I'm going to Quebec City! I might get my head bashed in! HELLO

Has anyone on this board heard about this at all other than what I and a couple other people have brought up? It’s been all over the news up here.

Well, at least wish me luck with the

6000 police
1200 American soldiers
untold number of Canadian soldiers
untold number of private security forces
pepper spray
tear gas
plastic bullets
and six kilometres of three-metre high razorwire fence.

See you on Monday!

Boy, you must be a real serious threat for them to go to those great lengths for ya. :smiley:

Okay, what IS going on? It’s not Fred is it?

You know, it’s funny, matt - I figured you’d be right in there in Quebec City.

Good luck. Stick it to the man! Or, wait - I guess that goes without saying, eh? Let’s rephrase that…fight the power, baby!

matt, have you got a link for what this is about?

ok, nevermind - I went looking and found this.

matt, I’ll be thinking about you. Watch out for yourself.



Matt, i’d give my left nut to be there with you brother, as my fall back plan i’m trying to make it to one of the sattelite protests in Halifax or SJ(?)

Fought the good fight when i could, hope to get back to is as soon as i can. WATCH YOUR SELF MAN them billy clubs and boots is REAL

Take care, and thank you for doing what you can rather then just rolling your eyes or clicking your tongue.

I know three folks from here going, Matt, so I was actually thinking about you. My friend Megan was talking last night about her “affinity group” and the “coalitions”, and it really does sound like this is well organized; I’m impressed. Good luck, fight the good fight, and come back whole. :slight_smile: We can’t afford to lose any Linguistics majors…

Hi Matt. As you stand outside the “wall of shame” in Quebec City, try and peer over the police ranks and see your “favourite writer”, John Ralston Saul, fawning and bootlicking around inside. He’s the guy in the tux, the Governor-General’s armpiece.

(For you others, John Ralston Saul, a professor/philosopher/writer) wrote a brilliant book criticizing global capitalism, “Voltaire’s Bastards”, plus a few more philosophy books that, in my opinion, degenerated into verbal diarrea, and probably had a large effect in shaping young Matt’s philosophy.)

Saul could have been a brilliant critic of free trade and global capitalism, but he’s got a few bucks in his pockets now from bestselling books and he’s married into the political elite. Basically he’s a complete sellout. Rumour has it he is taking quite well to the aristocratic life, terrorizing servants and underlings, very demanding of being served only the best. He’s the governor-general’s bitch.

Take a look at the protestors around you, Matt. 99% would jump inside the gate and cheerfully spray tear gas on the little people outside if they were given a piece of the money being divied up inside.

Having said all that, I say protest as best you can. The 20th century was the century of the common man. If you take a good look at the lot of ordinary people around the world in 1901, and again at their lot in 2001 (when there is about six billion more of them), you will see an amazing leap forward in civilization during that century. Things are going to change in the 21st century. With the success of capitalism and “democracy” (democracy right now being about as democratic as a casino) a fascist economic elite is going to rule the world through the politicians they own. With the massive population explosion, an elite minority, a new aristocracy, must be created to live off the teeming billions. Rosey O’Donnell’s in, she has enough money, but you’re out.

So protest, you’re on the right side of the fence with the good guys. You are wasting your time though, because, as always throughout history, the entity that is most heavily armed and most effectively deals out violence wins.

I might also point out that the 20th century brought a movement for quality education to the masses. In earlier times it was considered unwise to allow the ordinary people to learn too much, it might cause trouble in the aristocrat-peasant relationship. The Catholic mass in Latin was an example of keeping the mysteries of wisdom away from the lower orders. When Rosie O’Donnell made her recent infamous comment that students shouldn’t have to study math anymore because we have computers now, she may not realize it, but she is contributing to the revival of the aristocratic idea of keeping the masses ignorant.

I read an interview this morning with one of the protestors in Quebec city and her protest is against the privatization of higher education. She sees a trend to reserving university educations for the wealthy.

Matt, I’m just posting some stuff for you because I’m sure you’ll hit a cybercafe or someone’s home computer while you’re in Quebec City and check in with the Straight Dope. Fight the good fight.

I`m sitting here in the cyber café a few blocks from my hotel.

We (We is me and some friends from Rochester NY) got here from Montreal about 5:30 last night. I crashed an NDP function and introduced Alexa McDonough, the leader of the party, to my American friends (one of whom worked for the Nader campaign). We had a pleasant chat with her about the last election campaign, the future of the party, and the prospects for reform in Canada and the US. We spent the evening wandering about the city doing a bit of tourism in the lower town and finding out what we could about today`s protests.

Today, we had breakfast with my dad, who`s covering the protests for CBC Radio News. We then taped up our signs and walked out to the Gare du Palais for the big peaceful & legal protests. There were tens of thousands of people there, from unions, civil society groups, etc. etc., along with the entire NDP caucus. We marched with them for about two-three hours until we realized that it was heading out to the middle of nowhere. Further inquiries revealed that the end point of the rally would be the Colisée du Québec, a stadium several miles from the city. The four of us decided that we had come to protest in Quebec City and not way out in the boonies. So we turned around and headed back. As we did so, we saw that many many other people were separating themselves from the main march and doing likewise.

We returned to the city, went back to the hotel, had a shower (using Dr Bronners Castile chemical-repelling Soap) and headed out to try to get closer in to the barrier. We climbed a staircase and walked out along the Cote DAbraham to the head of the Dufferin-Montmorency expressway.

There we saw a large crowd of noisy but peaceful protesters getting shot at with tear-gas canisters and repelled. I suffered without any very practical mask through a tear-gas cloud, but made it out none the worse for wear. We hung out there for about an hour and then walked further east.

We walked with our signs through the St-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood, where protesters were marching peacefully in small groups up and down the streets. For a while we stood by a guy with a mike and megaphone offering them to whomever wished to speak, as a free speech corner. Then the police fired tear gas down the hill at them, and we had to disperse. We walked further up the hill, hung out a block down the hill from a water cannon, and were struck with more tear gas. At that point I started to feel rather unsteady so we returned to the hotel.

A few vignettes:

  • A chalked message on the street saying 10 VIOLENT PEOPLE, 10 000 PEOPLE GASSED. This was amply borne out by our observations. Contrary to various implications that everyone not in the main protest were violent, while I was at Dufferin-Montmorency, I counted a total of four people throwing objects at the shielded and helmeted riot cops. They in turn were firing tear gas canisters into a large and completely peaceful - actually, quite motionless - crowd nearby.

  • While at Dufferin-Montmorency, a bunch of violent, destructive, anarchist protesters used several buckets and bottles of water that they had brought to wash their eyes to extinguish a small bush that had caught fire.

  • I had reports of the medical centre and indy media centre having been fired at with tear gas.

  • My father interviewed a boy who had been shot with a plastic bullet; when uniformed protest medics came over to help him, a tear gas canister was fired directly into their cluster.

  • He also interviewed a journalist who had been shot at with a plastic bullet while filming with a video camera and wearing press ID. He was badly injured in the leg.

A few things you might not hear on the news, from someone who`s here. Anyway, from where I sit typing, I just heard tear gas being fired just now. The smell of it hangs thick under the clear sky tonight.


p.s. The French for tear gas is gaz lacrymogène.

PPS. I just read where apparently my main man Svend Robinson returned to Quebec City and had joined a group near where we were, near the barricades. Awright! :smiley:

matt, take care of yourself. I am fascinated by your reporting, but wouldn’t want you to get hurt for the sake of a story. I’m learning something though, getting an angle I don’t in the “regular” news channels. The only protesting I have ever done was against Phelps, helping organize a couple of rallies here in Topeka, and doing counter picketing. The Quebec situation sounds even more scary. BE CAREFUL!!!

Allons, mon brave!

However, to echo Baker, please be careful. We worry about you.

Be safe, matt. We want to see you back and in one piece.

Final note for now: Despite wading thru tear gas and water cannon, I haven’t heard one single time an order to disperse, as required by Canadian law in order for an assembly to become unlawful.

Hmmm. Whats a clearer message? Waiting to Hear the “order to disperse” or a good healthy dose of teargas and/or a rubber bullet.

I hope that common sense comes to some of the problem causing people before they get hurt.

Matt, wear a formal dress suit, and keep clean shaven with short hair. Just trust me on this. Take care.

NEWS FLASH… im holed up in a cafe-bar on st-vallier street (which fortunately has a net connection) ... the street here has been recently filled with choking clouds of tear gas trapping us in here... which is totally insane because were way far away from the barrier… ive only seen a dozen or so protesters running down thru here, so i have NO fucking idea what happened to cause the police to tear gas this area. based on the effects some people in the know have come to the conclusion that they are using more than just tear gas - some other chemical as well. as soon as we can were going to get out of here and back to the hotel. but this boy INSIDE the cafe was feeling really bothered by chest pains before, it was scary, ive offered to call my mom the doctor to help him but he was able to leave and get back to safety. as i say this is a street with little cafes all along it and i have no idea why theyre teargassing here.

my protest buddy steve has just told me that the air outside smells clean enough for ust to leave, so thats what well do. further bulletins as opportunity permits…