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July 13, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Saturday, July 13, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Saudy uy1,17 HEMCIA iL aeFv

oped:
By STEPHEN HERSH
MONTREAL - Rick lifted a
glass ofMolson Export Ale to
his sore, swollen lips at a
sidewalk cafe, and pointed to
the nearest street corner. "I
was walking towards thatcorn-
er from St. Laurent last night,"
he said, "when all of a sudden
I saw police in black helmets
riding up the street and on the
sidewalk on motorcycles. They
were the kind of motorcycles
with passenger seats. The cops
in the passenger seats were hit-
ting people they passed with bil-
lyclubs.
"When I saw them all coming
in my direction, the first thing
I thought to do was to yell,
'Leave me alone, I'm an Ameri-
can!' But as the bikes came a
little closer I decided I'd be
better off just trying to get
away from them. I was stand-
ing next to a church, so I ran
up the steps. I figured the
motorcycles couldn't get at me
if I climbed the steps. That was
beautiful, running up the steps
of a church to avoid getting
beaten up.
"I HADN'T seen any tons on
foot, but when I ran op the
steps two cops started chasing
me. They caught up with me,
and one grabbed my arm and
the other whacked me across te
face with his billy club.
"I played possum; I crump-
led up on the ground and didn't
move. I figured they'd kill me
if I fought back. They stood
over me for about a minute, and
then they left."
That happened to Rick on
June 23. That's the day during

ationalism in French Canada

which young French-Canadians
who live in the province of Que-
bec and who want their province
to become an independent nation '
get out on the streets to voice
their view.
French-Canadians outnumber
the English-Canadians in Que-
bec. And many French Que-
becois are tired of having to
put up with bilingualism. They
are tired of children being forc-
ed to learn English in schools.
They're tired of fluency in Eng-
lish being a prerequisite to the
achievement of upper-echelon po-
sitions in business and politics.
Thev feel that since the major-
ity in Quebec sneak a different
-""'e than the majority in
the rest of Canada, Quebec
should rightly become a separ-
ate country.
SO EVERY YEAR on the eve-
ning of June 23, French-Canad-
ian kids gather in certain areas
of Montreal and other cities in
Quebec to make their presence
and their feelings known. Amid
shouts of "Quebec Libre!" teen-
agers with tiny Quebec flags
and buttons bearing the slogan
"Je suis Quebecois" ("I am
from Quebec") pinned to their
shirts mill around, drink bot-
tles of Molson and Labatt 50,
and smoke reefers.
This year the festivities were
resumed on the following even-
ing.
But the gatherings involve
more than just the consumption
of beer and pot. A clerk at the
Hotel Iroquois, which f a c e s
the square, Place Jacques Car-
tier, which is the site of the
gatherings in Montreal, remark-

ed (in French), "The kids cele-
brate because it's a holiday.
They have a good time by drink-
ing and smoking. But the cops
have to celebrate too, and they
have a good time by beating up
the kids."
AT ABOUT 10 o'clock on the
evenings of the 23rd and the
24th, after the festivities h a d
been going on for about two
hours, the police arrived at the
square to clear it of celebrants.
Through megaphones, they or-
dered everyone in the square to
leave. And they beat with billy
clubs and arrested many of
those who remained near the
edges of the square to watch
the proceedings, and most of
those who defiantly stayed on
and shouted. And then there
were people like Rick who were

beaten because they wandered
into the area at the wrong time.
Police claimed that they end-
ed the gatherings because the
demonstrators were damaging
cars and breaking windows. But
this in no way justifies indis-
criminate beatings and arrests.
Many demonstrators felt that
the real motivation for the
breaking up of the gatherings by
the police was to stifle the pro-
testers's call for a free Quebec.
Whoever directed the police to
disperse the gatherings probab-
ly felt that the more difficult the
protests were made for the teen-
agers, the lesser their hopes for
a free Quebec would become.
BUT THE continuation of the
gathering for an extra eve-ing
following the violence of the
first evening seems to indicate

that forceful repression m a y
not work too well.
It doesn't seem too likely that
Quebec will secede from t he
union. But continued exprossion
of anti-bilingual feeling may
lead in the not-too-distant future
to an end to the requirement
that French-speaking pupils
learn English.
Have a flair far
artistic writina?
If you are interest-
ed in reviewing
poetry, and music
or writing feature
stories a b o u t the
drana, dance, tilm
arts: Contot Arts
Editor,c goDr e
Michigan Doily.

as
it'.

I

ar' .a0'''a

Next time you see
someone polluting,
point it out.
It's a spewing smokestack. It's litter
in the streets. It's a river where fish
can't live.
You know what pollution is.
But not everyone does.
So the next time you see pollution,
don't close your eyes to it.
Write a letter. Make a call. Point it
out to someone who can do something
about it.
People start pollution. People can stop it.
p KeepAmerica Beautiful
f9orke ,NwYorrk, k 06
Au1,eaistluapUf powxwl

XX
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