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Marc-André Cyr June 12, 2012
Original French Text: http://voir.ca/marc-andre-cyr/2012/06/12/vomir-la-belle-province/
« Fear of all shapes susceptible of setting off a transformative love. Blue fear – red fear – white fear : link of our chain »
– Refus Global, 1948
The Grand Prix and its orgy of mediocrity… sickening.
State control and police repression… sickening.
The media and political elite of Quebec… sickening.
Sickening, sickening, and sickening again… this is the feeling that our Belle Province ought to provoke these days.
We already knew that our elites are afraid of communists, anarchists, disorder, riots, strikes, protests, civil disobedience and rock throwers; we did not know that are also afraid (almost pathologically afraid) of red squares, of the sound of pots and pans, of smoke, of envelopes full of baking soda, of album covers. To wrap up his column denouncing Amir Khadir because he took part in a (supposedly) illegal demonstration, André Pratte offers this typically nuanced piece of analysis:
“When respect for the rule of law is no longer absolute, we have to trust the judgement of each individual to determine how far to take ‘resistance.’ To put it another way, we give up the absolute for the arbitrary. After baking soda, what will they put into envelopes next?” 
Mr. Pratte asks good questions.
Radicalization is something to be afraid of.
It would have been enough to add a few cups of flour, a bit of sugar and a pinch of salt to turn that baking soda into … cake.
Did you see the poster that the SPVM found in the home of Mr. Khadir? It is a poster of an album cover by the rock group Mise. The Minister of Health, Yves Bolduc, fears that the “subliminal messages” in this poster could incite a reaction in “vulnerable people.” This is for real. One can only dare to imagine politicians’ reactions upon finding out that the Bananarchist is also part of this subversive group .
No matter what do Amnesty International and the UN say, the stepping up of repression and control isn’t out of line. Just ask Mr. Facal: he’ll tell you about his nightmares of being persecuted by “Mao of the Plateau” . Or, just ask Mr. Charest: to defend his police officers, he won’t be afraid to lie to your face and state “that tourists were put out by students” as proof .
No one knows if these “fascists” [Bachand] learned their techniques of “intimidation” [St-Pierre] from C.L.A.S.S.E, or from an F.L.Q training camp, or from Hamas. One thing is certain: their campaign of terror is succeeding. Proof? Saturday morning [June 9, 2012], the front page of Le Journal de Montreal carried a picture of the handsome Jacques Villeneuve with the headline, “Death Threats.”
How can a person not be concerned when students turn on poor, internationally renowned race-car drivers? Fortunately, some people spoke out in the brave man’s defence to say “out loud what others are thinking in silence” [Duhaime].
Luckily, we escaped the worst of it. So you can see that it was necessary to systematically stop people wearing red squares . When the “reds” form picket lines in accordance with decisions of their general assemblies, it is violence, intimidation, and interfering with the right to education: on the other hand, when an army of police officers takes over the metro and city streets to search and detain these same “reds,” it is called a necessary evil. Even worse, according to Yves Boisvert, it is the students who are responsible for the profiling they are being subjected to: “If there is a criminalization of this conflict, it is because of criminal acts committed in the name of the cause, or with the cause as a pretext, not because we live in a police state” . Note the similarity of his arguments with those that are generally used to justify elevated numbers of blacks in jails.
Our reporters have chosen, as they are wont to do, to put their talents to use inventing straw men. It is so much easier to imagine your opponents shouting about “fascism,” “Nazism,” and “the police state” than it is to respond to the criticisms of lawyers, Amnesty International and the UN. By framing the debate this way, they can again pass off their opinion as the reasonable, courageous opinion of the minority.
We might sometimes smile at this pathetic over-sensitivity of our reactionary, illegitimate elite class. But we mustn’t take it lightly. Their crocodile tears are put to good use to marginalize and isolate CLASSE, whose members want to form the government.
This is what justifies the mass arrests. This is what brings the riot police into our colleges and universities. This is what justifies the emergency law — a law that subjugates the right to protest to police authority, and gives arbitrary and exceptional powers to the minister. This is what provokes the bruises, the vomit, the joint locks, the broken bones, the head trauma and the serious injuries. This is also what lets police proceed with political profiling, and with arresting journalists and people taking pictures.
To put it another way, this vast fear campaign is bringing Quebec closer and closer to repression, control and authoritarianism.
It is being done, mind you, in the name of democracy and freedom.
Quebec today is enough to make a hyena puke up its guts — repeatedly. We hold up a few scornful millionaires and a few demagogues as icons of courage. We placidly watch our youth being beaten down with clubs, so that we can tour the country fair without being disturbed. This fear is enough to make any reasonable, sensitive person sick. It doesn’t mean it is impossible to change our society. It reminds us that this era is one of crisis and of amnesia. It shows us the level of decadence we have collectively reached.
It shows us the magnitude of the task at hand, the magnitude of the changes we need to undertake. It reminds us that we have a duty to change the world, lest we be led step by step into the shadow of repression and mediocrity.
 André Pratte, « De Gandhi à Khadir », La Presse, June 8, 2012. http://www.lapresse.ca/debats/editoriaux/andre-pratte/201206/07/01-4532785-de-gandhi-a-khadir.php
 Alexandre Robillard, « Bolduc craint les messages subliminaux d’un pastiche retrouvé chez Khadir », La presse canadienne, June 12, 2012. http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/12/bolduc-craint-les-messages-khadir_n_1590435.html et Daniel Renaud « Charest mort au pied de Khadir », Le Journal de Montréal, 12 juin 2012, http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2012/06/11/charest-mort-au-pied-de-khadir
 Joseph Facal, « Le maître du monde », Le Journal de Montréal, June 11, 2012. http://blogues.journaldemontreal.com/facal/articles/journal-de-montreal-et-journal-de-quebec/le-maitre-du-monde/
 Brian Myles, « Charest approuve le travail policier », Le Devoir, June 12, 2012. http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/justice/352234/charest-approuve-le-travail-policier
 Pour saisir un peu mieux l’ampleur du profilage, lire Catherine Lalonde , Raphaël Dallaire-Ferland « Carré rouges, vos papiers! » , Le Devoir, June 11, 2012. http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/352102/recit-d-un-petit-voyage-en-metro-avec-un-carre-rouge?commentaire_limit=0#commentaire_541857
 Yves Boisvert, « La foutue démocratie », La Presse, June 8, 2012. http://www.lapresse.ca/debats/chroniques/yves-boisvert/201206/07/01-4532832-la-foutue-democratie.php
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.