At last weekend’s Expozine 2014, I sat behind the table for the Artéfacts d’un Printemps québécois Archive to sell the Aggregational Trading Cards and other artefacts to fund the continued development of this web archive and to continue to nourish people’s oppositional consciousness with the artefacts from the archive.
I took a few photographs of oppositional artefacts seen at Montréal’s annual small press, comic and zine fair. While sitting at my table, a guy walked by with an awesome patch sewn to the back of his jacket. I ran up to him asking if I could take a photo of his patch and ask him about it. He said yes and told me that the patch was from the Winnipeg-based anarchist crust punk band, Cetascean. I was attracted to the patch by the image of Stephen Harper flanked on both sides by a hangman’s rope. The implied lynching is intriguing, particularly for this head of state that is ready to do anything to maintain power, to develop the tar sands for his cronies and to make political decisions based on his personal evangelical beliefs.
An enthusiastic and ever-smiling clown made his presence on both Saturday and Sunday after he had protested in a demonstration on each day. The Saturday protest he attended was organized by Étudiant.e.s Contre les Oléoducs (ECO) or Students Against the Pipelines. On Sunday, he showed up to the fair after the anti-austerity protest against the cuts at the CBC/Radio-Canada. He said he will attend the demonstration on Monday, organized by le Regroupement intersectoriel des organismes communautaires de Montréal (RIOCM) whose members closed their community centres for 225 minutes to protest and to ask that their already underfunded organizations actually need a $225 million increase rather than the elimination of a $162 million increase to their budgets.
Archive Montreal, organizers of Expozine, set up a modest exhibit of small press, zine and comic artefacts which included a 1970’s images from an independent newspaper of a long-haired man returning a smoking teargas canister to the police or military who threw is in his direction. I, unfortunately, did not take down the details of the photo nor of the publication that published it.
The second image from the exhibit is the cover page of the April 2002 edition of “Le Trouble: tu peux l’lire, tu peut l’faire” (or “Trouble: you can read about it. you can make it”). With all the defence cases now in court against the mass arrests made by police during and since the Printemps québécois, I thought this was appropriate as an indication that repression of political dissent in Québec and Montréal is nothing new.
On my way home, I spotted a series of anti-austerity posters announcing the upcoming day of convergence scheduled in Montréal and Québec City on 29 November. See you there.