Le Front de Libération du Québec
Source: FLQ: Un Projet Révolutionnaire, texts assembled by R. Comeau, D. Cooper, P. Vallières. VLB Éditeur, Montreal 1990;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.
This text was written in prison by Charles Gagnon and Pierre Vallières in February 1970. They had been arrested for bombs placed by their FLQ cell, one of which had killed a secretary.
The liberation struggles around the world are inseparable from each other. It’s not enough to promote revolution in one’s own country; that same revolution must be supported everywhere it develops, and brought to life everywhere that it only exists in a state of objective possibility. For the front of the revolutionary struggle isn’t limited to the geographic frontiers of each “homeland,” but extends to the entire world dominated by American super-imperialism, conjointly with the less powerful imperialisms that are integrated into it economically, militarily and politically (so-called Western Europe, Japan, Israel, English Canada); conjointly as well -at least in so far as concerns the repression of revolutionary movements — with Soviet neo-imperialism which, not content with having militarily, politically and economically annexed so-called Eastern Europe, aims at replacing the old imperialism that for centuries pillaged Asia, Africa, the Near and Middle East. It even dares to compete with American imperialism in Latin America, without even seeking to overthrow the capitalist and imperialist structures built in these countries by the Americans (following the Spanish, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Germans and the Dutch), but seeking only the integration of these territories into its own empire.
In some countries the imperialist competition USSR-USA is apparently situated only on the economic level...and the social, but rapidly arms follow the credits and the exchange of diplomats, and without cease the “Great” confront each other militarily more or less all over the world, through interposed people-proletarians who, in this infernal unfurling of military materiel — bombs and money — seek their own liberation and not the victory of one imperialism or another.
Today, more even than Vietnam, Palestine finds itself at the heart of the inter-imperialist competition of countries who have enriched themselves through the pillaging and enslavement of countries of the so-called “Third World”; that immense multinational slum that covers three-quarters of the globe, and which Quebec is also a part of. The real victims of the “Middle East conflict,” born of oil, are not the oligarchies that impose their dictatorship on “the Arab nation,” but the peoples that these oligarchies oppress, while dragging them into an illusory “holy war” against Israel. Among these peoples, the one most threatened at one and the same time by the imperialism of the Americans, the Russians, the British, and the French, by the Arab oligarchies of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, etc., the most threatened of peoples — and also the most resolutely combative — is the people of Palestine, which isn’t governed by any oligarchy, nor any messiah of the Nasser type; that was completely dispossessed of its homeland by Zionism (with the concerted support, in the beginning, of the United States, the USSR, France and Great Britain, and with the moral benediction of the UN); that was afterwards dispersed into foul and stinking camps within neighboring “brother countries;” that quickly became, with the complicity of those who today claim to want to liberate it, a pariah people who are believed doomed to disappearance through assimilation or starvation; that though believed definitively destined to die by another of those fatalities of history, suddenly took itself in hand to put in place the most formidable resistance movement that currently exists in the Middle East, and to undertake against imperialism (in all its forms) and its ally Zionism the first war of national liberation (in the Maoist sense of the term) to develop in the “Arab family.”
The goal of the Palestinian resistance is not, in fact, to throw Israel into the sea, or to sell oil to the Russians instead of the Americans, but to create in Palestine an egalitarian and non-discriminatory society, a society truly human. The ideal of the PLO is not formal independence for occupied Palestine, but a global revolution which would make of Palestine a classless society, without exploiters or exploited — a society of men free, proud, and equal... and without oligarchy. Not a little Egypt, subject to a minority of profiteers, but a true land of freedom for all Palestinians, whoever they may be. This is why, among others, the Americans and Russians are in agreement in seeing the “Chinese influence;” like in Vietnam, like in Congo-Brazzaville, like among the Latin American guerrillas, like within the Front de Libération du Québec.
The ideal of the Palestinian resistance is identical to that of the Québécois, which rose in the heart of a people that history seemed to have been doomed to a slow death following the English conquest of 1760. But our revolution is far from having reached the state of organization that is currently that of the Palestinian revolution. We are handicapped by the youth of our resistance movement, and by the electoralist illusions that the Parti Québécois maintains in large sectors of the population of Quebec. Despite this, the radicalization of social conflicts, and the development of an increasingly active class consciousness that has resulted from this, offers to the Québécois for the first time in their history the occasion to collectively organize for a war of popular liberation.
The current social agitation must result in the organization of a vast revolutionary movement (of which the FLQ is nothing but an embryo), under pain of serving the interests of the new bourgeoisie of Quebec which, like the Anglo-Saxon establishment that it gives the appearance of fighting, is in the service of the economic, political, military and cultural interests of the American millionaires, military, and technocrats.
We must act in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance, not to give ourselves a good conscience, but to follow its example and in this way open a new front, a new “Vietnam” against the common enemies of all the dominated peoples of the globe: imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism, all of them inseparable from each other.
The hour has come for the revolutionaries of all the colonized countries, Quebec included, to as quickly as possible substitute for the bilateral common fronts (Quebec — Palestine, Quebec — Vietnam) an authentic multinational common liberation front. For we Québécois that, in the first place, implies that we prove in the eyes of the world, as the Palestinian people has succeeded in doing, that our anti-imperialism is something other than theoretical, that our determination is great and lucid enough to create here, based on our living conditions and the social relations that characterize our national collectivity, another Vietnam, another Palestine. By all means necessary we must prevent the development of a myth of a “peaceful” national independence, without a revolution, in Quebec. For only a total revolution will give us independence, as it will give it to the Palestinians and the Vietnamese.
Independence for the people, and not for the bourgeoisie, is found at the end of armed struggle, of a long, pitiless, painful war, like in Palestine, Vietnam “Portuguese” Guinea... What is more, no isolated revolution can survive in a world dominated, like today, by American and Soviet imperialism. Only a revolution on a world-wide scale can guarantee the survival and the progress of national revolutions. But it would also be true to affirm that this world-wide revolution will grow out of the multiple national revolutions that are developing more or less everywhere in the world. That is why our field of struggle is in the first instance “la revolution québécoise,” but at the same time we must affirm, through concrete gestures, our solidarity with all the oppressed peoples who have taken up arms to liberate themselves, among them Palestine and Vietnam, in the vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle. For our victories, like our reverses, are in part determined by those of other peoples in struggle, just as the success or failure of the revolution we have the obligation to make in Quebec will condition, for better or worse, the liberation struggles of our brothers in Palestine, Vietnam, so-called Portuguese Guinea, Guatemala, the black ghettoes of the USA, Acadia, etc. We are immediately “embarked “ upon a war of planetary dimensions.
We must create Quebec-Palestine, Quebec-Vietnam fronts etc., at the level of action, and not the ineffective one of good intentions; this would constitute doing an apprenticeship in the practical field of REVOLUTIONARY SOLIDARITY. This would constitute a great step in the right direction. But it’s necessary to go further, in Quebec and in the rest of the Third World.
In any event. the revolutionaries of the “Third World” expect of us — who say we are their brothers — that by our own struggle we attack and destroy the “Canadian” and Québécois puppets, who every day make themselves the accomplices of imperialism and Zionism in crushing in blood their right to freedom and existence as a nation. In the end, it’s in realizing our own collective liberation that we will support the cause of oppressed peoples, and it’s in elevating our struggle to the same level as theirs that we can truly demonstrate solidarity, in the strongest sense of the word, with our brothers in Palestine, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and India; Angola, Mozambique and Guinea; Chad and the Canary Islands; our black brothers in South Africa, Rhodesia and the USA; our brothers in Uruguay, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia and Colombia; the Basque Country and Ireland, etc.
WE WILL WIN