A Pact of Solidarity for May 1, 2021

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Apr 262021
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

Given

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;

given

that protecting the health and safety of health care workers is of primordial importance;

and given

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.

Signatories:

–> Si votre groupe ou votre organisation endosse ce PACTE pour un 1er mai solidaire, veuillez écrire à alerta-mtl@riseup.net 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.

BACKGROUND

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.

Rioting Against the Curfew!

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Apr 242021
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

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!

R.I.P. Matt Cicero: Anarchist Militant, Journalist, Community Organizer

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Apr 222021
 

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 vertetnoire@riseup.net. 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.

Anarchy, Lockdown and Crypto-Eugenics: A critical response from some anarchists in Wales & England

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Mar 152021
 

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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”).[4]

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

Notes:

  1. “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

  1. 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
  2. “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

  1. 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

The La Barricade Label and Misanthropic Division Vinland: An International Neo-Nazi Vehicle in Québec

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Feb 162021
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

On February 2, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network published an article detailing the links between Steve Labrecque, alias “Steve Rebel,” alias “Chtev,” who we’ve mentioned before, and the local NSBM (National Socialist black metal) label La Barricade, which for a number of years now has been one part of the scummy underbelly of Québec’s musical counterculture.

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 Stompers bonehead 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.

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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, circa 2020 : (de gauche à droite) William Tanguay-Leblanc, Steve Labrecque, Rapahël Lévesque, Félex Latraverse, Benjamin Bastien.

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.

Le motif d'un t-shirt distribué par La Barricade: "NSBM against Antifa - Misanthropic Division Vinland - La Barricade Label & Tradition"

A t-shirt designed and distributed by La Barricade: “NSBM Against Antifa—Misanthropic Division Vinland—La Barricade—Label & Tradition”

We’ve previously discussed the band Folk You!, where Steve Labrecque rubbed shoulders with Kevin Cloutier, who was formerly a member of the bonehead gang the Ste-Foy Krew and the guitarist in Dernier Guerrier.

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).

 

What Is “Misanthropic Division”?

A detailed FOIA Research article published in January 2019 presents the Misanthropic Division and its raison d’être as follows:

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.

Reading this article makes clear that the local partisans of the NSBM scene connected to the La Barricade label, who circulate around Légitime Violence and Atalante, of which Steve Labrecque is a key figure, are connected by the Misanthropic Division to an international neo-Nazi network and to the Azov Battalion, a white supremacist paramilitary formation that recruits members from everywhere in the Western world, with the goal of establishing a Nazi state.

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.

We could, with good reason, ask why Twitter, which frequently boasts that it does not tolerate hateful discourse, has yet to ban or seriously sanction a user like Phil David, who has been using the platform to disseminate messages and images explicitly celebrating the Holocaust. In spite of its prevarications, Twitter has proven to be very tolerant of Nazis, white nationalists, and a legion of alt-right trolls, who, more or less discreetly, proliferate on the platform.

Phil David’s social network includes a fair number of known members of Québec’s neo-Nazi circles, going all the way back to the bonehead gangs the Ste-Foy Krew (Québec City; an outgrowth of the Fédération des Québécois de souche) and Strike Force (Montréal), active in the early 2000s.

Pool party on Phil David’s Instagram: (left to right) Pascal Giroux, Sébastien Moreau, Steve Labrecque, Mikaël Delauney, and Ian Alarie.

We can also see Steve Labrecque (kneeling in the back), Sébastien Moreau (centre), Ian Alarie (bottom right), Pascal Giroux (crouching on the left), and Mikaël Delauney (in the black t-shirt).

Sébastien Moreau, an old-school Nazi bonehead and member of the Ste-Foy Krew, who has caught the attention of the media more than once, has long been a person of interest on antifascist websites. He is best known for his entryist association with the Parti indépendantiste, a project that remains on the far right, with Alexandre Cormier-Denis, of Horizon Québec actuel, having been its candidate in a 2017 by-election.

Phil David with Sébastien Moreau

The Ste-Foy Krew; Sébastien Moreau stands stiff-armed at the head of the table.

Sébastien Moreau (Photo: Québec FachoWatch)

Sébastien Moreau with his friends Raymond Jr. and Kevin Cloutier, from the neo-Nazi band Dernier Guerrier (Photo: Québec FachoWatch)

Ian Alarie is a basic NSBM enthusiast found at numerous Atalante actions, and who even turned up with the Soldiers of Odin in Montréal, on May 12, 2018, wearing… a La Barricade/Misanthropic Division Vinland t-shirt.

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.

It would seem that Pascal Giroux, another NSBM enthusiast, who was also present with the Soldiers of Odin, on May 12, 2018, was involved in a scrap with antifascists, in 2019, outside of a black metal music festival in Montréal.

Pascal Giroux wearing a Misanthropic Division Vinland/La Barricade t-shirt.

Mikaël Delauney was the subject of an article in Vice, in 2018, based on his close relationship with Atalante and his role in a company specializing in “historical re-enactments” for young audiences. There is certainly room for concern about the kind of history that neo-Nazis would favour re-enacting.

Mikaël Delauney is running out of fingers he can use to show off his favourite Nazi symbols.

Mikaël Delauney training with Atalante militants (Photo: Vice)

Fred Pelletier, an extremely hotheaded individual who also never bothers to hide his neo-Nazi sympathies, is another close friend of Phil David.

Fred Pelletier with Phil David

Fred Pelletier proudly sporting a Blood & Honour t-shirt. Blood & Honour is a neo-Nazi organization listed as a terrorist organization under the Canadian Criminal Code.

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.

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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.

Louis Fernandez, a key Atalante militant, who was sentenced to fifteen months in prison in December 2020 for criminal assault, sporting a Joan of Arc t-shirt distributed by Gabriel Marcon Drapeau.

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.

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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 alerta-mtl@riseup.net.

 

 


[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.

[iii]              https://archive.md/JUB9G

[iv]              https://archive.vn/ohGwn

[v]               https://archive.vn/J25Xj

[vi]              https://archive.vn/gxQzx

[vii]             https://archive.vn/oqaj0

[viii]             https://archive.vn/Ag7nq

[ix]              https://archive.vn/l8PyN

[x]               https://archive.vn/9eRWP

On the Permitted Fascist Temper Tantrum That Caught the World’s Eye: An Anarchist Response to the January 6th Melee in DC

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Jan 162021
 

From Radio Fragmata

So much could be said about the spectacle recently witnessed at Washington, DC’s federal capitol building, however we will write a quick statement, hoping to further understand the situation as well as to assert a need on behalf of comrades in the States who face both imminent and ongoing grassroots violence and parallel state repression. Essentially, what we saw was not an insurrection or revolt; what the world witnessed was a permitted fascist temper tantrum.

In the Greek context, for example, we witnessed the Macedonian-name-protests rushing the Parliament in Syntagma Square before the verdict on their stupid case, and police essentially functioning as minimally as possible in part to show their obvious bias and sympathy for those seizing Parliament, while also trying not to lose their jobs. The chants heard at the capitol building – such as “U-S-A” and “Trump is President, Christ is king!” – easily find Greek analogues.

On January 6th, 2021, the American government gathered for its ritual of certifying the Electoral College results, signifying the transfer of power to a new president. It is an archaic ritual that – because it began prior to modern travel, and faraway states needed the months after the election to travel across the country by horse and carriage to participate – is held in January rather than immediately following the election’s outcome in November. This event was seen by both Trump and his followers as the last ‘hoorah’ to disrupt the transfer of power from the far-right Republican Party to the moderate right-wing Democratic Party.

The US security state’s very different approach to the MAGA mob versus an antifascist, anarchist, or abolitionist demonstration was made quite overt on the 6th. It was so obvious, in fact, that mainstream media outlets have seized upon it, in their embarrassing public displays of trying to grasp just why the police put on their kid-gloves with these self-indulgent cowards seeking to reinforce the very worst of what already exists in the US, storming a building that has its very own police force (with an annual budget of more than $500 million).

The police tolerance exhibited for Trump’s supporters was purposefully obvious. It has been public information that the extreme right in the US have chosen to infiltrate law enforcement and political positions of power (even cited in a report by the FBI) ever since the fall of the guerrilla neo-Nazi group The Order in the mid-1980s and white supremacist Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 that killed 168 people. Both were inspired by the white supremacist bible at the time, the fictional novel The Turner Diaries (1978), which featured a similar assembling of fascists identifying as patriots. Apart from formally rampant white supremacy throughout the American police force, every single police union had endorsed Trump in the US in the run-up to the 2020 election. While police tend to be more diverse in the US compared to many countries around the world, the original purpose of the police in the US was to catch slaves and crush unions, so it is inevitable that regardless of race, there is an element of fascism in such a uniform.

If BLM, anarchist, or anti-fascist banners were raised on this day, there would have been mass arrests, far more intense brutality, and a likely massacre. While five people have died due to the events of the 6th (three due to self-inflicted injuries such as tasering themselves and causing a heart attack; falling off of scaffolding; and, being trampled to death while holding a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. One cop died due to assault*, and only one demonstrator due to police violence, and the other three literally died due to their own stupidity and maintained their white privilege even in their humiliating deaths. If this was not a white supremacist event—or an ostensibly fascist event – dozens would have been killed by the police.

Apart from the daily mass murder of people of color and poor people in the US by police, the fates of Kyle Rittenhouse and Michael Reinoehl, for some very recent examples, help to explain the behavior of the police on that day, how they acted in parallel to their grassroots fascist counterparts.

Kyle Rittenhouse murdered two people during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake—a Black man shot seven times in the back in front of his children by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The event left Blake paralyzed, but the officer who shot him will face no charges despite video evidence. Rittenhouse is currently on trial for his murders, and was allowed to move freely past the police line just shortly after killing people. Michael Reinoehl, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed antifascist from Oregon, who in self-defense shot a fascist during a Trump protest. Reinoehl went on Vice News shortly after the event to proclaim the action was in self-defense, and one day later, he was shot over 50 times by federal police. Trump openly bragged about Reinhoel’s assassination. With few exceptions, his fate was rarely discussed in the media, but shows the obstacles and struggle revolutionaries face versus the permitted ‘rebellious’ behavior of fascists and other fanatics for the misery of the world today. The courts are no different. The sentencing and investigations that inevitably follow the actions of the right are managed in a way resembling obligation, rather then the passionate and brutal judicial attacks by the state on revolutionary movements seeking liberation.

We watched this day as a liberal establishment shed spineless tears, a delusional grassroots fascist effort played coup games under the babysitter’s gaze of the police, and the media desperately tried to explain the situation, with cautious laughter: ‘it’s only cosplay, nothing to see here.’ What is certain is that those seizing the capitol by being invited into it, gates drawn, exhibited no courage and nothing that took place resembled an insurrection as the media and moderates try to claim.

When revolutionary movements that reject the system take to the streets, they are met with a very different situation. An established moderate right-wing party like the Democrats, or allegedly ‘nuetral’ law enforcement such as the FBI, will make an example of some of these right-wing delusional deadbeats, but it will be in the same way the New Democracy government in Greece made an example of the neo-nazi group Golden Dawn, or Facebook took down dozens of anarchist profiles to compensate for censoring an equivalent number of neo-Nazi profiles. It is a deceptive attempt to solidify an aesthetic of neutrality as they continue to impose the horrible society we reject.

The lengths the right went to in this action foreshadows the coming passive civil war already declared by the right, and is likely more emboldened than ever following January 6th. One thing that is unique about the American right, is that when they hold weapons it is not a crime until they are used to attack someone, and even then – in the case of Trayvon Martin or the recent shootings of antifascists at BLM demonstrations – the courts will show them a tolerance we would never get.

Apart from this obvious concern over the escalation of alternative and grassroots forms of violence by the extreme right, the incident has emboldened the equally dangerous American liberal establishment. The leaders of political “sanity” and moderation are the most victorious due to this fascist tantrum. The dictators of what is and is not politically appropriate, who have the audacity of pinning together liberationists, insurrectionists, and abolitionists with fascists and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists have found true victory here, as you can see in their heinously ignorant references of insurrection and anarchy in regards to the events that took place at the US capitol building on January 6th.

For years, the Trump administration has forcibly established so-called antifa, anarchists, and BLM as terrorist organizations while refusing to denote the same status to neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups. Now, there is bipartisan support for delegating groups such as QAnon (a group that believes Trump, a man facing dozens of rape accusations including rape against minors, is saving the country from a Jewish conspiracy of celebrities and politicians using their power to traffic children) and the Proud Boys (self-identified Western chauvinist group founded by Vice Media founder Gavin McInnes) will undoubtedly be used to further the already existing harsh repression of anarchist and revolutionary abolitionist movements. Just a week before the 6th, Trump’s administration drafted a bill barring all suspected antifascists and anarchists from entering the country. This bill comes from a history of recent expansions and advances in the power of border authorities under the Obama administration and the Patriot Act under the Bush administration, and will certainly go without much criticism from the Biden administration.

All of this comes as the Democrats have taken over the White House and Congress, while the far right remains in control of the Supreme Court, which has severe implications for revolutionary movements and the livelihoods of marginalized and excluded people. The recent popular support that has come out of years of Trump’s far-right absurdity and the recent Black-led revolt following the death of George Floyd and others is already facing a huge assault by the deceptions of the democratic establishment since Biden’s victory in November. It certainly will not help those facing years in prison for resistance related to the 2020 Black Lives Matter revolt.

The liberal establishment and the left that still maintain faith in the state and reform would like to refer to this event as a “failed coup” or an attack on the will of the people. These predominantly privileged calls come from a voice that sees the electoral system as one that listens to them. For most people in the US, their recent vote was motivated by guilt or a sad obligation to pick between two evils; they have been conditioned to expect nothing from a state that flaunts the motto “freedom isn’t free.” As anarchists, we reject the state’s electoral process entirely, and see no “will of a people” ever possibly upheld in a system orchestrated through centralized power and coercion. The choices provided to us in their spectacle of democratic voting are not aligned with our path to freedom, so we reject such rituals. Besides, settler colonialist rituals such as voting for representation in a Eurocentric system can never grant freedom on stolen land.

As anarchists, abolitionists, and revolutionary movements continue ahead with a struggle more sincere than trending concerns performed by aloof citizens and pretentious celebrities, we must double down on solidarity in order to not remain isolated, as the violence intended by grassroots right-wing groups coincide with a brutal police crackdown under the smiling and deceptive face of the democratic liberal establishment.

Watching politicians huddle in fear, while police and the right scuffle, it’s hard to not simply laugh at the absurdity of some of what transpired that day. However, in recent weeks, antifascists have been targeted and shot in the Pacific Northwest, and on the same day as the fascist tantrum at the capitol building, an attempted public lynching of a black woman took place at a neofascist rally in Los Angeles. These instances are what brings our laughter to a concerned pause.

The right has taken a fairly postmodern approach to racism in the US, feeling shackled by the grip of the moderate right-wing democratic establishment’s PC identity politics (that seem to address everything other than systemic classism and racism, and see giving settler colonialist jobs to colonized people an ethical form of reparation and resolution). They have adapted to a deep-web world of cryptic far-right conspiracy theories that somehow lead the poor to follow billionaires and seek out Jewish lizard people ‘pulling the strings’ of global capitalism via 5G networks, as opposed to just saying the N-word out loud like they all want to, but still want the option of running for office. This is a global concern, as fascists of this approach have breached the borders of the world from the US, to Brazil, to Germany, and so on.

It is essential that we maintain our strength against the technocrats and liberal establishment, as well as remain on guard against the many, and at times, confusing faces of contemporary fascism. We also must recognize our emboldened movement. In the US, anarchist, antifascist, and abolitionist movements have grown drastically despite heinous repression, and a new generation of courageous youth has shown their strength throughout 2020 and to this day.

Revolutionary solidarity goes beyond borders and prison walls, and helps us to remain alert, connected, and never forget each other as another lockdown and a new era of moderate fascism approaches us.

Revolutionary solidarity for all those facing prison for the revolt against white supremacy.

Revolutionary solidarity for all those who engage in sincere struggle against the state and capitalism.

– RadioFragmata / January 2021

Post-Script

1. Brian Sicknick, the cop who died due to his injuries on the 6th has since had his online Parler account uncovered. Parler is a social media platform popular among the right. It was discovered that the officer was a follower of various far-right accounts such as Team Trump, Gavin McInnes, and Alex Jones.

2. While unsurprising, it has since been confirmed that various off-duty police officers and right-wing politicians were among the mob at the capitol on the 6th. Reports claim that some officers even showed their badges to on-duty officers during the melee.

Stay up-to-date with repression against revolutionary movements and ongoing struggles via the following websites:

Bay Area Anti-Repression

NYC Anarchist Black Cross

Its Going Down

RAM

Up against the law legal collective

Portland General Defense Committee

Puget Sound Prisoner Support [2]

Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund

Tilted Scales Collective

Gabriel Sohier Chaput, aka Zeiger: The Montreal Keyboard Nazi Who Wanted to be Goebbels

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Dec 072020
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

On May 4, 2018, the Montreal Gazette published the first of a series of articles exposing the identity of an important international neo-Nazi propagandist residing in Montréal, an individual only known up to that point by the pseudonym “Zeiger. The journalists at the daily made public the results of an investigation conducted over many months by Montreal-area antifascists to identify and expose “Zeiger,” who had long been active in the most extreme wing of the alt-right fascist movement, notably as an editor and administrator of the Daily Stormer website, widely considered the most influential international platform for neo-Nazi propaganda of the last decade.

“Zeiger,” who turned up at the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11–12, 2017 (where he was videoed shouting the slogan “Gas the K***s! Race war now!”), and who has led various neo-Nazi organizing and mobilizing efforts, as well as information campaigns, is in fact Gabriel Sohier Chaput,[1] an “information technology consultant” who was then living in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood in Montreal.

Gabriel Sohier Chaput, in the middle, with other white supremacists at the infamous «Unite the Right» gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017.

Sohier Chaput disappeared into thin air the day after the first article was published. An arrest warrant was issued for him in November 2018, and almost two years later, the Gazette revealed that Sohier Chaput had finally come in from the cold to face charges of inciting hate.[2] His first appearance will be at the Palais de Justice in Montreal, on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

Oddly, unlike their anglophone counterparts, the major francophone media have paid very little attention to the entire affair. Whether this is a matter of indifference or an expression of frustration at having to pick through the crumbs dropped by their anglophone colleagues, the limited coverage means that the francophone public hasn’t heard much about it. The original French version of this article is an attempt to fill this lacuna for posterity.

The main purpose of the exercise, however, is to guarantee that Sohier Chaput can never shake off the stink and pestilence of his statements and actions.

If he pleads guilty, there will not be many lines of defense open to him. He might claim that his neo-Nazi period represented a moment of personal confusion and act contrite, but the length (2012–2018) and, above all, the depth and sophistication of his engagement would potentially raise serious doubts about the sincerity of such excuses. Another possibility is that he could argue that the whole thing was nothing more than a misunderstanding and claim that his political engagement in numerous Nazi propaganda projects was nothing more than one big joke. That, after all, was the lame defense he and his comrades presented the day after his doxxing. Unfortunately for him, the defense of irony or that he didn’t really mean it won’t stand up to the information presented in this article, and we hope the prosecution finds a way to debunk this defense if it is proffered.

On the other hand, he could seek to avoid a trial by pleading guilty and accepting the legal sanctions, which would be relatively light if he has no previous criminal record. A judge could oblige him to apologize before the court for the negative impact of his past actions and allow him to return to a relatively normal life once he pays a fine and makes a symbolic donation to, for example, an organization that advocates for the rights of the Jewish community.

This would leave him at his leisure to quietly reintegrate into Quebec society and the Montreal community. We cannot allow him to return to a normal life that easily.

The hate speech formulated and promoted by Gabriel Sohier Chaput led to equally hateful actions that had serious consequences in the real world. For example, the Iron March forum that Sohier Chaput moderated laid the basis for the terrorist network known as the Atomwaffen Division, whose members have been involved in a series of murders and violent crimes driven by the ideology Sohier Chaput and his collaborators put forward.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Gabriel Sohier Chaput applauded the murder of homosexuals and trans people and openly yearned for the subjugation of women, the elimination of Jews, and the systematic segregation of non-white populations. Not only did he yearn for all of that, he devoted all of his intellectual energy to the development of a fascist political culture and a mass movement that could achieve his “final solution.”

There must be consequences for that sort of crime, and we find those proposed by the justice system far from satisfactory. We have frequently said, and we repeat here: real justice is not to be found in the courts, and, for us, forgiveness is not an option.

Gabriel Sohier Chaput should have to carry the weight of his online footprint for the rest of his life, and we truly hope that our actions help ensure that that is the case.

The articles in the Montreal Gazette asserted that Sohier Chaput was “a major neo-Nazi figure and one of the most influential white supremacists in North America”; here, we will demonstrate that this is true, using his own writings and interventions. What follows is a detailed overview of this person, his ideas, his actions, and the political milieu he comes from. We have included a certain number of links to supplementary resources for those who want to dig a little deeper.

Continue reading on montreal-antifasciste.info

Poursuivre la lecture sur montreal-antifasciste.info

Sylvain Marcoux: A Nazi with the Conspiracy Theorists

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Aug 292020
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

Journalists recently reported on arrests in relation to online threats against Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director and the public face of Quebec health policy in the context of the pandemic.

These arrests bring to light the involvement of a section of the far right in mobilizations against mandatory masks, social distancing, and other measures put in place to minimize the risk of contagion in public places.[1] In a July 31 blog post, the antiracist blogger Xavier Camus reported a post by QAnon true believer Fabrice Descurninges, which included the home address of Horacio Arruda. Camus also reported – with the aid of numerous screenshots – on a similar post by Sylvain Marcoux, whom he described as a “violent conspiracy theorist.”

Marck Lelou is one of numerous pseudonyms used by Sylvain Marcoux on Facebook.

One week later, the main media outlets in Quebec (including Radio-Canada, La Presse, and the Journal de Montréal) reported that Sylvain Marcoux had been arrested “for having allegedly harassed Dr. Horacio Arruda and his family on social media.” Surprisingly, none of these media outlets mentioned Marcoux’s political ties to the most hardcore sections of the far right, specifically to the scene around the Fédération des québécois de souche, despite the fact that these ties are easy to find with a simple google search. This nationalist polemicist and Nazi fetishist who ran as an independent  candidate for provincial office had benefited from similar kid gloves treatment from those few journalists who had cared to report on his 2018 electoral bid…

While he is by no means a leading light of the Quebec far right, we feel this presents an opportune moment to review Marcoux’s political itinerary over the past decade.

WARNING: this article includes explicitly racist and antisemitic screenshots.

///

Marcoux first appears online as part of the “hardline” and right-wing nationalist milieux. Over a span of a few months in 2011, he wrote 13 articles on Vigile.Quebec, a website that offers an open tribune to pro-independence and nationalist writers of various tendencies, and which has become dominated by the far right over the past years. The subjects of his writings at that point were the standard fare for frustrated identitarian nationalists: denouncing the PQ for not being serious about independence and condemning multiculturalism as a threat to Quebec identity.

Perhaps encouraged by his initial efforts as a writer, Marcoux came out with a (very) short booklet in 2012: Pour un ralliement national canadien-français. Published (somewhat surprisingly) by Guerin, which described it as a “manifesto”, this text is a call for an ethnic nationalist project for an independent French Canada. The author notes the recent use of the term Québécois to designate the descendants of French colonists in Canada, and rejects it, but other than that the booklet is not very noteworthy. Despite his footnote about Jews being a particularly xenophobic group, and passages about Indigenous people denying their claims to sovereignty (while also claiming a European presence in North America going back over 1,000 years), the kind of racism implicit in his call for nationalism to be based on French Canadian ethnicity is sadly not at all beyond the pale in Quebec. And indeed, in 2012 Marcoux was still claiming that the nationalism he was proposing, while cultural and ethnic, was not racial – regardless of their skin colour or personal origins, anyone who identified with and assimilated into French Canada could be a French Canadian:[2]

“Pour le Ralliement national, le « nationalisme » n’est donc pas fondé sur la « race » (morphologie, couleur de la peau…), mais bien sur la culture, c’est-à-dire l’ensemble des modes de vie et des convictions que partage la population vivant au sein d’un même territoire.” (Trans. : “For the Ralliement national, ‘nationalism’ is not based on ‘race’ (morphology, skin colour, etc.) but on culture, that is to say all of the ways of life and beliefs shared by the population living on a common territory.”)

He would write a couple of articles on Vigile.Quebec in 2013, but nothing more.

It is fairly clear that Marcoux had begun relating to the organized far right in Quebec by this point. After all, the assertion that one is not “racist” but simply preoccupied by “culture” is the exact same position put forth by the main far right currents throughout the West. Culture is implicitly understood as homogenous and static to the point of being frozen, rather than heterogeneous and constantly changing. It follows from this definition of culture that any criticisms or alternate views coming from Indigenous people or immigrants are viewed as intrinsically suspect, representing a threat to the dominant culture by their very origins. Leading to the clichéd garbage we hear from certain nationalists about immigration and multiculturalism representing “Trojan horses” which undermine French Canadian culture. The fact of the matter is that there are more similarities than differences between “biological” and “cultural” racism: in the final analysis, they are both essentialist views of identity which serve to justify discrimination, exclusion, and repression.[3]

In 2012, the Comité citoyen pour l’interêt du Québec – an otherwise unknown identitarian groupuscule – organized a talk where Marcoux could discuss his book. The Fédération des québécois de souche, which operates as a kind of clearinghouse for the fascist and white supremacist (or white “nationalist”) movements in Quebec, gave it a rave review, all the while criticizing his cultural as opposed to racial take on nationalism. A criticism that it would seem Marcoux took to heart.

During those years the FQS was collaborating closely with two other now-defunct fascist groups, la Bannière Noire and the Légion nationale. The three groups worked together to hold a number of small demonstrations, including an annual “March against Denationalization” held in Montreal in 2011 and in Trois-Rivières in 2012. Marcoux attended these marches, and was even interviewed by the media at the Trois Rivières rally. Insisting he was not a member of the Légion nationale, he rehashed the cultural-racist anti-immigration line described above, complaining that the majority was losing its standing, but insisting he was not a racist as “culture is between your ears.” Marcoux also gave an interview to the FQS on March 23, 2013, during a “militant action” at Montreal’s City Hall.

Marcoux spent much of the past ten years (2013-17) as a municipal councillor for the town of Saint-Majorique-de-Grantham, close to Drummondville, while also working as a welder. In this regard it is worth mentioning that Tradition Québec, a far-right Catholic traditionalist group with close ties to the FQS, has organized and promoted a series of religious services by Father Damien Duterte and Mgr Donald Sanborn, both “sedevacantists” theologically to the right of the larger and better-known Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).[4] In 2019 three such events were held in the municipal hall at 1966 St-Joseph O., presumably with permission from the municipal council which Marcoux had served on for several years. It turns out that Marcoux himself lives (or lived) just across from the municipal building in question. Don’t worry, we’re not calling on anyone to “bang on his windows.” In fact, it turns out his place is for sale, if anyone is interested…

A photo of Sylvain Marcoux’s office at his home in Saint-Majorique-de-Grantham, from the page of a real estate agent. Note the “Black Sun”, a nazi symbol, on the wall.

From “Cultural Nationalist” to Hardcore Nazi

By the time he first came to our attention a few years ago, Sylvain Marcoux was already an out and out neo-nazi: social media posts denying the Holocaust, claiming Hitler was “the most beautiful soul ever on earth”, and talking about Jewish conspiracies to commit genocide against “white populations”. Indeed, he is one of the more virulent and vile racists on social media.

In March 2017, two months after Alexandre Bissonnette murdered six people and injured nineteen others in the Quebec City Mosque Massacre, Marcoux was on the website of Horizon Actuel Québec’s Nomos web-tv show, opining that there had been no deaths, that it had been staged and was all just “big liberal anti-Québécois grandstanding.”

Sylvain Marcoux claiming that the massacre at the Quebec City Mosque on January 29, 2017, was fake news.

Sylvain Marcoux hanging out with Robert Proulx and La Meute in an underground parking lot in Quebec City, August 20, 2017.

Marcoux has also been a regular at the various “big tent” mobilizations over the past years which were generally organized under the auspices of national-populist groups like La Meute and Storm Alliance. For example, he was spotted in a certain underground parking lot in Quebec City on August 20, 2017. He was also present at the anti-immigrant demonstration at St-Bernard-de-Lacolle on May 19, 2018, where he was interviewed by La Meute’s bumbling video crew, giving us this somewhat grotesque window into his way of seeing the world:

Meute.tv : (…) The oligarchy… (…)

Marcoux : It’s the Jews … The real term is “Jews”. You were speaking before about taboos, there is no taboo. It is Jewish messianism … The Jew wants to dissolve the white nations. I am not afraid to say it. It’s not supremacist to stand up and say you’re white and proud to be white. The other races stand up for themselves, there is the Ligue des Noirs here in Quebec, imagine if there was a League for whites… The corrupt media, media working precisely for those Jews … When I say “Jews”, it’s Jewry. It’s Bronfman who is behind Trudeau … he works for his team.

Meute.tv : You think it is about money power, beyond immigration (…)

Marcoux : It is more than money, it is really about dissolving the white nations, drowning them with immigration. Immigration… or even miscegenation.

Meute.tv : Don’t you think that within Canada there is less immigration in the other provinces than in Quebec? (…)

Marcoux : Look, in Quebec… Go take a walk in Toronto, there is immigration there, whether legal or illegal, the goal is the same, the result is the same. (…)

Meute.tv : The antifas claim that —

Marcoux : There is no such thing as antifa, antifa doesn’t exist. The antifas are just the shocktroops of that damned Jewry, the globalist mafia. Jewish messianism, freemasons … When I say “freemasons” people turn their heads … All the internationalist organizations that want precisely to dissolve the white nations, the West, Canada – the United States was white originally – Europe, France, Germany, Denmark, England …

Meute.tv : It is worldwide…

Marcoux : No, it’s whites, the white countries. There is no immigration in Saudi Arabia. The Jews are kicking their asses to get rid of them. They got rid of 40,000 recently, and they send them here … with a UN programme (…)

Things had clearly changed for Marcoux (either his views, or his willingness to be candid about them) since his declarations a few years earlier that his politics were not about race, just about “culture”. We are reposting below a series of screenshots to make things clear; taken from his main Facebook account (now deactivated) and his secondary accounts, they confirm where Marcoux situates himself. Note that many of the antisemitic articles posted by Marcoux come from the democratieparticipative website, a French neo-nazi website modeled on the Daily Stormer. [see the images at montreal-antifascist.info]

Sylvain Marcoux, Candidate in the Provincial Elections

Marcoux’s politics were on full display in 2018, when he ran as an independent candidate in his riding of Drummond-Bois-Francs; he spoke to journalists about banning Islam, and how Muslims belonged in psychiatric asylums, and revisited other far right talking points, including about the so-called “Great Replacement”:

Screenshot of Marcoux explaining his anti-immigrant programme in the 2018 provincial elections

Journalists treated him as an oddity, but none decried the racism at the heart of his campaign, nor did any report on his (fairly easy to find) links to the organized neo-nazi movement in Quebec. Yet for all his efforts and despite this kid-gloves treatment, “the people” were clearly indifferent. He received only one donation of $100 (from his campaign manager, Julien Chapdelaine – himself active in Catholic traditionalist circles and Tradition Québec), and 250 votes (just under 1% of the total in his riding).

Conspiracy Theories and Where They Can Lead

Which brings us to the present day: Sylvain Marcoux has been charged with disseminating the home address of Horacio Arruda, and calling upon “1,500, 3,000, 15,000 angry nationalists” to go and “knock on his windows.”

Opposition to public health measures in the context of COVID-19 is increasingly widespread, bringing together people who hold alternative health and New Age spiritual beliefs, those who distrust the government or simply feel it is overstepping in legislating people’s personal choices (not always without reason, for instance in the case of Bill 61), and a very significant number of far rightists, who see the current crisis as a critical stage in the globalist conspiracy they believe is besieging the world. One can spot several key figures from the nationalist-populist milieux at the head of the anti-mask movement, including Steeve Charland (former second in command at La Meute) and Mario Roy (Storm Alliance). Many aspects of the purported global conspiracy—which have recently come to include claims about pedophile and Satanist networks— can be traced back to pro-Trump polemicists, networks, and platforms in the United States which are fiercely xenophobic, racist, and sexist[5].

In his opposition to Arruda and his public health measures, as in his passage from “hardline” (but cultural!) nationalism to outright neo-nazism, Marcoux is emblematic of some of the broader trends and dynamics within both the far right and Quebec nationalism that we have worked to expose and combat over these past years.

It is tempting to make fun of conspiracy theorists, and one could go on about how they are stupid and ignorant, hypocritical opportunists. Or perhaps about how marginal they are and how the vast majority of people in Quebec do not share their views. But individuals like Sylvain Marcoux have gotten involved in conspiracy theory-driven movements and push the envelope, making more and more provocative statements, while acting to sustain Quebec’s historic crypto/neo-nazi movement and to introduce its odious ideas to these new political milieux and campaigns. We are currently witnessing precisely such a convergence today in the mobilizations against mandatory masks. This dynamic is reconfiguring the national-populist forces, which are increasingly influenced by the fascist tendencies.

As such, Sylvain Marcoux’s trajectory is primarily of interest for the way in which it reveals the cultural and political transformations going on and gives us an idea of what may be to come.

Marcoux may be an idiot, but he is also potentially dangerous.


[1] About this, see the excellent report by Xavier Camus, as the traditional media outlets are fast asleep at the wheel on this story : https://xaviercamus.com/2020/08/18/tableau-des-principaux-gourous-complotistes-du-quebec/

[2] To talk of assimilation, rather than integration for instance, itself raises the spectre of threats or coercion, and implies a fundamentally unequal relationship between the historically dominant society and more recent newcomers.

[3] According to which, one cannot ever really “become” French, French Canadian, or what have you; for instance, even after living in Quebec for decades – indeed, even if they are born here – Muslims are still seen as foreigners. It’s all good and fine to make a distinction between “culture” and race understood as a matter of skin colour, according to the essentialist view these distinctions (and not social class, gender, or other kinds of structural social relations) still fundamentally determine who we are, and cannot ever really be acquired or changed. This is connected to the argument that not all cultures are equal, that some are superior to others. One’s cultural affiliation or identity therefore becomes the basis for your place in a hierarchy, justifying various forms of exclusion and domination.

[4] Tradition Québec, led by activists Kenny Piché and Étienne Dumas, was previously aligned with the FSSPX but split from the group 2017-18. It seems TQ felt the FSSPX had become too “liberal”.

[5] A recent exposé on Radio-Canada showed how Youtube’s algorithm makes suggestions that direct people interested in various conspiracy theories to far right websites like DMS and Nomos.tv.
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1087664/voici-comment-youtube-pourrait-vous-rendre-conspirationniste

Two Atalante Members Doxxed and Attacked

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Aug 132020
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Atalante is a neo-fascist organization mainly present in Quebec City (see the articles of Montréal Antifasciste concerning them). In Montreal, the group gathers a handful of neo-Nazis. Here we expose two of them. Shawn Beauvais-Macdonald, the now famous Charlottesville Nazi, is a long-standing fellow traveler of Atalante (in the photos below, he poses with Raf Stomper, the head of the organization, and in an Atalante action). He resides in an apartment on the second floor of 2045 Elmhurst Avenue in Montreal-West.

He proudly displays his racism, including in his bathroom window where he had a flag combining the Nazi black sun and the fleur de lys. Unfortunately for him, the flag was removed a few weeks ago.

Francis Hamelin is an “old guard” who participated in the founding of Troisieme Voie and helped Atalante set up in Montreal (with the success we’re all aware of). He lives with his family at 2669 rue Monsabré, in the Longue-Pointe area of the east end, where he discreetly displays Nazi and SS flags.

By sharing photos of his artwork (a bust of Adrien Arcand) and his nice truck, he involuntarily revealed his address.

His vehicle was redecorated with tags reading “Nazi” and “Nazi scum” a few weeks ago, in order to warn his neighbors of the trash he is.

The Nazis of Atalante will never have peace. Montreal is antifascist. Further messages will follow.

Antifascists

A Demonstration In Support Of Patient Attendants Turns Into A Happening For Far-Right Conspiracy Theorists

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Jul 182020
 

From Montréal Antifasciste

A demonstration by healthcare workers (« Manif des travailleurs de la santé!!!!! ») has been called for July 18th at the Parc Saint-Laurent in Repentigny. Organized by a collective of patient attendants, « Le journal des PAB », the demonstration has five demands (which are not at all easy to find of the event page…) and is inviting “all healthcare workers in Quebec” to join them. At first glance this struck us as a welcome initiative, but we changed our minds pretty quickly over the past week when we saw that several far-right figures and anti-lockdown conspiracy theorists were inviting themselves or plain out being invited to attend by some of the organizers!

For instance, Steeve « L’Artiss » Charland (the former second-in-command at La Meute, now with Storm Alliance) intends to « show up with his gang » (people who are similarly close to La Meute and Storm Alliance, two notoriously Islamophobic and anti-immigrant organizations). Jonathan « Hex » Héroux, who organized the famous Vagues bleues in Montreal and Trois-Rivières, also announced he would be attending, as did Alexis Cossette-Trudel, the new top conspiracy theorist in Quebec, a fake news pro and expert in post-factual manipulation.

Let’s be clear: these individuals and their groupies are in no way “allies of healthcare workers”. On the contrary, from the very beginning of the pandemic they have been busy claiming the danger posed by the virus is exaggerated  (in some cases even denying it exists!), while calling on people to disregard lockdown measures and not respect social distancing. In doing so they have not only been endangering healthcare workers, but also the elderly, people with specific risk factors, and the general public. What’s more, and this is not a minor detail, many of the ideas and theories promoted by these individuals stigmatize and scapegoat a significant number of people working in the healthcare sector, and specifically as PABs: namely, immigrants (whether “regular” or “irregular”) and Muslims.

These individuals, many of whom are right-wingers who have been active for years in Islamophobic and anti-immigrant organizations (not to mention having recently been indulging in panicked conspiracy theories denying the very existence of COVID!), should not be welcome anywhere, as they represent an agenda of division, xenophobia, and crass ignorance.