1000 Have-Nots Storm Elite Hotel in Montreal



Over a thousand angry protestors marched on Montreals posh St. James hotel yesterday, causing havoc and disrupting the tea-time of the idle rich. The protest was part of a province-wide day of action marking the one-year anniversary of the elections that brought Jean Charest and the Liberal Party to government in Quebec.

Since taking power, Premier Charest has initiated a re-engineering of the statea business-oriented restructuring of the provinces government, in an attempt to undermine the many social-democratic programs still running in Quebec. This has taken the form of anti-union laws, cuts to subsidized childcare, plans to reduce the number of people on welfare and other attacks on working people. One flyer for yesterdays protests stated, As if we didnt have enough trouble making ends meet with low salaries, precarious jobs, insufficient welfare and high rents, this government has given itself the clear mission of making us even poorer.

The Charest government has created a lot of enemies and yesterday Montreal saw a 10,000-strong union demonstration, as well as protests organized by a number of housing and anti-poverty groups and the North-Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists

Around 4pm people began to gather for a demonstration co-organized by the Comité des sans-emploi (Committee of the Unemployed) and CLAC-Logement (the Anti-Capitalist Convergence—Housing Committee). After some fiery speeches, the protestors marched down busy Ste. Catherine Street and right into a downtown mall, chanting “The social peace is over!” and “Make the rich pay!” Shoppers in fancy boutiques were startled by a thousand angry working-class youth in their midst. The demonstration snaked its way through the mall and the connecting train station exiting several blocks later. The crowd, which had grown in size, then proceeded past the American consulate and ended up at the St. James Hotel — perhaps the most expensive in Montreal at which rooms can cost up to $5000 (Canadian) a night.

Protestors rushed the doors and pushed passed the frantic hotel manager into the exclusive first-floor dining room. Businessmen in expensive suits were shocked as black-clad and masked anarchists jumped on the oak tables or tried—unsuccessfully—to pull the table-clothes out from under the plates and glasses without knocking them over. Protestors played the grand piano or pocketed silver forks and ashtrays. Others demonstrators sat down at tables with the hotel’s dismayed, paying clients and helped themselves to their wine and hors-d’oeuvres. “Down with capitalism” was graffitied on the wall. Several hotel security guards attempted to grab a demonstrator, but were quickly restrained by other protestors. Another security guard said to one organizer, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to stop you. They only pay me $10 an hour. I’m on your side.”

After a few minutes of mayhem, the demonstrators in the hotel, made their way out through the connected, ultra-chic, indoor shopping center of Montreal’s World Trade Center, tipping over small indoor-trees as they went. The protestors streamed out of the World Trade Center and around from the side of the hotel into the gathering union demonstration.

As the proletarian hooligans, street-punks, students, red and green anarchists, Maoists and the odd Worker-Communist dissolved into the larger crowd at the union demonstration, the completely-outmanoeuvred police were left with nothing to do but flash their cars’ lights and glare from the sidelines. There were no arrests.

Whether the militancy of yesterday’s actions will catch on and snowball or be lost in electoralism and nationalism remains to be seen. But the potential for an uncompromising, gutsy, fighting poor-people’s movement against the Charest government is there. The spirit of the day was perhaps best expressed by a large sticker plastered all along the demonstration’s route—inside malls, on street signs, placards, SUVs and police cars. It showed Jean Charest’s face next to the phrase “OSTIE DE CROSSEUR!” — which roughly translates as “FUCKING WANKER!”



Dinning Out South Of the Border 18.Apr.2004 05:09

Beautiful! Excelent word choice: "havoc" "frantic". You get an (A)!

Every succesful action I have been a part of or heard of has had this type of randomness and spontanaity as a key ingrediant. Please contrast that to the overplanning of Miami FTAA.

des larmes aux yeux

goglu 19.Apr.2004 14:43

j'en ai des larmes aux yeux. Merci amis et amies de montreal. Je suis inonde dans une ville chiotte de capitalisme et me demandait s,il y avait encore des vivants dans le monde. Ces bien d'entendre un peut de sanite.


Meto Gallat 19.Apr.2004 17:56

The problem with these Anarcho-Communists is they can always critique better never viable alternative for anything. In addition, their language is so vulgar so the vast majority people correctly see them as a pack of nut-cases. Most of these people ARE NOT HAVE-NOTS, but are middle class who choose to be have nots so they can remain the perpetual victim (yes, I know a lot of people like this. Let's hear from the real have nots in these othewise important demos.....................


Whoop-dee-yay 19.Apr.2004 19:50

Wow, this really changed a lot of things. What progress! What vision! Stealing someone else's food! My eyes were closed, but lo, now they are open to the myriad possibilities of vandalism as a method of social change! VIVA LA ESTUPIDEZ!

More Harm than Good

Intelligent Observer 19.Apr.2004 22:56

The rabble that disrupted the activities of the unsuspecting rich did more to hurt their cause than they did to help it. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were successful (to a large degree, at least) in their social reforms because they never acted in a way that would cause decent people to lose respect for them. Who knows what the people sitting at the table eating were discussing or planning when they were interrupted. Perhaps one was just contemplating how he or she would help the masses when along comes an ill mannered youth and abruptly changes his or her mind for the worse. Through mutual respect and regard, people in every walk of life can have constructive dialogue while maintaining dignity. People who are rich are not necessarily evil any more than an Anarcho-Communist is. And oftentimes the elite are just as socialized into their belief systems as the downtrodden are into theirs.

Screw That

Brian 20.Apr.2004 06:02

I don't understand how this harmed the movement more than it did it good. Maybe some of these rich are "less evil" but $5000 a night?!? Fuck that! get to the point, smash what's feeding the problem! sometimes the only way to get thru to people is to use direct action. If you look back thru history, direct action/property destruction was used a lot to get people to listen, and although it didn't always work, it made people at least pay attention. you don't necessarily have to agree with it, but don't put it down. it's just at necessary as peaceful demonstrations or other means of protests.

More harm than good

Bob 20.Apr.2004 17:10

Well, there could have been decent people trying to eat when they were disrupted by the people of Montreal. Next time, they may stay somewhere else. Therefore, the cooks, servers, maids.... will be without work. They may also take their business and the jobs (employment) somewhere else. They may also tell their business associates not to do business in Montreal. Where will these have-nots work then? Why complain when people are willing to spend $5000.00 per night to stay in your city? At least they are spending money, which employs others.

Hopefully, they will come spend their money in my town.

Good going.

More good than harm

Red neck 20.Apr.2004 19:08

The coolest yet, wish I was there. This is what we need to be doing, crashing the party.
This gets peoples attention. This challenges perception. This shows people who their enemies are. This gives the elite nightmares.
Bobboy- "Please Masta let me work for you. I’s make you da best filla minon you ever taste. Din you take my wife up to you room so she make some money too." Hopefully someday some intelligence will trickle down to you.
I can’t decide if some of you pacifist are not just pacified The only thing you seem to protest is us.

god damn anarchists are organizing

anonymous 21.Apr.2004 07:09

This is why we need a good strong nationalist movement, to fight them back.

So what

Bob 21.Apr.2004 18:26

If you are supposed to be for peoples' rights, why do you care how people spend their money? Who are you to judge whether people should spend $5,000 per night on a hotel room? I can easily spend $500 per night, does that make me bad? Why don't you just leave people alone? It sounds like you are jealous. Maybe you should work instead of protesting. By the way, I make enough so that my wife can travel to Europe several times a year with my kids and she does not have to work.

great demo

fg 21.Apr.2004 21:36

it was a great demo. well organized and way ahead of the police. the rich try to hide us all away in the east end but we're commin to visit.
no person who spends 5000 on a place to stay for one night when that could house someone for a year is a good person.


Red neck 21.Apr.2004 23:17

Let me attack this from only one angle, I think that’s about all you can handle at one time. Why am I picking up their tab? You know as well as I that many of these fancy meals and rooms are written off as business expenses. They even try and succeed at writing prostitutes off! No, spending $500 per night, does that make you bad, It makes you a fool and I shouldn’t have to subsidize foolishness.
I’m certainly not jealous, I’m living pretty high on the hog, thank you. Because I live
‘alternatively’ in other words I live realistically, sensible and prudent. I make my money the honest way, I work for it, manually. I don’t have to live in your slimy money grubbing world.
I’m glad your wife doesn’t have to work. I can remember when most wives didn’t have to work, now they have to work even when they’re pregnant. Shysters like you are running out of augments even hacks like Lou Dobbs, Lou Dobbs! are pointing out the obvious, that serving the rich is not the road to prosperity. (No, I don’t have cable, don’t want it.)
Strange that you mentioned Europe, I spent two months in Europe last year myself.
But, you don’t seem to be learning anything from travel or are you?
What a hideous place America is after two hundred years of unbridled capitalism.

Let me guess, some dumbass posted this article on the "free" republick
To bad you won’t let ol’ Red neck on your freedumb lovin’ site. I’d love
to deep-fry some of you turkeys.

"Anyways" this is the sort staying in those $5000 rooms
"Well when I did my taxes the other year, I came to thinking about what I could deduct from my taxes. What could I write off as a business expense? Then it came to me! All those times on my lunch hour and on business trips when I picked up prostitutes, that is surely a business expense! So of course I write this down because, hey, its a good idea. Now I estimated a little high I admit, but it was in the area of $7,000 for the previous year. I figure the true amound was closer to 6,500 but hey, you need to embellish a litte, right? Anyways back to the story."
"Now here comes a letter from the IRS saying I owe them a lot of cash for false claims. So I say HEY! What false claims? And they say HEY! Prostitutes aren't deductable as business expenses! I'm like, WTF! So now I'm screwed out of $7,000 all because the IRS guy doesn't like prostitutes or something."

"So BEWARE. Prostitutes are not Tax Deductable" –Who knew?- forgetaboutit

Travel to Europe?

Bob 23.Apr.2004 17:10

Redneck, you spent two months in Europe? Did anyone staying at expensive hotels in Montreal protest your vacation? Shouldn't you have been taxed too heavy to afford such a lavish stay? After all, the money you spent in Europe would have housed someone who does not work as hard as you for quite a while. Shouldn't you have worked instead of vacationing? After all, if you worked harder, you could pay more in taxes to house those who chose not to work as hard.
In other words, how can you protest someone staying at a fancy hotel when you spend two months in Europe? Why should you get to spend your money the way you want, but other cannot?
Can't I spend my money the way I want? If not, I would not earn it, which would put two of my staff members out of work.

Understanding Modern Leftists

Unabomber 24.Apr.2004 01:34

Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.

-Unabomber's Manifesto, Point 15

Bread and Roses

Sampson 26.Apr.2004 04:53

This reminds me of the film. Things have gotten so bad (are you paying attention Bob and Red Neck?) that we need to do things to get people's attention and shake things up. There were no guns, bombs, rocks or pepper spray in this action. How violent is eating off someone's plate or sipping their wine?!? Because of the abuse of capitalism thousands of innocent Iraquis are dead, people live on the streets, women are still the most impoverished, the U.S. prison industrial complex puts people away for being brave, poor or not having documents. The time to act is NOW!!!! Thank you protestors and activists; maybe you can teach us, your Southern neighbors, a thing or two.

I’m sorry, so sorry

Red neck 28.Apr.2004 07:39

It’s my fault, Like I said I gave you more than one issue to think about at one time. You confused the Issue of time and money. I would hardly consider my tips to Europe as extravagant, a few thousand dollars, less than four thousand, plane fair, my wife included and everything. Once again I pay for it through "hard" manual labor. No one picked up my tab. What makes this possible is not so much the money, it’s the time. Since I’ve liberated myself to a certain extent from wage slavery. I have the TIME and means to take such trips. Which was a working holiday stirring up trouble Eastern Europe No one subsidized my trip. Jealous? I think not, you’re working like a slave "so my wife can travel to Europe several times a year with my kids". You still haven’t answered the question. Why should I pick up your bill?
"Unabomber" what about Timothy McVeigh? What was his problem?
I think of the novel ‘Bread and wine’ even ‘Gun and roses’ but I’m totally unaware. (are you paying attention Bob and Red Neck?) Just like most Americans of anything Canadian.
So you have something in common with Mexico. You don’t exist in the popular American imagination. Once again, I’m sorry I didn’t reply earlier, I had bigger fish to fry.
I was wrong this isn’t dumbasses from "Free" FepublicK. It's the little green men.
Have you ever tried to light a Nerf football a sniff the fumes?

One more thing

Red neck 28.Apr.2004 07:52

I love the picture on the story
A well captured expression of pure joy


I HAVE A SUV 28.Apr.2004 18:50

Why don't these whiners go out get a job! And once they get a job they can get a life once they have a life they can buy an SUV and really enjoy themselves. What a bunch of lazy ass whiners.

children with too much time on their hands

pierre 28.Apr.2004 22:52

No irony whatsoever -- the protesters stopped to drink wine, pocket silverware and ashtrays. You guys will never figure it out.

my response...

an INDIVIDUAL 29.Apr.2004 00:27

you people make me sick... GET A JOB!!! My parents were just barely middle class, no where near 6 figure income, but that didn't stop me from getting a college education, working hard - instead of expecting the government to pay for my every need. I expect to be well off after i graduate... perhaps not enough to afford that swanky hotel in montreal, but hey if you are smart and ambitious enough to get to that level then so be it. And if it IS me in that hotel, any anarchist who steps my way and interrupts my dinner had better watch out. It sickens me that those who work hard and become upwardly mobile are being taxed more and more, while those who do not work reap all the government 'benefits' (wealth redistribution). It is as if we are being punnished for being successful!

I wonder how long this comment will last before some ultra liberal vies to have it removed...

flame suit on!

Whiny Riff-Raff With No Perspective

HuskerChik 29.Apr.2004 17:14

I wonder how may actual "have-nots" attended this grotesque display. Probably not many--most of them are likely too busy working for a living to take time off to attend this carnival of self-rightous indignation. These are spoiled, college kids and career students, whiling away their time in school to escape reality for as long as possible.

I can hardly call myself a "have-not" since have I decent career, although I certainly don't have the money to frequent posh hotels and tony restaurants. In fact, most of the free world probably doesn't have that kind of money. That's what makes places like that so damn exclusive. If not being able to afford a night at The Fairmont Empress is a hallmark of oppression, tell it to somebody fleeing Sudan or suffering in China or North Korea and see what they have to say about it. Next time Children of the Secret State (regarding conditions in North Korea) is on the Discovery Civilisation Channel, watch it and see what true human misery is all about.

Another interesting facet to this protest: Many of the celebrities, beautiful people, and priviliged elite with ludicrous amounts of money who are frequent visitors to these types of establishments are some of the most ardent supporters of these ultra-liberal causes. It makes me sick to hear somebody like Barbara Streisand telling me to conserve energy and save the earth, when she lives in a mansion that sucks up more energy in a month than my little apartment does in a year.

Do you suppose John Kerry is staying at Super 8 and eating at Denny's along the campaign trail? I wonder if Susan Sarandon buys her clothes off the rack at K-Mart. Just food for thought...


Thomas Hobbes 04.May.2004 19:05

Key phrases such as "idle rich" and the general tenor of this "article" indicated how twisted and pathetic you people are.

These loons should get a job and earn their own way in life, instead of trying to take away what others have EARNED.

I have converted

Bob 05.May.2004 20:01

Well, this article made me rethink my life. I went to school, took chances (some of which made me poor), and now I have made it. I am a partner in a sucessful business. I have followed your thinking and I am not going to make as much money this year. Unfortunately, I had to lay off one of my secretaries. The other is going to have to work part time or quit. Don't worry, she can still get married, she will simply have a smaller wedding. Therefore, the florists, photographers, caterers... will not make as much money, but that is O.K. because I will not make as much.
Thanks for making me feel better about myself.
By the way redneck, I don't bother writting off trips to Europe, the writeoff is not significant enough to worry about.


Where does all your money come from?

TheLoganeer 06.May.2004 00:47

For all you people who think hard work justifies six figure salaries, what about those who work hard in a diner? Shouldn't they have six figure incomes too? I know plenty of people who put more blood and sweat into their table waiting than some well paid tech workers, yet their income is quite dissimilar. How about the the lower ranking soldiers who are in some desert, far from home, getting shot at so that international commerce can move in? How much do you think they make? You say you work hard, but I wonder if you've ever worked in a tin mine. That's probably hard work too.
What's most disturbing about this thought process is that somehow you think that the work you've done directly translates into profit which you are invited to share in. Somewhere on the ladder of profit, there are people working really f'in hard for no money so you can work really hard in an air conditioned office making insane quantities of cash. Therein lies the disparity.

You might think I'm jealous. Yes, that sort of income would greatly improve the convenience of my existence. On the other hand, I have plenty and I have never made over 15k in a single year. I don't need much. Im comfortable with my own existence, I have no need to prove to others that I'm better than them. I'm probably not. It doesn't matter. I may never be able to retire with excess. I may never have a private jet. Also, I will never have to look at a person poorer than myself and wonder if I took from them something I didn't really need. Nor will I, if I am ever a victim of a crime, have to look my agressor in the eye and think I put that person in that position of desperation.
When you have far more than you need, you are robbing the world of prosperity. It's not communism or socialism. It's being not greedy, which is ok in anyone's book.
So when your stock market crashes, your loved one leaves you when you have become poor or the air in your city becomes unbreathable and you realize that your soul has been polluted by your greed, let me know. I would personally like to say to you, "go figure."

Commie scum

Dave 31.May.2004 13:22

As usual these little commies covered their faces to committ their acts of cowardice. Do these drug adicts and child molester types have nothing better to do than interfere with working people's lives just because they are unemployed, drug addicted, unwashed, child molesting freaks. You better hope my skinhead pals never see you holding one of your commie demonstrations or you will see what a real resistance is like!!!!