[Eng.] Quebec Cops Raid Anarchist Milieux

R.W. Wogatzke (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
28 Jun 96 10:28:39 EDT

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From: Arm The Spirit, INTERNET:ats@locust.cic.net
To: Multiple recipients of list, INTERNET:ATS-L@BURN.UCSD.EDU
Date: 28.06.1996 13:27

Subject:Quebec Cops Raid Anarchist Milieux

Quebec Cops Raid Anarchist Milieux

The past few days have witnessed dramatic repression of
Quebec anarchists, following a mass riot in Quebec City on June
24th, St-Jean Baptiste Day (this is a very popular Quebec
holiday, and has often been a good excuse to riot in the past).
Thousands of people smashed windows and expropriated goods during
the riot, as well as trashing the National Assembly (the place
where the government meets), breaking its windows and trying to
set it afire.
Initially the Quebec police chief claimed that the riot had
been instigated by an unnamed "extreme right wing" group.
However, a State-controlled "anti-fascist" watchdog group, the
"World Anti-Fascist League" was quick to set them right. WAL
leader Alain Dufour, publicly fingered anarchists in general, and
the newspaper Demanarchie in particular, as having instigated the
Following Dufour's "revelations" a comrade was arrested for
selling Demanarchie at Place Youville, the popular youth hangout
where the riot had started. The comrade's house was subsequently
raided and his computer seized, and then twenty police raided the
Food Not Bombs in Quebec city (FNB is an anti-authoritarian
anti-poverty group). A total of four people were arrested, three
of whom were charged with growing pot. The comrade who had been
arrested for selling the paper has been released but is under
surveillance, and the FNB comrades will be appearing in court
tomorrow. That evening the chief investigator for the Quebec
police revealed that several dozen copies of Demanarchie had been
found at one of the raided houses, and held up a copy for
reporters to oogle, as if this was proof of anything.
The situation has not stabilized yet, and the government is
promising a through investigation, which means added heat and
surveillance on the radical left in Quebec. It is important that
comrades across Canada and the United States, and indeed around
the world, pay attention to what is happening to us. We'll try
and keep you posted as things progress. In the meantime, it
should be taken for granted that money will be needed to defend
our comrades, but as of yet I can't give any address for it to be
sent. What people can do is telephone the Victoriaville Police
Department and demand that the Quebec City police lay off of the
radical Left and cease engaging in all of this post-riot
repression. The phone number is: 819-752-4545.
In closing, today the Montreal Section of Demanarchie
released the following statement to the bourgeois media:

Why You Have Understood Nothing Of The St-Jean Riot

The Demanarchie collective rejects all claims of authorship
and ownership of the St-Jean riot at Quebec City. Bear unto
Caesar that which is Caesar's: the riot belongs only to those who
participated in it.
As we explained quite clearly in our editorial, the one that
you find so controversial: "The Riot is a spontaneous
phenomenon." This is to say that the accusations of a conspiracy
and premeditation are nothing but lies meant to criminalize us on
the basis of our political beliefs.
The hunt for scapegoats is an attempt to disguise the
authorities' responsibility for the ever-worstening social
climate which is making more and more young people feel like they
have less and less to lose.
If you really want to find those responsible for the damage
done on the St-Jean, go check out the cops and the mass media.
Policies of zero tolerance and sensationalistic blather provoke
the excitement and the violence of crowds.
You can gag the anarchists, but you won't be able to silence
the cries of the excluded.


On The Necessity Of Not Being A Back-Stabbing Bastard

Recent events in Quebec have brought to light the scientific
necessity of progressive people to not be BACK STABBING BASTARDS.
The case in point is Alain Dufour and Peter Vorias of the World
Anti-Fascist League. Before I continue I should say that the WAL
is not a typical "World"-wide organization: its only offices are
in Montreal and its perspective is limitted by Quebec
liberal-left realpolitik. Furthermore, it is no typical
"anti-fascist" group, for it has seen fit to target the radical
left as well as the far-right. In fact in many ways the LAM acts
as an extention of the "left" wing of the Parti Quebecois' party
apparatus, receiving government grants in exchange for the
maintenance of the illusion that the Quebec nationalist movement
is securely controlled by left-thinking technocrats, in
contradistinction to the far-right and xenophobic elements that
the Anglo-Canadian establishment loves to "expose".
The WAL (or LAM, as it is locally known, this being its
French acronym) was started in 1989 by punks and skins who had
succesfully repelled a neo-nazi bonehead attack on an concert
where the anti-fascist band Berurier Noir were playing. The
boneheads were smashing people's skulls outside and security at
the event responded by locking the doors, so that neither the
boneheads nor their victims could get into the gig. People inside
spontaneously rushed the doors, get out and gave the boneheads a
bit of a thrashing. Weekly meetings followed and an anti-fascist
youth group was formed.
Within a year or two though Alain Dufour had established
himself as head honcho at the WAL. Under pressure from police he
had the group repudiate street-level confrontation of fascists.
It disbanded a street level organization with well over a hundred
members, and pretty soon became a clique of Dufour and a few
flunkies doing research and infiltration of boneheads on the one
hand and "public education" jazz in schools on the other. The
group's "street presence" was reduced to painting over racist
graffitti (a one-shot deal I believe) and holding one or two
vigils for victims of neo-nazi violence.
The first indication of the WAL's role as and agent of State
repression came several years ago. Just as Spike Lee's movie
Malcolm X was released, WAL also released a research document
entitled "The Malcolm X Movement amongst young Blacks". While the
document made clear distinctions between the anti-Semitism of the
Nation of Islam and the anti-racist Afrocentrism of local Black
community groups like A.K.A.X., the question on many people's
minds was what business was it of theirs? While many amongst us
do believe that the NOI does qualify as a far-right group, the
document was essentially an exploration of Black Nationalist
sentiment. The introduction explained that the group had received
many calls from white people claiming to have been stabbed or
beaten up by Blacks wearing Malcolm X regalia (baseball caps,
T-shirts, etc.), and the the WAL intended to examine this as
another version of racism. During the entire document, none of
the State repression of Blacks in the USA or Canada was
mentioned, this despite the fact that resources on these subjects
were made available to WAL. In short, the "anti-fascists" had
produced an overview of the radical Black milieu from an
essentially criminological point of view.
That same year, in an interview with a pacifist magazine,
Dufour spelled out WAL's perspective on the Montreal police. When
asked his opinion of the cops, Dufour answered that there were
problems, some cops were homophobic and racist, but there were
also good cops (he even gave the example of a "good cop" who
wanted to join the WAL!); when pressed on this point and asked is
he felt there was systematic discrimination on the part of the
police Dufour responded in the negative, adding that "there are
progressive police officers who give an opportunity for un to
sensitize people in that milieu. The WAL is there to sensitize
them and even to help train them if they want."
In 1993 the situation continued to clarify itself. A local
newspaper called the Montreal Mirror reported allegatioons that
WAL research-director Nicholas Pouliot had tipped off the cops
that an anti-racist activist was planning on gpoing to a neo-nazi
gathering to beat some of them up (a highly unlikely plan). While
Pouliot denied that he had done any such thing, he explained that
"I would do it if I knew of a case of direct confrontation. We
don't exactly have time to track left-wing groups but if I had
the manpower and resources I would." Referring to the issue of
"political correctness" on university campuses, he claimed that
"It's frightening and I consider it to be the same as fascism."
Following these remarks Pouliot apparently left the WAL, but
the group's leftphobia continued unabated. In a letter to Voir,
another community newspaper, WAL explained that when "communists
choose to support organizations such as the Shining Path (Peru)
et use the same methods such as terrorism, we will take a stand".
Shortly following this pious declaration, Radio-Canada reported
that WAL had shared information with both CSIS and the Quebec
Provincial Police's intelligence unit.
That summer saw large scale mobilization of the Montreal
left against a concert organized by the neo-Nazi Heritage Front
in the suburb of Vaudreuil and against the presence of members of
the French National Front at the government conference in
September. WAL activists not only steered clear of this
grassroots mobilization, but went so far as to publicly denounce
it as being "controlled by Marxists" (perhaps of the Shining Path
variety?) At the demonstration against the National Front where
over 1000 people took to the streets (the largest anti-fascist
demonstration in recent Montreal history) Pouliot was spotted
taking photos of the anti-racist protesters.
If the demo against the National Front was to mark an
unprecedented success in anti-fascist organizing in Montreal,
local radicals were to outdo themselves two years later. That's
when a Coalition of many of the same groups united with local
feminist organization and organized a spectacular 5000-strong
demonstration against the far-right Catholic organization Human
Life International. Again, the WAL were completely absent.
In fact, many people had assumed that the League had
disbanded. It had lost its government grants when its accounts
showed that $7000 was missing in the 1992-1993 year, and it had
no mass base on which to rely. However, the group is still
around, although I do not know if its grants have been reinstated
or if it has some other way of financing its snooping.
Whatever the case, WAL's allegiances were made clear this
past week. On Sunday June 23rd and in the wee hours of the 24th,
thousands of people riotted in Quebec City. The occasion was the
very popular St-Jean Baptiste Day celebration, a day with a
tradition of riots. Fancy hotels were smashed up, goods
expropriated, windows broken, and the National Assembly (the
Quebec government's buildings) was trashed. This was tyhe second
riot in Quebec City in recent months; both had started at the
Place Youville, a popular hangout for youth who cannot afford the
more expensive hangouts and who are on the receiving end of a
disproportionate amount of police harrassment.
Following the riot, Quebec City police chief Norman Bergeron
claimed that an unnamed "extreme right wing group" was behind the
trouble. Perhaps he was thinking of the Northern Hammerskins with
a post office box in nearby Levis, or perhaps he was just trying
to cover his ass by showing how the police had been overwhelmed
because of "outside agitators".
The WAL though had the real dirt, or so they thought. Alain
Dufour and Peter Vorias of the League both made public statements
to the effect that the riot was the work of anarchists,
specifically the Demanarchie newspaper collective. They showed
media copies of the paper and explained that it had "great
influence" over the local extreme left, concluding that "their
calls to riot were listened to." (The most recent issue of
Demanarchie was all about police repression and, considering that
the most recent forms of anti-police resistance in Quebec had
been riots, the collective also examined the role of riots in
building social resistance.) Within a day of his statements
Quebec City police had arrested five people and raided two houses
associated with the anarchist milieu. One comrade was arrested
for selling Demanarchie and had his computer seized; he has since
been released as the cops couldn't figure out what to charge him
with. The second raid was on a house associated with Food Not
Bombs. Twenty cops arrested four people, one of whom was later
released. The three others remain in custody facing charges of
posession and cultivation of marijuana.
Copies of Demanarchie in one of the houses were also seized,
and then waved by cops at a press conference as if they were
"proof" of some kind of conspiracy.
After fanning the flames, WAL has nothing to say about this
political repression. As they have always maintained, they will
combat "extreme ideas" wherever these may be found. Perhaps
they'll try and bask in the glory of what they have done, or
perhaps they'll lay low for a few months then come forth
explaining that their words had been "taken out of context".
For the Anti-Fascist movement the solution should be clear:
all bridges to the WAL must be burnt. If people want to use their
info on the far-right or access their files, this is a personal
judgement call, but they should be treated as any other
conservative police unit. Today they have fingered local
anarchists who have been involved in real anti-fascist
organizing. Tomorrow they may finger you.

(Source: a comrade in Quebec...)

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