Hundreds rally against anti-anglo discrimination

Posted By: Richard Deschamps · 11/4/2012 7:06:00 PM

Hundreds of demonstrators turned up at Place du Canada Sunday afternoon for what was billed as a 'Canadian Unity Rally Against Discrimination'.

When the idea for the rally was conceived, organizers were hoping just to return the Canadian flag to the National Assembly, shortly after the new Parti Québécois government had it taken out.

But rally co-organizer Jimmy Kalafatidis says the message broadened in light of the PQ's plans to bring in stronger language laws, and some recent well-publicized incidences of anti-English sentiment, including some involving STM employees, and the case of the ambulance technician in Hudson who refused to provide care in English.

"[We're denouncing] the escalation of anti-English sentiment that's happening at the street level," Kalafatidis says. "We want the politicians to denounce all these activities, we want the prime minister of Canada to denounce all this intolerance."

"When you have a government that seeks to demonize, and marginalize and wins an election on messages of nullification, on metaphors of segregation, they have a responsibility for causing the worst of us, the most frustrated of us, to beat up a teenage kid in St. Leonard," Suburban editor-in-chief Beryl Wajsman told the crowd. "They have a responsibility for the ticket-takers that get a customer into a headlock. They have a responsibility for a paramedic that will not speak English"

A small group of separatist counter-demonstrators turned up, and there were brief shouting matches before police were called in to separate them.

Photo: courtesy Beryl Wajsman

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  1. abour posted on 11/04/2012 08:53 PM
    I'd like to know when the next rally is. We should get notified and show aour strengh in numbers
    1. Bilingual Montreal posted on 11/05/2012 01:05 PM
      @abour The event was spread by facebook. Join some pages and groups, like ours, and be sure not to miss the next one.
  2. Laurie posted on 11/04/2012 09:19 PM
    Wish I'd known about this,,, would have attended. Sad that in a democratic society in a free country we actually have to organize public rallies over our maternal LANGUAGE rights... encouraging to see some eloquent protest about it instead of a round of childish pot-banging and whining.
  3. jane curwood posted on 11/04/2012 09:58 PM
    I am ashamed of our government for turning a blind eye to the discriminatory practices condoned by some in Quebec. I am beyond ashamed at the federal governments hypocrisy in allowing the creation of two levels of Canadian citizens; those who live within the province of Quebec and those who live in the rest of Canada. I am beyond ashamed. I am disgusted.
  4. Mike D posted on 11/04/2012 10:08 PM
    The next rally should be held in the metro station. We could watch all those poor overworked STM employees boil.
  5. Montreal Bilingue posted on 11/04/2012 11:08 PM
    Beryl is not our leader. He doesn't represent us. He can prepare sweet poems about discrimination all he wants, but it doesn't move me. He doesn't understand french-Quebecers and doesn't even try to. He spreads paranoia and fear in The Suburban & The Metropolitain. And he doesn't let you comment, if he doesn't agree with you. Unfortunately, francophones end up believing we all share his radical views.

    We need uniters, not dividers. Now, it's time for both sides to chuck aside media and try to reach out, understand and reconcile with the other side in a more direct manner.
    1. joanne scullion posted on 11/05/2012 08:38 AM
      @Montreal Bilingue He may not officically be our leader but not only does he talk the talk , he walks the walk, and who understands native born anglos,who speaks for us. Beryl tried , and did over the manner less separatists who were present yesterday who tried to drown him out. Or the ill bred lady with the short dyed blonde hair who tried to take over an interview , or the idiot using a Canadian flag to cover his face, what was that all about. I do not see anyone else stepping up
    2. Lee posted on 11/05/2012 12:03 PM
      @Montreal Bilingue Your pathetic pleas for acceptance by people who wish you did not exist are hard to stomach. Please spare us anglos the embarrassment. Keep quite like a good little anglo.
  6. Mark Spires posted on 11/04/2012 11:50 PM
    Yes Jane, you are correct! That our Federal Government permits a mugging of our citizens here, is an OUTRAGE! That they have permitted a once great city-Montreal to slide into the gutter, is a DISGRACE ! That they maintain a Entente Cordial with Nationalists of any stripes, is SEDITION! Turf these Politicos out, and let's form a NEW party that has the balls to represent us all in the Canada we grew up in. Don't let them take it away from us...REPRESENT.
  7. John James Charest posted on 11/05/2012 12:07 AM
    hypocrite, in montreal u have so many anti-franco discrimination!!!! U dont see it because u are anglo
    1. Cambria posted on 11/05/2012 07:41 AM
      @John James Charest anti-franco discrimination? from all 8.5% of us Anglos? Riiiiiiiight. Our big bad MINORITY is soooo discriminatory to francophones.
      *rolls eyes* You are obviously trolling and I should know better than to feed the troll.
    2. Michael posted on 11/05/2012 09:13 AM
      @John James Charest Mr. Charest,

      We don't see it because u are Anglo you say?

      Now who is the racist with a comment like that I ask you? Just like all the Racists in your party.

      i love the French Culture, that is why the Anglos that are here remain here, because we like the culture. Unlike the P.Q. we do not hate others and we aren't here to destroy a culture.

      I find it tough to believe that in the 21st Century that there can be such a movement that is full of hate like yours.

      This hate is illegal in most civilized parts of the world.
  8. Doug posted on 11/05/2012 06:25 AM
    To have someone get up and discriminate against people as "minorities" contradicts the reason for the rally.Plus having the media use this rally to create hate and contempt between people based on politics and language discrimination doesn't help either.
  9. sam posted on 11/05/2012 09:05 AM
    I was at this ralley and to be present at the nex one there is a facebook group called Put Canadian Flag back in Quebec Assembly. This is where the ralley was decided and I can assure you there will be more.
    It's not about starting a fight, its not about causing a scene. It's about standing up for a language that's being bullied. We are anglos and we are also bilingual and we just simply want our rights back. It's stories like the STM, the small child in a health crisis that are causing us to say you know what, enough is enough.. even France caters to its own multi lingual cultures so what they are doing here is racist.
    We wants our rights back, we want to be heard and we will NOT run like the 70's crowd did. We will stand tall and unite to a province that has respest for BOTH languages.
  10. J Skene posted on 11/05/2012 10:43 AM
    There are both. Anti-Anglo and anti-Franco...but the question is ...where did this all begin? It isn't the Anglos' fault that there is division between the French and English nor is it the Franos' fault. It is the government who is trying to convince us that there is a problem and that we can't all live together, peacefully without certain laws, THEY DEEM as necessary to be put in place. Nobody is being a hypocrite here...everyone is just reacting to what the government is trying to get us to believe is necessary for this province. Does it matter what language is spoken, what language signs are in, does any of it really matter?
  11. MIke posted on 11/05/2012 11:15 AM
    I was at the rally yesterday. I was surprised to see as many separatist as I did, and so little supporters for the cause. I was a little disappointed in the organization of the actual rally, they didn't even have a megaphone! (Thank god the other group didn't have one...) It is funny to note that there was a small group of separatist pretending to be pro-canada, but making us look bad. For example worshiping Richard Bain (The individual that attempted to assassinate Marois). They even had signs saying "Speak white, you racist Frogs". Pretty clever on their part, which started much confusion. I hope to see more in future rallies.
  12. sultan posted on 11/05/2012 11:33 AM
    As a visibal minority, I see racism everywhere in QC. I can not even dear to speak English in public (I work in a hospital) because someone will give me the boring talk about french province and its laguage.... Although English is not my first language and I speak 5 languages fluently (Persian, pashto, Urdo, English and French) and I feel very proud about it but still it seems I commit crime each time I speaking English with fronchphones.
    My wife who just immigrated from Afghanistan speaks better English than Pouline Maroi!!! I should tell this to my in-laws. LOL
    If you think anglos are the victims of racism in QC, put yourself for a day in a visibal minority shoes and see the real face of racism in this province.
    This old debate about the language makes me sick. Anglos and other visibal communities keep quite and say nothing to fight racism in this beautiful province.
    My wife gets negative comments or strange looks, about her hijab and feels strange that those comments come from some people who accept tatoos, colorful hair, peircing, drugs and collecting welfare while working under the table.
    I am not saying it is bad to have a tatoo or coloring hair. I say live and let live.
    Long live freedom.
    Thanks for reading
  13. Lee posted on 11/05/2012 11:57 AM
    We anglos are now looking like a sorry handful of pathetic beggars! Please spare us the embarrassment and keep quite and just obey your french leaders and do as they say, or leave the province and move back to your country Canada. Face it, you're alone and abandoned by your leaders in Canada. They're not coming, so just stop crying and go home!
  14. Becca posted on 11/05/2012 06:03 PM
    I'm also pretty upset that Harper has not so much as taken notice of what's going on in Quebec. As prime minister he's suppose to promote unity between all provinces.

    In regards to the PQ, I have much to say but it will all lead to the same point: It is not the responsibility of the government to promote culture. It is the responsibility of the individual to keep on the traditions of the culture and pass it on to the children. If their culture dies it's because they didn't do enough within the home to promote it. There are Italians, Greeks, Chinese and many more that have lived here for 5 generations who still speak their native languages at home and still take part in it's traditions.
    1. Mike D posted on 11/07/2012 03:25 PM
      @Becca Becca you are right on. Having many Italian and Greek friends we say the same thing all the time.
  15. Rob Nelson posted on 11/07/2012 03:16 PM
    Sorry guys, I'm now an expat living in Florida. I love Montreal and would dearly love to return, but my god. Does this eternal, infernal discussion ever end? at a time when the United States is struggling with its own self-conception with a black man in the White House, this ridiculous business, "provincial" in its concerns, makes an otherwise cosmopolitan, awesome city, look like a backwater.

    How on earth is the PQ and these stupid language fears STILL an issue? Does the francophone majority possess the Internet?

    The world has passed that wonderful province by. I want to come home someday, but not to this perpetual nonsense.
  16. Gwen posted on 11/10/2012 05:01 PM
    I'd like to know when the next one is......Sad we have to fight for our rights as our military fights for the rights of others in other countries.
  17. gnicolson posted on 11/11/2012 08:49 AM
    tensions are rising...but then what can you expect ...

    push people far enough and they will rebel...

    Egypt is a good example...repression is repression....

    wish you all well....
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