Sunday, September 14, 2008

Working Class Struggle in Quebec: 1970-

There was an excellent talk yesterday by Richard St-Pierre, about his own personal experience of working class struggles in Quebec since his politicization as a teenager in 1970.

This was probably one of the best talks i have ever heard in Montreal, and it is a real shame that it was not recorded. St-Pierre's itinerary is like many of his generation: a working class teenager, he was initially attracted by the "social gospel" of Roman Catholicism and the idea of armed struggle to win an independent and socialist Quebec. He then quickly became one of the tens of thousands of people who rejected these ideas to plunge into the Maoist movement that was so active in 70s Quebec.

Where St-Pierre differs from most of his comrades is that he has not only remained politically active but after a few twists and turns his commitment to working class revolution led him to left communism, specifically the tiny International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party. Despite his current adherence to the IBPR, St-Pierre did us all the service of recounting the groups and struggles he had been involved in as he saw them at the time, while not being shy to point out, and take responsibility for, specific errors.

The talk was organized in a non-sectarian, comradely manner, by the Montreal local of the North East Federation of Anarchist-Communists (NEFAC), and perhaps forty people attended. While he spoke for over two hours, St-Pierre had time to get through less than half of what he had prepared, and particularly frustrating to me, the section he had to skip was the section on "consciuosness", which i'm guessing would have been the most provocative and interesting bit.

If he speaks again, i strongly encourage you all to attend. In the meantime, with a bit of luck and time over the next few days, i'll try and write up a more detailed report from the notes i took.


  1. can you do an interview with him? would love to read it.

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