When to Support Nationalism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Wed Jan 31 13:31:14 MST 2001

>house!". The Quebec trade unions have traditionally supported the
seperatists. The
>Bloc Quebecois, the Quebec nationalists on the Federal political stage
(who two
>parliaments ago were her majesty's official opposition, if you can picture
>question period) were easily the most progressive (not progressive, just
the least
>reactionary) of the 5 major parties in the election two months ago.
>I could draw out more, but I think I just missed my bus.....

Back in the late 1980s I used to make regular trips up to Canada to help
launch and consolidate Tecnica up there. One of the first people to contact
us was a guy, whose name I can't remember, but whose story I remember
vividly from a trip to Montreal. He was a member of the Front for the
Liberation of Quebec which kidnapped a British diplomat, James Richard
Cross, on Oct. 5, 1970. Five days later the group kidnapped the Quebec
Minister of Labor, Pierre Laporte. They let Cross go, but killed Laporte.
For his role in the action, he was sentenced to a long stretch, but got out
after 5 years or so. He became a computer programmer eventually and, like
us, was always looking for ways to empower oppressed people technologically.

There was a real worry about the danger of armed insurrection back then.
The federal Government at the request of provincial and municipal officials
put troops into the streets of Montreal and used emergency powers intended
for wartime to suspend civil liberties. On Oct. 16, 1970, between 450 and
500 people were arrested and held for weeks without formal charges. Those
held included persons with nationalist or leftist opinions who were
suspected of sympathy or support for the front.

Now one can make all the "correct" points about Narodniks, etc., but I
strongly believe that the Quebecois movement of the 1970s was one of the
most profoundly anticapitalist movements of North America since the 1930s.

Louis Proyect
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