The evening of March 15th, was the 26th annual protest against police brutality. 26 years of marching, 26 years of systematic repression by police brutality, like an annual tradition that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The demonstrators decided to keep control of the sidewalks rather than be chased off the streets by violent and insulting police officers, and attacked the neighborhood’s worst businesses: Dollarama and the National Bank. Let’s remember that if Dollarama is a grocery store of last resort for the poor, it still sells unhealthy crap and is one of the worst companies in Quebec for abusing its workers. And on the other side, the National Bank is investing billions in several important oil projects. In the face of this self-defense of the poor against their oppressors, the police violently attacked the demonstration: truncheons, gas and beatings were the order of the day.
We demonstrated in St-Henri, a poor, working class neighborhood that is increasingly being slaughtered by gentrification, like many others across the city. The arrival of new, hip businesses has driven out the old, affordable spaces, and rents are now skyrocketing. But St-Henri is also this high place of colonialism, close to the railroads, the Lachine Canal … in short, everything that is used to plunder indigenous lands. The workers of St-Henri know this well, they have worked for a long time in the sweatshops of the area to transform this plunder into junk too expensive for them. And if most of the sweatshops are gone, the looting is still going on, whether it is through the construction of condos in Kanien’kehá:ka territory, or the construction of a pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory, or ancient wood cutting in Pacheedaht territory.
We must indeed shutdown the colonial police. It’s colonial, because that’s what the police are for, to defend the settlers. It is the armed arm of the israeli state that defends the settlers in Palestine. It is the armed wing of saudi arabia that is invading yemen. And it is the armed wing of russia which is invading ukraine. And while canada supports ukraine — and that’s good — it doesn’t hesitate to give weapons to the strongarm of repression, both in israel and in saudi arabia. And canada is arming its own RCMP, its colonial police force, to intervene on unceded indigenous lands, whether it be Wet’suwet’en land or the Pacheedaht land.
We have nothing to lose but our chains. All attacks on the State and Capital are justified.
Finally, we are calling for witnesses: if you have been arrested, brutalized or have witnessed police brutality, please contact the COBP at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also remind you to be careful about what you post on social media.
* We thank André Querry for the photos