A demonstration against the neo-colonial project “Plan Nord” (North Plan), which seeks to exploit to a maximum extent the minerals in Québec’s northernmost territories for the profit of mining companies, has turned into a street battle between insurgents and riot police, with an intensity and length rarely seen in Montréal.
Gathering about 2,000 people including indigenous militants, ecologists, striking students, anarchists and trade-union militants, two demonstrations converged and heavily disrupted the Plan Nord’s Employment Fair taking place inside Montréal’s Palais des congrès (convention center) last Friday 20th of April.
At around 12h30, a group of demonstrators (mainly striking students) has succeeded in entering the huge building, even if it was heavily guarded by riot police.
Violently pushed away by batons and rubber bullets, they have then joined their comrades outside the building. Faced with police violence, who didn’t hesitate to fire tear gas at point blank range and to throw loads of flash bang grenades, what was until then not much more than an ordinary demo has turned into an insurrectionary moment which lasted all afternoon long.
The raging mob started to charge back the cops, throwing rocks, paint balls and any other object they could grab. Despite numerous police charges, people were regrouping each time and often succeeded in outflanking the cops, forcing them to retreat. Completely overrun, the Montréal police had to call the provincial police (Sûreté du Québec) for reinforcements.
Barricades have been erected at many street intersections, the convention center’s windows, those of the World Trade Center, of Québécor (Québec’s major media corporation) as well as those of a few banks have been smashed and a hydrant has been opened on the cops.
The ecstatic mob, over which flew black and green flags, was chanting “Capital wages war on us – War against Capital!” Meanwhile, inside, Québec’s Prime minister was joking with his friends, bourgeois, investors and other parasites, declaring with fascist irony that he wanted to offer “a job, in the North as much as possible” to the rebels fighting off the cops just outside, an allusion reminding of the Soviet Gulag’s work camps.
No to Plan Nord! Solidarity with indigenous people and with insurgents everywhere!