S26 Montreal: Solidarity with Prague ... Looking Ahead

vieuxcmaq, Mercredi, Octobre 18, 2000 - 11:00

Jaggi Singh (

Report from the solidarity demonstration with Prague demonstrators in Montreal on September 26. Includes a preview of G-20 and Summit of the Americas protests.

[tr: From Prague to Montreal, together against capital!"]



MONTREAL, September 27, 2000 -- Between 100-150 demonstrators gathered in Montreal yesterday afternoon as part of the International Day Against Capitalism (S26), and in solidarity with the protests against the IMF and the World Bank in Prague and worldwide.

The demonstration was led by banners reading "Smash Capitalism before it smashes you!" and "La rebellion est un droit! A bas le capitalisme!" [tr. Rebellion is a right! Down with capitalism!"]. The protest parade wound its way through Montreal's downtown streets, ending at the Stock Exchange
Tower in the heart of the financial district. Throughout the parade, the Montreal police were ever-present, with dozens of vans crammed with riot police in full gear following the protest at a distance.

The parade was forced to change its planned route as the streets to a local McDonald's outlet were completely blocked off by police vans, motorbikes and riot police who had already mobilized before the demo even began. The McDonald's outlet in question, on St-Denis Street in the Latin Quarter, was attacked last March 15 as part of a demo during the International Day Against Police Brutality. At that infamous protest, a police station, two banks and two other McDonald's were "vandalized" with graffiti and smashed windows, and over one hundred people were arrested for alleged participation in a riot. Their cases are still before the courts.

The S26 parade yesterday was able to regroup and continue on to other planned sites, including the Hydro Quebec building, as well as the heart of the banking district and the World Commerce Center near the Stock Exchange. Near the Stock Exchange Tower, after a few speeches, the protest dispersed into a nearby metro station as it became clear that the riot squad was ready to deploy. There were no reported arrests.

S26 in Montreal follows up on the last International Day Against Capitalism on May 1st (M1). On that day, a group of about 200 anarchists crammed four buses and headed up the mountain to Westmount, a famously rich neighborhood in Montreal. The slogan of the action was "deranger les riches dans leurs niches" [tr: "bother the rich in their niche"]. That demo became a cat-and-mouse game with the riot squad, and eventually over 150 people were arrested. Their cases are still pending, and due to go to trial later this fall.

Yesterday's modest mobilization was also in many ways a building action for the upcoming Group of 20 meeting (G-20) in Montreal this October. The G-20 is comprised of the finance ministers and bank governors of the G-8 nations, as well as 12 other so-called "emerging markets" including China, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as the European Union. Crucially, the G-20 also includes as full members the heads of the World Bank and IMF (who were facing massive protests today in Prague). The G-20 is chaired by Canada's minister of finance, and meets at a local luxury hotel downtown.

In response, a "G-20 Welcoming Committee" has formed, comprised of many of the people who organized today's S26 action. There will be a "Welcoming Party" on October 23rd at 4pm outside the Sheraton Center Hotel in downtown Montreal. Other activities include a grassroots teach-in. The G-20 in Montreal provides local anti-capitalist, anti-globalization activists with a tangible example of international finance, as well as another occasion to confront the IMF and World Bank in solidarity with the mobilizations this year in Prague and Washington (which was attended by over 100 Montrealers).

In turn, the G-20 mobilization is something of an appetizer as the attention of local activists in Montreal, and all over Quebec, begins to focus on the upcoming Summit of the Americas meeting in Quebec City next April. The Summit brings together all the heads of state of the hemisphere (except Cuba) with the express goal of negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The FTAA extends the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) geographically to the entire hemisphere, as well as extending the reach of free market fundamentalism to sectors such as health care and education. The Summit meeting will be largest police and security operation in Canadian history.

In response to the Summit meeting, and with the goal of strengthening local resistance movements and awareness-raising efforts, an Anti-Capitalist Convergence (La Convergence des luttes anti-capitalistes, or CLAC) has formed. The CLAC comes together with a clear opposition to capitalism, patriarchy and imperialism, a respect for a diversity of tactics, and the promotion of anti-hierarchical, autonomous forms of organizing, genuine democracy, mutual aid and international solidarity. It
has been meeting in public, decisional General Assemblies since last April, and is made up of a network of hundreds of local activists and organizers.

CLAC convened another General Assembly yesterday evening which was attended by close to 100 people interested in getting involved in anti-FTAA organizing. The CLAC Assembly was briefly addressed by two members of the General Strike Committee from the National Autonomous University in Mexico (UNAM), as well as an activist from Colombia. A CLAC organizer is also currently in Prague, where she is participating in the local demonstrations, as well as the People's Global Action (PGA) network meetings.

It's quickly getting cold here in Montreal, but local activism is just beginning to heat up.

reported by Jaggi Singh
for act-mtl, a-infos and

for more information about the G-20 Welcoming Committee, contact

for more information about the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, contact

PGA's website: includes reports from Prague

Dossier G20
  Nous vous offrons plusieurs reportages indépendants et témoignages...

Très beau dessin: des oiseaux s'unissent pour couper une cloture de métal, sur fonds bleauté de la ville de Toronto.
Liste des activités lors de ce
« contre-sommet » à Toronto

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Centre des médias Alternatifs Toronto

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