October Crisis Essay

1803 Words Apr 27th, 2012 8 Pages
Significance of the October Crisis

From the overthrowing of the Russian Tsar to the exile of the Nationalists, the world has been in a state where radical movements have been the main focus of citizens, even in democratic societies. The October Crisis was one of these extraordinary events that had occurred. It was a period of international and national revolutionary movements that used violent acts against constitutional measures. The 1970 October Crisis was a pivotal moment that had an undeniable and lasting impact on Canadians as it revealed the wisdom of Trudeau’s decision to enact the War Measures Act, demonstrated that the FLQ (a left-winged terrorist organization) was not a good representative of the French-Canadians, and it
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For some time, many Quebecois had faith in the FLQ, believing the group would speed the process of separation from Canada; however the FLQ’s loyalty to these beliefs is questionable. Ultimately, it was perceived that the FLQ’s only goal was to give Quebec its justice; they wanted to see them united in a free society. On the other hand, during the October Crisis, they had not been able to prove that. When the FLQ kidnapped British diplomat James Cross, it publicized 7 demands, of which only one concerned French-Canadians, pertaining to fairer working conditions which was later dropped (Tetley, 2007). The rest concerned the FLQ themselves: publication of the Manifesto (a public declaration of policy and aims), the name of an informer, $500,000 in gold, the release of 23 jailed terrorists, and to transport them to either Algeria or Cuba (Knowlton, 1990). A goal of Quebec’s at the time, the protection of the French language, was a cause that preoccupied much of the nation, but was not a particular concern for the FLQ. In fact, the 1970 Manifesto was written in and proclaimed in informal French and “Fringlish” (Knowlton, 1990). The FLQ’s dedication to their cause is doubtful. FLQ believed that they weren’t going to get caught, hence their slogan “Independence or death” (Brown, 2011). However, when justice prevailed, the members chose exile rather than martyrdom. This made it clear that the FLQ’s dedication
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