I'll update as information becomes available.
So today's the big day: far right, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic group La Meute will attempt to demonstrate in Montreal. They waited until just now to announce their meetup point due to fear of counter protests.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
I'll be at the counter demo giving live updates starting at noon. pic.twitter.com/b2O2rA8qbb
In the meantime, some important context:— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
La Meute will be marching alongside a new far-right formation called Independence Day, a group led by Michel Larocque-- who also was previously leader of the Quebec KKK. Larocque now has a tattoo of La Meute's logo on his hand.
La Meute's reps have made clear that their goal today is not dialogue, but provocation.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
"We arent demonstrating to convince people of our ideas, but to mobilise the people who already think like us"
Clearly, that includes former Klan leaders.https://t.co/qOoKATJduP
Activists from a wide array of far right formations are expected to turn out today--every group from the larger ones like La Meute and Storm Alliance, to smaller neo nazi crews like Atalante and Soldiers of Odin— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
It's an attempted show of force in a city dominated by anti-racists
So far there's ~100 people at the meetup for the anti-racist counter demo, at the Place Simon-Valois in Hochelaga. The number is growing fairly quickly.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
About 150 members of different groups including #antifa ,— Simon Nakonechny (@simon_nak) July 1, 2018
communists and Indigenous activists gathering in #Hochelaga to denounce La Meute gathering downtown Montreal at 2pm #manifenccours pic.twitter.com/uWm8EKsKSb
Indigenous folks associated with the Wolf Pack Street Patrol--a mutual aid group for homeless people--denounce La Meute.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
"La Meute says that this is their land? I don't think so!" Crowd cheers. pic.twitter.com/34leO2urQv
Hearing that the La Meute demo has about ~100 people at it, meaning that anti-racists outnumber them 2-3 times.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Also hearing that the Meute security team is intimidating random passersby, asking if theyre"antifa"
Around 75 members of #lameute and #stormalliance are marching towards Citizenship and Immigraiton Canada offices on Saint-Antoine St in downtown Montreal #MANIFENCOURS pic.twitter.com/l81SZS1288— Simon Nakonechny (@simon_nak) July 1, 2018
Selon le live de Pierre Dion https://t.co/f4CmpzVkUc— Le Troupeau (@LetroupeauQC) July 1, 2018
Il semble que la police aurait arrêté des autobus de membres de l'extrême droite. Information à vérifiée.#onestpasracistes
Aussi, il y a très peu de gens et Pierre Dion est déçu
About 100 members of La Meute are protesting in front of Montreal's main Immigration Canada office under heavy police protection. Anti-racists on the other side of the police line chant "everybody hates fascists" and "fuck La Meute" pic.twitter.com/ylgYxIMf9T— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
#manifencours— Le Troupeau (@LetroupeauQC) July 1, 2018
Il semble que l'ancien chef du KKK section Québec est bel et bien à la manifestation de la Meute. Bien sûr #onestpasracisteshttps://t.co/ez2nOvcVJF pic.twitter.com/XzEoOaVAYc
A lot of yelling as a thick line of Montreal police keeps members of La Meute and counter-protesters apart #manifenccours pic.twitter.com/uG8dIxKVEU— Simon Nakonechny (@simon_nak) July 1, 2018
Police are attempting to direct anyi racists into an indoor parking garage which is visibly blocked on the other side by cops. Looks like an obvious trap for a mass arrest.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Warrior flag--the symbol of the Kanehsata:ke Rebellion / "Oka Crisis"-- on the front line againt La Meute and the far right pic.twitter.com/63Ia5g6v3E— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Paramedics are here in riot gear pic.twitter.com/9ZOlZaQ70e— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Anti-racists have split into two groups, and are blocking off both potential exit streets for La Meute— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Indigenous people with the wolf pack street patrol at the front of the #antifascist demonstration currently boxing in racist groups #LaMeute and #StormAlliance under 100+ degree sun pic.twitter.com/GnOdwSsQsz— submedia (@submedia) July 1, 2018
Members of La Meute stuck behind police lines on St-Antoine St between Peel and de la Cathédrale chanting “We want to march!” #manifencours— Simon Nakonechny (@simon_nak) July 1, 2018
Nothing's moving much, La Meute is cornered. Cops not letting anti-racists approach any closer.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
So this seems like a good time for a reminder that La Meute leaders were very open beforehand about collaborating closely with Montreal police on this demo.
Also inportant to remember that the police are currently engaged in an internal investigation about whether any Montreal cops are members of far right groups— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Support #montreal #antifascists send pizza and water to the corner of peel and st antoine where people have blocked in racists from #LaMeute and #stormalliance for over 2 hours pic.twitter.com/UxAyg8BaZF— submedia (@submedia) July 1, 2018
sont encore pognés au centre lol https://t.co/mXgRqqQJUQ— toujours antifasciste (@nlrmontreal) July 1, 2018
The anti-fascists appear to be having some fun:
Somebody just busted out a pinata shaped like a wolf's head (the wolf's paw is La Meute's logo). It was swiftly destroyed.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
La Meute and Storm Alliance protest stuck behind police lines on St-Antoine St with counter-protesters blocking both exits at Peel and de la Cathédrale. Leaders of La Meute talking with #spvm #manifencours pic.twitter.com/1NC3hei0yw— Simon Nakonechny (@simon_nak) July 1, 2018
fak là ils viennent de sortir du parking dans lequel ils étaient pognés... #manifencours pic.twitter.com/9TwRqRFero— toujours antifasciste (@nlrmontreal) July 1, 2018
10 minutes... pic.twitter.com/L7DiKs0lVj— toujours antifasciste (@nlrmontreal) July 1, 2018
Vast majority of La Meute's members are gone, only a few people from the security team left. Because of the anti-racist counter demo, the far right were not able to march, instead spending over 4 hours standing in the 45+ degree heat.— Jon Milton (@514jon) July 1, 2018
Crowd chants "Nananana hey hey hey goodbye"
Thx to all who sent pizza and water to today's #antifascist demo in #montreal pic.twitter.com/p3eaeeucGh— submedia (@submedia) July 1, 2018
After #antifascists successfully blocked #LaMeute and #stormalliance the demoralized fascists not being able to march in #montreal even with the protection of dozens of cops somberly got into school buses and got the fuck out of town. pic.twitter.com/yrtXXVHhTC— submedia (@submedia) July 1, 2018
Todays La Meute demonstration didn't amount to much as they were outnumbered by anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators. Thread: https://t.co/q3VjL0Buym— Canadian Anti-Hate Network (@antihateca) July 1, 2018
And with that I'm going out to enjoy some bbq and a good book.
UPDATE: This is a report from one of the people who participated in the counter-protest that prevented La Meute and the other hate groups from moving beyond the block they were trapped in.
Anti-immigrant racist group fails to demonstrate on the streets of Montreal
Anti-racists, chanting "Refugees Welcome!", succeed in blocking La Meute
July 1st, 2018, Montreal -- This is a personal report-back from today's successful anti-racist mobilization against the anti-immigrant, xenophobic group La Meute. The Islamophobic racists attempted to demonstrate in Montreal today along with their allies, the Storm Alliance, and a relatively new far-right group called Independence Day (led by the former head of Quebec's Ku Klux Klan, lest there be any doubt about the political affinities of these racists).
The La Meute leadership promised weeks ago that today's demonstration would be their largest and best yet. In their words: "Nous croyons que ce sera la meilleure manif de notre histoire (We believe this will be the best demonstration in our history)."
La Meute failed.
Only about 150 of their members were able to mobilize from all over the province to Quebec's major metropolis, Montreal, on a holiday Sunday. They were not able to march anywhere on Montreal's streets, as they intended. They were forced, instead, to spend hours baking in the sun, or hiding in the shade, pinned in on St-Antoine Street West, between de la Cathédrale and Peel, in front of the federal Immigration Canada offices.
Their (by all appearances) "whites-only" demo was surrounded by riot police and, on either side of St-Antoine Street, a total of more than 200 anti-racists held both sides of the streets, defiant, and refusing to allow any attempt by La Meute to march.
Essentially, the self-described "best demo in our history" involved La Meute members stuck behind police lines, limited to one block for three hours until they dispersed under police escort. Some of their buses were apparently also vandalized. One attempt by La Meute security to get by police lines and try to take the streets was met by chants, an anti-racist smoke grenade, and some well-aimed projectiles. La Meute members were forced to retreat. They never tried to take the streets again.
While La Meute were going through industrial quantities of sunscreen and grudgingly listening to chants in support of migrants, refugees and Muslims, members of Solidarity Across Borders had earlier in the day finished a Border Caravan at the Roxham Road crossing, building solidarity with migrants at the border regions, and also leaving signs encouraging irregular migration at the border (photos here: www.facebook.com/CiteSansFrontieres/posts/1726697020718284).
The Citizenship and Immigration Offices on St-Antoine Street has also been the site of countless demonstrations by the migrant justice movement in Montreal for two decades, ranging from pickets, vigils, protests and occupations by a multitude of groups opposing deportations and detentions and calling for Open Borders, Status For All, and a Solidarity City. Unlike the delusions of La Meute, Immigration Canada actually serves to limit and prevent migration, and deserves to be opposed for that reason.
All in all, today was a satisfying, meaningful mobilization by anti-racists in Montreal. There are clearly many challenges in the long term struggle to decisively defeat the xenophobic, racist, far-right in Quebec, but today racists were blocked from marching on Montreal's streets, despite their close collaboration with cops.
-- Jaggi Singh (personal report)
- For background and info about anti-fascist organizing in Montreal, including context about far-right, anti-immigrant groups like La Meute, visit Montreal Antifasciste:
- For more info on migrant justice organizing in Montreal, and ongoing organizing against deportations and detentions, and for Open Borders, Status For All and a Solidarity City, visit Solidarity Across Borders:
La Meute is seeking a new logo to express the only territory they are capable of defending. pic.twitter.com/zufYn3A1HL— Maxime Fiset (@maximemfiset) July 2, 2018