[The following is the English version of the text of the flyer that will be handed out by members of the “Anti-Colonial Contingent” in Quebec City on July 3, 2008. The French version, which will be distributed publicly in Quebec City, is linked HERE.]
400 Years of Colonialism and Militarism: Nothing to Celebrate!
Ni patrie, ni état, ni Québec, ni Canada!
QUEBEC CITY, JULY 3, 2008 -- Today marks the 400th anniversary of the “founding” of Quebec City by “explorer” Samuel de Chaplain, on behalf of the King of France.
This occasion is being uncritically marked by a march of Canadian Armed Forces soldiers on Quebec City’s streets who have been bestowed the colonial British droit de cité (“Freedom of the City”). These soldiers are recently returned from Afghanistan where – despite all self-serving pretensions about being part of a humanitarian mission – they were foot soldiers in George Bush’s misguided and disastrous “War on Terror”. Valcartier soldiers were deployed in Kandahar so that essentially more American soldiers could occupy Iraq.
As part of today’s festivities, the federal police (RCMP), created to repress Indigenous “rebellions” on the Prairies, are also being celebrated. The entire effort is essentially an expensive photo opportunity for all shades of Quebec, Canadian and French politicians, using tourists and the people of Quebec City as their “camera fodder”.
We march today in support of the call by the Guerre à la guerre Coalition in Quebec City to protest against militarism. We support their demands to end the “droit de cité” accorded to the Royal 22nd Regiment, for the immediate withdrawal of Canadian Armed Forces troops from Afghanistan, and for an end to military recruitment propaganda.
We also march as part of an ANTI-COLONIAL CONTINGENT, to highlight the roots of militarism and imperialism, at home and abroad.
The celebration of Quebec’s 400th is a not-too-subtle whitewashing of history, making the brutal colonization of the Americas by racist British and French settlers look almost quaint.
The reality of 400 years of colonialism has meant a continual process of genocide and displacement of the Indigenous populations of Turtle Island. In Quebec specifically, this process of colonization, and neo-colonization, continues to play “divide and rule” between Indigenous nations -- exactly like their British colonizers and the Canadian government -- deciding to paternalize “good Indians” while ignoring or attacking the “bad Indians.”
It’s appropriate that Quebec’s 400th is being marked with a parade of soldiers who’ve unsuccessfully tried to occupy Kandahar. Canadian Armed Forces soldiers were also deployed in similar numbers in 1990, around the island of Montreal, used to repress the legitimate demands of the Mohawks of Kahnawake and Kanehsatake during the so-called “Oka Crisis”.
Instead of false apologies, and neo-colonial relationships, we stand in support of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, without the meddling of either Quebec or Canadian governments.
We march today in support and solidarity with Indigenous struggles for land, freedom and survival, from Lac Barrière to Nitassinan, from Kahnawake to Nunavik. As non-natives, we are standing up to oppose the unjust policies that are undertaken in our name, and to challenge the false histories used to justify them, as part of a process of our own decolonization.
We march together today to say: From Kabul to Quebec City, there is no justice on stolen and occupied land.
The ANTI-COLONIAL CONTINGENT is organized by Block the Empire-Montréal with the support of the following groups: Autonomous Social Center (Montréal), Barrier Lake Solidarity Committee (Montréal), Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble (Montréal), Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (Montréal), Collectif Piranha (Québec City), Collectif de recherche sur l'autonomie collective (Montréal), Collectif de résistance anti-capitaliste (Saguenay), Comité Fahad (Montréal), Frigo Vert (Montréal), Immigrant Workers Centre (Montréal), La Mauvaise Herbe, Mohawk Traditional Council of Kahnawake, NEFAC (Montréal), Operation Objection (Montréal), La Otra Campaña (Montréal), PINAY-The Filipino’s Woman Organization in Quebec, La Pointe Libertaire (Montréal), No One Is Illegal (Montréal), Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (Montréal), Solidarity Across Borders (Montréal), Les Sorcières (Montréal), Tadamon! (Montréal) and others.
For more information: http://amp-montreal.net