Friday, August 07, 2009

This is the third part of the translation of NEFAC's history in Québec. As before you can read the full text in French at THIS LINK.
The Summer of the Squat:
On the 17th of May, about 200 people, mobilized by the Popular Committee of Saint-Jean-Baptiste and other members of FRAPRU demonstrated in the streets of Quebec to demand social housing. The event finished in fron of 920, de la Chevrotière a small triplex abandoned three years ago that belonged to the City of Quebec. Fifteen militants and activists (including two members of NEFAC) barricaded themselves on the inside. Thus begins the Chevrotière squat. The occupation, which was supposed to last 48 hours, continued for almost four months. The "920" becomes the focus of struggles in Quebec throughout the summer. This was going to emerge as the La Page Noire, the self managed bookstore, in which several members of NEFAC were involved from the start (2). Our collective went to organize two activities. On 8 June, during the Congress FRAPRU in Quebec, we are launched, at the squat, a pamphlet on the housing issue written by Phoebus. Many of the delegates participating in the FRAPRU took part in the discussion. On 10 August, we showed a film with two members of the Anarchist Federation (France) passing through Quebec on the self management experiences in Senegal.
From 13 to 15 September, the NEFAC met in convention in Montreal. This was the first time I met face to face my friends in the United States and Ontario. The meeting was very rough, but ended with the adoption of a common strategy. For now, the NEFAC collectives members would work on three areas of intervention, either anti-racism / anti-fascism, the struggles in our communities and workplaces.
Less than a week after this congress, the squatters of 920 de la Chevrotière were evicted by the police. In retrospect, we can say that the squat was vitally important in the journey of many activists in Quebec. Two new groups formed themselves in its premises: the Lower Town Collective and Dada is Hungry. Both were composed mostly of former members of the CASA, especially women. As for La Nuit, weakened the collective was weakened by this adventure. We were unable to develop a collective vision of what our response should be within the occupation. We thoroughly involved ourselves, but in an uncoordinated and individual manner . Several members, and sympathizers left our collective in the coming months to join Dada is Hungry or the Lower Town Collective. The last year had siphoned a lot of time and energy. If the number of members had increased rapidly, the group was now reduced to its simplest expression. There were only a few active members, all guys. We revolved around a core of supporters and sympathizers that we had difficulty in maintaining.

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