Statements against ‘GAMMA’ Political Police Squad in Montreal – from CLAC and PRAC

The following statement was produced at the initiative of the Anti-Capitalist Convergence / Convergence des Luttes Anticapitalists (CLAC) of Montreal, and was signed by some 30 groups and many individuals (signitatories listed below), including ILPS-Canada.  It is a very important statement against the ratcheting up of political profiling in Montreal and its call at the end for non-collaboration with police services “in their tactics of division, profiling, snitching and dividing political movements” is essential for the advance of people’s struggles. We have fused the English and French CLAC statements into one document, with each paragraph being translated.
 
The Toronto-based organization Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee also produced a statement Condemn Police Repression in Quebec which is linked here or reproduced further below. PRAC’s statement  provides more background information into the political repression that is the subject of CLAC’s letter.
 
-ILPS-Canada.

Montréal, le 20 septembre 2011

Nous dénonçons fermement la dernière offensive répressive du Service de police de la ville de Montréal(SPVM) qui vise à criminaliser, intimider et à isoler plusieurs groupes militants ainsi que la formation d’une police politique (escouade GAMMA) sous l’égide de la division du crime organisé du SPVM.

We strongly condemn the most recent repressive offensive by the Montreal police (SPVM) whose aim is to criminalize, intimidate and isolate several political organizations. We also condemn the formation of a political police squad (entitled “GAMMA”) which is a unit of the SPVM’s organized crime division.

Que cette nouvelle initiative soit préméditée de longue date ou que ce soit une autre bavure due à la confusion des genres propre aux forces de police n’est pas notre principale préoccupation. On sait très bien que le profilage des acteurs politiques n’a pas commencé avec l’escouade GAMMA (Guet des activités et des mouvements marginaux et anarchistes) et ne se terminera pas avec son abolition, tout comme on sait que l’escouade Eclipse ne vise pas tant les «gangs de rues» que les «jeunes de couleur».

We are not preoccupied about whether the formation of GAMMA was planned long in advance, or whether it’s just another police blunder. We know very well that political profiling did not begin with the GAMMA squad, and it won’t end with its abolition; just as we know that the Eclipse squad does not target “street gangs” as much as youth of colour.

Dans un contexte de durcissement du capitalisme et d’accentuation de la marginalisation des mouvements sociaux et des groupes politiques, il est essentiel et urgent de se mobiliser face à toute attaque contre nos communautés. Si on les laisse s’attaquer à un milieu en particulier, ils auront le champ libre pour criminaliser l’ensemble des mouvements sociaux. Face à cette stratégie de diviser pour régner, nous devons nous unir !

In a context of the tightening grip of capitalism and the deepening marginalization of social movements and political groups, it’s essential to take action against all attacks against our communities. If we let them attack one community, they will have free reign to target all social movements. Against the strategy of divide-and-rule, we must unite!

Notre droit d’association, de manifestation et d’expression n’est pas que légal, il est légitime !

Our freedom of association, demonstration and speech is not only legal, but legitimate. 

Notre droit à la dissidence, nous ne le quémandons pas, nous l’utilisons quotidiennement !

Our freedom to dissent is not something we beg for, but something we assert daily.

Attendu que / Whereas :

  • Les dirigeants économiques et politiques se cachent derrière un système pseudo-démocratique en faillite pour s’enrichir à une vitesse exponentielle / the economic and political elites hide behind a bankrupt pseudo-democratic system to profit themselves at exponential speed;
  • Cette élite parasitaire doit justifier ses politiques antisociales en augmentant la répression / this parasitic elite must justify its antisocial policies by increasing repression;
  • Les différents corps de police agissent comme rempart face à la mobilisation et à la révolte de la population contre un système injuste / that the various police agencies act as barrier to the mobilization and revolt of people against an unjust system;
  • En plus de protéger consciemment les abus des autorités, les différents corps de police agissent comme acteur politique en déstabilisant les mouvements sociaux / that the various police agencies not only protect their own abuses, but are political actors in destabilizing social movements;
  • Nous dénonçons tout rôle politique du SPVM et des autres corps policiers / We denounce any political role by the SPVM and other police agencies.
  • Nous dénonçons toute criminalisation et stigmatisation de la dissidence et de nos opinions / We denounce the criminalization and stigmatization of political dissidence and our opinions.
  • Nous dénonçons toute forme de profilage politique, social et racial / We denounce all forms of political, racial or social profiling.
  • Nous dénonçons toute tentative de salissage de nos mouvements / We denounce all efforts to smear our movements.

En signant cette déclaration, nous nous engageons également à ne pas collaborer, de quelque manière que ce soit, avec les forces de l’ordre dans leurs tactiques de division, de profilage, de délation et de désolidarisation des mouvements politiques.

By signing this statement, we are also engaging not to collaborate, in any way whatsoever, with police agencies in their tactics of division, profiling, snitching and dividing political movements.

Une déclaration diffusée à l’initiative de la CLAC-MTL (Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes)

This statement is distributed on the initiative of Montreal’s Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC).

Groupes endossants la déclaration

Association de défense des droits sociaux du Montréal-métropolitain (ADDS-MM)
Association Facultaire Étudiante de Science Politique Et Droit de l’UQAM (AFESPED-UQAM)
BASICS Community News Service-Toronto
Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC)
Centre de ressources éducatives et communautaires pour adultes (CRÉCA)
Centre des femmes d’ici et d’ailleurs (CFIA)
la Coalition Justice pour Anas
Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP)
Comité des sans-emploi (CSE)
Comité pour un Secours rouge canadien
L’En-Droit de Laval
Fédération des locataires d’habitations à loyer modique du Québec (FLHLMQ)
Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU)
Groupe de recherche et d’intérêt public (GRIP-UQAM)
Illusion-Emploi-Sherbrooke
Immigrant Workers Center (IWC-CTI)
Librairie anarchiste l’Insoumise
Ligue internationale de lutte des peuples – Canada
Mouvement action-chômage (MAC-Montréal)
Mouvement autonome et solidaire des sans-emploi (MASSE)
Mouvement d’éducation populaire autonome et d’action communautaire du Québec (MÉPACQ)
Personne n’est illégal-Montréal (NOII)
Parti communiste révolutionnaire (PCR)
Pointe libertaire
POPIR Comité logement
Projet accompagnement et solidarité Colombie (PASC)
Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at Concordia
Red and Anarchists Skinheads – Montréal (RASH Montréal)
Réseau de la Commission populaire (RCP)
Réseau du Forum social de Québec Chaudière-Appalaches
Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes (RQGE)
Société bolivarienne du Québec
Solidarité populaire Estrie
Solidarité sans frontières (SSF)
Union Communiste Libertaire (UCL)

Individus endossant la déclaration

Janik Bastien Charlebois, professeure de sociologie (UQAM)
Francis Dupuis-Déri, professeur de science politique (UQAM)
Eric Pineault, professeur de sociologie (UQAM)
Alain-G. Gagnon, professeur de science politique (UQAM)
Marie Nathalie LeBlanc présidente, Société canadienne d’anthropologie/Canadian Society for Anthropology (CASCA) et professeure de Sociologie (UQAM)
François Gauthier, professeur de sciences des religions(UQAM)
Lawrence Olivier, professeur de science politique (UQAM)
Eve Paquette, professeure de sciences des religions (UQAM)
Marc-André Éthier, professeur (Université de Montréal)
Michel Seymour, professeur de philosophie (Université de Montréal)
Laurent McFalls, professeur de science politique (Université de Montréal)
Rémi Bachand, professeur de sciences juridiques (UQAM)
Christian Vanasse, conseiller municipal, St-Jude
Hans Marotte, avocat

Jacques Beaudoin, avocat
Sibel Ataogul, avocate
Dominique Caouette, professeur de science politique, directeur, Centre d’études de l’Asie de l’Est (CETASE), Université de Montréal

 

 

Condemn Police Repression in Quebec

 

On June 29th, four political activists considered to be part of the Revolutionary Communist Party Canada (PCR-RCP) were arrested and are now facing serious criminal charges.  Following these arrests, the Quebec police and RCMP began to target, surveil, harass, and intimidate suspected members of the PCR-RCP, classifying the organization as a “criminal gang”.  Furthermore, during the July 13th hearings of the original four defendants,
the Montreal Police Service has now acknowledged the existence of the GAMMA Squad [“Guet des activitiés des mouvements marginaux et anarchistes“, or “Surveillance of the activities of marginal and anarchist movements”], an overtly political police body that is now focusing primarily on the activities of the PCR-RCP.  Since the Anti-Capitalist Convergence coalition [CLAC] in Quebec is releasing a statement today in support of the PCR-RCP, we at PRAC have decided to also provide our own statement of support.

The arrests, home invasions, surveillance, and harassment of the suspected members of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada and their friends and family members is starting to demonstrate a level of repression that has not been experienced by a single progressive organization in Canada––outside of the indigenous anticolonial movement and its revolutionary uprisings––in the past three decades.  We are entering a new phase of the criminalization of dissent with the establishment of the GAMMA Squad, a special police force dedicated entirely to the suppression of revolutionaries, and at this moment the PCR-RCP is its primary target.

But the GAMMA Squad is just an honest articulation of what the police have always been.  The state and its machinery, its special bodies of armed women and men, exist primarily to protect capitalism and suppress dissent. Although the schools and media teach us to respect our “officer friendlies” and our “beloved mounties”, we on the left know the side on which the police and the RCMP stand; we know that we should never trust or share information with the enemy.  We congratulate the supporters of the PCR-RCP for refusing to collaborate with the pigs’ intimidation and attempts to gather information under the auspices of “fighting crime”.  We know what, in the eyes of the pig state, ultimately qualifies as “crime”: anything that challenges capitalism and colonialism––the foundations upon which Canada exists.  Thus, according to the atrophied imagination of the police, the GAMMA Squad, and the RCMP, the PCR-RCP can be nothing more than a “criminal gang” since a rejection of the foundation upon which Canada’s precious laws are built is the greatest crime.

But the intimidation and suppression that is now being leveled at the PCR- RCP, which is more severe than the much publicized assaults on activist civil liberties in the wake of the G20 protests of 2010, is also something the PCR-RCP should celebrate––not because anyone should celebrate state repression and violence, or the lies the state’s guardians will invent to justify the silencing and imprisonment of revolutionaries, but because, in the words of Mao Zedong, to be attacked by the enemy is a good thing:

it is good if we are attacked by the enemy since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves.  It is better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly depraved and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we… have achieved a great deal in our work.

In other words, if the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada was not seen as a significant political threat in Quebec, and was not achieving results in its revolutionary endeavours, it would be generally ignored; the repression confirms that it is doing something vital.

The PCR-RCP has always claimed the title “revolutionary communist”, never shying away from proclaiming the necessity of the overthrow of capitalism and the revolutionary seizure of the Canadian state.  It has not simply stated this belief in newspapers and lectures, but has pursued its politics in practice, agitating for revolution amongst the masses.  Thus, this round of state repression demonstrates that the PCR-RCP is closing the gap between theory and practice; its potential to organize a powerful revolutionary movement is now confirmed by the state that has chosen to treat it as a “criminal” threat––mobilizing false charges, and attempting to smother the revolutionary infant in its red cradle.

We not only condemn the state’s repression of the PCR-RCP, we also condemn the suppression of all revolutionaries.  More importantly, we condemn the very existence of the capitalist/imperialist/colonialist state.  We ask for all revolutionary-minded people to join us in condemning the state and recognizing the PCR-RCP as fellow revolutionaries––and revolutionaries, by definition, will always be targeted by the forces of counter-revolution. Moreover, since we believe that “it is not a bad thing to be attacked by the enemy,” we hope that the PCR-RCP will grow in numbers and experience during this early phase of resistance, proving to sympathetic progressives across Canada that it is the revolutionary organization we in PRAC believe it to be.

PRAC-Toronto, September 20th 2011.

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