Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The FLQ and the Quebec October Crisis

Belgian Revolutionary

Oddly enough, the father of this particular French-Canadian revolution was a Belgian. Georges Schoeters, born in Antwerp in 1930, emigrated to Montreal at age 21.

As he came of age, Schoeters (pronounced scooters) was desperate for a political cause. Intense and intelligent, he enrolled at the University of Montreal to study in politics, economics and sociology. There, he fell in with a small group of fellow students and professors who saw the world through the same activist prism.

Schoeters soon began to see causes everywhere he looked.

He was captivated by the bloody fight for independence by Algerians against their French colonial rulers in the mid-1950s. He also developed a deep admiration for Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary, and he worked up a fetish-like worship of Che Guevara, Castro's Marxist mate.

Fidel Castro (left) & Ernesto Che Guevara
Fidel Castro (left) & Ernesto Che Guevara

When Castro visited Montreal in 1959, Schoeters eagerly awaited his arrival at the airport, and his enthusiastic greeting led to an invitation to visit Cuba as Castro's guest.

Schoeters traveled to Algeria and Cuba at least three times from 1958 to 1962. The itinerant activist returned to Canada each time with ever-deeper socialist convictions.

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