Woe, Canada

Canada was founded in 1867

map_of_canada

(lonelyplanet.com)

History of FLQ & Bloc Quebecois

FLQ – Front de Liberation du Quebec

The FLQ is an amalgamation of two major radical groups formed in Canada during the 1960’s, these groups are known as The Reseau de Resistance (RR), and the Comite de liberation nationale. The RR believed that vandalism was the most effective means for political protest and the CLR believed that violence was the means to all political outrage. These groups began to join forces with other sub-groups that made up the Rassemblement pour l’Independance Nationale (RIN) known today as the Bloc Quebecois. These groups were all part of a larger movement known as the Action socialiste pour l’independance du Quebec (ASIQ), founded in the 1960’s by a communist party militant. The FLQ was formed by the most extreme radicals from all of the aforementioned groups.

1963 marked the first attack on Canadian soil by a Canadian formed ‘terrorist’ group, when they placed bombs inside of mailboxes within highly populated English communities in the Montreal areas with the hopes that they could eliminate and wipe out any and all English influence within Quebec. Sergeant-Major Walter Leja, of the Canadian Armed Forces, was seriously injured when he tried to neutralize one of the bombs. This attack was otherwise, unsuccessful.

Within the FLQ, two committees were formed to supply the group with weapons and financial backing. Gabriel Hudon’s younger brother, Robert, established the Armee de liberation du Quebec (ALQ) and Francois Schirm, a Hungarian and former member of the French ForeignLegion, founded the Armee revolutionnaire du Quebec (ARQ).

1964 marked the first armed robbery for the organization, they stole $50,000 in cash and military equipment from International Firearms. In this robbery, the vice-president of the company was killed at gunpoint. Those five involved in this attack were found and proven guilty on all counts. Schirm and Edmond Guenette, the shooter, received the death penalty; two were sentenced to life imprisonment, and the other ARQ member was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The FLQ’s outrage to this sentencing, is what many believe to be the cause of the 1970 October Crisis.

1970 October Crisis – the crisis was a combination of a kidnapping, hostage situation, and subsequent murder of Pierre Laporte, who was strangled, his body stuffed in the trunk of a car, and disposed of in the bush near Saint-Hubert Airport, only a few miles from Montreal.

This hostage situation was drawn out over a series of seven days, with negotiations between FLQ members, Laporte’s lawyers, and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau even requested the aid and support of the national army and implemented the War Measures Act, which eliminated the need for ‘habeas corpus’ and allowed wide-reaching arrest powers to the Montreal Police Department.

The FLQ created a group manifesto, which was broadcasted over the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Company), the largest television and radio news source in the country, reaching all corners of the nation. They declared their close connection with both Cuba and Algeria, as those countries too struggled against colonialism and imperialism, and determined that these two locations would be home to their hostages and all members who wished to escape Canada. This was an act of home-grown terrorism.