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Eyewitness Account of Today’s Anti-immigration Rally in Quebec City

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Eyewitness Account of Today’s Anti-immigration Rally in Quebec City
Violent Antifa street thugs attacked immigration protesters today in Quebec City, but, in the end, the march organized by a group call La Meute proceeded.
 
CTV (August 18, 2017) reported: “Hundreds of members of a far-right group marched to protest illegal immigration in Quebec City on Sunday, but were delayed by several hours by far-left protesters who tried to shut them down by force.

The far-right demonstration was organized by La Meute, which translates from French to “the pack.” The group is opposed to Islam and many view it as racist.

La Meute had a permit to protest and planned to march at 2 p.m., but was confronted by hundreds of left-wing protesters, some calling themselves “anti-fascists.”

After police attempted to allow the far-right march to go ahead, left-wing protesters – some wearing face-coverings — launched fireworks, lit fires and lobbed bottles and chairs. They also attacked members of the media.

Police quickly declared the left-wing counter-protest illegal, citing “violence and vandalism,” but many protesters remained. The far-right group waited inside a government building until the standoff ended. At least one person was arrested.

La Meute proceeded to march around 6 p.m., carrying signs that said things like: “It’s not racist or xenophobic to want to preserve quality of life and the safety of the country.” Others held signs that referenced “free speech.”

La Meute claims that it does not discriminate based on race but is opposed to illegal border crossings. The RCMP intercepted 3,800 asylum seekers crossing the border between the U.S. and Quebec between Aug. 1 and 15, after intercepting nearly 3,000 in July.”

Quebec protest

A medic tends to a man injured during clashes between Quebec’s far-right and counter-protesters. The man had been carrying a Patriote flag, a symbol of Quebec nationalism. (Maxime Corneau/Radio-Canada)

A good supporter sent us this report.

“There was a political demonstration today in Quebec City by a group called “La Meute” (“Meute” is French for “pack” or “wolfpack”).  I live in the region, so I decided to try to join their anti-immigration march near the provincial legislature building despite my not being an official member or Facebook friend of La Meute.  I tried, but I couldn’t get in since the place was blocked by left-wing protesters who knew of the location of La Meute’s rally point in the basement of a parkade.
 
La Meute’s facebook publicly said they would meet in the basement at 2:00 pm.  I looked at the anti-fa’s facebook, and they were having a simultaneous rally at 2:00 pm around 500 meters away.  I waited outside the parkade for a good time to enter the basement to meet with La Meute, and saw about 5 La Meute members entering with their flags and paw print t-shirts.  However, my waiting for a good time was a bad idea, as a whole bunch of the impatient anti-fa protesters arrived there at around 1:50 pm.  There were so many, that the Quebec City police could not hold them back, it appears.  It looked like there were about 3 types of antifa:  1) people who weren’t afraid to show their face, 2) young anarchists whose faces were covered with bandanas (henceforth “bandanas”) and 3) communists with their red flags.  The various groups did not seem to have a central leader, but were obviously united in their ideology.  I saw banners for open immigration, and anti-capitalism.  The usual unholy alliance and sympathisers tagged along.
 
Faced with the likelihood of not being able to join the La Meute protest, I just sat and mingled with the anti-fa counterprotesters and watched, trying not to gather too much attention to myself, hoping for a later opportunity to join with the La Meute people, but in vain.  At one point, I asked (in French) some passing La Meute members if I could march with them, but they didn’t respond, understandably a little concerned about getting attacked by the bandana wearers who were shouting at them, just meters from me.  At that point onward, I was definitely targeted by the bandanas as a possible right-winger, although in the confusion, some of the distant anti-fa may have thought I was just a blogger, wannabe journalist, or just stupidly curious.  At one point the bandanas were ripe for violence against me and started yelling “fuck off”, but a hefty policeman with a holstered handgun protected me.  If not, I might have been in a fistfight with the antifa or worse (being far outnumbered).  Being around 50 years old, the youngsters were maybe a little hesitant to attack an old man anyway.  But it was close.  I didn’t leave though, since I had spent 2 hours getting to the location, and I wanted to see what happened when the protesters would meet the counter-protesters.  I didn’t travel all that way for nothing.  I was mostly looking at my cell-phone on a set of cement steps, almost like a middle-aged man minding his own business on a summer day, looking at the news.
 
I did not have a bird’s eye view of everything that went on, viewed from every street, but I gather that the La Meute gathering was very very small.  I estimate that they were around 10 people, and they were far far outnumbered by the various antifa protesters outside (I guess around 600 people).  In the media, La Meute claimed around 600 followers in the basement of the parkade, but I can not confirm that.  La Meute members never did hold their public protest outside while I was there, so I left at 3:00 pm (being bored, having waited 1 hour for their march to start).
 
While I was there, I saw a few events that were not reported in the media.
 
1) Some La Meute members were leaving the basement of the parkade, and were heckled by bandanas from a hillock above the street.  The La Meute people, 2 men, and 1 young woman, were departing from the march rally point, it seems, they had some signs for the planned La Meute march, but the signs were blank, and had no writing on them at all.  One bandana threw a wooden stake downward toward the three La Meute members.  The stake was hefty enough, around 2 inches by 2 inches, and around 4 feet long with an angled tip.  If the stake had been thrown with any more force or accuracy it could have seriously injured someone or have taken out an eye.  Fortunately the stake hit the pavement, and only skidded toward the three La Meute people.  The bandanas were yelling “fuck off” at them.  The La Meute woman shouted back at them in french that she would get her revenge someday.  Many of the bandanas had English accents, and were either from anglophone communities in Montreal, or were from outside the province or country.
 
2) One short bandana was a college-age woman.  She had a black satchel filled with what sounded like empty beer bottles rattling around, ready to pitch at police or La Meute members, if needed.  I didn’t ever see her throw any of the bottles, but she was there with her satchel, and nervous, with uncertain flight-or-fight eyes.  The bandana types were dressed mostly in black pants, black t-shirts and black bandanas incidentally.  The bandanas were hopping around and chanting, and very restless, almost like a troop of hooting chimpanzees spoiling for battle.  They constantly went from location to location, and hopped from guardrails down to the sidewalk that I was on.  At one point, they went around the parkade building and disappeared from my view for around 30 minutes.  I find it curious that despite the fact that the antifa vastly outnumbered La Meute, I saw fear in her eyes, perhaps a little from fear of the police, but just a little fear maybe from the fact that there could be a confrontation with La Meute?  I speculate.
 
3) Perhaps the most interesting event to me was a passerby by who went by the antifa at the wrong time.  I did not see them doing the act, but when the man passed by me, his face was covered with black ink.  It looked like the kind of ink that one can wash off (water soluble).  So at least they did not throw permanent dye on the man’s face.  A bunch of reporters descended on him, and asked him questions.  He was in his late forties, well groomed, white, and had a salt and pepper beard.  He had black trousers and a purple dress shirt.  He told the reporters that he was not a member of La Meute, and that he was just visiting the Quebec area.  It seems the anti-fa threw some of the ink on him from above as he passed by on the street below.  Perhaps they mistook him for a wealthy man, which is almost as bad as a racist in the communist’s eyes.  One of the anti-fa medical types (see below) gave him some kleenex or wipes so that he could start to wipe off the paint/ink from his face.  I am not sure if he was from La Meute or not, but if he wasn’t, then the anti-fa got a little carried away on that innocent guy.
 
4) At around 2:30pm a male sympathiser with La Meute tried to get inside of the police blockade (remember, I was viewing him from inside “enemy lines” so-to-speak), but the police pushed him back with much male force, seemingly concerned for his safety, or because he was a late arrival
 
5) The bandanas seem to have a designated medical staff with red tape in the form of a cross on their shoulders, a designated quasi-medical corps among the anti-fa (not a bad idea!).  One of the women had some antiseptic napkins in a fanny pack, and probably some bandages, if necessary. In the news, I saw a picture of a different woman with a similar “Red Cross” type of colored tape on her shoulders.  So there was more than one of these medical helpers.  The quasi-medical staff lends an air of legitimacy and organization to the antifa, despite their violent bent.
 
6) The protesters were overwhelmingly young and white (I guess around 97% white).  
 
7) One bandana leader was a young college-aged man with piercing blue eyes (almost like an actor’s eyes).  When he spoke  French, it was with a North American English accent.
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