October 16 marks the 51st anniversary of the proclamation of the War Measures Act by Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his Liberal government. Trudeau declared a state of “apprehended insurrection” in order to use the powers of the War Measures Act, which had been used in World War I and World War II, to indefinitely detain people without charges or trial.
Democratic Renewal and a Modern ConstitutionAre an Urgent Need – The significance of the Meech Lake Accord today is that in this era the people want to be the arbiters and decision-makers. It is the work for democratic renewal which will open society’s path to progress.
On June 23, 1990, the Meech Lake Accord was defeated. It was a set of amendments to the Constitution of Canada negotiated behind closed doors in 1987 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the provincial premiers. The failure of the Meech Lake Accord marked a deepening of the constitutional crisis which has now become an existential crisis due to Canada’s all-sided integration into the U.S. war economy and state arrangements.
Sixth in a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
Image from the film Les Ordres
Michel Brault’s film Les Ordres (The Orders) was made four years after the events triggered by the proclamation of the War Measures Act in October 1970. The film focuses on the repercussions of the War Measures Act, and more precisely on the resulting arbitrary arrests. At the time of the making of the film, the frustration among the people arising from the events of October 1970 was still palpable as a result of the flagrant violation of the individual freedoms of citizens. The film deals with this legislation and the reaction of the government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau to trample the rights and freedoms of citizens in the name of public safety. The message conveyed by Michel Brault is clear. He explains that he “didn’t want to make a film about the October Crisis, but rather about humiliation.”
Fifth in a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
University of Calgary students hold a large rally on campus on October 27, 1970 to denounce the War Measures Act. After the rally, 300 students march angrily to downtown Calgary. Some 1,000 students in Regina organize similar actions.
By Christine Dandenault
When the government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau enacted the War Measures Act on October 16, 1970 and the army was deployed in the streets of Ottawa and Montreal before that and arrests began, opposition and resistance was immediate across the country. Students and youth, intellectuals, working people and other collectives in their thousands protested all across the country. The following account is taken from newspapers published by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and its affiliated organizations at the time the events were taking place. Continue reading →
Fourth in a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
Rally of 1,500 in Vancouver, October 19, 1970, one of many actions across the country supporting the Quebec people’s struggle and opposing imposition of the War Measures Act.
Youth fill Paul Sauvé Arena in Montreal in support of Quebec national liberation on the eve of the declaration of the War Measures Act in October 1970. A number of the youth in attendance are among those arrested in the raids which follow the Act being invoked.
Third of a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
Police attack demonstration led by CPC(M-L) activists outside the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, March 3, 1971. The demonstration supports the Quebec people and opposes the attacks launched on them by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s government.
By Anna Di Carlo
There are many official as well as media accounts of crimes committed against Canadians, Quebeckers and Indigenous peoples by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Some of the crimes are left out of the accounts altogether; others are said to be unacceptable aberrations or necessary despite the violations of rights. All in all, it is said that such crimes belong to the past or even that they have contributed to strengthening our democracy. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was created in 1984 to, allegedly, “collect intelligence but not pass to action” and thus we were to believe that the days of the dirty deeds of the RCMP were over. Of course, it is not true that after 1984 the security services stopped violating the rights of the people. These include cover-up of their involvement in the 1985 Air India disaster. Since 9/11, every manner of excuse has been given to violate rights with impunity. Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015 extends powers to CSIS to allow it to conduct activities that resemble those of the RCMP prior to 1984.
This article provides a brief review of the official story and what the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) had to say about this at the time the events were taking place. The aim of the review is to sum up this experience so that people can provide themselves with a suitable guide to action which serves the present and opens a path to a safe and bright future. Continue reading →
Second of a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
Demonstration outside Tanguay prison in Montreal, January 1971, calls for the release of political prisoners detained under the War Measures Act.
Media disinformation about the invocation of the War Measures Act in 1970 tends to focus only on some events which were taking place in October 1970 and discussion on whether or not Pierre Elliot Trudeau over-reacted or if there truly was a state of apprehended insurrection at the time. Information brought to light in 2010 about the RCMP’s secret plans, first devised in 1950, for indefinite detention and internment of thousands of Canadians, code-named PROFUNC (PROminent FUNCtionaries of the Communist Party), was used, amongst other things, to suggest that the phenomenon of the police being above the civil power was a thing of the past. Continue reading →
Demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1970 opposing the invoking of the War Measures Act.
First of a series on the issues and goals of the “October Crisis” and the forces in motion, reposted from TML Weekly.
The Significance of the Proclamation of War Measures
By Pauline Easton
Army deployed on the streets of Montreal October 15, 1970, the day before the War Measures Act is invoked.
October 16, 2020 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the proclamation of the War Measures Act by the Liberal government headed by Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Trudeau declared a state of “apprehended insurrection” in order to use the powers of the War Measures Act, which had been used in World War I and World War II to indefinitely detain people without charges or trial.
The police carried out more than 1,000 raids between October 7 and 10, 1970. Using the provisions of the National Defence Act, the army appeared on the streets of Ottawa on October 12 and on the streets of Montreal on October 15. After the War Measures Act was invoked, the police carried out another 3,068 raids and searches without warrants. During these raids police arrested 465 people and held them without charges. The vast majority of the people arrested were released after 21 days without charges while others were held for longer periods. Continue reading →
September 11 marks the 47th anniversary of the US imperialist coup d’état organized in Chile. To this day, relatives of the victims are fighting to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.
March in Santiago, September 2017, commemorates 44th anniversary of the coup in Chile.
By Dougal MacDonald
September 11 marks the 47th anniversary of the U.S. imperialist coup d’état organized in Chile in which the Pinochet regime murdered, tortured, and imprisoned thousands of people. On this occasion, let us remembers the victims of the Pinochet regime and Operation Condor that extended these crimes to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. To this day, relatives of the victims are fighting to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. Continue reading →
Canadian soldiers take over the streets of Montreal following the invocation of the War Measures Act, October 1970.
Forty-eight years ago on October 16, 1970, the federal Liberal government led by Pierre Elliott Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act. Trudeau declared a state of “apprehended insurrection” in response to kidnappings and mailbox bombings taking place in Quebec. The War Measures Act gave the police the power to act without warrants and to detain people indefinitely without charges or trial. Continue reading →
Canada Day 2016 marks the beginning of one year of preparation to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 1867. All the developments in the recent history of Canada point to the urgent need to provide Canada with a modern constitution that vests sovereignty in the people instead of a foreign monarch, gives expression to democratic renewal, provides equal rights and duties for all, and which emanates from the people themselves, instead of being imposed on them by a privileged few who hold power. Continue reading →
“CANADA THE PEACEMAKER” is a myth fostered and nurtured by the Canadian government, bourgeois politicians, the mass media, educational institutions, and international agencies in order to camouflage Canada’s participation and assistance in imperialist aggression, intervention and subversion and its participation in the imperialist war preparations of the two superpowers. The myth mainly originates from the glorification of the reactionary activities of the former Canadian Minister for External Affairs, Lester Pearson, during the Suez Crisis of 1956. Pearson is credited with bringing about the cessation of hostilities between Israel, France and Britain, on the one hand, and Egypt, on the other hand, through the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), which he proposed to the United Nations General Assembly on November 4, 1956. Consequently, he was awarded the Nobel. Peace Prize in 1957 – the first Canadian to win such an award – and was elected Prime Minister of Canada. Continue reading →