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FLQ

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by Riley Anderson on 14 June 2011

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Transcript of FLQ

The FLQ By Big A And Coupy The FLQ, or also known as
the Front de libération du Québec, was a left wing nationalist group that strived to seperate Quebec from Canada.
Left Wing means a group that aims for equality. The FLQ operated between 1963 and 1970. Here is a timeline of the events that happened. At times, the happenings of the FLQ have been chronicalized into "waves" Wave 1 The first wave of the FLQ were of members of the Rassemblement pour l'Indépendance Nationale. This group formed the "Réseau de Resistance", or Resistance Network. This group eventually broke up, forming the FLQ. The FLQ commenced their attacks on March 7, 1963. Some of their more notable crimes include bombing a railway (by which then –Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker had arranged to travel within the week).

By June 1, 1963, this original group had been arrested. In 1963, Gabriel Hudon and Raymond Villeneuve were sentenced to 12 years in prison after their bomb killed Wilfred O'Neill, a watchman at Montreal's Canadian Army Recruitment Centre. Their targets also included businesses, banks, McGill University, Loyola College. Wave 2 A group of six individuals, commenced a series of crimes in Quebec over a period between September 26, 1963, and April 9, 1964. They called themselves the "Quebec Liberation Army", and stole approximately $534,000 canadian in goods and money. Most of these individuals were also released by 1967. Wave 3 A larger group of revolutionaries became known as the "Revolutionary Army of Quebec" . This group attempted to focus on training, particularly in St. Boniface. A gun robbery August 29, 1964 resulted in two deaths. Cyr Delisle, Gilles Brunet, Marcel Tardif, François Schirm, and Edmond Guenette, the five members arrested in connection with the deaths of Leslie MacWilliams and Alfred Pinisch, workers at the store, were sentenced to life in prison. Wave 4 Charles Gagnon and Pierre Vallières combined their "Popular Liberation Movement" with the FLQ in July 1965. This also combined several other pro-sovereignty groups. This may have led to a more socialist FLQ attitude. This new group robbed a New Democratic Party office and a radio station for supplies, many of which were used to write La Cognée, the revolutionary paper published by the FLQ during the many years of activity. The 4th wave saw the increasing use of explosives, the production styles of which were sometimes detailed in La Cognée.

By August 1966, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had arrested many FLQ members. Gagnon and Vallières had fled to the United States, where they protested in front of the United Nations and were later arrested. In September 1967, the pair were extradited to Canada.

In 1968, after various riots within Quebec and in Europe, a new group of FLQ was formed. Within a year, this group of Felquistes had exploded 52 bombs. Rather than La Cognée, they wrote La Victoire. The various members of the group were arrested by May 2, 1969. Wave 5 and 6 On February 13, 1969, the FLQ set off a powerful bomb that ripped through the Montreal Stock Exchange, seriously injuring 27 people. After another series of bombings, on September 28, 1969, they bombed the home of Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau. After the bombing, police concluded that the bomb was placed in the toilet so inspectors couldn't find it.

1969 also saw many riots, including one against McGill University. The RCMP had intercepted intelligence relating to the planned riots, and prevented excessive damage. This failed riot led to Mario Bachand leaving Canada, and another group of FLQ forming, which would become responsible for the October Crisis.

During the police strike of 1969, the "Taxi Liberation Front", a creation of the "Popular Liberation Front", which was itself the creation of Jacques Lanctôt and Marc Carbonneau, killed a police officer. Jacques Lanctôt is credited by Michael McLoughlin, author of Last Stop, Paris: The Assassination of Mario Bachand and the Death of the FLQ, with writing the FLQ Manifesto during the prelude to the October Crisis.

The gang bought a house, which they named "The Little Free Quebec", and it quickly became a den of the FLQ. These new FLQ members bought two other houses, prepared their plans, and stocked sufficient equipment for their upcoming actions.

The group split into two over what plans should be taken, but were reunited during the crisis itself. The October Crisis On October 5, 1970, members of the FLQ kidnapped James Richard Cross, the British Trade Commissioner as he was leaving his home for work. Shortly afterwards, on October 10, they kidnapped the Minister of Labour and Vice-Premier of Quebec, Pierre Laporte. Laporte was coming from a meeting with others, discussing the demands of the FLQ. After the demands were denied, Pierre Laporte was immediately killed by the FLQ. Pierre Trudeau fights back... Canada's Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, in his statement to the press during the October Crisis, admitted that he would invoke the War Measures Act, the only time the country used these powers during peacetime. Invoking the War Measures Act was a risky move for Trudeau because the act overrides fundamental rights and privileges stated in the Canadian Bill of Rights.

In an interview, Pierre Trudeau, responding to a question of how extreme his implementation of the War Measures Act would be, Trudeau answered, “Well, just watch me.” This line has become a part of Trudeau’s legacy.

As a result of the invocation of the War Measures Act, civil liberties were suspended. By December 29, 1970, police had arrested 453 persons with suspected ties to the FLQ. Of the 453 people who were arrested, 435 were eventually released without ever being charged.

The events of October 1970 contributed to the loss of support for violent means to attain Quebec independence, and increased support for a political party, the Parti Québécois, which took power in 1976. The FLQ released a list of demands for Cross's release:

1. the release of 23 "political prisoners"
2. the following FLQ members, André Lessard, Pierre Marcil, and Réjean Tremblay, who were out on bail at the time of the kidnappings, would be allowed to leave Quebec if they wanted.
3. all family members of the "political prisoners" and those out on bail would be able to join them outside of Quebec.
4. $500,000 in gold
5. the broadcast and publication of the FLQ Manifesto
6. the publication of the name of a police informant
7. a Helicopter to take the kidnappers to Cuba or Algeria and while doing so they would be accompanied by their lawyers.
8. the rehiring of about 450 Lapalme postal workers who had been laid off because of their support of the FLQ
9. the cessation of all police search activities

The FLQ also stipulated how the above demands would be carried out:

1. the prisoners were to be taken to the Montreal airport and supplied a copy of the FLQ Manifesto. They were to be allowed to communicate with each other and become familiar with the Manifesto.
2. they were not to be dealt with in a harsh or brutal manner.
3. they must be able to communicate with their lawyers to discuss the best course of action, whether to leave Quebec or not. As well, these lawyers must receive passage back to Quebec. The Demands
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