Since 2018, Montréal Antifasciste has been documenting the activities of the neo-fascist group Atalante, a group that for the most part operates in Québec City. Since its Facebook page has been closed in August of 2021, it has lost much of its visibility and now seems to be in decline, regrouped around its core militants. Nonetheless, its members and sympathizers remain present and active in our communities, and the possibility that they could recruit new people pushes us to call for vigilance and to continue to keep the pressure on them. That is why we still think it is necessary to continue to expose Atalante members, particularly those who we know have been involved in acts of violence.
This article will focus on Yannick “Sailor” Vézina, one of the founding members of Atalante Québec who is still active to this day and whose involvement has not previously been examined in any depth.
Yannick Vézina took part in Atalante’s latest action n Québec City, during the weekend of 25-26 September, 2021. Photo extracted form Atalante Québec’s Telegram channel.
Yannick Vézina and the Québec Stomper Crew
Yannick Vézina has been part of the scene around the Québec Stomper Crew (the street gang that gave rise to Atalante Québec) for quite a while. Antoine Mailhot-Bruneau, a schoolmate from the Institut Maritime de Rimouski in the early 2010s introduced him to the Stompers entourage. Montréal Antifasciste has already exposed Antoine as the ideological leader of Atalante and the author of Saisir la Foudre [Ride the Lightening], the group’s manifesto. We know that after he met Mailhot-Bruneau, Vézina rapidly radicalized and joined in numerous escapades to win a place in the crew. Specifically, we know that he became a member in good standing following an attack on an anti-fascist militant.
Yannick Vézina (right) with Antoine Mailhot-Bruneau, leader of Atalante Québec.
Légitime Violence and the entourage of US-based band Offensive Weapon.
Vézina seems to have a pronounced penchant for violence, in any case. A few years ago, he saw a young man tearing down Atalante posters in broad daylight and chased him down, baseball bat in hand. He also openly uses hashtags like #quebecfascistcrew on his personal Instagram account. All of which gives you a good idea of what this guy is about…
Vézina and Atalante
As well as being a part of the Québec Stomper Crew, Yannick Vézina is also a key active member of Atalante. Among other things, he joined the “pilgrimage” to Italy and has been present at Atalante actions from the get-go, including having participated in the invasion of the Vice Québec office in 2018 to intimidate it’s employees.
It’s easy to recognize the wristwatch and the tattoo on the forearm.
He can also be seen in numerous photos of the sandwich distribution exercises and the banner collages. Furthermore, the revelations of the mole Quentin Pallavicini suggest that Vézina is Atalante’s treasurer.
Yannick Vézina (front row, right) with Atalante Québec’s core members.
Atalante Québec’s members, in January 2019, on the rooftop of CasaPound’s HQ, in Rome.
With other members of Atalante Québec, in Rome, January 2019. We recognize Sébastien Magnificat, CasaPound’s international affairs minister.
Yannick Vézina speaks to Atalante Québec’s militants, on May 1st, 2016.
Left, Yannick Vézina proudly holds Atalante Québec’s flag, during a torch-lit march organized soon after the organization’s creation, in 2016.
Yannick Vézina has been part of countless actions since the creation of Atalante, including this flyering blitz in Québec, in 2019.
Yannick « Sailor » Vézina
Yannick Vézina chose the nickname “Sailor” and seems very attached to his marine profession. Oddly enough, the Atalante logo seems to draw upon an illustration from an Institut Maritime du Québec study manual that to some degree resembles the fascist “flash and circle” symbol adopted a decade earlier by the Blocco Studentesco, the student wing of CasaPound, the Italian neo-fascist organization that was the inspiration behind the formation of Atalante.
Atalante Québec’s logo…
…was clearly plagiarized from this training manual used at the Institut Maritime du Québec.
The “flash and circle” motif, used by several fascist organizations, is the logo of the Blocco Studentesco, the youth wing of Italian neo-fascist organization CasaPound.
Yannick Vézina is currently employed by the shipping company Desgagnés and sails regularly on the Zélada, a ship that resupplies communities in Northern Québec and Northern Canada.
Yannick Vézina is employed aboard the Zélada, which is part of Groupe Desgagné’s float.
It will be interesting to see how this company reacts to the fact that it is employing a charter member of a neo-fascist organization, a member who has been involved in a number of violent attacks motivated by a detestable ideology, particularly as we have good reason to believe that he carries Atalante stickers to put up during his stopovers in Rimouski.
We encourage you to contact the company and ask them about this:
For some time now, it appears that things have been going pretty well in Vézina’s personal life. He recently bought a house in Charlesbourg/Lac-Beauport, a Québec city suburb, with his partner, whom he recently proposed to. It seems like a good time to remind him that violent acts and the hateful ideas he adheres to have their consequences.
We must highlight the extra note of romanticism that the bowl of kibbles confers to the scene.
Given that the Atalante neo-fascists have lost both their Facebook page and their website, it might seem reasonable to consider them no longer a serious threat. We think that would be a mistake, and that we should redouble the pressure on these militant fascists so that they finally wrap their head around the fact that their detestable ideas are not welcome in Québec.
Whether on land or on sea, we will continue to track these neo-fascists everywhere they go for as long as necessary.
The state has blood on its hands. Anarchists know this. Police killings are normalised – it takes riots to be noticed. Mass death beyond fortress Europe is all too usual, even as it intensifies. But it is unusual for the West to dispose of its own citizenry on such a large scale, and to do so with such a steady manner. In the UK, the pandemics’ mass of dead bodies is the greatest since the second world war. And yet, at this very moment, we hear comrades slip into apologetics. They excuse the state and its economy of death. They wash the blood from its hands and blame “nature” in its place. Yes, we attack the curfews, the policing, the evolving surveillance and disciplinary techniques. We wouldn’t expect anything less. But some anarchists enter new topics; in the same breath, they shout for the freedom of business, of pubs and retail, the return to schools, the reopening of Churches. Their rallying cry: “Anti-lockdown”! The existential threat faced by the disabled and the elderly is simply an inconvenient footnote to liberal rights.
In our critique, “Anarchy, Lockdown and Crypto-Eugenics”, we didn’t begin with abstract notions of “consent”, but from this reality of an existential threat. From there we located targets for attack and provided some speculative points of unity. We welcome the space given to our piece and the wider discussion. We agree with our recent critic that such discussions often “devolve into name-calling”; indeed, we found it amusing to be compared with Italian futurists, Soviet and Trumpian propaganda and (unexpectedly!) the Spanish Inquisition. (On top of all this they described us as British!) We won’t bother refuting these labels in this piece, but will focus on their other claims; (1) that our critique, particularly our use of crypto-eugenics, was in “bad faith”, (2) that we refuse to critique the pharmaceutical industry and (3) that we are “pro-lockdown”.
A very short genealogy of “crypto-eugenics”
In our original piece we located eugenics (and its father, Malthusianism) as a logic of capitalism and the state. The notions of degenerate bodies in need of improvement, efficiency and elimination, and of surplus, disposable bodies, burdensome and unnatural, have a long and deadly history – one which is intimately tied with the modern state and colonialism in particular. As our critic notes, eugenics is the most statist of the concepts – but this does not necessarily make it obvious. The term “crypto-eugenics” was first used in a 1957 memorandum of Dr. C. P. Blacker, Honorary Secretary of the (British) Eugenics Society, to describe a policy of “pursuing eugenic ends by less obvious means” – the obvious being unfashionable in light of Nazism’s recent horrors. (Policy (b) was “to campaign for the control of immigration, and for a reduction in the total population of Great Britain”). Confusingly, the term has more recently been appropriated by anti-Semitic conspiracists (claiming a worldwide Jewish plot of secret eugenics) and the Christian evangelical right (who see a grand eugenic plan in reproductive rights and gay parenthood). Decolonial and disabled critics on the other hand have long pointed to the continuity between classical eugenics and post-war state policies, particularly with regards healthcare, welfare and immigration. We used the term in our piece in a double sense: to refer to an ideology, either covert (as in Blacker’s proposal) or unconscious and “accidental”, and to a eugenics which is increasingly technological, encrypted in a proprietary care algorithm. We then used it in a third sense, proposing that “capitalism itself could accurately be described as an algorithm of crypto-eugenics”.
Our discussion of crypto-eugenics certainly proved to be provocative, but we assure our critics that it was done in good faith. We do not believe our friends are secretly engaged in an eugenic plot, but we do argue that eugenics is a creeping logic, a logic which has crept to certain corners of anarchist thought. Our words were chosen with careful forethought. Claiming that Covid isn’t a risk, because it is only deadly for specific minorities, is crypto-eugenics. Claiming these deaths are simply “natural”, that death from Covid is nature’s plan for certain bodies, is crypto-eugenics. Masking the risk for specific minorities with statistical averages (the “normal” body) is crypto-eugenics. Perhaps tellingly, our friend did not engage with this part of our critique. Instead, they simply quote further statistical averages (from an article which in fact emphasises our very point – that Covid-19’s lethality is highly differentiated across population groups). They limit any notion of “eugenics” to reproduction in its narrowest sense (procreation) and claim that we are not only in bad faith, but off-topic! We would point out that it’s difficult to procreate once dead, and that eugenics concerns not only procreation, but the altered reproduction of populations as a whole and the non-reproduction of specific minorities. They protest that we make an accusation which is impossible to refute: that our accusation of crypto-eugenics is an unfalsifiable claim in the style of “the Spanish Inquisition”. We counter that our claim is clear. Rather than engage with it or refute it they have chosen simply to repeat their friend’s initial argument.
Beyond “big pharma”: biopower
According to our critic, our analysis of eugenics is simply a distraction, a smokescreen to avoid critiquing the pharmaceutical industry. We would argue that it is only through an analysis of eugenics that we can properly critique the pharmaceutical industry. Rather than limit ourselves to “big pharma”, we argued in our last piece that the entire field of public health is based on eugenic logics. The problem isn’t just drugs – but healthcare in general, as a process of ranking, disciplining, saving and disposing of bodies. Our friends’ problem is really that our critiques are not quite the same.
Medicine under capitalism is of course based on exploitation and domination, rather than free desire. The animal liberation movement has done much to critique and attack the specific violence of the technical-production of medicines. And we agree with our friends, that capitalism in turn complicates questions of dependence in relation to medicines as commodities. In the context of Covid-19 this is clear – in the name of the economy it spreads everywhere, and now (unless we are to celebrate mass death) we are dependent on vaccines. Vaccines are powerful – not because Bill Gates will control your mind, but because they can prevent death in a world of death. The urgent question now is not their composition, but their availability: their artificial scarcity. Vaccine capitalists have reaped super-profits through monopolisation, patents (including process patents) and subsidies, on an incredible scale even for pharma corporations. These patents are written in the blood of postcolonial populations. Just as death was displaced on to racialised and migrant bodies within the UK, intensified death-worlds are being created in the “Global South”. We saw world leaders discussing these intensities in the G7 spectacle – how many vaccines to distribute, whether “too much” contagion and death might or might not undermine global racial capitalism. Many anarchists pay lip-service to Foucault’s notion of biopower, but few remember that this is the power to “make live and let die”. The biopolitical state is indeed “letting the bodies pile high”. Our critic’s original piece described anarchism as a set of liberal rights, as a subject’s freedom from “external” coercion. As a result it fails to understand the full power of the modern state, and ends up apologising for its violence.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Now partially vaccinated, the UK government is once again actively pursuing contagion as state policy, with “only” 60 average daily deaths at the time of writing. The eugenic violence remains, particularly for the 500,000 immuno-compromised, a group for whom Covid-19 is a far higher risk and for whom vaccines are suspected to be ineffective. This group faces peak rates of infection in the wider community, forced to try and survive in the midst of England’s maskless “Freedom Day” celebrations. They face a situation worse than even the Barrington Declaration’s proposals, which at least suggested some support for those forced to isolate to survive. Many hundreds of thousands more will suffer from long Covid, many it would seem from long term organ damage. Meanwhile, the UK, already a mass exporter of the Delta variant, is feared to be a “variant factory”, producing the existing virus and new variants on a mass scale to infect the unvaccinated world.
Anti-Lockdown or Anti-State
For recognising the state’s violence for what it is, we are accused of being “pro-lockdown” and, consequently, statist non-anarchists. In our original piece we discussed how “lockdown” in fact refers to a nebulous set of measures – from curfews and policing to closing retail premises and schools. We argue that anarchists should locate our targets, and not allow ourselves to be reduced to one side in the latest culture war. Let’s take schools for example. Anarchists, since Godwin, have critiqued education. We recognise that schools lie on the same continuum as factories and prisons. Hierarchical institutions, which in turn judge and rank pupils, made to produce docile, disciplined bodies, future productive workers, housewives, bureaucrats and prison guards. Why would anarchists support a return to these schools? Of course, a virtual-classroom computer stuck in the walls of the nuclear family household is just a different problem. An anarchist approach must reject both these worlds. In the strikes against unsafe schools, the pupils who faked infection tests to get a day off (or the students burning the union jack at Pimlico) – it’s here we begin to see the possibilities of anarchy.
The “anti-lockdown” narrative offers us nothing. In the UK the organised anti-lockdown demos have clearly shown their colours. Anti-Semite David Icke has regularly topped the bill of speakers amongst other similar reactionaries. They decry the “Covid conspiracy”, masks and vaccines and celebrate the deaths of the disabled. This is not some diffuse gilets jaunes movement of oppositional tendencies and diverse, separated riots. Unless you hate masks and vaccines and are happy to walk under union jacks with known fascist groupings, you cannot join in good faith.
But these are weird times. Simply for affirming violence to achieve disabled liberation, our critic associates us with Italian Futurists and proto-fascists. (They might remember that anti-fascist anarchists, such as Renzo Novatore, were also part of the Futurist movement.) Our critic is half-right however: we should all heed the cautionary tale of those “anarchists” involved with early Italian fascism. The far-right have had a field day, and with little anti-fascist opposition to the London conspiracy demos the anarchist scene has opened itself to entryism. We have heard concerns of crypto-fascists gaining affinities with anarchists and squatters in London, and others sharing videos with and allowing a far-right youtuber to accompany and film the black block at kill the bill demonstrations. Without a critique of eugenic state violence, creeping fascism remains a threat to the anarchist scene.
Away from the anti-lockdown demonstrations we can see real antagonisms against the state. Renewed protests against police murders in South Wales, the kill the bill riot at Bristol police station and even a resurgence in political squats (despite tremendous repression). But with regards the mass of Covid death, anarchists in the UK have been outmaneuvered. There have been mutual aid groups and some syndicalist attempts, but little critique and even less attack. The black flag was at one time a flag of mourning: we call on comrades to remember, and to avenge the dead.
 Total UK civilian deaths in the second world war numbered around 67,000. As of 23rd of July, total deaths within 28 days of a positive test number over 129,000; total deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate over 153,000. This makes it the highest death toll from a disaster or war since the total casualties of the second world war. https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths The third measure used, excess deaths, numbered over 90,000 for the UK in 2020, again the highest on record since the second world war. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jan/12/2020-was-deadliest-year-in-a-century-in-england-and-wales-says-ons
 As the article cited by our critic states: “COVID-19 death risk shows tremendous risk stratification with over 1000-fold variability between children and elderly nursing home residents … Divergence may be larger in some low-income countries, for example, India … Within several countries, disadvantaged minorities have a greater toll … UK has almost 5-fold higher COVID-19 death rate in blacks and Bangladeshi/Pakistani than in whites … Regardless, COVID-19 is a disease of inequality and it also creates even more inequality … Substantial increases in death risk (1.5- to 5-fold) are conferred by organ transplantation, severe obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, severe chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, liver failure, kidney failure, haematological malignancy and recent cancer.” Notably, the article’s speculation that “the proportion of people who need to be infected to reach herd immunity [i.e. without vaccination] may be much lower than originally estimated”, with specific reference to estimated seroprevelance in India (!), has since proven catastrophically incorrect. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/eci.13423 The other journal article cited by our critic regarding the effectiveness of lockdowns has been marked controversial by its own publisher.
 ResistanceGB is a classic case of calculated fascist entryism. British symbolism is frequent but ideology generally covert. In this video however they can be seen carefully encouraging viewers to get on the “alternative” social network Gab (a neo-Nazi, alt-right and Q Anon fork) and 4chan following Trump’s ban from twitter and Parler’s demise, and complaining about “communists”: https://youtube.com/watch?v=A27zmatEEGY In another live-stream they complain that the filmed “communist” demonstration (one of many following Sarah Everard’s murder by police) is left alone by police. Within moments of the live-stream starting, known fascists can be seen commenting in the chat: https://youtube.com/watch?v=WTSHoUoIbi8 In addition to a Gab account they also maintain a Bitchute channel (far-right youtube alternative).
 As others have pointed out, our critic also cites the “anarchist voices” of “Winter Oak, and the Acorn” (in reality one website) as having informed the original piece – a UK blog which has turned to full blown “Great Reset” and anti-mask conspiracies. Winter Oak was already fond of conspiracies, having previously deduced that those who confronted the TERFs at the London Bookfair must be undercover police (!). They have also taken a whole host of other bizarre and damaging positions as detailed here: https://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/in-defence-of-anarchism-and-antifascism-a-reply-to-the-winter-oak/
Since its foundation, Montréal Antifasciste has received all sorts of messages from antifascists hoping to support our work and/or posing questions and sharing the fruit of their research and observations. It is much rarer for far-right extremists to communicate with us, except in the form of childish insults.
On June 18, 2018, someone using the name “Lola Parisi” sent us an e-mail from the address firstname.lastname@example.org. In September 2018, the same person also contacted us several times by Messenger using the pseudonym “Marie Dubois”.
The message making contact was titled “Atalante spotted” and read as follows:
The person behind “Lola Parisi/Marie Dubois” claimed to have been referred to us by “comrades in struggle,” but gradually it became clear that this person was a man who didn’t particularly embrace progressive thinking and was generally misogynist, but who claimed to be a comrade in arms of Clément Méric. Between June 2018 and July 2019, “Lola” sent us at least forty-five e-mails and numerous messages by Messenger.
The contents of the e-mails, often very short, but occasionally detailed and accompanied by a photo, can be summed up thusly: a speck of original and authentic information that had to come from someone with privileged access to the hardcore of Atalante submerged in an ocean of disinformation. Let’s dissect the content.
The information :
Some very precise information that we were able to verify permitted us to identify people we knew nothing about: Baptiste Gillistro, Louis Fernandez’s accomplice during the attack at LvlOp, and Giulio Zardo, a former Olympic champion who trains the Atalante crew in Montréal at his private gym. The e-mails also gave us advance warning of trips planned by members of the group and information about the French National Socialist Black Metal band (Baise ma hache), which played in a Québec City bar in June 2019. Given this, it seemed likely that “Lola” was a core member of the group, and the explanation that “she” had infiltrated a private Atalante discussion did not appear credible.
An important focus of the e-mails we received seemed to be to encourage us to publicly out certain women, with a particularly unhealthy fixation on Vivianne Saint-Amant, all the while insisting that they were not important Atalante members but were fangirls, followers, the “girlfriends of…,” or “easy” women who were “good for nothing.” That was another reason that we took “Lola’s” information with more than a grain of salt.
The disinformation :
A major thrust of the e-mails, on the other hand, was to lead us astray as to the real identity of Lucie Mergnac: her real name would be Chloé Fleuri or Fleury; in fact her real name was Merignac, not Mergnac; then she was Belgian, not French, and finally she wasn’t really involved with Atalante.
Toward the end of our exchange, the demand that we remove Lucie’s name from our articles and publications grew increasingly insistent.
Far and away, most of the messages seemed to follow the life, adventures, and movements of Quentin Pallavicini, while trying to make us believe that his name was actually Jean Brunaldo, all the while describing Quentin having a fabled dream life: a young ultraviolent fascist who is a seasoned brawler close to the elite of European and Québécois fascism, who made a fortune speculating on cryptocurrency, who is independently wealthy and owns stores, houses, and luxury automobiles, who splits his time as he wishes between Québec, France, and Italy, who, with his hotshot lawyer, has won numerous court cases around acts of aggression… all of which we know beyond the shadow of a doubt to be pure fabrication.
In reality, we know that Quentin is far from rich, that he rents an apartment in the Saint-Canut neighbourhood of Mirabel (after moving out of the flat he shared with his partner in Laval), that he has modest blue-collar jobs and that he rents cars to fake a high-style life. We also know, courtesy of our French and Italian antifascist comrades, that Pallavicini is not the “big-shot” he claims to be, even if he hangs out in the Serge Ayoub and Troisième Voie scene.
A careful rereading of our e-mail exchanges raised doubts for us. The multiple inconsistencies, the fixation on the Quentin/Lucie couple, the repeated attempts to protect Lucie, the odd piece of genuinely useful information embedded in a poorly written hagiography that bragged about Jean/Quentin’s dream life, etc., allow us to now confirm that “Lola Parisi” is, in fact, Quentin Pallavicini, a member of Atalante Montréal (at least until the autumn of 2019) who, to protect himself and his partner, betrayed his organization and sold out his little comrades to antifascists—including asking for money in exchange for information! And perhaps—why not?—to increase his questionable credibility with the Atalante boneheads.
Warning: the following article contains extreme racist and transphobic content.
Almost exactly one year ago, Montreal Antifasciste released an article on the Front canadien-francais, a reactionary nationalist group. In that article, we included a quicklist of about 10 meme pages from the FCF’s entourage that gravitated around hardcore reactionary themes – anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and LGBTQ2+, with accents of white nationalism and a strong ultra-Catholic leaning. With names like “Mèmes evangéliste Duplessiste” and ”Mèmes clérico-nationalistes du Canada français”, such pages provide a convenient way for far-right sympathizers to spread a wide range of reactionary and often racist notions like that of the notorious “great replacement” conspiracy theory (and a whole host of other dehumanizing ideas) to their followers and beyond.
Started in January 2020, the Quebec.wingism page on Instagram (originally called Rightwingism.quebec) is similar in politics and aesthetics to many of the meme pages mentioned above. Although memes are, by definition, meant to be spread, there is also a tendency for whole meme pages to multiply and be copied in style and politics as well. This is particularly the case for Quebec.wingism, which is modeled after other “wingism” pages – twoarticles have already been written about the beginnings of the wingism pages, reporting that the first Wingism page was started in Canada by a University of Calgary student.
The format is the following: in general there are multiple administrators identified by the first letter of their name, and although the pages purport to provide a platform for a variety of ideas, the range is generally firmly in the far-right spectrum: from eco-nationalism to fascism, often with some neo-nazi imagery thrown in for good measure. Many of the pages seem to coalesce around an obsession with the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, fascism, and a hatred of people of colour, LGBTQ2+ people (most especially trans and gender nonconforming people), and feminists, amongst others. It seems the format was easily scalable, as people from different countries all over the world slightly tweaked the politics and format (memes with fashwave filters and alt-right iconography) to their specific white nationalist context. As such, these pages contribute to the dissemination and development of an international far-right online cultural milieu.
Although Instagram has occasionally purged certain rightwingism pages, many accounts simply rename themselves ever-so-slightly and reopen (it is not uncommon to see “v2” or “v3” next to a name, signifying the second or third rebirth of the page since being banned).
Quebec.wingism is a meme page cast in that mould – fashwave filters on historical reactionary figures and fascists, Islamophobia, white nationalism, overt racism, anti-feminism and hatred of transgender people, mixed with bog-standard Quebec nationalism. Wingism pages specialize in taking tired and repugnant reactionary ideas and spicing them up with “cool” filters or “funny” cartoon characters, all with the plausible deniability of a good dose of confusionism and “irony”. If it sounds like this is building on the cultural accomplishments of the alt-right movement from the USA, we most definitely agree. Wingism pages use the same tired Pepe memes and “based” Photoshop effects that reek of 2015-2019-style online American racism.
Comments Off on Why We Destroy “Boycott China” Stickers
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
“Boycott China” stickers are going up in the zone between Atwater and Peel — and perhaps elsewhere in Montréal! We do not know who is doing it, but we sometimes see these stickers accompaned by other stickers that say FUCK TRUDEAU or that call for the liberation of Hong Kong.
We are among those who remove and cover up these stickers.
We do not know for certain the intentions of the people who put up these stickers. However, we have the following analysis:
Some in our society seek a total war between “the West” (defined in various ways) and China. They are not driven by a love for freedom; what they want is an orgy of violence across the world.
There is already a wave of violence directed towards our Asian neighbours across North America and in other countries.
It is legitimate to denounce the Chinese state — the ultimate example of “red fascism” in the modern era! — but it is even more urgent to denounce the empire at home. The Communist Party of Xi is dangerous, but it is not as dangerous as local police, local fascists, local ecocide, local greed. The evil empire overseas is a distraction from the urgent need for social revolution here and now!
We encourage all Montréalers to destroy and cover up these stickers!
We encourage the purveyors of these messages to smarten up a little bit!
that, today, as has always been the case, May 1 is an opportunity for the workers of all nations to celebrate their historic victories and to put forth demands for further improvements to their working conditions and their health and safety conditions in general;
that protecting the health and safety of health care workers is of primordial importance;
that the health care system and all of its workers, nurses, doctors, councillors, managers, office workers, and support staff are currently under enormous pressure and deserve our unconditional support;
We, the popular groups, unions, and community groups that organize and participate in the May 1 public events, call on those who will be joining our events:
to express their solidarity with health care workers, as well as with all “essential” workers, regardless of their citizenship status;
to wear a mask at all of our events;
to respect, insofar as possible, a safe two-meter distance from others at all of our events;
to avoid all unnecessary contact during our events.
We call on all groups and organizations that are planning events for May 1, 2021, to adhere to and respect this pact. Otherwise, we demand that they not hold an event on that day and, instead, stay home and not pose an additional threat to heath care workers and our health care system.
–> Si votre groupe ou votre organisation endosse ce PACTE pour un 1er mai solidaire, veuillez écrire à email@example.com pour être ajouté à la liste des signataires/participants.
–> Si vous adhérez à l’esprit de ce pacte en tant qu’individu, nous vous invitons à “participer” à l’événement Facebook qui se trouve à cette adresse, et à le relayer dans vos réseaux.
Across the world, May 1 is known as International Workers’ Day.
For 135 years, the working class has taken to the streets, organized, and demonstrated on this day, in a show of force to assert its interests and its opposition to the capitalist class and the politicians who play its games. The May 1 tradition was born in the blood of revolutionary trade unionists in the US, in 1886, thereafter spreading through the Americas and from there to Europe and the rest of the world, carried forward by the trade union movement, revolutionaries, anti-capitalists, and internationalists. Historic compromises have since led to its institutionalization in a number of countries, but anti-capitalist movements and milieus have, nonetheless, preserved its revolutionary expression in numerous initiatives in diverse contexts
This tradition is very much alive in Montréal and throughout Québec, where numerous events mark May 1 every year, including union rallies, an anti-capitalist demonstration, and a variety of community gatherings and social events meant to advance a range of demands and to, in different ways, mount a visible opposition to the privileged classes.
There are a number of events taking place in Montréal this year:
It seems that some of the leaders of the “conspiracy theory” anti-masking, anti-distancing, and anti-vaccination movement are behind a march organized for May 1 to “manifester [leur] désaccord face aux mesures sanitaires au Québec” [express (their) discontent with the public health measures in Québec]. (A number of citizens’ intiatives, including Montréal Antifasciste and Xavier Camus, have documented the influential roles of a number of individuals with ties to the far-right in the movement against Québec’s public health measures.)
This particular action in opposition to these measures will be held outside of the main vaccination center in Montréal, the Olympic Stadium, clearly without masks and with no intention to practice safe distancing.
At a point when the third wave is beginning to peek throughout Québec, when the health system
risks being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 variants, with the vaccination campaign not unfolding as quickly as would be optimal to offset these variants, and at a point when heath care and social service workers are at the end of their rope after thirteen months of intense efforts to counter the pandemic, we find it breathtakingly unacceptable that the conspiracy theory movement and the COVID deniers will take to the street on May 1 and put those workers’ lives, as well as the lives of all other workers deemed essential, at risk with their irresponsible behaviour.
The health and safety of workers have always been a key preoccupation of the movements advancing the interests and demands of the working class and the organizers mobilizing for May 1.
It’s about time the majority of workers make perfectly clear their growing fatigue with the recklessness of the conspiracy theorists behind the movement against the public health measures, who, it must be stressed, have submerged themselves in the far right’s pseudo-ideology.
On Sunday April 11th, in response to Legault’s re-instatement of the 8pm curfew, people took to the streets in Montreal to enjoy the spring weather and express joyous rage at this shit world that continues to steal our lives away from us. Without any stated political intenton, a callout was made on social media to gather in the Old Port to party and defy the curfew. A number of anarchists joined what turned out to be a mixed crowd of people, mostly younger, whose main commonality was anger that their few freedoms were being further curtailed by the government. The atmosphere prior to 8pm was excited and raucous, with ‘fuck Legault’ being the most frequent and loud chant. Motorcycles revved their engines, people danced, drank, and laughed with their friends to celebrate spring in defiance of this bullshit world.
The first SPVM cruiser to drive by was met with boos and middle fingers, the second with eggs, bottles and rocks. Revolt was in the air, and we were delighted to be in the midst of such a rowdy display, especially after such a long, bleak winter. As the curfew approached, we noticed riot cops gathering to the East on Rue de la Commune and Rue St. Paul. There were only a few cruisers West on de la Commune. At that time they kept their distance, monitoring the demonstration.
Around the same time, ‘reporters’ arrived from ‘Rebel Media’, a far-right, Toronto-based news outlet. Rebel Media is famous for employing reporters with ties to Stormfront, a prolific neo-nazi website, and working with other racist, transphobic, alt-right personalities, as well as peddling anti-immigrant, COVID-denying conspiracy theories. Despite Rebel Media’s desperate attention-seeking behaviour, they are pretty obscure failures, even as youtube provocateurs (note: as of April 14 they were suspended from YouTube). It was clear that the vast majority of attendees did not know who they were, so unfortunately many young people excitedly and positively interacted with them.
The vultures from Rebel Media produced a laughable and pathetic report that blamed ‘antifa’ for the property destruction and looting that happened that night, rather than showing how a real cross section of Montrealers respond with legitimate rage and a desire to be heard in a world that marginalizes their voices.
We felt we lacked the numbers to deal with Rebel Media, and it seemed likely if we did attack, the crowd may have taken their side, because no one knows who Rebel Media is, let alone that they were being used to create far-right propoaganda. It was a frustrating situation.
At the same time, fires were being lit by small groups within the demo, but were extinguished by what appeared to be a small but organized group of white men wearing tactical gear and patches associated with far-right types attatched to their jackets, one of who had a go-pro camera on his head. They were seen at times having a group discussion before moving in and around the demonstration to monitor the crowd. Despite some unrelated fights and confusion here and there, the vibe was still extremely positive, people partied and chanted, and celebrated being in the streets together.
Later, larger groups began starting even bigger fires in the square, and this time the LARP-ing paci-flics didn’t intervene. There was some resistance as riot cops began tear-gassing and trying to disperse the crowd, but most people began running and scattering away as the cops entered the square. West of St. Laurant was seemingly free of cops, and multiple groups of people autonomously began setting fires, looting and destroying shops and other property as they left. Even though we wish it lasted longer, in that short time it was heartening to see people work together to take a little bit of their lives back by looting from the bougie shops in the Old Port, as well as generally fucking shit up. A city bus being used to transport riot cops was also liberated and covered in graffiti while others partied in and around it, celebrating a small victory if even for a brief minute.
In a media comment, Mayor Plante called the revellers ‘stupid’, and cried about the damage done to small businesses, asserting ‘we must remain united and stick together’. This is just the usual shitty liberal narrative: suddenly ‘we are all in this together’, all equal as ‘citizens’ when it’s time to maintian social order. They gloss over the very real divisions within society, held together through oppressive structures by which the wealthy, predominantely white property owning classes exploit working class, poor and predominantly POC folks.
At the same time, leftist identity politicians on social media condemn the riots, claiming they are responsible for causing further harm to those already most at risk. Others fall for the narrative of elusive ‘outside agitators’, white anarchists, who infiltrate peaceful crowds to cause violence. While we acknowledge the very real dangers that marginalized people in particular face from COVID19, we’d point it it was mostly people of color who showed up, and acted on their own initiative during this riot.
It is not revolt and militant solidarity in the streets that causes harm, but the institutions and laws which govern capitalist civilization. These are what keep us chained to shitty jobs where we are the most at risk of catching COVID19,that harass and murder us, and protect an economic system based on the theft of indigenous lands. We accuse these IDPOL clout-chasers of taking power away from the marginalized people who showed up and threw down. We accuse them of doing the work of the police and the politicians by trying to pacify, alienate and delegitimize the rioter’s rage.
Demonstrations continue to be called on the nights following April 11th. So far, the second and third demos were quite a bit smaller than the first, and were heavily repressed by the police. Nevertheless, with no real end in sight to the curfew, we think it is imperative to keep up the struggle. In this sense we are ‘all in this together’- we have militant solidarity with the youth (and others) whose futures are also increasingly bleak.
There are a number of tactical considerations we would like to consider in light of the events on the 11th. While the paci-flics were able to intervene when smaller groups were starting smaller fires, when bigger fires were being lit they were not able to. And as soon as the crowd was dispersed, they were not ready to deal with looting or vandalism. Clearly they are relatively weak, and small in number. While there weren’t enough of us to feel confident in confronting them at the time, we believe if anarchists and anti-authoritarians showed up in larger numbers, acting together, its possible we could shut them down and even force them out of the crowd if they attempted to pacify folks. Our numbers will lend us a greater legitimacy to others present, and likely allow us to have critical conversations with them about who these people are and why we defend certain actions.
In regards to the police, they didn’t engage with the crowd until large fires were lit. We feel it may be possible to strike at the police first, before they intervene, but it didn’t seem viable at this time. Rage is growing against the police, and it is possible that at later times we may be able to take action first, but this would also require us having sufficient numbers, and reading the vibe of the crowd. In any case, in order to allow us to hold the streets in these situations, we must also be able to defend against dispersal techniques. Specifically this means dealing with tear gas, which has been effective at quickly breaking up crowds. Coming prepared with projectiles, or having the means to break up paving stones etc in order to provide them for those present would be advantageous as well. We also need to have the numbers to be able to act as a distinct group, to deal with tear gas, and to calmly resist the riot cops. We believe that this would build confidence within the crowd, facilitate a more combative engagement with riot cops, and show that we don’t need to simply retreat.
We must continue to counter liberal narratives intent on pacifying revolt, taking us off the streets, and giving our power back to the politicians and self-appointed experts. We can do this during demos when pacifists try to speak and act out against violence against police and property, and after the fact by responding to IDPOL types and media reports with our own analysis. As anarchists and anti-authoritarians, we must be present for these defiant events. This is where we build complicity and affinity with rebels outside our circles, and when possible, have critical conversations with those present about tactics and targets. Equally, we need to be able to push out far-right grifters and reactionaries who are there to exploit our revolt.
This summer is gonna be hot, let’s throw gas on the fire and burn this fucking prison world down!
Solidarity with the rioters and revellers! Fuck the curfew!
Comments Off on R.I.P. Matt Cicero: Anarchist Militant, Journalist, Community Organizer
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
On March 16, 2020, our comrade Matt departed for the spirit world. We have lost one of the most committed anarchists in our part of the world, and the loss is felt intensely due to the tragic circumstances of his death.
Many people who did not know Matt well will probably remember him as the guy that bombed the bank back in 2010. At this time, there was a major mobilization of anarchists preparing for the G20 summit in Toronto. Several months prior to the summit, a group calling itself FFF (Fighting For Freedom) released footage of the firebombing of an RBC branch in Ottawa. The footage was dramatic – a black-clad figure runs out of the bank minutes before it explodes in flame.
Although he never confessed to the action, I think that Matt would have wanted to be remembered for this action. He was arrested for it, jailed, and put on trial, but charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. Six years after the bombing, he posted an article entitled “6 reasons I support arson (as a tool of social change)” on his blog. “I think it’s an example… of direct action, and I think that social movements in Canada are far too pacified, they are way too comfortable with the ideology, with non-violence as an ideology, not as a tactic, but as the only possible way forward,” he said. “I think social movements need to become more militant and I wanted to highlight that, which I think the action does.”
The communique released by FFF explained the reasons why RBC had been targeted. They had been a major sponsor of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, which had involved a massive crack-down on the street population of that city, and RBC was also a major financier of the Alberta Tar Sands.
It’s important to note here that Matt was one of the anarchists who was at the forefront of indigenous solidarity organizing. 2010 really was the year that anti-colonial politics came to the forefront of anarchist analysis in so-called Canada. It was through the relationships that anarchists formed with indigenous people around that time that began to significantly shift anarchist discourse. Matt was one of the pioneers of this, and he remained active with IPSMO (the Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement – Ottawa) for the better part of a decade.
Matt was a committed activist. Serious, principled, and intense, he knew what he believed and had the courage of his convictions. His stubbornness often led to him butting heads with other activists, as for myself, I usually found myself agreeing with him and supporting his stance. He thought that radical politics should be about action. When it was time to throw down, you knew Matt was game.
It is difficult to grieve Matt, partly due to the tragic conditions of his death. I have not spoken to anyone who had really spoken to him in the past two years. Not only was he estranged from his family, it seems that he was also estranged from his friends. It would seem that his mental health deteriorated, and he was living in a tent by the Ottawa river, close to the War Museum, and not far from Asinabka, the Algonquin sacred site currently be desecrated by a huge condo development.
The circumstances of his death were mysterious. Apparently, the police told his mother that he had fallen out of a tree. I was a part of a group that visited the tree, and we all agreed that it just wasn’t possible that that had happened. Not only was the tree not very tall, it was a spruce tree, and it would have been impossible to climb without breaking branches, and no branches were broken. What is known is that he died of blunt force trauma and the police didn’t rule it a suicide.
We are still trying to put the pieces together, so if you do have information that would help us understand what happened in the last two years of his life, we would encourage you to write us. Even though we can’t change what happened, understanding what happened can be an important part of the grieving process.
We also have some soul-searching as a movement to do. There have been a significant numbers of deaths of despair amongst activist men in the past few years. To name a few: Derek, Dave, Hugo, Jean, and Charles. What is leading our comrades to such depths of emotional pain? Is it the state of the world, or it is something about the way that activists treat each other?
The reality is that, despite our best efforts to change the world for the world, things are not improving on planet Earth, and in fact, many of the gains made by previous generations of activists are now being undone. This can be deeply disheartening, especially for people who have based their whole lives around struggling to make the world a better place.
There is another question that is more disturbing, and that is whether it is something in the activist scene is killing us. Has the anarchist culture become deeply toxic? Both Dave and Matt were being excluded by their respective activist communities at the times of their deaths. In both cases, it seems likely that this was a factor in the deterioration of their mental health. Is a toxic activist culture partly to blame?
In any case, Matt’s body is gone, but his spirit has moved on. Perhaps the freedom that he desired so passionately was not possible in this world, but I hope that where he is now, his spirit will know true freedom.
Rest in peace, Matt, you were a good anarchist, and I will honour your memory. More importantly, I will honour your spirit by continuing the fight that you dedicated your life to – the fight for freedom, for autonomy, for Mother Earth, and in solidarity with the oppressed against the state.
It seems right to end by quoting the FFFC communique released after the bank bombing:
We pass the torch to all those who would resist the trampling of native rights, of the rights of us all, and resist the ongoing destruction of our planet.
A memorial is being organized by Matt’s friend Albert Dumont, an Algonquin spiritual leader. It will be held on May 16. By pure coincidence, a massive global day of action happens to be planned for that exact day. So, wherever you are, if you do want to honour Matt’s memory, consider torching or smashing something in his honour, or at least lighting off some fireworks.
For details regarding the memorial service, please write firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have photos or videos of Matt, please share them with us. We would also encourage people to reach out to share their memories of Matt, which could be shared at his memorial.
A song-in-progress is being written by Matt’s friend. If you have memories of actions that Matt participated in, and want them to be part of a song that will be sung at his memorial, please check out this video: https://youtu.be/-BjzjBghTf8 and get in touch.
Comments Off on Anarchy, Lockdown and Crypto-Eugenics: A critical response from some anarchists in Wales & England
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
“The Covid19 crisis has presented a challenge to anarchists and others who believe in a fully autonomous and liberated life” – so a recent submission to Montreal Counter-information declares. These words certainly resonate with our experiences. Anarchy in the UK is not just presented with a challenge; it is itself in crisis. Spycops, squatting ban, abusers, Corbynism, TERFs – the list is long, and the virus already found “the scene” in a sorry state. But Covid-19 represents something different, and on this we can agree with the analysis from Montreal. This is also where our agreement ends. In the following text we critique the analysis – we do so as its arguments are similar to those we have heard among friends and even comrades over the past months. Though the epidemic in the UK appears to be waning, its associated tendencies remain. The text calls for serious critiques, and so we offer the following in the spirit of antagonism against the present. We close with some suggested points of unity for anarchists in these times.
“Politicians”, their text begins, “lie”, and big pharma has exploited the pandemic. Maybe we can agree on a little more! In the UK, we were told that the virus was only a flu and to keep working as usual. (At the time of writing, the death count numbers over 125,000.) And we were told of Oxford’s vaccine, a people’s vaccine with no patent or borders (a mask that quickly slipped as the state reverted to vaccine nationalism). But these aren’t the lies they have in mind. Rather, they argue that politicians and the media have craftily overstated the virus’ threat, in a cunning plan to impose lockdowns and reap pharmaceutical profits. (Surely the hand-sanitiser corporations are behind this too..?) Anarchists, we are then told, have believed this powerful lie. Out of an “admirable [!] want to do well by the elderly and infirm”, the state has succeeded in “hacking our hearts and minds”.
This idea, appealing as it might be, is only a pale shadow of the reality. Covid-19’s threat is not a conspiracy, any more than Covid-19 itself. It is not the result of media hype any more than it is the product of Bill Gates’ brain or transmitted from 5G towers. It is the direct consequence of severe ecological destruction and capitalism’s toxic living conditions. Having brought it into existence, it is of course “exploited” by capital and state. As the critic notes, it is unlikely that capitalism will eradicate it, even if certain states claim this as their goal. Instead it is managed, incorporated, capitalised upon. This is at a far more fundamental level than creating profits for some pharmaceutical companies – we are seeing in the colonial core an historic restructure of work and class-composition. Our critic begins to scratch at this surface (they describe lockdowns as “classist”, as if a lack of lockdown would be classless!). Scratch a little deeper, and we see that capitalism faces a familiar contradiction: exploit workers, but ensure there are workers to be exploited tomorrow. Manage the virus, manage production. Like inflation, the death-graph must be regulated – kept just right. Everywhere this paradox is obvious: “stay at home” but “go to work”! Technocrats and managers debate the 2 metre rule just as the 19th century Factory Acts debated the relation of profits, health and cubic-feet per worker.
We can call this capital’s “positive” side. Though each worker is cheap and replaceable, capital needs a body of workers. It can’t have everyone ill at once, and it can’t afford killing off too much of its working population. But it also finds and creates bodies superfluous to capitalist production: disposable bodies, bodies in the colonial margins, old bodies, less or unproductive bodies, bodies that cannot “work”. It’s here that we see capitalism’s eugenic and Malthusian tendency. This tendency, always present, has for the disabled been intensified in recent years, as the numerous lives lost due to benefit cuts demonstrate. Since the beginnings of “public health” in the 19th century, triage systems (a military invention) have ranked bodies in a hierarchy of value, rationing resources under conditions of artificial scarcity. In recent times, do-not-resuscitate notices imposed on Covid-19 patients with learning disabilities were the result of a care algorithm – tech meets “accidental” eugenics. Capitalism itself could accurately be described as an algorithm of crypto-eugenics, always at risk of fascism outright. Like fascism, Covid-19 presents an existential threat to the lives of certain minorities – the proletarian disabled and the elderly in particular – and a slower death to others. And like fascism, liberal democracies allow it to exist, manage it, keep their monster on the leash. At times this management fails: health-care systems collapse, production plummets. At other times, the far-right call for the monster to be set free.
Recognising the pandemic as an existential threat is where “our conversation should begin”. The critic talks of anarchists on the one hand, and the elderly and “infirm” on the other. It’s the anarchist that is agent-subject here, their freedom to act with or without them (the “vulnerable”) in mind. It erases from the beginning elderly anarchists, disability anarchism. Where are they and their freedoms in this imagined revolt? Our critic continues: as free anarchists, we also care for others, we co-operate with “consent” and without “force”. But who’s force, what consent? It’s a simple truth that your right to drink in the pub (that is, the right of the business to re-open) shits on the freedom of those at serious risk, those a few links down the chain of transmission. These chains of transmission are our chains. As anarchists we affirm the violence of liberation. Let us be clear: those that threaten the disabled cannot be consented with. We will find no freedom in frozen morgues.
The critic goes on to downplay the threat of Covid-19, a familiar refrain. Montreal Analysis come Barrington Deceleration – talk about technocrats! They cite statistics on average risks, masking the deadly risks to specific minorities (it won’t be bad for you!). They pit Covid-risks against cancer treatment (we can only afford one or the other!), despite the virus being far more deadly for those fighting cancer. Even were Covid-19 somewhat less risky (look, only 60,000 deaths!), the crypto-eugenic logic remains. In the UK, we must critically analyse recent events – particularly that certain assemblages of the state openly plotted course for “herd immunity” without a vaccine. It’s safe to assume that this Malthusian wet-dream would have led to health-system collapse and perhaps half a million deaths (“acceptable losses”).
Where the critic calls on anarchists to question and critique the Covid-19 threat, we call on anarchists to reflect critically on eugenics as a logic of capital and state. We must also grapple seriously with its nasty history in the anarchist tradition, from Emma Goldman’s writings to sections of primitivist and anti-civ thought. As pandemics become more prevalent and eco-fascisms enter the mainstream, anarchists must fight to ensure nobody is “left behind”.
Finally, our friend attacks the tyranny of lockdown, claiming that as anarchists this should be our aim, and that in failing to do so we have cowardly ceded ground to the far-right. But their target is both abstract and confused. They use the terms curfew, lockdown and closures interchangeably (one of their cited articles even describes mandated mask wearing as “draconian”!) and argue that these measures must be attacked “in principle” as they are imposed without “consent”. We argue that as anarchists there is no state which can be consented to, and that the very notion of a social contract has nothing to do with anarchy. Rather than make vague statements for #freedom in the style of the Tea party right, we must locate and attack the instruments of power and control. “Lockdown” has come to mean a myriad of very contrasting measures – from asking people to stay at home to policed curfews, from enforcing meager workplace health and safety to the breaking of strikes, from closing businesses and schools to violent prison lockdowns (the term’s original meaning), from fining tourists and quarantine hotels to detaining migrants in military camps. It should be obvious which of these as anarchists we must attack, and which we can leave alone – or even fight for.
We must define our targets and recognise our enemies. Free business has nothing to do with our freedom. Simply opposing lockdown “edicts from on high” is as empty as supporting all protest. In the UK we have seen large, rowdy Covid-conspiracy demos led by celebrity anti-Semites, but we have also seen unpolitical gatherings fighting the police – as well as organised demonstrations for black lives. The US presents an even simpler dichotomy. Nothing could be clearer than the difference between the late-Spring business protests against Democratic governors and the Summer’s black uprising against the police. The first stood for the rights of small businesses and merged into the right-wing militia movement. The second exploded anger at the cops, expropriated goods and created temporary autonomous spaces. As anarchists we know where we stand.
Speculative points of unity:
Smash crypto-eugenics, of the right and of the left Obstruct Covid-conspiracy demos, recognising them as far-right mobs Resist the criminalisation of the pandemic, policing powers, curfews and intensified surveillance Target the reinforced border regime and “lifeboat fascism” Organise against the return to unsafe workplaces Fight the evictions of anarchist spaces and the mass-eviction wave Further networks of mutual aid and act with dangerous care Sabotage ecological destruction and animal exploitation, the cause of present and future pandemics Analyse the changing terrain, refuse the postponement of anarchy
“It has been stated over and over again that the English doctors are unanimous in declaring that where the work is continuous, 500 cubic feet is the very least space that should be allowed for each person. … [but were this to happen] [t]he very root of the capitalist mode of production, i.e., the self-expansion of all capital, large or small, by means of the “free” purchase and consumption of labour-power, would be attacked. Factory legislation is therefore brought to a deadlock before these 500 cubic feet of breathing space. The sanitary officers, the industrial inquiry commissioners, the factory inspectors, all harp, over and over again, upon the necessity for those 500 cubic feet, and upon the impossibility of wringing them out of capital. They thus, in fact, declare that consumption [tuberculosis] and other lung diseases among the workpeople are necessary conditions to the existence of capital.” Karl Marx, Das Kapital (Chapter Fifteen: Machinery and Modern Industry, Section 9). If we assume a work-room height of 10 feet, 500 cubic feet would give a base of approximately 7 x 7 feet, 7 feet being a little more than 2 metres.
On the 26 June 2020, England revised its guidance from 2 meters to 1. Whilst “the evidence shows that relative risk may be 2-10 times higher”, “there are severe economic costs to maintaining 2 metre distancing. With a 2 metre rule in place, it is not financially viable for many businesses to operate.” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance
The linked Guardian article is from February 2021, but concerns regarding do-not-resuscitate forms were raised by medical establishment bodies at the beginning of the UK epidemic. https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/joint-statement-advance-care-planning
“I just need you to recognize that this shit is killing you, too, however much more softly, you stupid motherfucker, you know?” Fred Moten on racism (interview, 2013). Vaccine nationalism is increasingly shifting this to the “postcolonial” elderly and disabled. Other groups of course include certain sections of the workforce (mostly low-paid) and people of colour, the urban poor, the incarcerated, migrants. (We would argue that the existential threat directly applies here to the elderly and disabled, whereas the Covid-regime intensifies existing threats against the latter groups.) A lot could also be said about the privatisation of Covid-risk to the household and the domestic abuse this has further enabled.
The UK’s Office for National Statistics estimates disabled people as making up 60% of all Covid-19 deaths (November 2020). Similar to “BAME” deaths, “raised risk is because disabled people are disproportionately exposed to a range of generally disadvantageous circumstances compared with non-disabled people.” https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/coronaviruscovid19relateddeathsbydisabilitystatusenglandandwales/24januaryto20november2020#main-points
The ONS estimated that approximately 15% of the population had antibodies to Covid-19 on the 18th of January 2021 (the rate was lower for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). On this date the total UK deaths of people who had received a positive test result (a relatively low measure) was approximately 95,000. “Herd immunity” is estimated to require a threshold of at least 60% (the percentage Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance gave in his interview with Sky News on March the 13th, 2020) possibly more. That is, to reach herd immunity without a vaccine, more than four times as many people in the UK would need to have been infected than had in January 2021, making it reasonable to assume four times as many deaths (giving 380,000 as a conservative estimate). This is before considering reinfection, the lack of treatments at the beginning of the pandemic, likely health-system collapse, the higher chance of new variants etc. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveyantibodydatafortheuk/3february2021
More evidence has emerged of herd immunity without a vaccine being a pushed for strategy prior to March 23rd, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-54252272
For obvious reasons we’ve been paying attention to the tiny neo-Nazi/NSBM milieu for quite a while,[i] if only because it is close to the RAC (Rock Against Communism) scene, the band Légitime Violence, and the Québec Stompersbonehead gang, the incubator for the neo-fascist groupuscule Atalante. Our previous articles about Atalante and its sympathizers have clearly established the roots of Atalante’s key militants and their entourage in the “white power” and neo-Nazi subculture in the Québec City region, the pitiful denials of the key parties notwithstanding; they, of course, prefer to present themselves as “revolutionary nationalists” or sanitized fascists of the allegedly more presentable Italian variety.
While the Canadian Anti-Hate Network article served to shed some light on the key role of Steve Labrecque in this tiny milieu, it overlooked other key people who have been responsible for the distribution of Nazi clothing and accessories in far-right subcultural circles in Québec for many years now. It also passed too quickly over Misanthropic Division, an important network whose “Vinland” section[ii] is closely tied to the La Barricade label and acts as a link between this little band of local neo-Nazis and the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which is broadly understood to be a key element in the militant and military vanguard of the international neo-Nazi movement.
This article, which was already in the works when the Canadian Anti-Hate Network published theirs, could be thought of as a “another step” beyond what they have written, which we do encourage you to read.
Warning: this article reproduces posts from social media accounts that are explicitly racist, antisemitic, and homophobic and celebrate Adolf Hitler, the Nazi regime, and the Holocaust.
As the Canadian Anti-Hate Network article indicates, Steve Labrecque (alias “Chtev,” a member or former member of the black metal bands Hollentur, Neurasthene, and Holocauste) seems to be the most recent addition to the group Légitime Violence, joining his friend and colleague Félix Latraverse (alias “Fix”; Neurasthene and Hollentur), alongside Raphaël Lévesque and Benjamin Bastien (Québec Stompers, Atalante), and the band’s new drummer, William Tanguay-Leblanc (about whom our comrades in Québec Antifasciste posted in November 2019).
Légitime Violence, 2020: (left to right) William Tanguay-Leblanc, Steve Labrecque, Raphaël Lévesque, Félix Latraverse, Benjamin Bastien
The direct link between La Barricade, Labrecque, and Légitime Violence is confirmed by, among other things, the release of a “tenth anniversary” Légitime Violence cassette in 2019.
Légitime Violence tenth anniversary cassette, distributed by La Barricade in 2019.
A quick look at the La Barricade[v]Instagram[iii] and Facebook[iv] accounts reveals that Hollentur[vi], Steve Labrecque’s[vii] main project, is the label’s flagship band, which suggests a hypothesis we share with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, that Labreque is the label’s main manager. Research at the registraire des entreprises indicates that in 2013 Steve Labrecque, now residing in the Beauport borough in Québec City, registered a “commercial printing” company that remains active today.
Logo of the La Barricade label on the Encyclopaedia Metallum website: NSBM, propaganda.
Profile of the La Barricade label on the Encyclopaedia Metallum website.
Profile of the band Hollentur on the Encyclopaedia Metallum website.
Steve Labrecque, alias “Chtev”; Félix Latraverse, alias “Fix”
Steve Labrecque in the La Barricade studio.
Félix Latraverse’s band Neurasthene is distributed by La Barricade.
A t-shirt designed and distributed by La Barricade: “NSBM Against Antifa—Misanthropic Division Vinland—La Barricade—Label & Tradition”
Kevin Cloutier (left) and Steve Labrecque (right): note the “1488” tattoo on the latter’s knuckles.
La Barricade, apparently under Steve Labrecque’s tutelage, also operates a basement studio in the Québec City region, where, among other decorative touches, we find the Misanthropic Division flag bearing the slogan “Töten für Wotan” (Kill for Odin).
The Misanthropic Division is a world-wide neo-Nazi network, which in 2014 emerged in Ukraine, some of whose members fought as mercenaries against pro-Russian separatists in the war in Donbass. The Misanthropic division is closely linked to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, now part of Ukraine’s National Guard. It fights for the independence of Ukraine—both from Russia and the European Union—with the goal of establishing a Nazi state.
Amnesty International accuses them of serious human rights violations. The division maintains networks in Europe, USA, Canada, South America and Australia, which are also used to train and recruit fighters. (our italics)
Its members are considered racist and prone to violence. Among other things, they glorify National Socialism and the Waffen-SS. The Misanthropic Division is using a logo that is inspired by the Totenkopf(death’s head) symbol that was one of the most readily recognized symbols of the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS).
. . .
According to research by Belltower News, the Misanthropic Division recruits members from the international national-socialist-black metal (NSBM) scene. Liaison persons are the neo-Nazi Hendrik Möbus, convicted of murder, Alexei Levkin, singer of the band M8l8th and organizer of the NSBM festival Åsgårdsrei, and Famine, singer of the French black metal band Peste Noire. There are further connections to the Identitarian Movement and to the extreme right-wing party Der III. Weg.
Note that “Vinland,” historically related to Newfoundland, where the Vikings landed in the eleventh century, is a term applied by Odinists and others who fetishize Viking culture to North America, or, at least, to the northeast section of Canada and the US, and, as such, to the territory of Québec.
Phil David, alias « Affreux Crapaud »
Another individual close to the La Barricade project, who the Canadian Anti-Hate Network does not mention in its article, is Philippe David , alias “Affreux Crapaud,” “Block_Onze” on Instagram, and “Phil Block Onze” on Twitter, one of the most uninhibited neo-Nazis of the entire Québec fachosphere! For a start, the pseudonym “Block Onze” is a direct reference to the building at the Auschwitz concentration camp where the Nazis tortured and shot thousands of detainees during World War II.
Steve Labrecque (left) and Phil David.
Phil David wearing an Azov Battalion t-shirt.
It is difficult to determine with any certainty exactly what role Philippe David plays as the La Barricade label or in the maintenance of the Misanthropic Division Vinland project[viii], but his Twitter[ix] and Instagram accounts make it clear that he has been a fervent promoter of the project since 2015, and that he has actively encouraged people to buy the crap distributed by Misanthropic Division and La Barricade, and did so until at least 2019.
Phil David représente Misanthropic Division Vinland.
Phil David promoting merchandise distributed by La Barricade and Misanthropic Division Vinland on his personal Twitter account.
Phil David promoting the Hollentur record distributed by La Barricade on his personal Instagram account.
Alarie (right), Phil David (centre, wearing a Misanthropic Division t-shirt), and Étienne Chartrand (second from the left; a former member of Strike Force, the Fraction Nationaliste, and the Ste-Foy Krew).
Ian Alarie (left) and Phil David (right).
Who’s the biggest Nazi?
Ian Alarie wearing a Misanthropic Division Vinland/La Barricade t-shirt, on May 12, 2018.
Fred Pelletier wearing a Misanthropic Division t-shirt.
And here’s Phil David with Francis Hamelin, another regular around the neo-Nazi scene since the early 2000s.
Francis Hamelin and Phil David
Francis Hamelin poses in front of a rag.
A special shout-out to Sarah Miller, who recently became Jonathan Payeur of Atalante’s fiancée.
Phil David and Sarah Miller
One day, Sarah Miller had the bright idea of tattooing “1488” across her chest in three-inch letters.
Congratulations to the lovebirds.
Jonathan Payeur with Gabriel Marcon Drapeau and Fred Pelletier.
Gabriel Marcon Drapeau and “Vinland Striker” Distribution
Finally, let’s take a look at Gabriel Marcon Drapeau’s role, which is touched upon in the Canadian Anti-Hate Network article. This guy, who Fascist Finder comically portrays as a rabid dog, seems to have updated his Linkedin account, which until very recently indicated his employer to be the “the Barricade NSBM label.”
Gabriel Marcon Drapeau poses for his Facebook profile photo in front of a Misanthropic Division Vinland flag.
Gabriel Marcon Drapeau—Label NSBM-La Barricade (still available in the Google cache).
Gabriel Marcon Drapeau’s Linkedin page before a very recent update.
Gabriel Marcon Drapeau
Marcon Drapeau’s current Linkedin page indicates that he is now working for “Vinland Striker,” where he continues his career in sales of clothing and accessories of a Nazi character, including flags bearing the image of Adolf Hitler. See below a sample of the merchandise he promotes on his personal Facebook page and on the distributor website[x]. We have no idea why Marcon Drapeau no longer operates his distribution under the Misanthropic Division Vinland/La Barricade banner, but it seems that he has maintained his privileged relationship with the French distributor of neo-Nazi clothing 2YT4U.
November 27, 2020: Gabriel Marcon Drapeau starts working for Vinland Striker.
Gabriel Marcon Drapeau’s recently updated Linkedin account.
A sample of the Nazi trinkets and paraphernalia sold by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau under the “Vinland Striker” banner.
Note in passing the curious fact that Atalante militants and sympathizers tend to wear the t-shirts Marcon Drapeau distributes.
Montréal-based Atalante militant “Jean Brunaldo” wearing a KKK-inspired t-shirt distributed by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau.
Atalante sympathizers Heïdy Prévost and Vivianne St-Amant wearing an ecofascist t-shirt distributed by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau.
Atalante militant Jonathan Payeur wearing a t-shirt distributed by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau.
Atalante militant Sarah Miller wearing an ecofascist-inspired t-shirt distributed by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau.
Well then… Jonathan Payeur sports ANOTHER ridiculous t-shirt distributed by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau. You certainly would be well advised to remain hidden
Vigilance Remains the Watchword
Nothing indicates that the Misanthropic Division Vinland project that is connected to the NSBM label La Barricade is anything more than a group of neo-Nazi buddies in the grip of romantic adventurism, but there is also nothing to indicate that this project couldn’t serve as a recruiting centre for the international neo-Nazi network or a fundraising operation for the Azov Battalion. It is evident that at a minimum these neo-Nazi music and merchandise distribution projects play a substantial role in the micro-economy of the tiny neo-Nazi milieu in Québec and in increasing the reach of this revolting subculture.
We also can’t ignore the role these projects can play in turning young fans of black metal who are susceptible to the pull of Nazi alarmism into fanatics, with the programme always completely focussed on the extermination of millions of people who fail to meet the sickening bar these losers have set as their ideal of Aryan purity.
These detestable racists will live among us, be part of our society’s collective spaces, and continue their tawdry little activities with impunity as long as we continue to allow them to do so without raising any real resistance. It falls to our communities to flush them out and neutralize their toxicity.
As with any invasive and dangerous species, to uproot it you first have to recognize it.
If you have any information you’d like to share about the La Barricade label, the Misanthropic Division, or any of the individuals mentioned in this article, please write us at email@example.com.
[i] It is important that we acknowledge the work done before we existed by Anti-Racist Action Montréal, the webzine Dure Réalité, and Québec Facho-Watch.
[ii] Note that “Vinland,” historically related to Newfoundland, where the Vikings landed in the eleventh century, is a term applied by Odinists and others who fetishize Viking culture to North America, or, at least, to the northeast section of Canada and the US, and, as such, to the territory of Québec.