Friday, August 28, 2009
CANADIAN ANARCHIST MOVEMENT:
THE HISTORY OF NEFAC IN QUÉBEC CITY (PART 9- THE CONCLUSION):
Here it is. Part 9, the concluding chapter of Molly's translation of the History of NEFAC in Québec City. I have to say that I am quite pleased at finally coming to the end of this task. I will later correlate all the pieces into a complete article.
A balance sheet?
While it is too early to draw a comprehensive balance sheet of NEFAC (in Québec City, and in the province of Québec), one can nevertheless find some items that are food for thought.
In the first place , the presence of an anarchist group active for almost ten years is perhaps not spectacular, but it is in itself an important achievement, at least in our political context. The present libertarian current is not the first in Quebec, but it suffers from a flagrant lack of continuity through time. Through its various mutations, NEFAC has managed to grow and renew itself before, during and after several moments of important social struggle in which we participated, from the Quebec Summit and Youth through the Summit of the Americas to student , trade union and popular struggles in recent years. This continuity has allowed the group and its members to develop, and to gain experience and political maturity.
The commitment of many libertarians, including members of NEFAC, in social movements has acted to demystify anarchism to many activists, particularly in popular groups in the region of Québec. The production of a weekly radio broadcast and website activity, the distribution of tens of thousands of leaflets, newspapers, posters, books and brochures, as well as holding dozens of conferences and workshops have certainly helped raise awareness of anarchism and libertarian principles significantly in different mileaux. Several campaigns took off like that on the issue of theft in the popular neighborhoods or those on the elections (which were particularly numerous!).
But we must face the obvious: such activity is not sufficient to gain the support of many people for a political organization like ours. The "turnover" remains important, even on our (small) scale. Various factors may explain this phenomenon. What is requested of members is rather demanding, we thus plunge into a vicious circle: the less we are numerous the more each and every individual must compensate to achieve the goals we set ourselves. Moreover, our current structure does not facilitate the involvement of many people. The quasi-clandestine and affinity group nature of some of our activities that has characterized our operations for several years is an example. For the rest, reading the texts of Phoebus and Julie will bring out more relevant answers.
The least we can say is that the process of refounding NEFAC Quebec aroused great interest and curiosity. We can not fail! We must therefore take the time to do things right, especially since the "failure" of NEFAC has affected the functioning of the regional union in Quebec. After ten years of agitation, propaganda and organization, our current has taken an important place in the landscape of the anti-capitalist left. But these achievements are fragile. The potential is there to us to seize opportunities when they arise!
1) The process that led to the creation of the NEFAC dates back to 1999. The group Emile Henry (Québec), founded the previous year, was involved. NEFAC was officially founded at a congress held in Boston in 2000 where two delegations from Québec (one from Québec, the other from Montreal) were present.
2) The idea of a infokiosque is not born "spontaneously". Creating a space like that had germinated in the minds of some members of NEFAC several months before. It lacked a space - free - and a good dose of organization to make it a reality.
3) As for example in the demonstration against American intervention in Iraq on November 17, 2002, we set ourselves apart by an internationalist position which rejected the "pacifism" of the official organizing committee. Our leaflet entitled "Quelle connerie que la paix sociale" (Social peace is a con game -?????Molly)was decorated with a beautiful dove clutching a molotov cocktail in its claws...
4) We relayed the word of a general strike against the FTAA in Québec on 32 October 2002 alongside Dada à Faim and the Collectif des Bas-Quartiers.
5) Red and Anarchist Skinheads
6) We returned three more times to the CEGEP Garneau to give lectures on libertarian education, "masculinism" and the Zapatista uprising.
7) We were thus approached by people Jacques-Cartier Community Center to organize a workshop on racism and the extreme right with the trainees. The RASH also published a fanzine ( "class against class") and organized many concerts where music and politics made a good mixture.
8) Consejo Indigena Popular de Oaxaca "Ricardo Flores-Magon"
9) Anarchist Student Network
10) Before "La Voix de Faits", members of la Nuit had hosted several radio programs on CKIA and CKRL (Level with the Daisies, Free Zone ...). But this was the first time a show was "officially" produced and presented by the collective.
A text excerpted from the special edition of the journal Ruptures (May 2009)