Friday, October 10, 2008

[NOII] 12 Reasons to take to the streets of Montreal-Nord this Saturday

The following excellent text is from the No One Is Illegal Montreal blog:

This coming Saturday at 2pm at Parc Pilon in Montreal-Nord, a diverse cross-section of Montreal groups and individuals are coming together to denounce police brutality as part of a child-friendly demonstration. This is a crucial protest for all those who oppose poverty, racism and police brutality, as well as support autonomous, grassroots organizing for real justice and dignity.

It comes just two months after the killing of Fredy Villaneuva in Montreal-Nord, one year after the tasering death of Quilem Registre in St-Michel, and more than two years after the unexplained shooting death of Anas Bennis in Côte-des-neiges. It comes in a context where 43 people have been killed by the bullets or electric shocks of the Montreal police in just 21 years.

There are three main demands for this Saturday’s demonstration: 1) a public and independent inquiry into the death of Fredy Villaneuva; 2) an end to racial profiling and to police abuses and impunity; 3) the recognition of the principle that as long as there is economic inequality there will be social insecurity.

Below are 12 more reasons to get out and demonstrate this Saturday. Please post and forward widely, and do make a final effort TODAY (Friday) to encourage your networks and contacts to attend this Saturday.

Police partout, justice nulle part! No justice, no peace!

12 Reasons to take to the streets of Montréal-Nord this Saturday

1) Breaking down fear and isolation; 2) Oppose "divide and rule" – Part 1; 3) Oppose police investigating other police; 4) Oppose police attempts to shut down public transparency; 5) Oppose police and media smears of police killing victims; 6) The 43 Reasons; 7) The Montreal-Nord riots were justified; 8) Accommodate This!; 9) Oppose "divide and rule" – Part 2: 10) Oppose sellout "community" gatekeepers: 11) Support grassroots community organizing; 12) For People Power

1) Breaking down fear and isolation

It's not easy to confront police brutality and impunity. The police have tremendous power, as the armed force of the state. Individuals experience police abuses, brutality, and racial profiling on a daily basis, but are often too afraid to speak out. When we do speak out, we lack the resources to effectively take on the cops and government, and are marginalized by both mainstream groups as well as government-paid community hacks. This Saturday's demonstration is one clear way that we can all, collectively, come together to break down the fear and isolation we so often feel, and instead stand united behind clear demands for justice.

2) Oppose "divide and rule" – Part 1

This past Thursday's cover story in Le Journal -- "Les Agitateurs s'en mêlent" -- is a transparent attempt by the police and their media allies to create divisions between the diverse groups that have come together to denounce police brutality. The police and government officials fear the emerging unity between grassroots, on-the-ground social justice groups and movements that have converged in support of the clear and powerful demands of this Saturday's demonstration. Let's show the hacks at Le Journal, and their cop friends, that we refuse to be divided.

3) Oppose police investigating other police

Mayor Tremblay and all kinds of other politicians and so-called community leaders have constantly urged the public to refrain from judgment in the killing of Fredy Villanueva until the "investigation" has been completed. But, all the so-called investigations into police killings involve one squad of police investigating another. We are now supposed to trust the Surête de Québec (SQ) to fairly investigate the Montreal police. This is the same SQ that has it own corrupt and deceitful past and present – from the "Matticks Affair" where police officers were involved in illegal activities, to the recent Montebello protests where SQ officers acted as agent-provocateurs and tried to lie about it afterwards. Most recently, this past Monday, the SQ riot squad attacked members of the Lac Barrière Algonquin Community, using tear gas and pepper spray even against children. There is a mafia-like "brotherhood" between cops that prevents them from ever honestly bringing any of their members to true justice, and gives them an incentive to cover-up each other’s abuses.

4) Oppose police attempts to shut down public transparency

When there are quasi-independent inquiries into police killings, the cops try to shut them down. More than two years after the police killing of Anas Bennis, and after a long public campaign led by the Bennis family, a corner's inquest was called to investigate the reasons for Anas' death. However, as they've done in other cases, the Fraternité des policiers et policières de Montréal have gone to court and sued the coroner and the Bennis family themselves, to try to shut the inquiry down. The police and their expensive lawyers have consistently tried to shut down even the most modest efforts at accountability.

5) Oppose police and media smears of police killing victims

Recently, the lawyer for Montreal police officer Giovanni Stante, who was involved in the killing of homeless man Jean-Pierre Lizotte in 1999, wrote in both the Montreal Gazette and La Presse, claiming that Lizotte was not a victim of police brutality, and proceeding to smear Jean-Pierre Lizotte's reputation. Lizotte is not around defend himself, but that doesn't stop cop lawyers (and the media) from smearing the people killed by the cops. Innuendo and rumours have been used against other victims of police brutality. This Saturday's demonstration is occasion to stand in solidarity with, and give voice to, all those who have been shot down and smeared by the cops.

6) The 43 Reasons

Anthony Griffin, Jose Carlos Garcia, Yvon Lafrance, Leslie Presley, Paul McKinnon, Jorge Chavarria-Reyes, Fabien Quienty, Yvan Dugas, Marcellus François, Armand Fernandez, Osmond Fletcher, Trevor Kelly, Yvon Asselin, Richard Barnabé, Paolo Romanelli, Martin Suazo, Philippe Ferraro, Nelson Perreault, Daniel Bélair, Michel Mathurin, Richard Whaley, Yvan Fond-Rouge, Jean-Pierre Lizotte, Luc Aubert, Sébastien McNicoll, Michael Kibbe, Michel Morin, Michel Berniquez, Rohan Wilson, Benoît Richer, Mohamed Anas Bennis, Quilem Registre, Fredy Villaneuva ... and 10 more individuals, women and men, whose names remain unknown. Together, they represent the 43 people killed by the Montreal cops in the last 21 years. Saturday's march is for all victims and survivors of police brutality.

7) The Montreal-Nord riots were justified

This Saturday's demonstration is child-friendly. It will allow for all kinds of folks to come together in opposition to police brutality. But, that does not mean we should shy away from defending the justified community uprising that took place in the aftermath of Fredy Villaneuva's death in August. Politicians and media have worked overtime to attempt to divide "good" protesters (the community gatekeepers who stay docile and harmless) from the "bad" protesters" (those who are willing to take direct action). Saturday's demonstration is one way to clearly show solidarity with Montreal-Nord, including the riots that were a justified expression of our collective anger and rage against police brutality.

8) Accommodate This!

During the xenophobic "debates" around reasonable accommodation in Quebec, immigrants were essentially being asked to justify their presence in Quebec. A Montreal cop even recorded a song – played on youtube – telling people from minority groups to "crisser vos camps" and "retournez chez toi". The reasonable accommodation debate clouded and confused the unity and solidarity we share -- as workers, poor, women, queer and trans people, migrants, and others -- fighting together to achieve real justice. It distracted from our unity together in confronting poverty, precarity, racism and racial profiling. This Saturday's protest is another occasion to tell the xenophobic and racist elements of Quebec society – most embodied by the cops – to accommodate this! (ie. "go fuck yourselves").

9) Oppose "divide and rule" – Part 2

As part of their divide and rule tactics, the cops have also been visiting community organizations, asking about their involvement in the demonstration this coming Saturday. Many community groups have taken a clear stance against police abuses, and the police response has been to intimidate behind the scenes, as well as to start a whispering campaign to denounce so-called radical protesters. We must refuse these police tactics to marginalize the groups and individuals that have taken principled stances against police impunity.

10) Oppose sellout "community" gatekeepers

Various levels of government provide substantial money to so-called "community" organizations to provide basic services. One of the primary "services" of these groups is to act as "gatekeepers" preventing and sabotaging grassroots organizing for justice. The so-called "tables de concertation" in various neighborhoods (funded by the City of Montreal), or fake coalitions like "Solidarité Montreal-Nord" (also set-up by the City) basically exist to dilute clear demands that speak to the reality of our communities. These gatekeepers refuse to clearly denounce racism, racial profiling and police brutality, and have taken on a prominent role after the death of Fredy Villaneuva, by denouncing "violence" without ever clearly denouncing police violence. They are groups comfortable marching with politicians like Marcel Parent, Gerard Tremblay and Denis Coderre. These groups are basically breeding grounds for the politicians from all political parties that will go on to screw us over in other ways. This Saturday's demonstration is beyond the grasp of the compliant gatekeepers, which is why it annoys the cops and government so much. Let's annoy them even more with a huge turnout!

11) Support grassroots community organizing

In contrast to the fake community organizations (who are paid by government money) and their politician friends, diverse individuals and groups have engaged in autonomous, grassroots organizing, based on demands that come from our lived realities in poor and marginalized communities. This kind of organizing is not easy. We lack resources, and it's hard to find time to mobilize with our day-to-day grind for survival. But still, various on-the-ground networks, most notably Montréal-Nord Républik and Mères et Grandmères pour la vie et la justice, have courageously spoken out clearly and openly against police impunity.

12) For People Power

Our real power lies in our ability to unify, to break through fear and isolation, to name our enemy, and to confront it, united in our principles for social justice and dignity. This Saturday's protest is truly autonomous, beyond the sway of government-paid community hacks and politicians. It responds to the demands we know and feel daily. This Saturday's protest is one model for how we should continue to organize together, within our communities, and united between communities. Ce n'est qu'un début ...

written and distributed by
traduction par patcad. merci sofia. a guru collaboration

No comments:

Post a Comment