Quebec 70: A Documentary Narrative

By John T. Saywell | Go to book overview
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The Cross Abduction

OCTOBER 5-10

AT 8:15 on Monday morning, October 5, two armed men pushed past the maid at 1297 Redpath Crescent in Westmount. Within minutes James Richard Cross, senior British trade commissioner in Montreal, had dressed under the barrel of a sub-machine gun and been whisked away in a taxi. The Montreal police had difficulty understanding the garbled plea for help from the Cross' Greek maid, and by the time they arrived on Redpath Crescent Jasper Cross, as he was known, had disappeared without a trace. Strangely enough the kidnapping took the nation by surprise, strangely because the disappearance of James Cross had been foretold in almost a decade of the activities of the Front de libération du Québec.


Towards October

The escalation of revolutionary activity in Quebec late in 1969 seemed forgotten in the early months of 1970. In English Canada, and often in Quebec itself, the overt signs of continued FLQ activity were overlooked completely or buried as minor news items in the inside pages of the paper. Freed on $2,500 bail, put up by the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CNTU), on February 20, Charles Gagnon, an FLQ leader charged with homicide, immediately held a press conference and declared that he planned to revive the FLQ at once and make it the most representative movement of the revolutionary forces in Quebec to destroy "the fascist and racist power that we know in North America." In his speaking tour Mr Gagnon appealed for solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle; and later, joined by Stanley Gray, president of the Front de libération populaire, and Louis-Philippe Aubert, former Company of Young Canadians (CYC) volunteer and head of the St Henri workers committee, both CNTU organizers, he organized a Committee for Solidarity with the Black Panthers. Pierre Vallières, author of the FLQ bible, Nègres blancs d'Amérique, was freed on bail on May 26, the money again being secured by the CNTU. The two men had become heros of the

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