So everyone’s favourite local militia wants to sell weapons in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, as the local newspaper reported recently.
The MPQ runs a recruiting station there, which happens to double as the militia’s primary source of income – a military surplus store. Nothing illegal here; the group claims to be sovereignist and available to help ‘the people’ in a time of crisis, such as a natural disaster or in the event of an external attack. They also claim to be apolitical, and say they are present to respond to the will of the people.
Not the duly elected government mind you, the people is who they respond to.
Of course, it doesn’t seem as if the actual authorities, such as the Canadian Forces, the SuretÃ©-du-QuÃ©bec, the RCMP or the SPVM would be able to handle the kinds of emergencies they envisage. Perhaps they feel those organizations are not the true defenders of the people.
And the last time I checked, natural disaster training is very different from playing soldier out in the woods and firing paintballs at human targets. Just what exactly does this militia aim to prove, and who do they serve?
And why do they want to sell weapons in HLM?
I’m getting uneasy.
Here’s why. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, scores of private militias, gun-clubs, survivalist groups and a host of other really shady pseudo-military, pseudo-law-enforcement organizations began patrolling the streets of New Orleans. They shot ‘looters’ indiscriminately, as they were paid by wealthy locals to guard gated-communities and to protect the wealthy whites from the blacks of New Orleans. As we all know, the lives oft he privileged whites have returned to normal. Better than before some say, as signs popped up around New Orleans proclaiming that ‘we are taking our city back’. The ‘we’ in the case of New Orleans are the wealthy, exploitative white minority.
This would likely not have occured if President Bush had handled Katrina properly, such as by deploying troops, national guard and FEMA immediately. It also didn’t help that the NOPD actually called on various local militias to assist in keeping order in the immediate aftermath. See this article to read more on the horrifying human rights abuses in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Time to ask ourselves whether, as a society, we have enough faith in our own security forces or whether we feel it is appropriate to have parallel powers which could respond to any ‘catastrophe’ (as they define it) based on the demands of the ‘people’ (which could be whomever they choose). It’s kind of like a synagogue in the West Island that happens to employ guards to protect the building and patrol the grounds, even though they’ve never been threatened with vandalism or violence, and the local police would be able to handle any potential problem with considerably more efficiency than unarmed rent-a-cops. Or is it nothing but smoke and mirrors?
As always i want to hear from you? What will the people do about the MPQ?