Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The FLQ and the Quebec October Crisis

Murder and Maiming

The revolution began on April 20, 1963, with Molotov cocktails and dynamite time bombs that targeted Anglo Quebeckers.

Confiscated bomb materials
Confiscated bomb materials

Bombs were planted in mailboxes in the Westmount neighborhood in Montreal, and a police explosives expert was maimed while trying to disarm one of them. A night watchman a month from retirement was killed by a bomb planted in an Army recruiting office in Sherbrooke. A passerby and a gun-shop owner were killed in another incident.

But this strategy of willy-nilly violence was controversial even within the FLQ, and informants rushed to the police.

Schoeters, Villeneuve and Hudon were arrested just weeks after the bomb assault began. Each was convicted and sent away to prison, although none served more than five years before they were granted parole.

Pierre Vallières,  younger
Pierre Vallières, younger

Meanwhile, Charles Gagnon and Pierre Vallières stepped in as leaders of the Front de libération du Québec. Pierre Vallières, regarded as an intellectual, wrote a polemic book about French-Canadian oppression that he titled Nègres blancs d'Amérique -- in English, White Niggers of America.

Pierre Vallièreslikely had a role in writing a brief 1966 primer, Revolutionary Strategy and the Role of the Avant-Garde, which detailed the FLQ's plans for intermittent waves of robberies, bombings and kidnappings, culminating in its goal: insurrection against the government by the working-class Quebecois.

To confound informants, the FLQ borrowed a strategy from the Algerian revolution and began organizing into cells of four and six terrorists that operated independently and reported directly to the FLQ leadership.

 

Categories
Advertisement