Last weekend, I drove to New York City to carry the banner for Montréal’s Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble (CIE) during the massive People’s Climate March on Sunday, Sept 21, 2014. The CIE was invited to New York, with several other radical marching bands, by Brooklyn-based Rude Mechanical Orchestra (RMO) for two reasons: 1) to celebrate RMO’s 10th anniversary and 2) to have a musical presence within the People’s Climate March. The CIE has its own banner, which of course I brought but I decided to bring a second banner along, that I selected selected from the archive, to bring it back into the streets in a context other than its initial intention. I looked through the nearly 50 protest banners that are collected in the archive and read the slogan on a particular banner that made its selection obvious.
The particular banner I chose to bring reads “Ici comme ailleurs on a raison de se révolter” (Here as elsewhere we have reason to revolt). I’ve reused it many times before in other demonstrations since it was first displayed among 26 other banners in early 2013 but this was the first time it was brought elsewhere to emphasize the “ailleurs” in its slogan. Considering the banner is written in French and it was was carried in New York City brought its message home. The commonality of resistance, the borderless impact of climate change and the need for radical resistance against neoliberal capitalism. Its message is perennial. It seamlessly unites one protest movement to another and can associate one particularly vigorous period of opposition (like the printemps érable) with the next, due to its inclusiveness.