatens to re-introduce the Language Police - an organization which
checked to see that all signs were in French.

Aug 6 - A major flood which killed seven people and did five hundred million
dollars damage in the Saguenay region of Quebec has local residents asking
questions. Floods occurred only on streams that had been dammed or diverted.
Natural water courses were not effected. Although the Quebec PM said the
flood was "an act of God", most people don't believe him. The general
feeling is that corporate and governmental thirst for profits was the real
cause.

Aug 12 - Dairy farmers in British Columbia are fighting the corrupt
Marketing Board system. Twenty three of them have banded together to take on
the state by selling milk without a licence. The government forces farmers
to buy a quota, costing up to a million dollars or more, which allows them
to produce only a set amount of milk. This system gouges the consumer and
limits farming to the very richest farmers.

Sept. 4 The CSN and FTQ trade union federations asked the Quebec government
to not re-introduce the Language Police. Polls show most Quebecers think
Montreal a bilingual city and see nothing wrong with that. An overwhelming
majority think unemployment and the closing of hospitals more important
issues than language policies.

Larry Gambone