RCP Arrests in Montreal: Communists Under Attack

R.I. Editorial Note: The following is a statement from the RCP Information Bureau concerning the arrest of four activists in Montreal, including a supporter of the RCP Patrice Legendre. It goes without saying that R.I. condemns the arrests and unequivocally supports the comrades and supporters of RCP, an organization with which we have fraternal relations and are in a unity struggle with.  Let’s build a revolutionary movement to defend against and repel these attacks at all levels!

Montréal, July 5th — On June 29th, 2011, the Anti-Gang unit of the Montréal Police Service’s Organized Crime Division arrested four political activists —including Patrice Legendre, a communist worker and supporter of the RCP. The police searched their homes and arrested them in connection with the most recent May First demonstration, organized by Montréal’s Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC). Nearly 30 officers were involved in the operation, which occurred early in the day.

According to the investigator who headed the whole operation, nine officers were injured, some seriously, during an altercation at the May First demonstration. More on the demonstration is available in issue 3 of the communist newspaper Partisan. The four activists who were arrested were detained and then released on a promise to appear on July 13 at 9 a.m. at the courthouse in Montréal. They have been charged with a number of offenses, from “assault with a weapon” to “assaulting a police officer,” “obstruction of justice” and “possession of a weapon with intent to cause harm.”

During the May First demonstration in the streets of Montréal, at which nearly 1,500 people were in attendance, the police provoked an altercation by trying to arrest, for reasons unknown, a militant who was widely known as the photographer for Partisan newspaper. As one would expect, dozens of protesters responded by confronting the police, telling them to release the activist they were trying to arrest. Obviously unprepared, the police chose to retreat.

The operation on June 29th was clearly carried out with very little basis. The content of the interrogation to which the arrested activists were subjected as well as the presence of an investigator from the “Integrated National Security Enforcement Team” suggests that there were other motives behind the operation.

First, we can assume the arrests were motivated by revenge, as the police will always want to “get back” at those who cause them to suffer a defeat —as was the case at the May First demonstration, where demonstrators stopped them from arbitrarily and inexcusably arresting one of the activists involved. The cops had egg on their faces and somebody needed to pay for it.

Without any evidence to go on, the police decided to go after a few well-known activists, some of whom express their views openly. The demonstration was used as a pretext to criminalize their political involvement and, what’s more, the communist views they defend. Recall that in recent weeks, the RCP began publishing a bilingual, biweekly newspaper, Partisan, and has been distributing it in major cities in Ontario and Québec, and has also started organizing workers in the Revolutionary Workers Movement (Mouvement Ouvrier Révolutionnaire, MRO). Its struggle against capitalism and exploitation is taking new forms and is moving forward, and the police, we can assume, are not fond of that.

Investigators also said they had started monitoring Maison Norman Bethune —a bookstore run by the Information Bureau of the RCP— the day after the May First demonstration. Many activists frequent the bookstore, attending events and getting involved in the cause of revolution. It seems as though the police wanted to “go on a fishing expedition” to find somebody guilty of something so they could draw attention away from their own petty and provocative behavior at the May First Demonstration.

Further, information collected by the RCP Information Bureau suggests the police who carried out these arrests tried to implicate the RCP, and Patrice Legendre in particular, in three previous incidents, including one that happened a year ago in Trois-Rivières, where an explosive device shattered the doors of a recruitment office for the Canadian Forces. A group calling itself “Résistance Internationaliste” claimed responsibility for this act and since it happened the police have not solved the case.

Curiously, the day after the arrests in Montréal, the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team installed a command post for three days in Trois-Rivières across from the recruiting office in order, they said, “to collect new information and validate some leads described as ‘very serious’.” The police then presented pictures of the four arrested activists to the people of Trois-Rivières, hoping somebody could implicate them in one way or another.

The operation on June 29th was no accident. It comes at a time when the bourgeois state in Canada is on the offensive in criminalizing political struggle and the activists who are involved in it. We need only look at the G20 summit in June 2010 in Toronto, where over a thousand people were illegally arrested, to verify this. In recent years, dozens of activists, among them some from the RCP, have been harassed at home and work by the infamous “Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.”

The Revolutionary Communist Party harshly condemns this cowardly operation, which was politically motivated. It is doomed to failure and will backfire on those who planned it. The RCP is actively campaigning to denounce the arrests and obtain full and unconditional release of those arrested. We thank the many individuals and groups who have already expressed their outrage and solidarity following the June 29th arrests.

Denounce political intimidation! Defend our right to fight against the bourgeoisie and its state! Solidarity is our weapon!

The RCP Information Bureau

4 thoughts on “RCP Arrests in Montreal: Communists Under Attack

  1. Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC)
    Via Tanaro, 7 – 20128 Milan, Italy – Tel/Fax 02.26306454
    e-mail: resistenza@carc.it
    sito: http://www.carc.it
    Association for Proletarian Solidarity (ASP)
    CP 380, 80133 Naples – Italy
    e-mail: info@solidarietaproletaria.org – sito: http://www.solidarietaproletaria.org
    Struggling Workers Union (SLL)
    Info: c/so Garibaldi 46, Naples, Italy – Tel. 081.287829 – Fax. 081.5637815 – e-mail: sllna@libero.it – website: http://www.sll-na.net

    To the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada

    Dear comrades,

    The Association for Proletarian Solidarity (ASP), the Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (P-CARC), and the Struggling Workers’ Union of Naples (SLL) express their solidarity to the comrades arrested on 29th June in Montreal and to the whole Party.

    Repression is one of the means by which the regimes of the imperialist bourgeoisie try to prevent the revolution everywhere, and also in the imperialist countries. On our side, the struggle against the repression is one of the fields in which we carry out the revolution.

    It is one of the means by which we build the revolution in Italy. ASP, P-CARC, SLL so as the (new) Italian Communist Party has learned so much carrying out this struggle since the very beginning: it has been a thirty years long persecution with no break, with enquiries, uncountable house searches, seizing documents, computers and other material, arrests, imprisonments in Italy and in France and so on. In this summer, leaders and other comrades of our organizations are on trial some for “subversive activity”, some under accusation to have published in a website the faces of cops who infiltrate in demonstrations or beat demonstrators, some under accusation to have denounced politicians’ corruption, some for participating in demonstration against antifascists’ persecution, and so on.

    What we have learnt and we are learning?

    Mao told that when the enemy attacks you this means that you are on the right path. In our thirty years experience of struggle against the repression we experienced that this is true.

    We learnt and are learning that repression is a weapon we can turn against the bourgeoisie, so as in People’s Wars weapons are seized from the enemy.

    We learnt and are learning the particular laws of the struggle against repression in an imperialist country like Italy, as a part of the particular laws for developing the Protracted Revolutionary People’s War in our country.

    We wish the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada win the struggle against the repression and draw the best teachings from it, for building the revolution in Canada, that is to make the revolution in an imperialist country, crossing the border the first International Communist Movement did not crossed.

    In solidarity,

    Massimo Amore,
    Association for Proletarian Solidarity
    Paolo Babini
    CARC Party

    Francesco Quirino
    Struggling Workers Union

  2. Dear comrades,

    Thank you for your solidarity. Next court date is Sept 20, but we don’t expect the trial to be held before… Fall 2012. We will keep you updated about any development.

    The RCP Information Bureau

  3. Solidarity from french comrades of the young red guard. Fighting against repression will make us stronger and enforce internationalist solidarity. We’re with you in our hearts, you’re on the right path, you make a brilliant work. The PCR/RCP is a source of inspiration for us. Kee up the fight!

    D. for Prairie Fire blog

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