October Crisis

“The October Crisis (French: La crise d’octobre) occurred in October 1970 in the province of Quebec in Canada, mainly in the Montreal metropolitan area. Members of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped the provincial Deputy Premier Pierre Laporte and British diplomat James Cross. In response, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act. The kidnappers murdered Laporte and negotiations led to Cross’s release and the kidnappers’ exile to Cuba. The Premier of Quebec Robert Bourassa and the Mayor of Montreal Jean Drapeau supported Trudeau’s invocation of the War Measures Act, which limited civil liberties. The police were enabled with far-reaching powers, and they arrested and detained, without bail, 497 individuals, all but 62 of whom were later released without charges. The Government of Quebec also requested military aid to the civil power, and Canadian Forces deployed throughout Quebec; they acted in a support role to the civil authorities of Quebec. At the time, opinion polls throughout Canada, including in Quebec, showed widespread support for the use of the War Measures Act. The response, however, was criticized at the time by prominent politicians such as René Lévesque and Tommy Douglas. The events of October 1970 galvanized support against the use of violence in efforts to gain Quebec sovereignty and accelerated the movement towards electoral means of attaining greater autonomy and independence, including support for the sovereigntist Parti Québécois, which formed the provincial government in 1976. From 1963 to 1970 the Quebec nationalist group Front de libération du Québec detonated over 95 bombs. While mailboxes—particularly in the affluent and predominantly Anglophone city of Westmount—were common targets, the largest single bombing was of the Montreal Stock Exchange on February 13, 1969, which caused extensive damage and injured 27 people. Other targets included Montreal City Hall, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, armed forces recruiting offices, railway tracks, and army installations. FLQ members, in a strategic move, had stolen several tons of dynamite from military and industrial sites, and, financed by bank robberies, they threatened through their official communication organ, known as La Cognée, that more attacks were to come. …”
Five Quebecois Writers You Should Know
W – Timeline of the Front de libération du Québec
The October Crisis: A Personal Experience
Sunday Comics Debt: October Crisis Influence
YouTube: FLQ October Crisis 1970 1:20:15

In October 1970, the Quebec government requested the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces to help protect politicians and important buildings during the October Crisis. Pictured here, children watching soldiers.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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