Sunday, July 29, 2007

Photos from Pervers/Cite in Montreal

about thirty people marched with Pervers/Cite in Montreal's
annual "LGBTA" Divers/Cite event this year

Retrain your gag reflex: Don't Swallow Corporate Pride

translation: Queers against the Gaygeoisie's Sole Model: Capitalist, White and Male

another cop-hating faggot indeed...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Montreal Gazette Calls for Public Inquiry into the Police Killing of Mohamed Anas Bennis

You could say that i'm surprised.

Pleasantly surprised, but surprised nevertheless that Montreal's english daily paper, the Gazette, has called for a public inquiry into the police killing of Mohamed Anas Bennis.

This is certainly a victory for the Bennis family and their supporters, who have met with nothing but contempt and closed doors from the Quebec provincial government so far.

There is also a subsequent article in yesterday's Gazette in which the police complain that it is really they who are suffering due to the Minister of Public Security's policy of not releasing details about police killings. They imply that if they got to tell "their side" of the story people would realize that they were not to blame.

i sincerely doubt that, but it does highlight the fact that even under conditions of State secrecy, it is possible to break through the media whiteout, and in doing so put the police on the defensive. Especially in a case like this one - where the police kill someone not even related to the crime they are investigating, where the autopsy shows bullets going down through the victim's body, where the weapon the victim was allegedly wielding has never been produced, and where a security video recording of the incident was suppressed.

There is a funny phrasing to the police's complaint: "it would be to our advantage to be able to (make public) our version of events, but because of concerns about transparency and fairness, the law says we can't say what happened."

Get that: out of concern for "transparency" the police "can't say what happened". Clearly what they are talking about is not "transparency" as it is normally understood, i.e. making all details of a case clear (i.e. transparent) to the public. Rather, like a kid caught doing something they're not supposed to, caught in a situation where they have no real excuse for what they have done, the police are now hiding behind the fact that they're not allowed to say what happened.

As if that stopped them from accusing Anas of being mentally unstable, as if that stopped them from claiming he attacked a cop with a knife, as if it stopped them from leaking all manner of falsehoods to the media... but now that attention has finally been brought to the inconsistencies and impossibilities in the police version of events, mum's the word and they simply bemoan the fact that they're "not allowed" to explain what went wrong early in the morning that tragic December 1st...

Here is the editorial and article from yesterday's Gazette:

We deserve to know why police shot Bennis
The Gazette, Editorial
Friday, July 27, 2007
It is instructive to read in sequence the Gazette headlines about the death of Mohamed Anas Bennis:

Dec. 3, 2005: "Knife attack on constable remains a mystery: Police officer recovering from wounds. Quebec City investigators question relatives of man shot to death."

Dec. 10, 2005: "Burial clouded by questions ... Attempts to speak with officer involved in shooting rebuffed: family."

Dec. 12, 2006: "Islamic relations council seeks inquiry into death."

Jan. 8, 2006: "Protesters push for probe into police shooting."

Jan 10, 2006: "Details of shooting by cops to be held till after probe: 'No interest in hiding anything.' Community demands Quebec set up inquiry into death of devout Muslim man."

Nov. 7, 2006: "Police officer cleared after bizarre shooting: Investigation cloaked in secrecy."

Nov. 8, 2006: "Dead man's family still in the dark."

April 12, 2007: "Family demands answers in 2005 slaying."

Now it's July, and the victim's sister and other relatives are still asking in vain for answers. As Khadija Bennis explained in a powerful appeal for public support on our Opinion page yesterday, police and the Quebec Public security department have silently stonewalled the family's requests for an end to secrecy. Our columnist Henry Aubin endorsed that request yesterday, and today we add our voice to the chorus.

A citizen was shot and killed by police on no obvious provocation; what little evidence we do have is a poor match for what little the police have said. Justice must be done, and must be seen to be done. This secrecy should be seen as offensive and alarming not only by those who knew Mohamed Anas Bennis, but to everyone in Quebec society.

If the police continue to stonewall, then it will be up to their bosses, Mayor Gérald Tremblay and executive committee member Claude Dauphin, who is responsible for public security, to reassure us all. Can police really kill without public accountability? Surely not. And if city hall thinks Montrealers don't care about that question, then the Quebec government needs to get involved.

What's needed is a proper public inquiry. We can imagine numerous scenarios in which the shooting might have been well justified; we can also imagine many ways the shooting might have been utterly wrong. But a man is dead at the hands of the police: Why does the public have to imagine what happened? The people need to know.

From Thursday's Gazette: The appeal by Khadija Bennis, and Henry Aubin's column on the subject, are still available at

Justice for Anas website:

Police frustrated by inability to speak up about probe
Secretive system forbids them from discussing inquiry into case of man killed by cops in '05
Published: Friday, July 27

A Montreal police spokesperson expressed frustration yesterday with the province of Quebec's secretive system for investigating incidents in which civilians are killed by police officers.

"In some cases, it would be to our advantage to be able to (make public) our version of events, but because of concerns about transparency and fairness, the law says we can't say what happened," Sgt. Ian Lafreniere said in interview.

Lafreniere was reacting to a call by family members of Mohamed Anas Bennis, shot to death by a Montreal police officer in December 2005, for a public inquiry into the killing.

Bennis, 25, of Montreal, was on his way home from morning prayers at a C?te des Neiges mosque when police allege Bennis attacked officers with a kitchen knife, an accusation the family contends is absurd.

"It was completely out of character that suddenly, one morning, my brother would attack a police officer, or anyone, with a knife after his morning prayers just steps from his house," Khadija Bennis, twin sister of Anas Bennis, wrote in an opinion piece published in yesterday's Gazette.

Appeals by the family to Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis for access to a report produced by Quebec City police investigating the incident have gone unanswered, she wrote.

She referred to community concerns that "racial profiling might have played a role in the police shooting of my brother, an identifiable and practising Muslim."

Dupuis was unavailable for comment yesterday, but his aide Philippe Archambault said the minister is "very sensitive to the concerns and demands of the family in this case, but the law prevents us from commenting or giving (the family or the media) access to the report,"

When a police officer in the province is involved in an incident that results in death or severe injury, an outside police service is called in to investigate.

In the Anas Bennis case, Quebec City police investigated and found nothing to warrant charges against the Montreal officer. Since no charges were laid, no details of the incident were made public.

Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada where an independent civilian agency has the power to investigate and charge police officers with a criminal offence.

Created 17 years ago in response to public outcry over police shootings of unarmed black men in that province, the Special Investigations Unit probes incidents involving police in which civilians are killed or severely injured.

SIU spokesperson Rose Bliss said the agency has not satisfied all calls for transparency, as it must still work within restrictions imposed by privacy laws, considerations about protecting witnesses and preserving the integrity of the investigation.

Investigative reports are not rendered public, but the agency produces news releases that provide summaries of evidence.

"I would argue that our news releases are the most detailed of any information on police investigations made available by any law agency in our country right now," she said.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Roots of Divers/Cite

It’s coming up that time of year again: Divers/Cite, Montreal’s “LBGTA” pride event.

As some know, but too many do not, Pride in Montreal takes place later than in most North American cities, commemorating as it does not Stonewall, but Sexgarage, an after-hours party that was subject to a violent police raid in 1990. A raid that was followed by a queer protest against police brutality which would itself then be violently attacked by the police

Or as party-goer – and photographer – Linda Hammond recalls:
On the evening of Saturday, July 14th, 1990, a party attended by over 400 people in the warehouse district of Old Montreal became the scene of a violent police attack on its patrons. The incident sparked a chain of events which changed the face of Montreal gay politics and greatly affected the lives of those involved. The party was called SEXGARAGE, and the incident became regarded as the Stonewall of Montreal.
(Rather than give a play by play of the party, i'll just direct you all to Hammond's site - an excellent historical document of Montreal police homophobia and brutality, full of pictures - you have to click on the images, including the entry ticket, to see the display.)

As i mentioned above, the violent police raid provoked a peaceful "love in" against police brutality... which was itself attacked by cops from Station 25 (which at that time was where the C.O. Sud is today), who of course showed their homo-sensitivity by putting on rubber gloves before the fun began.

Summer of 90: police glove up before beating queer protesters in front of Station 25

Forty four people were arrested, countless more hurt. As one self-identified "heterosexual onlooker" wrote in to a local entertainment paper after the attack:
I saw a policeman push a woman across her breasts with his riot stick. I saw a policeman jab a young man in the groin with his riot stick. I saw another officer wear a grin of joy, as he grabbed a young man by his belt, clearly inflicting pain... These people needed protection from the police!
(Letter to the Editor, Montreal Mirror July 26 - Aug 9 1990)
But this show of brutality was not really a show of strength, and if the hope had been to intimidate the new generation of queer activists... well let's just say it didn't...

Doesn't power always looks the same when it has lost? Looking back at police actions that summer, it is clear that there was no plan, there was no strategy, and there was no real question of the queer community not "winning", all that was needed was the will to win. And for once, that there certainly was. (As to how much more could have been won, that's another story...)

A few days after the "love in" was attacked by Station 25, hundreds marched through the streets. Again and again, the link was made between police violence against queers and the police killings of Black youth in Montreal, and the ongoing repression of the First Nations. This was not "single issue", this was not "single community", and in the minds of those who marched with their signs against homophobia and taunted cops with their boxes from dunkin donuts, this was not a parade.

Now the police did not attack, which in retrospect can be read as "the police backed down".

Then again, a week later, on Sunday July 29th it was not hundreds but thousands of queers and supporters who marched through downtown Montreal, in what has since been commemorated every year as "Divers/Cite".

Sunday July 30th, 1990: not a parade, it was a demonstration

In terms roughly like what i have just recounted, the "summer of 90" has been described before. It's a story that gets surprisingly little play from the official Divers/Cite organizers, but it's not unknown, or inaccessible, and there's usually an article in a local newspaper or two around this time of year filling people in on the colourful history. Which is good.

But it all gives rise to two questions.

The most obvious: what the fuck happened since? It's been a long time now that Divers/Cite has been a parade more akin to St-Patrick's Day than a demonstration against oppression or police brutality. Indeed, a few years ago parade organizers welcomed former police chief Duchesneau to march with them (he was "shot" with waterguns full of red dye by some radicals who remembered the police murders and brutality that had occurred on his watch), and then the organizers actually had the police intervene to throw out a tiny contingent of queer anarchists. Like other corporate tourtisty events, Divers/Cite is now an excuse for the police to clamp down on homeless kids and sex workers who might spoil the sanitized atmosphere... or as the organizers of this year's radical queer "Pervers/Cite" event put it, Divers/Cite has become "white, mainstream and corporate", a far cry from what it was when it began.

And of course: this is not a Montreal phenomenon, but one which spans North America, as "Pride" events are generally corporate events, with little connection to or input from radicals or the oppressed.

For the moment, i'm not going to delve into that question, though i certainly think it's a problem worth pondering. (For those interested in resisting this trend, i encourage you to attend the Pervers/Cite demonstration on Sunday: it's meant to highlight the politics and solidarity which are absent from the official celebrations, and as a demonstration wil attempt to join the parade... people are all to meet at de Lorimier and Ontario at 11:30am, we're leaving at noon sharp...)

But again, that question, the "selling out" of pride is not what i'm going to go on about.

What i do want to ask, as it is rarely if ever discussed, is why did people fight back in 1990?

As i mentioned above, the police had no "master plan", beating up gay kids was not a "strategic priority" so much as a fun pastime, and when push came to shove and people shoved back, and then shoved back some more, the cops quickly made nice. Their priority (not entirely unrelated to question-#1-which-i-shall-not-ponder!) at that point was getting a handle on the movement, identifying reasonable spokespeople (generally spokesmen) and "making sure this doesn't happen again". & by "this" different people certainly felt entitled to understand different things...

So what made 1990 different was not the police, or the powers that be. It was the hundreds of people who showed up at the "kiss in" at Station 25 just days after the first police attack of Sexgarage, and got beaten and arrested for their trouble. More importantly, it was the hundreds more who showed up to march through the streets just days later, despite the threat of violence. And the thousands a week after that.

Again with hindsight, one must wonder how much further things could have gone, had the envelope been pushed, had the tendencies towards solidarity been stronger... but i digress... and it certainly was better than what we generally see... my point is that all it took to win was the desire to win, and the willingness to fight back.

So again: why did people fight back in 1990?

Queer Crisis / Colonial Crisis: The Journal de Montreal July 17th 1990

Two factors coincided to allow people to fight back that July.

First, 1990 was the summer of the so-called "Oka Crisis". This is not the place to go into details, but in a nutshell, the Mohawk Nation (which holds territory around Montreal) was engaged in one of the most intense standoffs with Canadian colonialism in the 20th century. In Kanehsatake not an hour away, an entire community was resisting the State (the Canadian Army would be called in a month later). The Mercier bridge between Montreal and the south shore had been seized by warriors who, day after day, night after night, confronted racist mobs and police.

Racism was at a fever pitch in Montreal, and yet amongst those who identified - no matter how vicariously or unrealistically - with the Indigenous struggle against the State, it was a time of intense hope. As one comrade - who had been a politically active anarchist for years - confided in me, this was the first time he had ever seen the possibility of armed revolution in Canada.

It is important to keep this in mind, because i think it's really central to what felt possible at that point. There is a tendency, i know, to separate struggles, and to look with skepticism for attempts to harness the energies of one people's tradition to another people's benefit - a kind of "political appropriation" - and this makes sense because people do rip off other people's struggles, generally to the advantage of whomever is least oppressed. But that's not what i'm talking about here - rather, what i'm referring to is something organic, unorchestrated, and fundamentally healthy which occurs when people see others fighting back and come to understand that this is a possibility for them too.

Nor was this all on the level of the abstract or the sub-conscious - at the time too some people wondered at the timing. Linda Hammond suggests that one reason Montreal cops may have been in need of some "beat that dyke" excitement may have been their feelings of being left out, as they "couldn't get the Indians". After the Station 25 attack the Journal de Montreal ran a side-by-side spread of photos of the queer fightback and the Mohawk resistance (see above). Many of the same activists who were involved in organizing against the police attacks were also involved in organizing in support of the Mohawk Nation, days being divided between both campaigns as best they could. Statements against racism and in support of the Mohawk struggle were made at both the July 22nd and 29th demonstrations against police homophobia - and many were those queers who missed that historic demonstration on the 29th because we had trekked to the rally held that day just outside Oka against Canadian colonialism.

All of which should not be overstated. What i'm describing is not cause and effect, rather a very meaningful coincidence. And any honest observer has to note that the trajectories of the Mohawk Nation and canadian queers over the next seventeen years could not be more different, with the latter being promised acceptance as the court jesters of the hetero-patriarchy and the latter continuing to be buffeted by the kind of economic and political exclusion capitalism reserves for its internal colonies... but again, i digress..

Montreal Daily News, sometime that week in March '89

There is a second, more overt, set of events which also did their part to foment the initial queer fightback in 1990.

On March 19th 1989 a young gay man living with AIDS, Joe Rose, was murdered on a Montreal city bus. The details quickly circulated amongst his friends, and got picked up by the media:

According to his companion, when Rose tried to leave the bus at Frontenac Metro station, the group surrounded him.

"They pulled off his hat," he said.

"They were chanting 'faggot, faggot'."

Rose's lover, who asked to be identified as Daniel told the Daly News details of the grisly crime circulated quickly in the gay community.

"They were playing football with him," Daniel said.

"They were throwing him back and forth, knifing him in the abdomen. When they finished their business he [Rose] walked three steps and collapsed.

"While he was lying there in the fetal position the group moved in and kicked him. They kicked him at least 50 times."
(Montreal Daily News, March 21st 1989)

Rose had been working on getting a hospice opened for PWAs, and had been thinking of starting a PWA magazine. He and many of his friends were part of a continent-wide wave of queer activism around AIDS, and within days of his murder there was a quickly-organized rally in downtown Montreal, and that same week several dozen people met in the space above the anarchist Alternative Bookstore and founded Reaction Sida, the idea being that this group could both act against street violence and politically to bring attention to the ongoing AIDS calamity.

It was a coming together of many different people from many different scenes - feminist dykes and gay men, anglophones and francophones, mainly but not only quite young... most from Montreal, but some who would travel back and forth to New York City where they were already active with ACT UP. As well as more than a few anarchists, as in the late 80s queer and AIDS-related campaigns seemed the closest thing in many of our lives to a mass movement with radical politics.

Reaction Sida did not last long, but before it faded it got to tag along as AIDS Action Now, ACT UP New York and hundreds of AIDS activists from across the continent descended on Montreal for the Fifth International AIDS Conference which luck had happening in Montreal that summer. In many ways it was a perfect match: the out of town activists had knowledge, experience, and undeniable legitimacy as they had often built real fighting organizations in their own cities. What Reaction Sida lacked in AIDS-related experience it made up for in local legitimacy and contacts, and so (with the hiccups and clashes that are par for the course in such situations) the match was consummated... and the protests were incredibly empowering.

The 5th IAC: AIDS activist crash the party?
AIDS activists
are the party!

The International AIDS Conference was an event of the World Health Organization, and as you would expect was a top-down affair meant for professionals - doctors, politicians, researchers - with people living with AIDS and organizing around their illness hardly on the agenda. Indeed, the infamous $500 entrance fee was almost guaranteed to keep things that way.

From the beginning members of ACT UP, AAN and Reaction Sida took matters into their own hands. Storming the opening session, they confronted conference organizers with the choice of either calling the cops to arrest the demonstrators, or allowing them to stay. Calling the cops would have been a public relations disaster, and so the activists held the floor for an hour, chanting slogans and reading a ten point manifesto demanding an international code of rights for people infected with HIV, international standardisation of the criteria for approving drugs and treatments in order to speed up worldwide access to new therapies and guaranteed access to approved and experimental drugs and treatments and the right to confidential and anonymous testing for infection with HIV. The Mulroney government in particular was attacked for its lackadaisical approach towards the plague.

As one participant recalls:
I’ll never forget the sight of our ragtag group of 300 protesters brushing past the security guards in the lobby of the Palais de Congress, the fleet of “Silence=Death” posters gliding up the escalator to the opening ceremony or our chants thundering throughout the cavernous hall. There we were, the uninvited guests, taking our rightful place at the heart of the conference. And when PWA Tim McCaskell grabbed the microphone and “officially” opened the conference “on behalf of people with AIDS from Canada and around the world,” even the scientists stood and cheered.

But it was only when we refused to leave the auditorium and instead parked ourselves in the VIP section that the crowd realized that our action was more than just a symbolic protest. Despite threats and rumors of a potential “international incident,” we remained in our seats, alternately chanting and cheering, and giving notice that PWAs were “inside” the conference to stay. From that point on in the crisis, researchers would have to make extra room at the table for PWAs and their advocates.
(POZ, July 1998)

Indeed, conference organizers at first offered 200 free passes to PWAs, and then simply said that any self-identified PWA could attend for free. There was street theater, pointed interventions, and protests every day... short, it was all a success, and a generation of Montreal queers felt that much more able to challenge the powers that be and win.

(That the "victory" at the IAC failed in any way to stem the overarching decline of the AIDS activist movement is, again, something we'll leave for another day.)

fun and games at the 5th International AIDS Conference


Finally, there was still a feminist movement in the late 1980s, and it retained a militant wing. Many of the leading activists in AIDS activist organizations - including Reaction Sida - were feminists and lesbians, and besides this there was a kind of "women's community" of struggle the likes of which has not been seen for some time. (i'm not in a position to comment on whether this was a good or a bad thing: many of the women involved in that scene were themselves harsh critics of what they described as the racism, transphobia, whore-bashing, and even sexphobia of their own movement. Yet obviously they themselves fought against these tendencies... my point being - and remember i observed this as a guy who was obviously not a part of it - it was their movement, and even in their criticisms they seemed to draw on lessons and strengths which came from their movement and its theoreticians.)

So i would also suggest that within this momentum of struggle which led to the decisive advances of 1990 there is a clear feminist trajectory. Already in the fall of '89 queers from Concordia's Women's Collective were holding kiss-ins to protest a local restaurant's lesbophobia. When Marc Lepine entered the University of Montreal engineering department on December 6th and killed fourteen women (as part of what he described as his struggle against feminism) local organizations including the Women's Defense Committee responded organizing a monster vigil of thousands.

The Women's Defense Committee would continue to carry out actions to protest sexism and male violence against women for the next few years. When police would next attack a Montreal queer demo in 1992, it would be because it was marching in solidarity with a WDC march protesting Canada's sexist laws criminalizing women who went topless. By that time the women from that scene had been elected to the Concordia Students Union under the slogan "Feminism Works", and they were having lots of fun and games of their own... all of which i am sure will be discussed some day - but not today!


It has been eighteen years since Joe Rose was killed and the International AIDS Conference was stormed, seventeen years since the Oka Crisis and the Sexgarage raids. It is in many ways a different world as processes as big and complex as neo-colonialism, the fall of the Soviet bloc and globalization have unleashed profound changes we are only beginning to identify.

Meanwhile, despite the hype, despite Will and Grace and gay marriage and "cool queers" there is more and more that needs to be done. "Gay acceptability" has come at a steep cost to gay runaways and sex workers and others who are now a liability to the respectable and admirable homosexual entrepreneur. Guppification plays out in a cruel dialectic with homophobic and whore-phobic violence, each of which makes the oppressed ever more vulnerable. The very public embrace of gay entertainers is cold comfort as we get the sneaking suspicion that we could simply be being set up as scapegoats when the water gets choppy.

There is as much reason to organize and fight back now as their ever was. The only question - now as seventeen years ago - is what will allow people to feel that winning is possible, that fighting back is worth it.

That's what we have to figure out.


This year's radical queer march to join with the Divers/Cite parade is meeting on Sunday July 29th at 11:30 AM: meet at the park on the corner of de Lorimier & Ontario. At noon sharp, we will leave the park to join the Pride Parade. For more information see the Pervers/Cite call out.


Thanks to the nice things people have told me about this text, i decided to lay it out as a pamphlet - it is available through my distro Kersplebedeb. You can email me at to order a copy; also check out my Radical Literature page for loads more pamphlets and books.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

German Anti-Fascist Political Prisoner Christian S. Needs Your Help

The following from the Berlin Anarchist Black Cross:

Berlin Antifascist Christian S. in prison again!

Christian S., an autonomous antifascist from Berlin is sitting again in prison since the 14th of July.
Altogether, he has to serve 40 months. He has been sentenced for breaching the peace in relation to 1 of May 2004, and for the same paragraph for the incidents of the 12 March 2000. For this last offense he obtained a suspended sentenced, but he was called back into prison as soon as he was sentenced again in 2004.

Both sentences relate to his active resistance against 2 big marches of neo-nazis through Berlin.

He already served several months in jail because of 1 of May 2004, during which his health situation worsened.

Indeed, he suffers serious Hepatitis C, and suffered a complete lack of medical treatment during the first months of his imprisonment.
Only through the pressure of his supporters, which contributed to the breaking out of a big public scandal about Berlin's prison conditions (the medic responsible got a lot of public hassle and got removed from service) he was then able to obtain again the medicines he needed.

Even with his health situation (which means he needs serious medical treatment that is not providable within incarceration) and the fact he is studying to obtain a diploma at an adult's school, he is in prison again. It is clear that this will not help him to fight against his terminal illness.

As well, his trials have been a theatre where the cops had space to try new tactics: as example, the introduction of anonymous police witnesses, who would come armed with wigs and so on, in order to keep their identity secret.

Moreover, a new trial began on 21st of June, against him and his girlfriend, being accused of throwing a bottle at a cop during an antifascist rally in Dresden in 2005.

Once again, the only solid proof is the words of two anonymous cops.
On top of this, he was arrested a few days before his new imprisonment together with 7 other people and accused of arson, in a situation that was constructed by the police, which shows itself again as a template for groundless arrest against anybody. The reason for it is that more than 100 arsons happened to occur in Berlin within the last 5 months and the police have no clue about those responsible, therefore they try to get people clueless and try to frighten the rest.

After being locked up in a low security prison, Hakenfelde, waiting to know about whether he might be able to go out daily to attend his classes and get better healthcare, he suddenly was ghosted to Tegel prison, the main Berlin prison for people with longer sentences.
This is a clear political decision to negate the possibility for him to access day leave (being able to leave the prison for the day to work etc), taken up from the social worker Mrs. Schlagge and the director of his former prison Uwe Meyer-Odewald.
They refuse to give any reason for their decision.
It was actually through a posting on the local Indymedia by some neonazi that people managed to know about this new development.
A neonazi imprisoned in the same , former prison where Christian was told his fellow scumbags Christian would be moved in this new jail, and the news spread among them so that some of those losers posted deaththreats against him.
Neither his lawyer, nor his wife had been personally informed about his moving.
This a clear sign again how prison autorithies will try to make Christian's life hard in the future.
He is at the moment with 5 other people in a cell, has one hour of yard time and can get only one hour of visits each month.

Write Christian letters and postcards, send him reading material.
Christian can read german, english and get along somehow with spanish.

His current address:

Christian Sümmermann
BNR: 727/07/7
JVA Tegel
Seidelstr. 39
13507 Berlin

You can support him by sending money to this german account:

ssb e.v.
Kontonummer: 1591 9683 00
BLZ 1001 0111
Stichwort: Knastsolidarität / Patenschaft Christian

We are not surprised at all about the deafness of the prison system towards his situation.

In 2006 alone, more than 50 people committed suicide or died in Berlin's prisons, also following a lack of medical treatment.
Prisons serve only one aim: mental and physical annihilation. Christian is again one of those who will be subjected to this because he refused to bow to society's rules.

Such things as setting a barricade alight in order to stop a nazi-march, or any other form of resistance against capitalist society, are a necessary part of our daily fight towards the destruction of State and Capital.
Therefore those who get caught in the cages of the State deserve all our support to show they are not alone and their fight – as well as their means – are ours.

Towards a society without prisons
Freedom for Christian – Freedom for all!

ABC Berlin

Police Killing of Mohamed Anas Bennis: Authorities Must Come Clean

Two opinion pieces from today's Montreal Gazette calling for full disclosure in the case of Mohamed Anas Bennis, killed my Montreal police on December 1st 2005 - one of them by Anas' twin sister Khadija:

Police Shooting of Mohamed Anas Bennis: Authorities Must come Clean
Slain Montrealer’s family is seeking answers in the shooting death, but police and justice officials aren’t talking. The family wants to know the facts
In the past month, two Montrealers have been shot by Montreal police, one fatally. In British Columbia, disturbing evidence of a potential police cover-up in the death of a man in RCMP custody was also reported. I don't read these news stories as a casual observer: I have had a loved one killed in a Montreal police intervention.

My brother Mohamed Anas Bennis was killed by Montreal police 19 months ago. Since then, my family and I have struggled to obtain basic answers about why my brother was killed, and in what circumstances. We are asking the same questions anyone would ask in the same situation.

I am now reaching out to all Montrealers of good conscience to ask that they help in making sure the truth will prevail.

On Dec. 1, 2005, in the early morning, my 25-year-old brother was returning from prayers at a neighbourhood mosque in Côte des Neiges, just minutes from where we lived. He was shot and killed because, inexplicably, he is alleged to have had a kitchen knife and threatened a police officer involved in a separate incident completely unrelated to my brother.

I knew my brother well – he was my twin – and the actions ascribed to him make no sense. My brother was a generous and gentle person, with everything to live for. He was engaged to be married, and had recently started a business. It was completely out of character that suddenly, one morning, my brother would attack a police officer, or anyone, with a knife after his morning prayers just steps from his house.

I love my brother, of course, and I won’t love him any less if the acts ascribed to him are proven to be true.

Nineteen months after my brother’s death, my family and I are asking only that the truth of how my brother was killed be revealed through testimony and evidence in a full, independent and transparent inquiry.

From the little information that we have, there are some disturbing facts. According to the autopsy, the bullets that killed my brother entered his body downward, indicating that he was not in a threatening position. The kitchen knife that my brother allegedly possessed has never been produced. The injuries allegedly sustained by a police officer have never been proven. There is even a security video of the incident that the police refuse to divulge.

There are many other basic unanswered questions, such as confirmation about which police officer actually shot and killed my dear brother.

Since December 2005, my family and I put our trust in the procedures use by the police and government, particularly the Quebec Ministry of Public Security under Jacques Dupuis. But those procedures have proven to be completely inadequate, if not insulting.

Our family cannot even have access to the report produced by the investigating police or the crown attorney’s report concerning this matter. We are not even allowed to have a partial report. Despite our letters, Dupuis has remained silent.

After a police shooting resulting in death, the Ministry of Public Security’s policies allow for all reports and evidence to remain secret. This heavy-handed approach prevents even journalists from investigating the facts.

Ironically, if my brother had survived and was charged with a crime, he would at the very minimum have the right to know the evidence against him and to defend himself. My brother’s life, and voice, were taken away. But as a family, we are his voice, and to defend his memory we will continue to demand basic answers.

Since the day Anas was killed, I feel my family has been treated with disrespect. And for every day that goes by without basic answers being provided, that disrespect increases.

Despite our efforts for almost two years, Dupuis and his department have not provided any basic answers to my family.

In January 2006, on one of the coldest days of the year, several thousand protesters demonstrated to demand the truth concerning Anas’s death. Throughout 2006, we were hoping for answers, but by the first anniversary of Anas’s death, we were still in the dark.

The Justice for Anas Coalition was formed in January 2007, and has organized public meetings, formed delegations and written letters, all without a substantive reply from the minister.

Just last week, physicians from the Côte des Neiges neighbourhood called upon Dupuis to uncover the mystery surrounding the death of my brother. In their letter, they have not excluded the possibility that racial profiling might have played a role in the police shooting of my brother, an identifiable and practising Muslim.

Now, I am reaching out to Gazette readers for your support. To break the almost twoyears of silence, your pressure and support is needed.

I encourage you to consult to find out how you can support this case, and make sure justice, not secrecy, is served.

And by Henry Aubin:

It’s wrong to have police investigating police shootings

The adjacent article by Khadija Bennis is a moving appeal to end the secrecy over the circumstances under which her twin brother, Mohamed Anas Bennis, was killed by a Montreal police officer’s bullets in 2005. She is doing a public service by refusing to let the case blow over, as have so many similar ones over the years. Systemic silence over police-related deaths has no place in a modern democracy.

In the case of her brother, authorities won’t say why an officer had to shoot this pedestrian on a Côte des Neiges street. He had no criminal record and no discernible reason to be aggressive toward police. To be sure, police say the young man struck an officer twice with a knife on the neck and leg, but authorities say nothing more. What would have prompted his alleged attack? Who knows?

Such secrecy, sanctioned by provincial law, has three problems. First, as Khadija Bennis’s article all too poignantly shows, it is callously insensitive to the survivors of the deceased.

Second, it allows officialdom to exonerate the shooter without showing any reasons. Such silence can only weaken public confidence in the police.

And, finally, the secrecy makes no sense objectively. If Mohamed Anas Bennis had not died, prosecutors could have charged him with a crime. In court, the police then would have had to state their version of events, and Bennis could have had the opportunity to give his side. Everything would have been out in the open.

Think about the possible ramifications of this two-track policy – that is, the need for police to go public with their version of the facts if someone lives, but the licence police have to conceal the facts if that person dies. If you’re a cop and you wound someone without cause, you just might figure you have an incentive to finish the job. Killing the guy would keep the story from getting out and ruining your career.

Police will say such a scenario is appallingly cynical, but it’s precisely the sort of suspicion this policy of secrecy invites.

Indeed, such a scenario would help explain an otherwise puzzling trend in police shootings: The propensity of police to pump multiple bullets into people when a single bullet might do the job – that is, stop whatever threat the person might pose.

Could Bennis have been such a case? The coroner says two bullets struck his torso, hitting a lung, the spleen, the stomach, a kidney and the heart. But coroner Rafael Ayllon’s skimpy, twopage report doesn’t say which bullet did what damage. Nor does it say which bullet struck first. So you can’t tell if two shots were “necessary.”

A pathologist’s sketch is more insightful. It shows that the two bullets’ trajectories were downward through the torso, which suggests that Bennis was not standing erect. That does not make him seem too threatening.

Granted, it’s possible that – whether crouching, kneeling or prone – he was still dangerous. But the secrecy blanketing the case allows no such conclusion.

Note, too, that we haven’t seen Bennis’s knife. Nor have we seen photos of the officer’s injuries.

Quebec law requires an outside police force to probe cases in which people die or are seriously injured at the hands of police, but that is hardly reassuring. Police culture worships solidarity. In the Bennis case, the Quebec City police investigated and found nothing to warrant a criminal charge against the officer. (It is only when an officer is charged that the circumstances are made public.)

Ontario’s system is imperfect but better. Its civilian-led Special Investigations Unit has probed such cases since 1990. All of its 54 part- and full-time investigators are civilians, half of them former police officers. But even that watchdog needs watching: Responding to complaints that the unit had a pro-cop bias, Ontario’s ombudsman is now examining its record. Excellent.

All police-review systems are fallible. What you need are checks and balances. And Quebec has a glaring lack of them.

A final note: After I wrote about the Bennis case last year, a constable at the local police station sent a private response. She said the officer involved had been more substantially wounded than had been made public and subsequently suffered from nightmares and flashbacks.

Please understand: My criticism is not of the individual officer, whose conduct is impossible to evaluate. It is with the system that makes evaluation impossible.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

[Montreal] Pervers/Cite: Infiltrating the Pride Parade!

Looks like i was wrong - the Pervserscite blog is back up and running!

Here is the callout for this Sunday's demo - be there or be square:


  • AT 11:30 AM: meet at the park on the corner of Delormier & Ontario
  • AT NOON sharp!: we will LEAVE the park to join the Pride Parade.


As Quebec gears up for the visit of George W. Bush, Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon, slashes sex ed programs across the province, and encourages middle class gay assimilation while marginalizing queer youth, Montreal's Gay Pride will kick off.

But Pride doesn't have to mean rainbow Molson flags and complicity with the Village's pink capitalist-led persecution of sex workers, homeless people, and all the others of us who haven't been Queer-Eyed.

Come help reclaim the parade's roots as a political protest by marching in the PERVERS/CITE PINK BLOC!!!!


here are some ideas…
  • Homo cops – ticketing the gaygeoisie
  • Extra queerestrials - ALIENated by the pink dollar
  • Anticapitalist army of lovers - cruising to recruit
  • And of course, classic pink & black/ the glamourous skid look


The PERVERS/CITE organizing collective opposes racism, sexism, capitalism, transphobia, body fascism, colonialism, classism and all other forms of oppression and marginalization. We aim to oppose the queer community's total assimilation into mainstream kkkanadian culture, as well as to foreground both a local history of queer radicalism and social issues faced by queers today that are consistently glossed over by the gaystream media in favour of double-groom cakes and shopping holidays.


...for more information...

FBI & Philly Police Set Up Anti-Fascists (anyone seen Grant Bristow???)

This could be heavy.

Looks like the FBI and Philadelphia police may have been exposed setting up anti-fascists. Rumours of a klan rally, the only fascists who show up having ties to the cops, criminal repression of the anti-fascists... if it seems bewildering, don't worry you'll get used to it...

But in the meantime, please do what you can to help:

Anti-Racists Face Serious Legal Battle in Philly: UPDATE AND PLEA FOR LEGAL FUNDS!


On Monday July 23rd, four anti-fascists from the Philadelphia, PA area were arrested at what was supposed to be a Ku Klux Klan rally in Center City Philadelphia. Jared Schultz, Tom Keenan, Jason Robbins - all of Philadelphia Anti-Racist Action - and Jim McGovern - of the Progressive Labor Party - were all arrested and charged with a series of trumped up misdemeanors in a situation that - for all practical purposes - was straight up entrapment.

Rumors spread through Philadelphia starting Friday July 20th that the Ku Klux Klan was supposed to show up for an 11AM rally on Monday at Love Park. While anti-fascists were present in the area starting at 10:30AM, no racists showed up for the rally until noon when two men wearing what appeared to be neo-Nazi t-shirts showed up in the area. Anti-fascists approached the men, confirmed they were neo-Nazis and told them to leave. Words were exchanged between the Klansmen and the anti-fascists, and then the neo-Nazis said they were leaving. The anti-fascists then followed behind them to make sure that they kept their promise.

Strangely, Civil Affairs cops remained on the other side of the park the entire time and made no efforts to follow the group even when they were out of their sight. The boneheads got into an SUV around the corner and were driven away. As they attempted to drive off, conveniently blocked by traffic, a verbal confrontation ensued with the anti-fascists lasting several minutes before a window of the SUV was smashed. The driver – who could have flashed his badge at anytime to disperse the crowd - then ordered Schultz, Keenan, Robbins and McGovern against the wall.

While the arresting officer was a Philadelphia Police Department detective, the SUV was, according to paperwork received by the arrestees, the vehicle of FBI Special Agent Sean Brennan, also present during the arrests. What an FBI agent was doing escorting neo-Nazis away from the park remains a total mystery.

After the arrests, all four of the anti-fascists were transported to the 9th Police Precinct where they remained for approximately 27 hours awaiting notice of their charges and bail amounts.

Initially, the arrestees were informed that for some odd reason, Internal Affairs was investigating their case and that they would be facing 10 charges - 4 felonies and 6 misdemeanors. In the end, however, all of the felonies were dropped, leaving the arrestees with 8 misdemeanor charges of varying degrees upon being bailed out. The fact that the charges were dropped so quickly proves just how trumped up these charges are. However there's still a lot at stake for The Love Park 4.

Currently, everyone is facing the same 8 charges - Possession of an Instrument of Crime With Intent, Criminal Conspiracy Engaging with Possession of Instrument of Crime with Intent, Institutional Vandalism/Illegal Possession, Reckless Endangering Another Person, Resisting Arrest, Criminal Mischief, Harassment - Subject Other to Physical Contact, and Disorderly Conduct/Grading.

At this point, everyone is out of jail, doing fine and just taking some time to relax for a few days before what could be a lengthy and expensive legal ordeal. All of the defendants are scheduled for court on October 3rd, and are in the process of establishing a legal defense fund and securing legal counsel.

We are confident that with the right resources, all of the anti-fascists arrested will be able to defeat these outrageous charges which could result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines and years of jail time

*But we sure can't go it alone*

We need the resources to win this legal battle and you can help right now!

Simply go to, click on the "send money" tab and make a donation to If you wish to send funds through the mail a check or well concealed cash to

Heartsville Community Space
PO Box 5917
Philadelphia, PA 19137.

Make sure to note that it is for The Love Park 4.

Write to to receive updates on how you can lend a hand. They'll be plenty of work to do.


Sechelt Nation Recap: Neo-Colonial Chief Latest Casualty of Police Pepper Spray Attack

thanks to Liberated Yet? for the pointer to this video

The above video shows the RCMP pepper spraying a members of the Sechelt Nation on the Sunshine Coast (in "british columbia") earlier this month.

The scene was a welcome home parade for a kids' soccer team who had just won a big game. The colonial police tried to interrupt the parade, and arrested the driver of the lead truck for honking his horn and having a bunch of kids in the back - just like any float at any other parade, you know...

For more background, see Garth Mullins' Police Pepper Spray: Not Recommended for Babies.

After the attack the RCMP issued an apology, which was promptly accepted by Sechelt chief Stan Dixon. This led people within the Sechelt Nation to organize against the chief, and on July 10th they blocked entry to the band offices, staging a sit in/barbecue demanding that Dixon resign:

Sit-in aims to oust chief
Natives plan to stay outside band offices until Stan Dixon resigns
Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SECHELT - Sechelt First Nation members barricaded the band offices Tuesday in an attempt to force the resignation of Chief Stan Dixon, who accepted the RCMP’s apology for pepper-spraying a crowd of people June 30.

About 50 band members then staged a sit-in outside the chained and padlocked administrative offices.

Signs reading: “Our elders are watching you” and “Stan isn’t our man” were placed around the site.

The protesters, who tucked into a barbecue lunch of hotdogs and hamburgers, said they will remain outside the offices until the chief quits.

About 25 people who work in the administrative offices were unable to get inside.
“That was the last straw on the back: that he accepted the apology without the consent of council and without consulting people who were pepper sprayed,” said protester Wesley Jeffries, a former councillor.

“He’s making decisions on his own. We need a chief to work for the people.”
The call for Dixon’s resignation came the morning after a regular band council meeting at which a video of the pepper-spray incident was shown.

The sit-in lasted for three days, and chief Dixon is now reported to be on leave, word being that after a thirty day "cooling off period" there will likely be an election for a new chief.

All of which is just another example of the untenable position of the neo-colonial leadership in many of canada's internal colonies: both dependent on the people and beholden to the State, they are often the first to go when push comes to shove.

Radical Queer Pervers-Cite "Under Review" by Blogger!

The Pervers-Cite Blog is "under review" by blogger for possible "code of conduct violations", so i'm mirroring all the content here. (What this means is that people without a blogger account cannot access it.)

Pervers/Cite somewhere between an alternative and a protest to the official annual LBGTA Divers Cite celebrations in Montreal (more on this later). According to their mission statement,

The PERVERS/CITE organizing collective opposes racism, sexism, capitalism, transphobia, body fascism, colonialism, classism and all other forms of oppression and marginalization. We aim to oppose the queer community's total assimilation into mainstream kkkanadian culture, as well as to foreground both a local history of queer radicalism and social issues faced by queers today that are consistently glossed over by the gaystream media in favour of double-groom cakes and shopping holidays.

BTW, this weeks prize goes to whoever can spot the phantom conduct violation - not that it matters, by the time blogger clears the account this year's radical queer march will be over...

Still more to cum !
D'autres événements/confirmations s'en viennent...

25 juillet 2007 /


Cruise control party is a benefit the Seven lesbians of color who were attacked by a street vender in Brooklyn.f or more info on the benefit, please visit this website

at Vinyl
2109 bleury (coin sherbrook)
cruise control/asspirates/q-team

Cruise control party; Show bénéfice pour les 7 lesbiennes de couleurs attaqués à Brooklyn

Pour d'information sur le benefice, visitez svp ce site web

Sunday July 29th

at 11:30am its parade day!! Join our pink block in theparade—we will be meeting at corner of Delormier & Ontario (we willleave the park at 12:30 –to meet beginning of parade so don”t be late

Tuesday july 31st

Queer prisoner event it will be held @Concordia.

“Cruel & Unusual”–film will be screened and there will be a panel discussion includingvarious speakers

There will be a bilingual short film night at Caigibi

Wednesday August 1st between 5-9pm

There are several possibilities for films including…-

This is salivation army-sex garage film thru q-team-selection(s) from putain compile-selection(s) from panthers rose DVD (possibly Harper protest piece?)-queer pro-palestinian/anti Zionist “black laundry” film from Toronto-divergance movie(s) -ma saison super 8—not sure where to find (approx 90min) - might need another evening!

Thursday August 2

“Capture the Fag” in a neighbourhoodby Jean- Talon in evening

Friday August 3rd

Ass pirate party at ZOObizarre –it will not be the “offical closing party” but just a party! (DJ’s/address/time/theme/benefit forperverscite or another cause to be decided)

Sunday August 5th

Sexqrtion à pedale (sp?) a queer sex tour de ville guided bike ride in the day & another more explicit participatory tour in the night.

Other queer related events you all might be interested in (non-perverscite):

Thursday, July 26th 7pm

Canadian Independent Publisher, Loose Teeth Press, is on a Cross Country Tour, launching Joey Comeau’s latest, It’s Too Late to Say I’m Sorry your friendly neighbourhood Co-op Bookstore (2150 Bishop Street – Metro Guy).-Free

Thursday 26th July, 20:00

Queer Pressure Pre-Pride Party with DJs: Lynne T (Lezzies on X), DJ KandisPeer Pressure – A-Rock & Merk Meny Le Social @ 1445 Bishop @ De Maisonneuve $6

Saturday August 4 17h-23h

SEXGARAGE--FreeBerri Stage / René-Lévesque
The Mission District Irresistible post-punk dandys sing about love and despair. Mesmerizing. Frigid live Troubling, sexy, loud and pushing his 2006 release "Bedroom Sessions,"the beast is back for more. Vive La Fête Sleazy elegance hooks up with electro-rock as famed Belgian electroband Vive la Fête debut material from their fifth album, Jour de Chance. Expect hot synth lines, grinding danceable beats, and thewhispery French vocals of blonde bombshell front woman Els Pynoo. Herlover Danny Mommens (former bassist of dEUS) is the band’s front man.One listen and you'll understand why these underground icons are Karl Lagerfield's favourite pair of muses!

Friday August 3rd, 8 pm.

All in the Family: a Pride Literary Night. Friday, Join us at Le Cagibi, 5490 St. Laurent, for naughty and entertaining selections by Peter Dubé, Chris DiRaddo, Nairne Holtz, Andrea Zanin,and Vanessa Vandergrift followed by music and dancing. Suggested donation: $2-$5. Sunday August 5th Meow MixCabaret with: Heywood Wakefield (Boston) Lazlo Pearlman (UK/USA) Shelly Mars (NY) acrobats and local artists: Bob Loblaw, Robin Akimbo, The Dead Doll Dancers, and Gina the Dragpiper!!! Emcee: Heywood Wakefield DJ: Triple X $10 @ Sala Rossa 4848 St-Laurent Doors open 9.30 pm Show 10.30 pm DJ 11.30 pm

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Communist Guerilla Nathalie Menigon Wins "Restricted Liberty"

Good news today from France - it seems that Nathalie Ménigon of Action Directe is to be transfered out of the Bapaume Detention Center to another prison, from where she will be allowed out to go to work on week days. Here is the bulletin from the Ne Laissons Pas Faire! collective which has been struggling for freedom for the AD prisoners for some years now:

Nathalie Ménigon: Restricted Liberty as of August 2nd

Today, July 19th, the Paris appeals court's sentencing board ruled that Nathalie Ménigon, an Action Directe militant, can benefit from a change of her conditions of imprisonment. She is set to be leave the Bapaume detention center on August 2nd.

So the court has finally granted Nathalie a degree of restricted liberty, more than two years after the end of her security sentence. There is nothing compassionate about this decision though, as this restricted liberty, "which could lead to the possibility of conditional release", comes with very restrictive conditions for Nathalie:

  • She will be transferred to a prison close to her workplace and, from Monday to Friday, every evening she must return to her cell. If she is late, she will be considered to have escaped. She will be incarcerated on weekends, except when permission to leave might be granted on a case by case basis.

  • She is absolutely forbidden from making any public statements (verbally, in newspapers or in books), a condition which in fact prevents her from doing what she has been free to do so far, specifically in regards to speaking out in support of her imprisoned comrades

The "Ne Laissons Par Faire!" Collective is satisfied with today's decision. It is important to point out that the Action Directe militants carried out their fight together, they were sentenced together and that they all suffered years of the same particularly harsh prison conditions. For over twenty years they collectively resisted the State's efforts to destroy them or bribe them to renounce their beliefs. So far the courts have never wanted to separate their cases, and they were sentenced together. The restricted liberty should thus be applied to each of them equally, the next opportunity to do so being for Jean-Marc Rouillan in mid-September.

"Ne laissons pas faire !" Collective
July 19th 2007

To contextualize: Action Directe grew out of the French autonomist scene, drawing inspiration from both the struggles of the Third World proletariat and the intellectual legacy of the new communist currents of the 1960s and 70s. It carried out a number of spectacular attacks between 1979 and 1987 (for a complete chronology see the new urban guerilla website).

On February 21st 1987 the four remaining members AD, Jean-Marc Rouillan, Nathalie Ménigon, Joëlle Aubron, and Georges Cipriani, were captured at a farm in Vitry-aux-Loges by France's anti-terrorist GIGN police. They were each sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for eighteen years.

This release is a bitter and timid "victory", for as detailed above Nathalie is not free, and in fact is less free new to express herself than she was at Bapaume. Nevertheless, it is an important step forward, especially for human reasons, as the years of isolation-torture that the AD militants were subjected to took a particularly brutal toll on Nathalie. Suffering from severe depression, she has twice attempted suicide, and has been partially paralyzed for years as a result.

Nevertheless, despite the ravages of twenty years of incarceration, she has remained defiant and held fast to her political opposition to capitalism and the State.

What follows is an except from the Short Collective Biography of Action Directe Prisoners, fuond in the pamphlet Three Essays by Action Directe Comrades published and distributed by Kersplebedeb:

NATHALIE MENIGON was born in 1957 in a working class family. In 1975 she began working at a bank, joined the CFDT trade union after a strike. She was then kicked out of the union and joined the autonomous communist group “Camarades” (trans: Comrades). Like the Italian group Autonomia Operaia (trans: Workers Autonomy), “Camarades” called for anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist social revolt and lent its support to the Italian guerilla movement. Nathalie took part in discussions and demonstrations in the Paris autonomist scene, and at the same time contemplated the necessity of armed combat.

In 1978 she and several comrades, including Jean-Marc, founded the revolutionary communist organization Action Directe. It was about concretely fighting the system and promoting the organization of the working class and its strategy: armed struggle. Both she and Jean-Marc participated in the first action claimed by the group: the machine gunning of the French chamber of commerce on May 1st 1979.

AD launched its first campaign of armed propaganda in Fall 1979. It would last until 1980. From the very beginning AD attacked those places where the State’s most important policies were thought out, decided upon and put into practice. AD chose its targets based on those questions that it described as being decisive at this stage (restructuring of the factories and neighbourhoods; military intervention in Tunisia, Chad and Zaire). More globally, AD was throwing down the red line that it intended to defend to the end: unity of the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggles. As an example of this unity AD also attacked those involved in the exploitation of immigrant workers, responsible for the conditions they lived in and against which they were struggling.

Nathalie and Jean-Marc were arrested in September 1980 following a firefight with the police. After the election of Mitterand (1981) and the first social democratic government, a political battle erupted in the prisons. Solidarity movements were formed calling for an amnesty of political prisoners and for an end to the special courts. The massive mobilisation and the contradictions among the new powers led to the release of all communist and anarchist prisoners and the abolition of State Security Court. Jean-Marc was freed in August 1981, Nathalie in September.

Action Directe took action again in November and December of that year. It participated in the occupation of sweatshops in Sentier and buildings in Barbès. Over a hundred mainly Turkish foreign families were thus rehoused. At the same time this campaign was accompanied by several actions and demonstrations against sweatshops and for housing. It was also a matter of supporting Turkish comrades who had fled to France after the US-supported coup d’état in their country in 1980. The reconstruction of underground structures continued on at the same time.

In June 1982 AD led an important mobilization against the G-7 Summit in Versailles. It was a decisive step towards the integration of the imperialist countries along the lines elaborated by the Reagan administration.

On the last day of the Summit, June 6th, Israel attacked Lebanon. One of the lines of imperialist redeployment was thus illustrated in the most concrete way possible. There followed the invasion of Lebanon by Israeli troops, with all that followed for the Lebanese and Palestinian people. This led to AD reorienting itself towards new targets, claiming responsibility for the machinegunning of the car of the Israeli embassy’s chief of security and a number of actions against Israeli companies. After a massacre-attack against a Jewish restaurant (Goldenberg) on Rosiers street in Paris, the powers that be orchestrated a counter-revolutionary propaganda campaign throughout the media. In an interview with the newspaper Libération, Jean-Marc defended the machinegunning of the chief of security and condemned the massacre attacks. At the same time as the Council of Ministers tried to isolate the organization’s militants by ordering the dissolution of Action Directe, a series of raids were carried out against squats and known revolutionaries. Nathalie was still recovering from a serious car accident that had taken place when she was bringing posters against the G-7 Summit back from Brussels. Nevertheless, both she and Jean-Marc went underground.

It should be mentioned, in closing, that the State in its utter depravity is appealing today's decision.

Queer Youth: Black Community’s Throw-away Kids

The rev. Irene Monroe has an excellent column on queer homeless Black youth on her website and in the latest Black Commentator... worth checking out!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nineteen Doctors Speak Out in Favor of Justice for Mohamed Anas Bennis

The following from the Justice for Anas coalition:


Medical Doctors from the Cote-des-Neiges neighborhood call upon Public Security Minister to uncover mystery surrounding death of young man killed by Montreal police

Montreal, July 17th 2007

Physicians from the Cote-des-Neiges community have called upon Minister of Public Security and Justice Jacques Dupuis to release all information surrounding the death of Mohamed Anas Bennis, a 25 year-old Canadian of Moroccan heritage, shot by Montreal police on December 1st 2005 in Cote-des-Neiges, just minutes from his home.

In an open letter to Quebec Minister of Public Security and Justice Jacques Dupuis (see below), the group of nineteen medical doctors working in the Cote-des-Neiges neighborhood demanded that all the evidence and reports surrounding the death of Anas Bennis be released to the family and the public while calling for a public inquiry into the events leading to Anas’ death.

The open letter declares : “The lack of transparency and suppression of information in this case does not inspire confidence and can only increase the sense of stigmatization felt by local Muslims and other minority groups. We also believe that the Bennis family is entitled to an open and complete investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of their son and brother.”

The police claim that Anas had attacked them with a kitchen knife, but over a year later, they have failed to produce either the knife, the security video which filmed the events leading to Anas' death, or proof of the injuries that the officer supposedly sustained. Despite their efforts, the Bennis family has not been able to see this evidence or to receive copies of the prosecutor's report or the police report regarding Anas' death.

As Minister of Public Security and Minister of Justice, Jacques Dupuis has the power to release the police and prosecutor's reports to the Bennis family and to the public. The Bennis family and their supporters have made numerous attempts to meet with Mr. Dupuis about this case, but so far the Minister has ignored them.

The three demands of the Coalition Justice for Anas, created to support the Bennis family in December 2006, have already been endorsed by over 35 community organizations, including several groups in Cote-des-Neiges. Their voices are joined by those of health care providers in the neighborhood today, reinforcing the call for:
  1. the immediate release of all reports, evidence and information concerning the death of Anas Bennis to the Bennis family and to the public;
  2. a full, public and independent inquiry into the death of Anas Bennis;
  3. an end to police brutality and impunity.

Here is the letter, signed by 19 doctors who work in Cote-des-Neiges, a mixed class and heavily immigrant neighbourhood in Montreal:

M. Jacques P. Dupuis
Ministre de la Securité publique
10, rue Saint-Antoine Est
Bureau 11.39
Montréal (Québec)
H2Y 1E

Montreal, July 17 2007

As family physicians and residents in family medicine working in the Côte-des-Neiges community, we wish to express our concern about the death of Mohamed Anas Bennis. This young man was shot twice by a Montreal police officer on December 1, 2005 near the corner of Kent and Côte-des-Neiges in circumstances that remain obscure. The crown prosecutor declined to lay charges against the policeman and denied the Bennis family a written copy of his report. Furthermore, Quebec Minister of Public Security, Jacques Dupuis, has refused to make the police report public.

As health professionals working in a multi-ethnic community, we are aware of the negative consequences for mental as well as physical health of `racial profiling` and stereotyping of visible minorities. In the post-911 world of security certificates and ‘extraordinary renditions’ such as in the case of Maher Arar, the Arab and Muslim communities have been a particular target of police and security agency activity. We do not know whether islamophobia and racial profiling played a role in the death of Mohamed Anas Bennis, but given official refusal to release information, this possibility
cannot be excluded.

The lack of transparency and suppression of information in this case does not inspire confidence and can only increase the sense of stigmatization felt by local Muslims and other minority groups. We also believe that the Bennis family is entitled to an open and complete investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of their son and brother.

We therefore call for the release of all reports and evidence pertaining to the death of Mohamed Anas Bennis and for the Minister of Public Security to authorize an independent public inquiry into the events surrounding his death, and this with the least possible delay.

Dr. Armand Aalamian Dr. Pierre Dongier Dr. Tarek Loubani Dr. Joey Podavin
Dr. Catherine Beauce Dr. Marion Dove Dr. Robert Mahood Dr. H. Rousseau
Dr. Marie Beauregard Dr. Bertha Fuchsman Dr. Jesse McLaren Dr. H. Shenker
Dr. Nazila Bettache Dr. Vania Jimenez Dr. Marie Munoz Dr. Jean Zigby
Dr. Yen Bui Dr. Saideh Khadir Dr. Maria Perrone

Monsieur Jacques P. Dupuis
Ministre de la Sécurité publique
10, rue Saint-Antoine Est, bureau 11.39
Montréal (Québec)
H2Y 1E2

Montréal, le 17 Juillet 2007

En tant que médecins et résidents en pratique familiale travaillant dans la communauté de
Côte-des-Neiges, nous aimerions manifester notre inquiétude au sujet de la mort de Mohamed Anas Bennis. Ce jeune homme a été atteint de deux balles tirées par un officier de police le 1er décembre 2005, près de l'intersection Kent et Côte-des-Neiges, dans des circonstances qui demeurent obscures. L'avocat de la Couronne a refusé de porter une accusation contre l'officier de police qui a tiré ou de remettre à la famille Bennis une copie du rapport. D'autre part, le ministre de la Sécurité publique du Québec, monsieur Jacques Dupuis, a refusé de rendre public le rapport de police.

En tant que professionnels de la santé travaillant au sein d'une communauté multi-ethnique, nous sommes conscients des conséquences négatives que le "profilage racial" et que l'utilisation de stéréotypes relativement aux "minorités visibles" peuvent avoir sur la santé mentale mais aussi sur la santé physique des personnes concernées. Dans le monde d'après le 11 septembre 2001, celui des "certificats de sécurité" et des ‘extraditions extraordinaires’ (transfert de prisonniers pour les soumettre à des interrogatoires sous la torture), utilisés par exemple dans le cas de Maher Arar, les communautés arabes et musulmanes sont devenues des cibles prioritaires de la police et des agences de renseignement. Nous ne savons pas si l'islamophobie ou le "profilage racial" ont contribué à la mort de Mohamed Anas Bennis, mais devant le refus manifesté par les autorités de fournir des informations à se sujet, nous croyons qu'une telle possibilité ne peut être rejetée.

Nous croyons que le manque de transparence et le refus de dévoiler des informations dans ce cas n'inspirent pas confiance et ne peuvent qu'accroître le sentiment d'être persécutés qu'éprouvent les musulmans et les autres groupes minoritaires de ce quartier. Nous croyons également que la famille Bennis a le droit de s'attendre à ce qu'une enquête ouverte et complète fasse la lumière sur les circonstances qui ont conduit à la mort de la personne qui était leur fils ou leur frère.

Nous demandons, par conséquent, la divulgation de tous les rapports et de toutes les preuves relatifs à la mort de Mohamed Anas Bennis, et que le ministre de la Sécurité publique autorise une enquête publique sur les événements liés à la mort de ce jeune homme et que cela soit réalisé dans les délais les plus brefs.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l'expression de nos sentiments les meilleurs.

Dr. Armand Aalamian
Dr. Pierre Dongier
Dr. Tarek Loubani
Dr. Joey Podavin
Dr. Catherine Beauce
Dr. Marion Dove
Dr. Robert Mahood
Dr. H. Rousseau
Dr. Marie Beauregard
Dr. Bertha Fuchsman
Dr. Jesse McLaren
Dr. H. Shenker
Dr. Nazila Bettache
Dr. Vania Jimenez
Dr. Marie Munoz
Dr. Jean Zigby
Dr. Yen Bui
Dr. Saideh Khadir
Dr. Maria Perrone

PFLP response to Bush (17 July 2007)

Press Release issued by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

  • The address of US President George Bush and his call for an international conference on the Middle East are a deception.
  • The United States of America and the Bush Administration are not an honest broker, but stand completely on the side of the policy of Zionist aggression and terror.

Commenting on the address by the US President George Bush and his call for the convening of an international conference on the Middle East, Dr. Mahir at-Tahir, Member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and representative of its leadership outside Palestine, declared:

The call of the American president to hold an international conference on the Middle East and his talk about a Palestinian state lack all credibility and constitute a form of trickery and deception, particularly following the writ of guarantees that he has given to Israel in which he pledges his commitment to their positions of not withdrawing from Jerusalem, of keeping the large blocs of settlements on the Palestinian West Bank, and of rejecting the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.

The American Administration stands entirely on the side of the policy of aggression and terror practiced by Israel and therefore these declarations of the American President amount to an attempt to deepen the divisions and internal struggles in the Palestinian arena.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine declares that the wretched path of constantly betting on pointless negotiations with Israel and this meeting of the Palestinian President with Olmert in Jerusalem have produced nothing serious for the good of the Palestinian cause.

Israel, supported by the United States of America, does not want peace; it is aiming at imposing surrender and dictates on the Palestinian people and is trying to stop the legitimate resistance against the occupation.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine calls on all the patriotic and Islamic forces in the Palestinian arena to tighten their ranks, build Palestinian national unity, stop the bloody internal conflicts, and direct all their energies towards confronting the Zionist occupation squatting on the land of Palestine. The PFLP calls for a comprehensive Palestinian national dialogue in order to set the Palestinian house in order on the basis of adherence to Palestinian national principles and continuing the resistance in all its forms against the occupation.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Press Office.
17 July 2007.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

MOVE 9 Prisoner Janet Africa Harrassed

It seems Janet Africa - one of the MOVE political prisoners - is being harassed by guards at SCI Cambridge Springs. The following alert from Ramona Africa:

ONA MOVE! This is an alert to all of our supporters that the guards at SCI-Cambridge Springs, where our sisters are housed, are starting trouble.

Our sister, Janet Africa, was stopped by a male guard who said he wanted to pat search her. Janet informed him that it's against our belief to have a man feeling on her body and that she wanted the option of having a female guard search her as provided by prison policy.

She was taken to a female prison guard named Dover who became beligerant and told janet that she wasn't special and wasn't getting any special treatment. Dover then told the male guard to take Janet back where he got her from and go ahead and search her. Janet start putting some information on the guards when another guard came to see what all the commotion was about.

Dover then tells him that he should give Janet a misconduct and put her in the hole.. This was obviously a set-up from the beginning because all of those prison officials know who MOVE people are and know our policy about male guards searching our women.

What Dover said about "special treatment" makes no sense either because MOVE didn't make the prison policy that allows for a woman to refuse to be searched by a male guard and to have a female guard do the search, however it is prison policy, so where is the "special treatment"?

Officials are aware that The MOVE 9 are coming up for parole and these officials are trying to provoke a situation that would be used as an excuse to deny them parole. That's the bottom line to what's going on here and it's just the beginning.

We're asking people to call the prison and talk to the superintendent or leave a message for her if you can't get her on the phone. The number is 814398-5400. Thanks for your support.

Ona Move---Ramona Africa
via the defenestrator

MOVE was a predominantly Black "back to nature" religious group whose anti-capitalist and in-your-face attitude made it a target for some of the most vicious police violence in recent amerikan history. Janet Africa was one of nine MOVE members (all of whom take the name "Africa") who were sentences to 30-100 years in prison after a police attack on a MOVE house on August 8th 1978, during which a cop was killed. The MOVE 9 come up for parole next year.

The police repression would eventually culminate in a bomb being dropped by a police helicopter on their house on May 13th 1985. Six MOVE adults and five of their children were killed as the house burned to the ground. Ramona Africa, the sole adult survivor, served seven years in prison for "conspiracy, riot, and multiple counts of simple and aggravated assault".

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Police shut down protest meeting in Quebec

From the Ottawa Citizen via today's Montreal Gazette:

OTTAWA – Police have derailed plans for a public forum in Quebec on the Security and Prosperity Partnership that was to take place six kilometres from where the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States gather next month for a summit meeting.

Several weeks ago, the Council of Canadians put down a $100 deposit to rent the community centre in Papineauville, not far from the summit site in Montebello, for the public forum.

The forum was scheduled for Aug. 19, the day before the North American leaders are to start two days of meetings on the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a controversial initiative aimed at more closely aligning the three countries in a variety of areas.

But Brent Patterson, the council’s director of organizing, said a Papineauville official called late Tuesday to say the RCMP, the Sûreté du Quebec and the U.S. army would not allow the municipality to rent the facility to the council for the planned forum.

Patterson said Frédéric Castonguay, the town’s general manager, reported that Guy Côté of the Sûreté de Quebec in Montreal told him the council “is an activist organization opposed to the summit and that it would not be wise to have us set up in the community centre.”

Castonguay said yesterday that Côté told him the police and U.S. army need the community centre as a base of operations for summit security.

“They didn’t want us to rent it to anyone because they need the room there to put equipment and special vehicles,” he said, adding the police position was not open to debate. “There was no choice.”

Patterson reacted angrily. “It’s deplorable that we are being prevented from bringing together a panel of writers, academics and parliamentarians to share their concerns about the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canadians,” he said.

The council views the Papineauville community centre as an ideal location for the public forum because of its size – it can hold up to 1,000 people – and proximity to Montebello, where the leaders meet Aug. 20-21.

It has already begun lining up speakers for the forum. Along with council chairwoman Maude Barlow, it had tentative acceptance from University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers and was also approaching parliamentarians. The loss of the centre throws those plans into disarray.

Last month, a town official in Montebello told Patterson police were planning to erect a 25kilometre security perimeter around the town. The Montebello official said police were going to turn back any vehicle carrying more than five people.

At the time, the RCMP said security planning was still in progress and no decisions had been made on its impact on people living and working in the area.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Radical Art

i'm going to be updating my "Radical Art" links page and thought i'd post this here, asking you all for any suggestions...let me know, as i don't get around to doing this shit too often...

August: War Criminals Coming to Montebello, Quebec

  • This August, Stephen Harper, George Bush and Felipe Calderon will be just 90 minutes from Montreal, in Montebello, Qc!
  • Mobilize and Protest against George Bush, Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon at the meeting of the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP)

AUGUST 19-21, 2007
(Between Ottawa and Montreal)

  • A main Day of Action against the SPP will take place on MONDAY, August 20 at 3pm at the Chateau Montebello (or as close as possible to Montebello). We encourage everyone to mobilize to Montebello by 3PM on August 20.

  • Montebello, Quebec is a tourist village between Ottawa and Montreal, on Highway 148, on the Ottawa River. ( To view a small map, click here: ; or download a more detailed map of the region in .pdf format here: )

Actions will also take place from August 19-21. An "anti-capitalist camp" will be set up in the area, as early as August 8, for all protesters who want to be in the region early to help plan actions and raise awareness. More details forthcoming. Visit frequently for updates.

Protests are being organized against Bush, Harper, Calderon and the SPP by anti-capitalist social justice activists in Quebec and Ontario, under the framework of the People's Global Action (PGA) Network (

Ottawa and Montreal -- on either side of Montebello on the Highway 148 will act as organizing hubs for protests, including local protests and actions.


For up-to-date information, subscribe to our announcements list by visiting:

Please phone or email for more info, or to get involved with organizing efforts (popular education, mobilization, logistics, transportation, fundraising and more!):

WEB: (visit frequently for updates)
TEL: 514-848-7583

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation is being organized from Montreal & Quebec City to Montebello for August 19&20. To offer transport, or to request transport, please contact

PLANNING CONSULTA: A Consulta open to all delegates of groups who are interested in actively mobilizing against Bush, Harper, Calderon and the SPP -- will be held in MONTREAL on SATURDAY, JULY 21, from NOON-5pm (Location TBA).

We strongly encourage all groups to attend this Consulta (ie. preparation meeting), one month before the SPP, so that we can together finalize our plans to protest and disrupt the Bush visit.

Please confirm your attendance (or request housing, for out-of-town delegates) by e-mail at:

::::: BACKGROUNDER :::::

This August, George Bush, Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon will be just 90 minutes from Montreal, in Montebello, Quebec. They are meeting at the Chateau Montebello, as part of the so-called "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (aka the "Three Amigos" Summit).

They talk about "security" and "prosperity", but their agenda really means insecurity and misery for working and oppressed peoples in the Americas.

In brief, the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) combines the destructive neo-liberal policies of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the fear and paranoia of post 9-11 "Homeland Security" policies. The SPP is firmly rooted within a colonial and capitalist framework.

The SPP is described by its proponents as a "NAFTA 2.0", and is promoted and supported by corporations and their lobby groups, like the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

A group of 30 corporate executives from the NAFTA countries comprise the North American Competitiveness Council, which was set up "to fully incorporate the private sector into the SPP process" (to cite the SPP's own words). Moreover, because the SPP announces itself as a "dialogue based on shared values," it is secretive process, subject to no formal public scrutiny or open debate.

There is no mystery to the SPP agenda: murderous wars and occupations abroad; border militarization; increased detentions and deportations; attacks on indigenous peoples, the poor, migrants, and working people; ecological destruction; mega-projects in the service of corporate greed; and unfortunately, much more and worse.

The SPP reinforces the idea of "Fortress North America", whereby the rich and privileged live in gated communities and gentrified cities, protected by police and security, with easy movement for capital between borders; for the rest, there's border fences, detention centers, prisons, surveillance, and increased precarity.

This August, protests are being organized by anti-capitalist social justice activists in Ontario and Quebec, within the framework of the People's Global Action (PGA) Network. With organizing hubs in Ottawa and Montreal, on either end of Montebello on the Highway 148, we are preparing to resist the upcoming SPP meeting.

We are not going to lobby the SPP leaders or governments to be nicer. Justice and dignity is achieved through grassroots mobilizing and struggle, not the charity of rich philanthropists, rock-stars or politicians complicit in a destructive system.

When George Bush, Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon try to meet at the Chateau Montebello, we are going to protest and try to disrupt their meeting. There will be activities from August 19-21, with a call for a convergence on Montebello (or as close as possible to Montebello) on 3pm on MONDAY, AUGUST 20. An anti-capitalist camp will be set up in the Montebello region in early August, as a convergence space for activists who want to gather early to plan popular and actions.

More info at:

Our protests are rooted in our ongoing mobilizing efforts and day-to-day organizing: for indigenous sovereignty and self-determination in the Americas, for immigrant justice and free movement, against deportations and detentions, against war and imperialism, for workers justice, against poverty, for ecological and environmental justice, for the liberation of all political prisoners, in solidarity with social justice movements worldwide.

On January 1, 1994, the day that NAFTA took effect, the Zapatistas began an uprising in southern Mexico, declaring NAFTA a "death sentence" on indigenous peoples. With the SPP, the politicians, bureaucrats and corporations of North America have renewed their death-sentence on all of us.

The inspiration of the Zapatistas still resonates, 13 years later, as we make links between our struggles and issues, and unify to confront the SPP at Montebello, and beyond.

WEB: (visit frequently for updates)
TEL: 514-848-7583