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(en) Quebec: Free the Germinal 5 ! (fr)

From mbubuv@yahoo.com
Date Sat, 5 May 2001 14:06:40 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E



Write them letters of support (see addresses below)

Montreal, April 30, 2001 - Five members of the
Germinal Movement are still being detained in
Orsainville prison following a pre-emptive police raid
(swoop) that began in the evening of last April 17th
and continued the next day. The five are: Victor
Quentin and Roman Pokorski of Verdun, Alex
Boissonneault and Mario Bertoncini of Montreal and
Serge Vallée of Saint-François-de-Laval. The five are
being held prisoner since the "Justice of the Peace,"
Yvon Mercier of the "Palace of Justice" in Quebec City
decided on April 23 to refuse to release them. They
are not scheduled to reappear in court until next May

To justify a decision which amounts to punishment
before verdict, Judge Mercier declared: "You are
individuals who are dangerous for society". In
referring to the abundant media coverage that followed
the arrests of the five, the magistrate also added: "I
believe that the public would lose confidence in the
judicial system if I released you." Yanik Sévigny, the
lawyer for the Germinal 5, will go before of the
Superior Court of Quebec next May 4 in order to appeal
the decision of Judge Mercier and to try to obtain
their release. 

At the above-mentioned April 23 hearing, two other
members of Germinal, Jonathan Vachon and Pierre-David
Habel, were provisionally released, conditional, among
other things, upon agreements to "keep the peace" and
to appear once a week at the Montreal headquarters of
the Sûreté du Québec (SQ-Quebec Provincial Police). In
addition, they were required to sign a personal
performance bond of $5000. Though the Court did not
demand payment in cash of this exorbitant sum, it will
should one of the accused be arrested again in future
and charged with "breaking conditions."

The seven Germinal accused face harsh charges of
"conspiracy to commit mischief that could present a
real danger to the lives of people", "possession of
explosives with dangerous intent", and "theft and
concealment of military equipment of a value less that
$5000". Two days before the opening of the Summit of
the Americas last April 18, the SQ and the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) held a press conference
where they exhibited various objects presumably seized
during two searches of apartments where several of the
arrested militants lived. This defensive equipment
comprised four smoke bombs, five gas masks, five
shields, etc, as well as some dissident literature,
including copies of the anarchist newspaper Le

In fact, the Germinal project quite simply consisted
of, at first, demanding that the security perimeter be
opened in order to be able to demonstrate on the
inside, and then, refusal of this demand being
probable, taking the necessary means in order to
create a breach in the 4 km fence. Although the police
propagandists are trying to present the Germinal
Movement in the court of the public opinion as a
"terrorist" organization so as to undermine the
emergence of any groundswell of sympathy for the
accused, members that have not been arrested have had
the opportunity to demonstrate the hollowness of these

For example, the smoke bombs which Germinal considered
using had the sole goal of creating a diversion; these
devices do nothing more than produce clouds of smoke
similar to those found in discotheques. As such, they
are in no way comparable to the 5000 tear-gas grenades
which were used in a space of only 48 hours by the
anti-riot squads in Quebec City and which
necessitated, among other things, a massive
decontamination of certain dwellings in the Saint-Jean
Baptiste and Saint-Roch neighbourhoods. As for the
infamous "Thunder Flash" grenade-simulators, these
were also designed to induce a diversionary effect,
being in reality nothing more than "small sticks which
imitate the noise of an explosion."

In short, the equipment allegedly seized from the
accused members of Germinal can in no way hold a
candle to that arsenal of the repressive forces which
caused numerous serious injuries among the ranks of
the demonstrators and which could have even resulted
in death if one considers things such as the hundreds
of plastic bullets often fired directly at the faces
of protestors. 

The Germinal Movement doesn't make a claim to having a
precise ideology: different political tendencies
cohabit in its bosom, from communism to Quebec
independentism by way of anti-authoritarianism and
feminism. As eloquently described in this excerpt of
the Movement's manifesto, their goal is to contribute
against the globalizing megamachine: "We are simple
citizens who, in the face of the inability of our
so-called representatives to limit the despotism of
these supranational authorities devoted to the
maximisation of their profits, are determined to carry
out this David-versus-Goliath like struggle." 

Since December 2000, the Germinal Movement has been
closely watched by a special squad of RCMP and SQ
officers formed for the Summit. The Canadian Armed
Forces also participated in the investigation. Among
other revelations has been the presence of two double
agents who had infiltrated Germinal. One of these two
moles was even at the wheel of the car which
transported two members of Germinal to Quebec City;
these turned out to be the first two members arrested
on the evening of April 17. For infiltration purposes,
the cops set up from scratch a phoney car-rental
business for trips between Montreal and Quebec City.
The goal of this underhanded ploy was to be able to
offer a job to a member of Germinal, who the police
had been informed was seeking employment. 

These methods of investigation, worthy of a spy movie,
have moreover been widely denounced; First of all, by
Pierre-David Habel, who had a warrant issued for his
arrest and who allowed himself to be interviewed by a
journalist from the daily Le Devoir before turning
himself into the police during the night of April
18-19, 2001. In a headline article in the April 20,
2001 issue of the newspaper entitled "A police mole
incited activists to arm themselves more,"
Pierre-David informs us that the double agent wasn't
satisfied with merely filling surveillance reports:
"Among other things he supplied us with material for
shields, such as styrofoam and adhesive tape." After
having become a member-in-good-standing, the officer
insisted upon taking responsibility for certain

In the Journal de Quebec of the same day, three judges
and even a crown attorney from the Quebec City area
were not at all reticent to question, under the cloak
of anonymity, the methods employed by the police. "I
must admit that this worries me," declared one
magistrate. "Why wait until the eve of the Summit to
act in this case?" Another judge went one better: "I
am eager to see how the police are going to justify
the delay between the moment they targeted this group
and the time they dismantled it."

What must we understand about the Germinal Affair?

Firstly, if these comrades were investigated by the
various police forces, it is because of their
association with a political movement opposed to the
capitalist offensive in general and to the Summit of
the Americas in particular. Thus, even if the charges
they face don't directly refer to the positions they
have taken on different issues, the dissident
political opinions of the Germinal group cannot be
disassociated from their presently being subjected to
the blows inflicted by the repressive apparatus. 

Moreover, it is worthwhile to emphasize that Germinal
is far from being the only organization to have been
the object of the political police's espionage
procedures. During the inquiry dealing with the
release of the Germinal members, Sergeant-Detective
Vincent Santori in fact revealed that in conjunction
with the RCMP, six teams of five double agents each
were set up in order to infiltrate the opposition to
the Summit of the Americas. It is thus reasonable to
suppose that this massive information-gathering effort
may have been directed at tens if not hundreds of
activist groups and individuals.

Secondly, if five members of Germinal are being today
held prisoner, it's because they didn't want to
present themselves in Quebec City as defenceless prey,
ready to be crushed by police forces armed to the
teeth, but instead organized themselves and availed
themselves of the means to courageously resist the
violence of the repressive apparatus. 

Thirdly, this affair represents further proof that
police forces are more than ever determined to divert
all the defensive measures employed by the opponents
of capitalist and police violence in order to return
and use them against the most determined elements in
the just and inevitable struggle which animates the
dissident milieux. 

Fourthly, the more militants are serious and
consistent in this combat, the more the State will
strike with force and cruelty the active forces which
stand in its way. From this we deduce the importance
of constantly bearing in mind the necessity of both
organising as securely as possible and of answering
repression with an unshakeable and uncompromising

Collective Opposed to Police Brutality


Write them letters of support, addressed to one of the
five political prisoners of the Germinal Movement,
listing their birth date as follows:

Mario Bertoncini, 04.2.78
Alex Boissonneault, 14.4.79
Roman Pokorski, 09.11.78
Victor Quentin, 23.2.80
Serge Vallee, 03.8.79

Mail your letters to the following address:

Centre de détention de Québec
500, rue de la Faune
C.P. 7130
Charlesbourg, Québec
G1G 5E4 Canada

Don't forget that all mail to prisoners can be opened
by guards, so be careful about what you write. 

If you want to be assured about getting an answer, we
advised you to include a pre-stamped envelope with you
letter. Administrative rules at Orsainville prison are
very strict. If you send magazines or newspapers, they
must be authorised by the supervisors before being
forwarded to prisoners. As for books, don't bother
even thinking about it. The guards can even confiscate
photocopies of newspaper articles, according to their

To send funds to support the Germinal Movement, make a
check in the name of Me. Yanik Sevigny, and mail it to
the following address:

Yanik Sevigny
2265 Pie IX, #1
Montreal, Quebec
H1V 2E6 Canada

To communicate directly with the Germinal Movement,
Send an e-mail to: germinal_@hotmail.com


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