New book on the history of anarchism in Quebec

Lux ( has just published the first work of importance on the history of anarchism in Quebec.

10 years ago, no-one knew anything about the history of libertarian ideas in Quebec. Then one militant began to interest himself seriously in the question. Texts appeared in private publications - such as Branle-base, Sabotage - talking about the history of the first anarchist group in Montreal (Frayhayt). There were workshops on the subject at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair and, finally, a series of texts in Ruptures (NEFAC's French-language magazine). Through these publications, new information came to the surface, leading to new lines of research. Slowly and carefully, the plot was laid down and the skeleton of a book took shape.

"Sur les traces de l'anarchisme au Québec (1860-1960)" [On the trail of anarchism in Quebec (1860-1960)] takes up the essence of these texts published here and there and enriches them with new information. It follows the tribulations of several generations of revolutionaries who came from the ranks of immigrants (French, Jewish and Spanish, in particular) and settled on banks of the St. Lawrence, together with their allies and comrades native to the place. Along the way, the various revolts - strikes, riots or both - in which the anarchists took part are examined, recovering them from the mists of time.

There exists an impressive quantity of works on the history of anarchism in Spain, France, Russia and various other countries in Europe and the Americas. This is of course to be expected, as at one time or another anarchism was an important influence on the labour movement, and at times, like in Spain and Latin America, was even the driving force of the revolutionary movement. Nothing like that happened in "La Belle Province". Here anarchism never really took root withinin the working class. But going from there to say that anarchism does not have a history in Quebec, is a step that this book finally prevents us from taking.

"Sur les traces de l'anarchisme au Québec (1860-1960)"
Mathieu Houle-Courcelles, Lux, Mtl, 2008, 280 pages

Article from "Cause Commune", No.20
(Translation thanks to Anarkismo)