Title: “It would make me feel ill to free anarchist philosophers”
Subtitle: ...Canadian Judge
Date: 1996
Source: Retrieved on 11th December 2021 from struggle.ws
Notes: Published in Workers Solidarity No. 49 — Autumn 1996.

Raids have been carried out on anarchists in Quebec following rioting on June 24th in which the National Assembly (government building) was attacked. Groups targeted have included Food Not Bombs and the collective producing the magazine ‘Demanarchie’. One member of ‘Demanarchie’ was even arrested for selling the paper at a popular youth hangout. In a statement they said

“The Demanarchie collective rejects all claims of authorship and ownership of the St-Jean riot at Quebec City. Bear unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s: the riot belongs only to those who participated in it.

As we explained quite clearly in our editorial, the one that you find so controversial: “The Riot is a spontaneous phenomenon”. This is to say that the accusations of a conspiracy and premeditation are nothing but lies meant to criminalise us on the basis of our political beliefs.

The hunt for scapegoats is an attempt to disguise the authorities’ responsibility for the ever-worsening social climate which is making more and more young people feel like they have less and less to lose.

If you really want to find those responsible for the damage done on the St-Jean, go check out the cops and the mass media. Policies of zero tolerance and sensationalistic blather provoke the excitement and the violence of crowds.

You can gag the anarchists, but you won’t be able to silence the cries of the excluded.”

The police also raided a house where people who worked with Food Not Bombs (a radical anti-poverty group) lived. Three people were arrested when police found a few alleged pot plants. At their bail hearing the prosecutor described them as dangerous agitators and noted that they had not been in Quebec City the night of the riot but had distributed “subversive propaganda” and then had “others do the actual work” for them.

The judge refused them bail, declaring that “It would make me feel ill to free anarchist philosophers” and claiming that their pot plants were part of a sinister plot to “make the people fall asleep to better be able to indoctrinate them”!