(Montreal, Canada) Call for an Antiracist Mobilization

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CALL FOR AN ANTIRACIST MOBILIZATION

On July 1, La Meute is hoping to march in Montreal “against illegal immigration.”

This is a call to plan to stop this from taking place, through a broad, mass-based, public anti-racist mobilization.

At the same time, this is a notice that can be taken to your affinity groups, your friends, your networks, so that you can plan accordingly.

Where and When

La Meute will not announce the exact location or time of their march until just before July 1st, as they are afraid of opposition to their
racist agenda.

Various community groups and concerned individuals are meeting to plan an anti-racist counterprotest on July 1st. To join these efforts, please contact bloquonsladroite@riseup.net

What is La Meute?

La Meute is the largest far right organization in Quebec.

La Meute’s prime target has always been Muslims. Basic measures to provide equal access and rights to Muslims in Quebec are described by La Meute as “privileges” or steps towards “sharia law.” In 2017, La Meute played a key role in blocking the establishment of a Muslim cemetery in St-Apollinaire; it formed the backbone of the various demonstrations in Quebec that took place on March 4, 2017, against bill M-103 which condemns Islamophobia; it has organized public talks about the threat of Hallal food; on social media, La Meute members routinely spread misinformation and lies about Quebec’s small Muslim minority and engage in islamophobic and racist rhetoric.

Over the past year, La Meute has also increasingly become involved in other issues, forging ties to other far right organizations. It has
provided security for the far right Mouvement Republicain du Quebec, and for personalities such as André Pitre and Djemila Benhabib. It has also increasingly mobilized against refugees; in November 2017 along with Storm Alliance, it held a demonstration against the Commission on Systemic Racism (which the government had in fact already canceled) and against “illegal immigration.” It also officially joined with Storm Alliance in an anti-refugee demonstration at the border on July 1, 2017, and unofficially its leadership participated in a similar Storm Alliance demonstration on May 19, 2018.

La Meute’s protests routinely attract other members of the far right. Neo-nazi organizer Shawn Beauvais-Macdonald has been spotted at many of the group’s functions, and was indeed its official anglophone moderator in Montreal prior to August 2017. Members of Soldiers of Odin, Atalante, the Fédération des Québécois de Souche, and Front Patriotique du Québec are all regulars at La Meute demonstrations.

For these reasons, La Meute’s plans to march on July 1 in Montreal must be considered a threat, and it is the duty of everyone on the left and opposed to racism to take a stand and make sure this will not happen.

For more on La Meute, see https://montreal-antifasciste.info

Against the Far Right; Against Racism and Colonialism

Canadian and Quebec societies are built on white supremacy; the nonstop theft of Indigenous lands, the broad-based antisemitic “Achat Chez Nous” movement of the 1930s, the internment of Japanese-Canadians from 1941 to 1949, the exclusion of non-European immigrants prior to 1976, the repeated race riots against Indigenous people during the Oka Crisis in 1990, as well as centuries of genocide against Indigenous nations by means of engineered starvation, targeted environmental racism, dehumanization, and residential schools. This legacy is ongoing, as can be seen in the murderous Safe Third Country Agreement, which forces refugees to cross irregularly, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that strips an important section of the racialized workforce of basic citizenship rights, or in the recent nationalization of the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline which runs through through Secwepemcul’ecw, the unceded territory of the Secwepemc people, putting them and their land in significant long-term jeopardy.

The rise of groups like La Meute is part of a broader phenomenon present throughout the Global North. Across Europe and North America, there has been a dramatic resurgence in white racism and xenophobic nationalism. It is with great disgust that we note that Quebec has been at the forefront of this development, and that any discussion of Islamophobia here must note the turning point that was the Quebec Charter of Values proposed by the Parti Québécois in 2013.

It is chilling to reflect on the relationship between racism-in-power and racists-on-the-streets, as we contend with the possibility of a CAQ government later this year. Groups like La Meute claim to be “against the government,” and even claim to be sympathetic to Indigenous people and “legal immigrants,” but in actual fact they consistently act as defenders of racist hierarchies and forms of exclusion that have developed here over the course of centuries.

To help organize the mobilization against La Meute, please get in touch
with us at bloquonsladroite@riseup.net

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