Monday, August 03, 2009

The following is an English translation of an article from the Québecois journal 'Ruptures', the theoretical publication of the Libertarian Communist Union (UCL) of Québec. For many years now I have considered the Québecois movement to be far in advance of that in anglophone Canada in many ways. It is quite unfortunate that the linguistic divide in our country prevents many of us from appreciating what is happening in Québec.

The following is the "beginning" of a translation of the article from the original French. Unfortunately poor little Molly has limited time, and translations take her a long time to do. Thus the article will be, unfortunately, presented "in parts". I beg the readers' forgiveness. Here's the 'Introduction'.
NEFAC in Quebec (2001-2008):
- Summing up Involvement
A special issue of the journal Ruptures (May 2009)

I have been involved in the anarchist movement for the past ten years. Before coming to anarchism, I worked for 5 or 6 years in the radical movement of the early 1990s, a mixture of Trotskyism, antifascism and students' struggles. After several years of involvement at UQAM with MDE (Movement for the right to education) and with the PAC (Political Action Committee), I participated in the creation of the libertarian Frayhayt group in September 1999, and the CLAC then in March of 2000.

I learned about NEFAC a few months before the Summit of the Americas during the summer of 2000, if I recall correctly. I admit to have been rather skeptical about its chances of success. How could there be anarcho-communists in Quebec? A dozen? No, really, it could not work. It must be said that the experience in which I was plunged in the CLAC was-to say the least- promising. What we wanted, a mass anti-capitalist, was taking shape before our eyes, driven by the anti-globalization wave. We were able to mobilize thousands of people, not only on vague slogans denouncing the effects of neoliberalism (as was the case for several years), but on a clear rejection of the foundations of the capitalist system. Better still, the principles of direct democracy, self-organizing and popular education were central to this approach. If the months preceding the Summit could be exhilarating (and stressful), both the Summit itself was up to my expectations. I was hardly aware the participation of NEFAC (1) in these events as the streets of Quebec abounded with anarchists and revolutionaries of all kinds.

After the Summit I was quickly disenchanted. By the month of June, I joined with those who, in Quebec, had re-grouped under the acronym CASA (Committee to Welcome the Summit of the Americas) for a weekend of reflection near Valcartier. About thirty people, mostly students at Laval University, participated in the assembly orientation. Despite interesting debates, no clear perspective could be deduced from the meeting. The Summit is now over, and with it, several of those present would gradually abandon activism. This perspective-or lack of perspective-hardly attracted me. I was working more and more regularly at the newspaper "Rebelles." I thought I could continue the momentum on my return to Quebec. Unfortunately, the collective that publishes "Rebelles" also ceased its activities during the summer. I turned then to the only organization capable of bringing about a long-term involvement, for which a common project - libertarian-communism- is not a "taboo", but something fully assumed.

I become a supporter of NEFAC in July 2001. A few days later, on July 23, I spoke on behalf of the anarchist group Émile Henry in a demonstration to denounce the murder of Carlo Giuliani, at the Italian consulate in Limoilou, I become a member of the federation shortly after . Despite some flaws in the platform of NEFAC, it seemed more important to join a group wishing to develop an organized anarchist movement than to go from summit to summit, from one season to another, without a revolutionary perspective .
As I hope I made plain before the above is the first of what is quite a long translation (six pages en français) of an article written by a Québecois activist. More will follow in the future. Thank you for your patience. Translation is a hard task for me. I personally think that the history of NEFAC in Québec is important for the rest of us in Canada to appreciate.

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