We received this letter from L. in Quebec. It’s the latest in our regular series of first-person narratives from our broken country – and world.
As of late this afternoon, I and my fellow Quebecers reside in a quasi-fascist state, and that is not a term I use lightly. You’ll find a decent summary of the latest events here. During the “debate,” one of our National Assembly members called Bill 78 the “Loi Fuck,” right there in the National Assembly. Another held a press conference to call for civil disobedience of the law. Interesting times.
The state aside, as I write this, at 2:45 a.m., there are thousands of people still marching in the streets, more than six hours after they began. We have done this now for twenty-five consecutive nights, and although I am afraid of what will happen tomorrow, when the new laws take effect, I am so full of awe and admiration for these people and this place I can’t even tell you.
For years, May ’68 was a dry, dusty thing other people theorized about in poor translations, but these last months, something like it has been happening in the crevices of our vie quotidienne. How strange that it is just there, between bus rides and doctor’s appointments and trips to the grocery store, a thing that is so extraordinary and so bizarrely normal at the same time. The metro has been shut down by smoke bombs? Oh well, I feel like a walk anyway.
Did it feel like this when Occupy Wall Street started? It must have.
The laws will be in force when the anarchist book fair starts tomorrow. Again, I worry. Tear gas is normal now, and rubber bullets, and although one protester nearly died in Victoriaville no one yet has lost their life. They’re so young, these students, some of them mine, and I worry about them like the den mother I’m probably destined to be. Ethan wears his cast like a badge of honour, but he’s small and impulsive and riot cops don’t take kindly to taunting. And poor Joël keeps losing his glasses. Yes, worry, and love.
I’m not sure why, but I feel compelled to share these things with you. I hope you don’t mind.