(eng)Demanarchie, Vol. 3, No. 1

The Anarchives (tao@lglobal.com)
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 18:25:00 +0000 (GMT)


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* DEMANARCHIE *

VOLUME 3, NUMBER 1; DECEMBER 1996 _________________________________________________________________

CONTENTS:

1. Editorial 2. Fascist Eggheads Commit Mass Suicide... 3. Neo-Nazi Terror Bombing: Exposed Despite Government Cover-Up 4. Queers (don't) Bash Back (but should!) 5. Mr. Pallascio Vomits More Racism... 6. Gagging Free Speech: Odyssey of an Anarchist in the Courts of the Bourgeoisie

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EDITORIAL _________________________________________________________________

Ever since the PQ crisis in 1982, the union and popular movements in Quebec have wallowed in a strategy of class collaboration, of concertation, of sleeping with the government and the bosses. As for Quebec's student movement, while it took a little longer to follow this route, once ANEEQ [1] disappeared in the early nineties, it too opted for a concertationist strategy.

In the present context of class collaboration, only a few unions (including the most important - the CAW - which has just waged an exemplary strike against General Motors) remain to defend and practice class struggle. The situation is similar in the student movement, where only a few student associations have kept to the fighting strategy that was practised from 1968 to 1990.

The Axworthy reform breathed new life into the student movement's radical tendency. The struggle against this reform would lead directly to the inception of a new Quebec student union, the Mouvement pour le Droit a l'Education [2] (MDE). But by hesitating between a waging a fightback or building a political front in the student left the MDE lost the initiative. When it did finally decide to call for an unlimited general strike, no one had any confidence that it would be able pull it off. But the mass of students, completely fed up by their situation, would deal a merciless blow to the politics of the rotten careerists who claim to be leading them.

BREAKING THE FALSE CONSENSUS

The self-described student "leaders" were quick to agree to attend the PQ's socio-economic summit, an attempt by the government and the bosses to impose their shitty consensus on the people of Quebec. But the student strike would spoil their party. The main political victory of this strike was certainly that it smashed the false consensus of support for the PQ's neo-liberal policies, and that finally people expressed some of their growing anger. The pantomine that had been so carefully prepared by the PQ and the bosses to help sell their ruthless cutbacks was wrecked by the student unrest. Despite their expertise (worthy of Hollywood!) at creating the image of unanimity and agreement, the PQ leaders were unable to cover up the opposition to their policies. Even the bourgeois newspaper Le Devoir printed an editorial calling for an election. According to Le Devoir, Lucien Bouchard has no mandate to impose his planned cutbacks...

CONCERTATION DISCREDITED

The union, student, and community group leaders are wallowing in a stinking sty of class collaboration that they call "concertation". This form of union (in)action, directly inspired by the theories of William Lyon Mackenzie King and John D. Rockefeller, has become the emperor's new clothes, proudly worn by the "worker" and student capitalists who use concertation as a rationale to better sacrifice their membership to the ruling class.

So at the same time as 50 000 cegep students were demonstrating in the streets against the Socio-Economic Summit, the dictators from the FECQ [3] and FEUQ [4] were trying to get along with Pauline Marois, the Minister of Education, who had already announced massive education cuts. But our chief collaborators found themselves in a sticky situation when their concertationist "strategy" was being denounced in the streets by tens of thousands of their members. As this point our pseudo- representatives gave us an amazing example of political backsliding and doubletalking. "It's going to explode..." is what Etienne Gagnon, president of the FECQ, said in the middle of the summit after Lucien Bouchard had just said that he would not freeze university fees. He was right: the strike against which he had worked so hard was about to explode in his face. Confronted with Bouchard's refusal and discredited by a membership that they no longer controlled, the PQ's student "representatives" got up and, with great pomp and ceremony, left the summit in a desperate attempt to save face.

REDISCOVERING COLLECTIVE POWER

On top of having broken the fragile charade of consensus, the student strike achieved another victory that could also influence other social movements in Quebec: the striking students made some concrete gains. It is not our intention to give a list of everything that was won by this strike, suffice it to say that the gains were modest but real.

It is because of mass mobilization that the student movement was able to get something out of the government. This should shut up all of those people who claim that class collaboration and begging for crumbs gets positive results. Five long depressing years of asking nicely has gotten students a 350% increase in student fees alone. This is not even including the countless cuts to loans and bursaries or the new teaching methods that have been imposed on a student population which has been tranquillized by the toxic politics of its leadership. All it took was one month of intense activity and we got a tuition freeze, the brake on the cuts to loans and bursaries and the removal of a discriminatory educational measure.

DID ANYONE HERE SAY REVOLUTION?

Of course, the student movement is a far cry from a revolutionary movement. But even though the Fall 1996 student strike was a reformist one, their were aspects of it that have revolutionary implications.

Most notable of these is the rejection of neo-liberal ideology. Neo-liberalism as a value system, as a social theory and as an economic one was attacked with full force throughout the strike. The student's rejection of the deficit dogma was all the more clear as hardly anyone was talking about replacing it. While they were loud and clear when they said no to the cutbacks, reformist rallying cries were hardly whispered. The terrain is clear for those of us who wish to abolish capitalism, a system that has proven its inability of satisfying human needs. It is wide open, amongst other reasons, because neo-liberalism is seen as the executioner of the discredited Welfare State. This narrows down the capitalist alternatives to the present nightmare. In other words, neo-liberal ideology has done so much to destroy the legitimacy of the Welfare State that coherent solutions for its opponents can only be found on the anti-capitalist terrain.

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NOTES

1. Association National des Etudiants et Etudiantes de Quebec - National Association of Students in Quebec. 2. Movement for the Right to an Education. 3. Federation des Etudiants Universitaires de Quebec - Federation of Quebec University Students. 4. Federation des Etudiants Collegiales de Quebec - Federation of Quebec Cegep Students.

*****

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FASCIST EGGHEADS COMMIT MASS SUICIDE (well not quite - but almost just as good!) _________________________________________________________________

The Cahiers de Jeune Nation, perhaps Quebec's most pretentious fascist magazine, has ceased publication after almost four years of high-brow racism and reaction. Published so irregularly that it made the far-left look well organized by comparison, CJN ranted and raved about the evils of the Revolution Tranquille, the PQ's "territorial" nationalism (as opposed to their preferred ethnic version a la Sarajevo), Marxist-Freemason conspiracies and the so-called "immigrant invasion".

From its first issue in 1992 CJN was edited by Jean-Claude Dupuis, a fanatical Catholic who thinks that Mass should still be said in Latin and that Vatican II was a Masonic plot. CJN will publish no more because Dupuis needs time off to finish his doctoral thesis under Pierre Trepannier. The latter is the University of Montreal history professor who attracted so much attention to himself and his student's political project when he published a blueprint for Quebec fascism in the CJN's very first issue.

Although CJN will exist no more, the Cercle Jeune Nation (all eight members!) which published it will hobble on, crying aghast at every sign of modern decadence and miscegenation. Presently alienated from the PQ-BQ nationalist project because it isn't racist or Catholic enough, members can be sure to continue working in esoteric religious and French Canadian traditionalist groups, eschewing grassroots struggle for the pleasure of having their heads firmly placed up their asses (which suits us fine, as we have enough politically active racist groups to deal with as it is). CJN member Gilbert Gendron will no doubt continue to publish his bulletin on Judeo-Marxist-Freemason machinations, Confidentiel, and push his latest self-published book, Feeding the Red Dragon: the case against Canada's aid to Communist Chine. For his part, Dupuis has been active in Laval University's Cercle d'Etudes des Jeunes Catholiques Traditionalistes for some time now. Other members are sure to continue popping up here and there, as they have over the past decade, their favourite haunts (as always) being the anti-abortion and anti-immigrant scenes.

This setback for the self-styled "intellectual vanguard" of the French Canadian nation follows the departure of its two founding members, Rock Toussignant and Francois Dumas, whose vision of the Cercle as a kind of far-right pre-party formation lost out to Dupuis' ideal of an intellectual project aimed at winning over the "elite".

We can only wish the worst of luck to what remains of the Cercle and to the elite that it wishes to cultivate. And don't you worry, Mr Dupuis, we will be watching you...

-DMT

*****

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NAZI TERROR BOMBING EXPOSED DESPITE GOVERNMENT COVERUP _________________________________________________________________

On July 18th, 1994 a bomb completely levelled a seven-story building in the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires. The building housed the headquarters of several Argentinian Jewish organizations, including archives, a library and social service agencies. Eighty six people died and over 300 more were wounded.

Almost immediately, the Israeli state accused Islamic terrorists of carrying out the attack. It was then declared that a Lebanese-based group called the "Supporters of God" had claimed responsibility. Israeli security experts descended on the Argentine Jewish community promising to protect them from further attacks and to work with Argentine security forces to find the perpetrators.

Two years later, it looks like Israel's original anti- Islamic accusations are being proven wrong. The investigation has led to a far-right organization within the Argentinian military. Furthermore, these officers have been found in possession of literature produced by White Aryan Resistance, a neo-Nazi group based in California. No leads linking the attack to Moslems have surfaced.

In retrospect it is clear that the Israeli assertion of a Moslem terrorist connection was pure politics. Neo-nazis are dangerous to individual Jews living in the diaspora, not to the Israeli State. As such, it is much more convenient to blame anti- Zionist groups like the phantom "Supporters of God" than neo- Nazis working out of the safety of Israel's favourite sugardaddy, the good old US of A.

-DMT

*****

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QUEERS (don't) BASH BACK (but should!) _________________________________________________________________

There is a snowball's chance in hell that the "Gay and Lesbian" community will mobilize against the PQ this year. This is not to say that there's not ample reason to revolt, nor that many queers won't be active resisting Lucien Bouchard's plans for a Brave New Quebec. In fact those are about the only two things more certain than the queer community's leadership's apathy.

(Before continuing I should point out that this apathy hurts both queer men, queer women, queer boys and queer girls, as well as transgendered and intersexed people. Nevertheless, my own perspective and experience as a queer man limits what I feel comfortable writing about. For this reason this article will, unfortunately, deal almost exclusively with issues of primary - though not exclusive - concern to queer guys.)

Across Quebec, the police continue to insist on their right to raid queer establishments and impose heterosexual law, and we remain powerless to stop them. Not only that, but the age-old campaign to clear the parks and truck stops of queers has never ended, as countless entrapped men can attest. The violent repression of homosexuality and other perversions remains a fact of life, even in the "gay nineties".

LAW & ORDER

While much of this violence and repression comes from the cops, a truly sick division within the queer community leaves many victims of police harassment as isolated and vulnerable as ever. There are the "good gays" and "good lesbians" who work with the police on anti-violence programs, who work with the PQ and BQ, and who are shown off as proof that we're "just like everyone else". These people's job is to manage the queer community. The most they will ever ask for is that the cops not discriminate, that is to say that they can arrest you and harass you, just as long as they're not doing it because of your sexual choices. Their "activism" often consists of demanding more cops, more security cameras and more "community policing".

On the other side of the tracks, there are the queers who have sex in parks or at truck stops, the queer people of colour and the queer street people. There are the transsexuals, prostitutes and others who break the dominant sexual code of conduct, and as such should be natural allies for gays and lesbians. All of those mentioned here suffer the harassment and violence of the cops while our community's "leadership" continues to look the other way.

AIDS: BUDGETING DEATH

In Quebec today there are almost 4,000 people known to be living with AIDS [1], the vast majority of them queer men. Above and beyond the physical and psychological trauma that this implies, there are the costs of dubious "treatments" which often surpass $7000 a year for the HIV+, and can as much as double with the onset of AIDS.

This is, sadly enough, the best example of why queer men should be gearing up to fight the government. The proposed hospital closures, the drug co-insurance plan, and other cutbacks will kill people living with this disease.

AIDS is a textbook example that the misery of some is the good fortune of others. Perhaps its a biological warfare experiment that got out of control, perhaps its one more result of industrial society or maybe its just the latest virus to hit the human species, but whatever its origin the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (thought to lead to AIDS) is both a political weapon and a source of untold wealth.

Over 40 million people are now thought to be HIV+, and millions have already died from this disease. Meanwhile, shareholders and company officers in the pharmaceutical industry have experienced the high-tech equivalent of a gold rush, as instant markets have appeared for old anti-cancer drugs that no one wanted any more. Corporations have been given special permission by the State to bypass normal safety precautions when testing anti-AIDS drugs. This is called "catastrophic rights", and is a good thing because often people living with HIV cannot wait for the extensive testing normal drugs undergo. However, as soon as the techno-capitalists have perfected their drug on human guinea pigs they have no obligation to continue providing their products free of charge. As a result, people who have risked their own health by taking experimental medicines are suddenly cut off once the treatment is proven to be adequately safe and effective. Once they are no longer needed they have to pay the exorbitant costs for their treatments, same as everybody else.

Politicians for their part have used HIV as the perfect fagbashing opportunity that it is. In the 1980s British Columbia and New Brunswick toyed with the idea of setting up internment camps for seropositive individuals. Prisons across Canada still often segregate these people while often refusing them their medical necessities. And the virus has become an alibi for increased sexual repression of young people and criminal repression of sex trade workers.

AIDS ACTIVISM: NOTHIN' HAPPENING

In the face of this bio-political onslaught, Quebec has suffered from a vacuum of political activism. The first Montreal- based activist group to deal with this issue, the mainly anglophone Reaction Sida, fell into shambles following its participation in the extremely successful campaign around the 5th World Conference on AIDS in 1988. There followed ACT UP Montreal, which had a better rapport with the francophone community but which was far more conservative and male-dominated. Today there are several community groups that deal specifically with people living with HIV but nothing with a political approach to the problem.

And yet AIDS is one area where the Federal and Provincial cutbacks are sure to have murderous effects. Already, many people living with HIV cannot afford the drug treatments that are presently available. Each year in Quebec, community groups which fight against AIDS distribute over $400 000 worth of anti-HIV drug treatments free of charge to people who cannot afford to pay for them, but this is peanuts compared to what's needed. Lise Pinault, director of the COCQSIDA, estimates that 60% of people living with HIV are on welfare. These people will have to pay the maximum under the PQ's new "co-insurance" scheme, effectively reducing the amount of money they have to live on by one tenth. Furthermore, a significant proportion of street people, especially street kids, are HIV+. As homelessness increases and what support services there are get gutted, the life expectancy of people living with HIV could plummet.

Given all of this, one might expect the local "community leadership" to be making some noise. Yet with the exception of COCQSIDA, no one has said or done anything. And all that this one umbrella group did was present a brief to the PQ outlining 6 recommendations to make Bill 33 slightly more liveable, that is to say, to put a band-aid on the problem.

The gay and lesbian "leadership" is proving (yet again) its political irrelevance. These people are a textbook example of sellouts of an oppressed community managing the crisis and acting as intermediaries with the State in order to keep the rabble in line. In other words, any solution to the problems facing us will have to come from the grassroots. And if grassroots activists want to have an impact, they had best steer clear of the demoralizing cliques who are so fond of cuddling up to the PQ.

A logical place to look for such radical queer politics would be amongst left-wing perverts. Yet while queer individuals are quite common on the left, queer politics are still a rarity. Even amongst groups which have broken with Stalinist economism and accept the patriarchy as a real enemy that must be fought, the specifics of homophobia and heterosexism remain a mystery. As for the specific ways in which the neo-liberal attack on the working class will impact queers, well, to even pose such a question remains beyond the grasp (or interest?) of most left- wing groups.

The failure of left-wing queers to work on queer issues is as much to blame for the lack of a specifically queer fightback as are our community sellouts. Working in the broader left is cool, but we must remember that if we don't look after our own selves, no one else is going to. If none of the AIDS or gay/lesbian groups are working around the cutbacks, it must also be noted that none of the anti-poverty groups are working around AIDS or other queer issues.

What is needed is an autonomous queer politic. Without necessarily forming a separate group, queer radicals should work to ensure that queer issues get dealt with by the left. Not only should we draw attention to our issues, it also wouldn't hurt if we tried to help improve the major weaknesses in the Left's understanding of homophobia. Furthermore, we should try our best to ignore and avoid our "leadership" and to organize our own responses to issues in our lives. Instead of waiting forever to see what Roger Leclerc or Michael Hendricks will do or say about something, we should do and say things ourselves.

Given the precarious situation within which we live, we have little to lose. So what are you waiting for... let's get on with it!

-DMT

NOTES

1. The actual number of people living with AIDS is certainly much higher than this, as this number represents only those who have sought treatment. The number of people who are HIV+ is easily several times this amount (you can be HIV+ for over a decade before developing AIDS).

*****

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MR PALLASCIO VOMITS MORE RACISM . . . _________________________________________________________________

On Tuesday September 17th, Michel Pallascio re-affirmed his commitment to racism, claiming that Judeo-Christian values must remain an integral part of all publicly funded schools. Pallascio is the leader of the hardline Catholic Regroupement Scolaire Confessionel which has controlled the Montreal Catholic School Commission for almost ten years now.

In his submission on how to improve intercultural relations, Pallascio said "The Judeo-Christian tradition is not a 'particular religion' among many... it is a fundamental component of the heritage and collective identity of the welcoming culture."

According to Demanarchie's expose on the Catholic right in Quebec (Demanarchie v.2 #1-2), the RSC has links to several far-right and racist organisations. The RSC school commissioner for Duvernay region, Maurice Prevost, is a religious fanatic and treasurer of the racist Centre d'information national Robert Rumilly. Another RSC candidate in the 1994 school board elections, Pierre Messier, was a leading member of the anti- immigrant Mouvement pour une immigration restreinte et francophone. In 1988 the MCSC fired a Chilean employee because of the latter's accent. In 1989 it sent parents a questionnaire asking if they thought immigrant children should be segregated in a separate school system and in 1990 Pallascio advised the provincial government that preference should be given to immigrants with "Judeo-Christian values".

Pallascio's obsession with "Judeo-Christian" values is itself hypocritical. How many people do you know whose religion is "Judeo-Christianity"? In fact, the "Judeo-Christian tradition" in Quebec has been remarkably hostile to both Judaism and Jews. Until the late 1960s all students in this school commission were forced to suffer through Catholic indoctrination classes. This situation is behind the fact that Montreal Jews have traditionally stayed away from the Catholic School Commission, choosing instead to attend private Jewish schools or public schools in the less zealous Protestant School Board. It is no surprise that overtly anti-Semitic Catholic groups like the Cercle Jeune Nation and the Ralliement provincial des parents de Quebec are comfortable giving uncritical support to Pallascio and the RSC.

Needless to say, Pallascio's comments were condemned by groups ranging from the Association des Enseignant Haitiens du Quebec to the Canadian Jewish Congress.

-DMT

source: Montreal Gazette, September 18th, 1996

*****

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GAGGING FREE SPEECH: Odyssey of an anarchist in the Courts of the Bourgeoisie _________________________________________________________________

Anarchists are always well advised to keep out of the hands of bourgeois justice. It uses our opinions to make us look more dangerous than we are and to further criminalize us. As for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for many cops, prosecutors and judges it is mainly used for toilet paper. These are the lessons I have learnt from my own experience in the judicial machine.

I had no criminal past prior to April 19th, 1995, the night I was arrested at a demonstration against Human Life International. Charged with criminal mischief causing damage under $5000, at my April 25th, 1995 hearing the court took away my right "to participate in (or be present in) any demonstration or public meeting" pending trial. Following my arrest for breaking these conditions, on August 19th of this year the court gave me a curfew and also told me that I was not allowed to stay in Quebec City. And I have yet to be sentenced for any of my eight charges!

So that you can follow the long story of my run-ins with the law with as little difficulty as possible, I will go back to July 4th, 1996. On that day I showed up at the provincial courthouse in Montreal to deal with an arrest warrant that had been issued for "failure to appear".

In the corridor, the Crown Attorney, John Denis Gerols, was talking to my lawyer, Delagrave, threatening that he would ask the judge to keep me locked up until my trial that fall because of charges of mischief and breaking my conditions (those of 24/4/95). For the Crown the goal behind this scummy blackmail was to avoid a trial that promised to be quite a nuisance for him and the cops he represents.

Gerols wanted to get the most out of the power he had over me in order to get me to give in to his offer to get a speedy ruling on my case. He proposed that in exchange for my pleading guilty to mischief and breaking my conditions that two other charges of violating my conditions would be dropped (one of these was a pure fabrication on the part of the cops). He furthermore promised that he would recommend that I be sentenced to do community work.

STATION 33: UNDER SIEGE

My lawyer ended up convincing me to accept this poisonous offer, mainly by telling me that if I accepted it I would be allowed to attend demonstrations. Yet on July 7th, less than three days after this deal, I learnt the truth behind this deal.

On July 7th I was arrested at a rally at Berri Square in Montreal. It was a rally against police harassment, the lies of the LAM and "other subjects of popular unrest", to borrow the expression used in the police report on this event (#33 960707- 053).

The cops' decision to arrest me in plain view of one of my comrades was a clear and deliberate act of provocation. It is worth noting that in another police report (#34 9505012 003) it is explained that I had not been arrested at the May Day demonstration in 1995 "to avoid conflict with the other participants in the demonstration". (In fact, the cops couldn't have arrested me at the May Day demonstration because I was never there, but that's another story!)

On that July 7th, the news of my arrest brought the demonstration's anger to a boil. The protesters didn't let me down but rather occupied the street in front of the cop shop where I was being held. And when I arrived at Station 33 I saw that the police were not so much trying to "avoid conflict"; on the contrary they seemed wished to provoke it! I heard cops who were going out to defend their beloved workplace announce enthusiastically that they were going "to play baseball" with their batons, giving me a good idea of what the favourite "sport" of our future community police will be.

Then, after two hours of being locked up, the only constable left in the place comes to get me to... let me go! I couldn't believe it! No one at Station 33 had been able to confirm the details of my deal with the Crown. The only thing pushing them to let me go was the pressure of the seventy people who blocked the street in front of the station (not to mention the presence of those cameras which are so well known for embarrassing the batters from the 33 baseball team). This spectacular victory, a great example of the power of solidarity, also turned my case into a media item (I'll get back to this later).

Yet my legal situation at demonstrations and public meetings remained unclear as I received contradictory information from my lawyer and the cops at Station 33. This is why I agreed to speak at a rally called by Demanarchie and Food Not Bombs in Quebec City at Carre d'Youville on July 28th.

That night I returned to Montreal and joined the "midnight snack" at Berri Square, an organized protest against the city's curfew. On the morning of the 29th I was one of seventy six people arrested in the police's "cleanup" operation. And then, to add a nice twist, I was released by the police that afternoon and then arrested at my apartment the next morning for (yet again) breaking my conditions (at the "midnight snack" and also at a press conference held at Berri Square that same day).

I was transferred to the (ex-)Parthenais detention centre on July 31st and was taken to court the next day. In court, where twenty friends had shown up to give me moral support, the Crown asked the judge to keep me locked up. Sergeant-Detective Mario Fournier was called to testify against me. In the police report on the events at which I participated (# 33-960730-054) I am described as a "professional agitator (who) could be the instigator of unrest and demonstrations against public order"!

Happily, the occasionally off-the-wall testimony of Fournier was discredited in cross examination. After the prosecutor failed to have me kept behind bars, he started to ask the court to ban me from a certain area, the details of which we will never know as the judge cut him short to reject this proposal.

I owe my release to my lawyer who informed the court that he had wrongly told me that I was allowed to demonstrate following the July 4th deal...

LIES IN QUEBEC CITY

The following August 16th I again had to pay for this error. Two agents from Station 33 arrested me with a new charge of having broken my conditions. This time the charges came from the Quebec City cops. It must have been pure coincidence (???!!!) that I was noticed on the street by Sergeant Lemieux, who coincidentally (???!!!) has been put in charge of monitoring anarchists (Sgt. Lemieux spied on us on July 7th at Berri Square and watched the comings and goings as a Food Not Bombs benefit supper on August 10th, 1996...)

And so Station 33 offered their "catch" (me) to two other officers from the Quebec City police force. These two found it necessary to chain my ankles for my forced car trip to Quebec City (note that my wrists were already handcuffed). I was transferred to Orsainville prison and kept there until I appeared in court on August 19th. This time the Crown had no objection to my release, as long as my conditions were toughened up.

The Quebec court then banned me from staying in Quebec City, and gave me a curfew from 11pm to 7am. These additional restrictions were enthusiastically accepted by the lawyer who was supposed to be representing me (?), Richard Grenier, even though he had not spoken to me about them during our brief tete-a-tete prior to the hearing. This little shit from legal aid even rigged things so that my own witness, Yves Manseau from the Citizens Committee Against Police Brutality, who had come all the way from Montreal, could not speak!

This mess was followed by a bizarre plot to associate me with the St-Jean Baptiste riot, an event I had nothing to do with as I was in Montreal that night. To start with, on July 29th the Journal de Quebec carried an article by Eric Thibaut on the July 29th rally, in which it was written that "Alexander Popovic admits to having participated in the St-Jean riot"!!! This lie was followed by similar allegations in the police report on the rally (# 96 057847). The authors of this report fantasize that I publicly declared "that I regret nothing that happened on the St-Jean this year. I participated and I would do the same thing again"!!!

Throughout their entire report the cops complained about what it was like to monitor the July 28th rally. Constable Steve Duchesne wrote that "Mr Popouic (sic!) was very provocative and impolite towards us .... M. Masseaux (sic) made it his job to point us out and accuse us." He adds that "me and my colleague Mr Fortier were very disappointed to hear such things and we were also disappointed that citizens (passing by) could hear such things."

Here we see how criticism can weaken the morale of the police troop, who are not used to being so openly targeted. Next time maybe they'll think twice before sending two such obvious agents to spy on our events!

This police report was used against me by the Crown Attorney, Chantal Pelletier, at a hearing at the Superior Court on October 28th. I was representing myself and asking that my curfew and ban from Quebec City be lifted (it was my third request of this nature that I was making in a Quebec City courtroom). Judge Alain Morand quoted the police report at length to justify his refusal, claiming that it showed "how readily the accused (me) is inclined to disobey the court."

WHAT LIES IN STORE FOR ME

In another report, dated September 6th 1996, probation officer Christianne Leclair refused to recommend me for community work. Amongst other things, Leclair justified her evaluation by "the fact (that I) tend to question the legitimacy of the authorities (which ) makes recidivism more likely."

Me and my new lawyer are going to try to obtain a revision of my guilty plea, which I only ever made because of the July 4th, 1995 "deal", whereby I thought I would be allowed to attend demonstrations and public meetings. If this fails I will be sentenced and get a criminal record. To make things even worse, I could receive up to two years of prison time for each of my broken conditions (I have seven such charges against me at the moment). In the meantime, all of these conditions are still in force and make my life quite constrained.

The publicity my case has received in the media helps expose the fragility of freedom of expression in this regime which never misses a chance to call itself a "democracy". But like every other "public personality", I have not been able to avoid imaginative journalists' penchant for inappropriate labels ("Demanarchie's leader") or ridiculous ones ("the hero of Berri Square"?!).

The journalistic delirium that I have been subjected to reached its apex when Paul Roy, a reporter from Le Presse, allowed himself the liberty of wrongly reporting in the October 30th edition that I had been arrested at the demonstration against Bouchard's Socio-Economic Summit. (I was not even present at the protest and La Presse was forced to print a retraction the next day.) Despite all of this, I continue to see the media as a tool that can be used to break the isolation in which the authorities wish to keep me. As for the superstar syndrome, I can tell you that I often measure the circumference of my own head and so far it hasn't grown at all...

I have no intention of letting the cops get away with their lies, their political infiltration and their violence. I intend to fight in court for the respect of basic freedoms. It is certainly not the best terrain for such a battle, but don't forget that I'm not the one who chose it!

-- Alexandre Popovic

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Epilogue: On Friday, November 29th the author of this article received his sentence, thus all of the conditions of his release have now been lifted. He was sentenced to 120 hours of community work and ordered to keep the peace for two years. A $4500 fine he had received from the police was also maintained by the court.

*****

Demanarchie Volume 3 #1 is now being sold. It is 28 pages of local and international revolutionary anarchist news in French and English. To subscribe, send $12 for 6 issues to:

DEMANARCHIE CP 32100 Montreal, Quebec Canada H2L 4Y5

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