Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Anti-Patriarchy, Quebec
The following is the complete text from a flier antifascists were planning to distribute at a counterdemonstration against a group that had planned to hold a pro-gun rally at the Place du 6 Décembre (the memorial to victims of the 1989 antifeminist Polytechnique massacre, in which 14 women were killed) on Saturday, December 2nd. This rally has now been moved outside of Montreal, and as a result the planned counterdemonstrations have been canceled. We still feel it is worthwhile to share this text, which explains the connections between this rally – and the “gunnies” — with the Quebec far-Right. A more in-depth text on this subject will be coming soon.
Today some self-styled “gunnies” were planning to hold a rally at the memorial for the victims of the Polytechnique massacre, in which 14 women were killed in 1989 by antifeminist gunman Marc Lépine.
We are here to share our solidarity and outrage over this misogynist provocation.
Over the past year we have witnessed a sickening increase in hate crimes, and far-right organizing, across Quebec. This was sparked by a mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City, on January 29. The current far-right wave, while focused on Muslims, is hostile to anything that threatens their imaginary “traditional” Quebec society, made up of white, francophone, heterosexual Catholics, with men “protecting” women and laying down the law.
The so-called “gunnies” protest was organized by the collectif Tous contre un registre québécois des armes à feu, and specifically by Conservative Party officials Guy Morin and Jessie McNicoll. It is no surprise that both McNicoll and Morin, along with several people who indicated they would attend the event, are also supporters of various far right groups, such as Storm Alliance, La Meute, and the Three Percenters.
The Three Percenters is a group that many who planned to attend this event, including Guy Morin himself, are also associated with. “Threepers,” as they are called, are a paramilitary group that was started in the United States in 2008, pledging armed resistance against attempts to restrict private gun ownership. However, their political agenda goes far beyond simply supporting gun rights. In the United States, Three Percenters have been actively involved in vigilante patrols along the Mexican border, blocking buses of immigrants who have already been detained, and holding anti-refugee rallies. Threepers have held protests outside mosques, and have been involved in a number of cases of violence, including in November 2015 when one of their supporters shot five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. In Canada, Threepers have “staked out” mosques and tried to intimidate counterprotesters at anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant demonstrations.
There is clear overlap between Tous contre un registre québécois des armes à feu, the Threepers, and other far-right groups, including the Storm Alliance and La Meute. Several Threepers armed with clubs and wearing the group’s insignia were identified providing security at the recent racist demonstration organized by those two groups on November 25 in Quebec City, and before the facebook event for the December 2 “gunny” rally was taken down, a number of Storm Alliance and La Meute members as well as Threepers had indicated they would attend. At the same time, one of the “gunnies” who made an insulting videoaccusing the victims of Lepine’s massacre of being “polypleurniches” (“polycrybabies”), Martin Leger, is a former member of the neo-nazi Quebec Stomper scene from which the group Atalante (who were also present on November 25) emerged.
The plan to hold a “gunny” rally at the memorial to the Polytechnique victims is a clear antifeminist provocation. While groups like Storm Alliance and La Meute claim to favor equality between men and women, they routinely deride feminism for having “ruined” women in Quebec, or for being part of a leftist conspiracy to weaken the Quebec nation. These racist groups are mainly interested in positioning white francophone Québécois men as protectors of white women against the threat they feel “other” men pose. And yet, since December 6, 1989, over 1500 women and girls have been murdered in Quebec, generally by white men, often by men they knew. The racism of Storm Alliance, La Meute, and the Threepers will do nothing to protect anyone, but on the contrary will simply lead to heightened violence against women, including and especially women in the communities they target.
We are determined to resist by any means necessary the rise of the extreme right and its racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic agenda.
Montréal Antifasciste: United against racism, patriarchy and colonialism