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Jessica Nadeau July 20 2012
The announcement that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois would be attending Echofête de Trois Pistoles, in the lower Saint Lawrence, is threatening the very existence of the festival. According to the organizers of the festival and writer Victor Levy Beaulieu, the mayor has threatened to cut supplies if the spokesperson from CLASSE is invited.
“That’s what you call political censorship” said Beaulieu, celebrated local boy, in the letter that he made available to the media. “Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, representative of CLASSE, a student union duly recognized as such by the authorities of the government, is considered persona non grata in Trois Pistoles!”
It all started a few weeks ago when a local newspaper announced that some training for civil disobedience was going to take place at the margins of the festival involving an organization called Moratoire d’une génération [Moratorium for a Generation]. This organization has been fighting a battle for years against shale gas exploitation and invites citizens to defend their interests against those of corporations that can expropriate due to The Mining Law.
In the local media, this news has created a real tempest. “To hear them talk about it on the radio, we were going to hold a training camp for Al Qaeda.” said Michaël Rioux, President and co-founder of Echofête, incredulously.
Worried, the Mayor Jean-Pierre Rioux met with organizers and threatened to withdraw all funding, said Michaël Rioux. Disappointed but realistic, he acceded to their request.
On the other hand, the backers of the festival also added something else. No way would Gabriel Nadeau Dubois be allowed at Echofête.
“Around here, people think that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is the herald of civil resistance. For them Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is like Maurice “Mom” Boucher” he said [a Hell’s Angel].
A Battle In The Offing
For Michaël Rioux, there is no question of giving in on this point. The spokesperson for CLASSE will be welcome but at what price?
“They’ve postponed the financing of 8000 dollars that was promised to us. The land belongs to the city, which is also putting pressure on our partners. We don’t know what to do with all this…”
He says he’s grateful for the support of Beaulieu, who accuses the mayor of “reigning over the city like a real provincial despot.” And the author promises to deliver a big fight.
“If it this keeps up there will be lots of us who will fight back, even if it brings on a second tempest in a teapot. And this tempest, if it’s up to me, will be merciless.”
Le Devoir, could not reach the mayor of Trois Pistoles, Jean Pierre Rioux, for comment.
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.