Sunday, August 26, 2007

Montreal World Film Festival 2007

Of course, being so busy also means i have had no time to even mention the World Film Festival, which i what makes late August early September into my favourite time of the year. By far.

i've seen a couple of films so far, which i may write about later tonight if i get a moment, but in case i don't i want to direct folks who are in Montreal to the FFM Website and to specifically call attention to the following two documentaries about the struggle against fascism in South America in the 1970s and 80s. i'm going to be checking them out, and i certainly encourage you all to do the same. Here they are, with the descriptions from the festival website:

Calle Sante Fe (in Spanish with French subtitles): On October 5th, 1974, in a house on Santa Fe Street, in the suburbs of Santiago, Chile, Carmen Castillo is wounded by the secret police. Her companion and comrade, Miguel Enriquez, leader of MIR and of the resistance against Pinochet's dictatorship, is killed in combat. CALLE SANTA FE is the director's own story, a personal tour of the populist revolt against Pinochet, of her exile and of her guilt at having survived while others did not. An attempt to exorcise the ghosts of the past, the film also asks difficult questions about the entire resistance: were those heroic acts really worth it? Did Miguel die in vain?
August 31, 2007 • 21:00:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15 ÉCRAN METROMEDIA PLUS • L15.31.6 • Fr. & s.t.f.
September 02, 2007 • 10:00:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15 ÉCRAN METROMEDIA PLUS • L15.02.1 • Fr. & s.t.f.
September 03, 2007 • 15:30:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15 ÉCRAN METROMEDIA PLUS • L15.03.3 • Fr. & s.t.f.

The Disappeared (in Spanish with English subtitles): the story of one man's search for identity. Horacio Pietragalla, the only child of parents murdered during Argentina's "Dirty War", was raised, unbeknown to him, by the maid of the very same officer who killed both his parents in cold blood. The three-year search for his true identity unearths, literally, all of the horrors and injustices experienced during the war that ravaged Argentina from 1976 to 1983, and includes rare interviews with top political and military figures responsible for the destruction.
August 28, 2007 • 21:10:00 • CINÉMA ONF • ONF.28.6 • Espagnol s.t.a.
August 29, 2007 • 17:00:00 • CINÉMA ONF • ONF.29.4 • Espagnol s.t.a.
September 01, 2007 • 15:00:00 • CINÉMA ONF • ONF.01.3 • Espagnol s.t.a.
September 02, 2007 • 13:20:00 • CINÉMA ONF • ONF.02.2 • Espagnol s.t.a.

These may sell out, so to get tickets go to the Quartier Latin cinema (just off St-Denis, just north of Berri metro) ahead of time. And tickets are significantly cheaper if you by them in batches of ten (or thirty!), so consider bringing some friends...

More on the festival later, i hope...

it's been a busy month

August has been a very busy month for me , and i can't say i have lots to show for it yet...

i've been up to my ears editing and writing for a book on the Red Army Faction i am hoping to have done by the end of the year, i managed to publish a shorty pamphlet (which shall soon be announced here) about armed struggle in the early 70s in the Pacific Northwest, and of course i ended up in Montebello on Tear Gas Monday, which was a really good experience, very inspiring...

All of that "serious" stuff has of course meant i've had little or no time to blog, which is really a shortcoming i must apologize for, especially as the situation of Mohawk political prisoner Shawn Brant merits attention and, well, i've been giving it none...

not to mention the police fiasco in Montebello, which is receiving a lot of attention, but also prompting a lot of confused, and in some cases willfully confusing, commentary, especially from certain social-democratic corners...

Stuff i promise to write about. Soon...

Friday, August 24, 2007


but y'know we still have some serious stuff to talk about...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Agent Provocateurs at Montebello?

Activists are accusing police of having send at least three agents provocateurs into Monday's demo in Montebello, the small tourist town an hour and a half away from Montreal.

It has been a busy month for me, and i wish i had time to write something in depth about this, but i don't, and won't, at least until this weekend.

So in the meantime here is the video that was shot on Monday, in which you can see Dave Coles of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada confronting the three, who eventually opt to go through the police line where they are handcuffed and then taken away. The most damning piece of evidence seems to be that the police only arrested four people that day - two men and two women, whose names are known - i.e. the three big guys in this video were not in fact arrested despite the handcuffs.

The media has quotes local activists are insisting that these were indeed cops:

Veteran protester Jaggi Singh, who is helping to circulate the video as widely as possible, said all four of those arrested are known to organizers and are genuine protesters.

"But we see very clearly in that video three (other) men being arrested . . . How do (police) account for these three people being taken in, being arrested? Where did they go?" Singh said.

"I have no hesitation in saying they were police agents . . . and they were caught red-handed."

Like i said, i have no time to write about this in any depth, but here is the video so you can see for yourselves (click here if it does not work):

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Montreal Cops & Racist Abuse in Cote-des-Neiges

Lynwald Cox Being Arrested by Police : photo taken on someone's cell phone

It would seem that Montreal police have been harassing and brutalizing Black people in Cote-des-Neiges neighbourhood more than they usually do, and now city politicians are moving to defuse the situation... note the pig in this article telling people not to intervene when they see police abuse going on... remember too that this is the same neighbourhood and the same police station (#25) implicated in the killing of Mohamed Anas Bennis a year and a half ago: police have refused to provide any credible story about the events that led to Bennis' death...

City councillor to mediate in dispute over harassment
Complaints about police soared this summer among black residents of Côte des Neiges

Allegations of police harassment and abuse of black residents in Côte des Neiges have become so numerous this summer that a city councillor will meet with both parties tomorrow to try to defuse the tension.

“I have had more complaints (about police harassment) over the past six weeks than I have had over the past 10 years,” said Marvin Rotrand, councillor for Snowdon, which is part of Côte des Neiges/N.D.G. borough.

“We have made a lot of progress over the past several years. If there is a problem now, we need to fix it.”

Rotrand said at least 10 or 12 people have stopped him on the street or at civic functions to complain about heavy-handed tactics by local police officers and members of Project Advance, a special unit set up to crack down on street gangs.

Simonetta Barth, commander of Station 25, will be at tomorrow’s meeting.

Inspector Paul Chablo, head of public relations for the Montreal police department, welcomed the meeting. “It is always better to sit down and discuss things than go to the media,” he said.

Black leaders say their community is outraged by two cases of alleged abuse this summer.

On June 13, a 26-year-old Châteauguay man and his mother were arrested for obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest after a confrontation with a police officer from Station 25.

Lynwald Cox claims an officer provoked a confrontation after ticketing him for making an illegal left turn.

Police contend Cox became agitated after receiving the ticket and pursued a police officer in his cruiser, leading to the clash.

About one week later, police arrested Charles Ross, a tourist from New York, after he asked why they were manhandling a woman who they believed was taking pictures of them with her cellphone camera.

Ross was slapped and roughed up by members of Project Advance, said Noel Alexander, the president of the Jamaica Association of Montreal, who witnessed the confrontation near Victoria Ave. and MacKenzie Sts. at 10:45 p.m. on June 21.

Alexander said two officers were manhandling Karla Kirkos, 32, when Ross yelled out: “Hey, fellas, what are you doing?”

According to Alexander, two or three other officers rushed toward Ross, slapped him, handcuffed him and dragged him across the street, forcing him to sit on the sidewalk.

Ross was arrested and charged with assault. Alexander said he asked the officer in charge what was going on and said he was told: “This is a police operation.”

The Gazette was unable to contact Ross at his home in New York this week.

Kirkos told The Gazette she was standing outside a restaurant when the officers tried to take her cellphone from her, saying she wasn’t allowed to take pictures of them. She said she had taken out her phone to call a friend who was supposed to pick her up after she had ordered food.

Chablo said officers involved in the incident have a completely different version of events.

According to the police report, Kirkos began taking pictures of the officers as they were questioning a man.

The report said she started yelling hysterically at police after they asked her to move on. Chablo said the officers didn’t try to take her cellphone.

As for Ross, the report says it was he who grabbed a police officer and punched him in the face.

Chablo urged members of the public not to get involved in police interventions because “you are obstructing justice.”

“If you aren’t happy (with what you see), take down the car number or police officer’s name and call the local commander.”

He said he isn’t surprised that versions of events differ greatly.

“Sometimes people come in the middle of a situation and they don’t know what happened before,” he said.

Michael Gittens, president of the Côte des Neiges Black Community Association, said he is concerned by the reports of harassment, particularly since relations with police had been good over the past few years.

For five or six years, the association has given one-day training sessions to new police officers assigned to Côte des Neiges to help them better understand the multicultural community.

Gittens said members of his association, who were running a leadership program for youths in Nelson Mandela Park, had to go to Station 25 recently to complain that a few officers were harassing teenagers in the park.

“Why is this happening now after all the work that we have done? We expect more understanding from the officers.”

Monday, August 13, 2007

[Montreal] Tuesday/mardi (12h): Oppose CN's racism and colonialism

At the August 12, 2007 People's Global Action (PGA) Consulta to plan actions against the upcoming meeting of Bush/Harper/Calderon and the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), the following resolution was passed unanimously:

"We call for the immediate release of Mohawk political prisoner Shawn Brant, without condition; we also re-iterate our support for the self-determination and sovereignty of the Mohawks of Tyendinaga."

Tangibly, in Montreal, a picket will be held against CN RAIL this Tuesday, August 14 at NOON, at the Central Train Station (more details below). The picket will be denounce CN's racist lawsuits against Mohawk protesters, including Shawn Brant. We will publicly stand for Shawn Brant's immediate release from prison.

-- Support indigenous struggles for sovereignty, dignity and self-determination on Turtle Island ...

-- Oppose CN Rail's racism and colonialism ...

-- Protest Bush, Harper, Calderon and the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP)

Picket and Demonstration
Montreal Central Train Station
metro Bonaventure
(enter via the metro,
or via the street at 895 de la Gauchetière West,
between University and Mansfield)

** Meet at the large departures/arrivals sign in the main lobby of the train station. Bring your banners, placards, flags and other symbols of dissent. **

-- We demand that CN Rail drop their racist lawsuits against Mohawk activists at Tyendinaga;
-- We stand in support and solidarity with indigenous struggles for sovereignty and self-determination all over Turtle Island;
-- We denounce CN Rail's role in the corporate North American
Competitiveness Council and the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

"When justice fails, block the rails!"

CN Rail is a multi-billion dollar company, headquartered in Montreal, whose tracks and installations occupy native lands from ocean-to-ocean.

CN Rail is currently pursuing multi-million dollar lawsuits against Mohawk activists from the community of Tyendinaga who are actively involved in the defense of their land.

The Mohawks of Tyendinaga are demanding the return of the Culberston Tract, which was stolen from them in 1832. Recently a portion of the land was reclaimed, with the Tyendinaga community demanding that the Ontario government revoke the license legitimizing a private quarry operation that is literally removing land from the Culberston Tract. For more info, consult:

CN is threatening more lawsuits against other indigenous communities and activists who block CN rail lines.

CN Rail and their executives are targeting indigenous community organizers who have effectively brought the issue of native sovereignty to the forefront. In the context of unsettled land claims, and the fact that their tracks sit on appropriated native territory, CN Rail's actions are colonial and racist.

While CN uses the courts to attack native activists, their CEO -- E. Hunter Harrison – is a member of the North American Competitiveness Council, a key promoter of the recently formed "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) between Canada, the United States and Mexico. The SPP continues the imposition of the neo-liberal North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), combined with paranoid "Homeland Security" policies.

The SPP is an attack on all working and oppressed peoples, especially the indigenous peoples of "North America". The SPP leaders – George Bush, Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon -- will be meeting later this summer, from August 20-21, in Montebello, Quebec (just 90 minutes from Montreal).

Join us on August 14 in Montreal, as we build towards the protests against Bush, Harper and Calderon in Montebello on August 20 (info: )

Organized and endorsed by: Block the Empire-Montreal (BLEM), Liberterre, No One Is Illegal-Montreal, La Rue Brique, Solidarity Across Borders, Tadamon! Montreal, La Pointe Libertaire and others (to add your group endorsement, please contact

-> Text of the flyer passed out at the picket against CN on July 1,
2007 in Montreal:

-> "About the SPP" Background:

INFO: 514-848-7583,

Spaces still available on the buses to Montebello from Montreal to protest Bush and the SPP

LAST CALL!: Spaces still available on the buses to Montebello from Montreal to protest Bush and the SPP

Organizing to get people to the protests against George Bush, Stephen Harper, Felipe Calderon and the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) from Montreal ...

There are still spaces available on the vehicles to Montebello, Quebec, on August 19 and 20!

More info about the protests available at:

We encourage you to reserve your spot BY THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 AT MIDNIGHT. Please reserve as early as you can, as it allows us to organize effectively.

--> You can reserve your spot by e-mail at or by phone at 514-848-7583 (but it's best to reserve by e-mail, if you can). <--

When you reserve, please indicate clearly your preferred departure date – August 19 or 20 – and your preferred return date – August 20 or 21 (we will arrange returns on August 19 as well, but encourage the biggest possible turnout for August 20).

Vehicles leave from Montreal on Sunday, August 19 at 11am. Buses leave from Montreal on Monday, August 20 at 8am, for a main day of protest in Montebello.

There will be basic outdoor camping-style accomodations available on both the nights of August 19 and August 20. Please bring a tent and sleeping bag if you intend to stay.

More details after you confirm your spot.

We ask for a donation of between $5-15 to help cover expenses. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Donations can be paid before boarding buses or cars. If you're writing a cheque, please make it out to "La Convergence des luttes anti-capitalistes".

Please post and forward this e-mail widely, including to facebook, friendster, myspace and other sites, to encourage the largest possible turnout from Montreal to Montebello to oppose Bush and the SPP. Again, more info at

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Too Busy To Blog

Just a quick word to say don't expect anything here for the next week or so... too busy to blog...

Friday, August 03, 2007


i get the creepiest spam

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Crashing the Party at Montebello

Just received this from No One Is Illegal:

August 1, 2007 -- Please post and forward widely -

[Read below for basic info about protests in Montebello and Montreal, transportation, upcoming consulta, community assemblies, brigades festives and more ...]

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)

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. About the SPP:

::::: DAYS OF ACTIONS IN MONTEBELLO (August 19&20) :::::

-> Sunday, August 19 – Creative resistance and popular education against the SPP

August 19 will be a day of creative resistance and popular education against the SPP in the Montebello-area. We encourage affinity groups to organize autonomous actions within the framework of creative resistance, and call on individuals to join in a collective action of popular education. More details to come. Transport is planned for the 19th (return or one-way; more details under transport and housing below).

-> Monday, August 20, NOON – Protest and disruption of Bush, Harper, Calderon and the SPP

We call on affinity groups, organizations and individuals to mobilize in large numbers for a main Day of Action against the meeting of Bush, Harper, Calderon and the SPP that will take place on MONDAY, AUGUST 20 AT NOON (please note the new time) at the Chateau Montebello (or as close as possible to Montebello).

Montebello, Quebec is a tourist village between Ottawa and Montreal, on Highway 148, on the Ottawa River. MAPS of the region, including Montebello itself, are linked at:

TRANSPORTATION to Montebello is being organized from Montreal for August 19 & 20; e-mail to reserve a space. Please reserve BEFORE August 12. More info about transportation at:

Transportation to Montebello is also being organized from Ottawa (, Quebec City ( and Toronto ( ).

ACCOMMODATIONS: A location for basic accommodations will be available for demonstrators in the Montebello-area. Accommodations will be available for people who wish to participate in both days of action, and also for those who want to arrive earlier to plan actions and awareness-raising activities in the Montebello-area. More details to come.

POSTERS, FLYERS and other materials for download, printing and distribution are available at:


::::: CONSULTA, AUGUST 12 :::::

A final planning and organizing CONSULTA is scheduled for SUNDAY, August 12 from 12-5pm in room R-M 110 at UQAM (315 Ste-Catherine East, near St-Denis). More info:

::::: ACTIONS AGAINST THE SPP IN MONTREAL (August 14 & 16) :::::

As part of a National Week of Action Against the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) from August 13 to 17 there will be two actions in Montreal, against CN rail and the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS):

-> AUGUST 14, NOON – CN: Stop your racist lawsuits! Protest the Central Train Station (metro Bonaventure). Support indigenous struggles for sovereignty, dignity and self-determination on Turtle Island ... Oppose CN Rail's racism and colonialism ... Protest Bush, Harper, Calderon and the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP). More information:

-> AUGUST 16, NOON – Protest against CSIS and the SPP, Dorchester Square (Rene-Levesque and Peel, metro Peel). The People's Assembly against Security Injustice invite you to a demonstration to denounce the role of the Canadian and Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)in the criminalization, harassment and profiling of refugees, immigrants and non-status people. CSIS feeds a culture a fear and suspicion that the state uses to justify the expansion of surveillance and control on the agenda of the SPP. Info:

::::: COMMUNITY ASSEMBLIES (August 1, 4, 11 & 13) :::::

A series of COMMUNITY ASSEMBLIES to discuss the impacts of the Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP), especially on immigrant, migrant, refugee and indigenous communities will take place in Montreal on August 1, 4, 11 & 13. More info:

::::: BENEFIT SHOW (August 9) :::::

A benefit show with Genr'radical and Bernard et ses désaccords!
At L'Alizée (900 Ontario est), 8pm. More info:

::::: BRIGADES FESTIVES (August 11) :::::

The info/popular education committee is organizing "Brigades Festives" in local neighbourhoods, to raise awareness about the SPP. The first Brigade took place in Parc Extension this past July 29 (photos at:

The next Brigade will be in Côte-des-Neiges on August 11. More details to be posted at:

TEL: 514-848-7583