The FPQ’s Facebook page was created in March 2016 by Guy Boulanger, and in its first year the group participated in the “Marche pour unerépublique du Québec” [March for a Quebec Republic] on July 1and, on August 27, had a corn roast with the Justiciers du Québec,in Joliette. In truth, the group has such a low profile that few people outside of a limited circle even know that it exists.
As was the case for a number of populist and xenophobic groups in Québec, 2017 was a busy year for the FPQ. FPQ members participated in the March 4 demo organized by the Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens, alongside members of La Meute and other groups opposed to the proposed bill M-103,which condemned Islamophobia.
The group doesn’t appear to exist in any real way aside from its two Facebook pages (one with close to 4,000 membersand the other with fewer than 300) and sporadic demonstrations. It seems unlikely that the FPQ will grow with its current leadership and orientation.The simple fact is that the leadership does not seem particularly ambitious. It is perhaps because of this lack of ambition and its overall amateurish approach that the FPQ is less circumspect than some of the larger organizations and continues to maintain ties to more extremist individuals and milieus. Both its actions and its Facebook communications make it clear that the FPQ is on friendly terms with a certain number of boneheadsand others on the far right. Security at FPQ demonstrations is generally provided by wannabe tough guys like PhilippeGendron (Soldiers of Odin), Robert Proulx (former La Meute member), David Leblanc, (Soldiers of Odin), and,at least on April 23, 2017, Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald (former La Meute member and all-around neo-Nazi prima donna at large). As well, some of the organization’s board of directors actively promote the crassest Islamophobia and, as the propaganda for their September 16, 2017 demonstration (eventually cancelled) indicates, the group plans to increasingly organize its actions around an explicitly racist message.
At some point, a “board of directors” made up of Guy Boulanger, his father Denis Boulanger, Marie-Élaine Boucher, Jeannot Fontaine, Michel Éthier, Diane Rose and Jean-Yves Vachon.
Capitalizing on the interest generated by the March 4, 2017 demonstration, the FPQ scored their greatest success that year on April 23, with a demonstration organized around the slogan “Un peuple se lèvecontre le PLQ” [A People Rising Up Against the Quebec Liberal Party]. The event drew a few hundred people. That it achieved these numbers was both because, in no small way, the nationalist far right felt that “its time” had finally come and because the organizers’ ambiguous slogan attracted a fair number of Québécois who are not necessarily on the right but are simply nationalists hostile to the Liberals and didn’t fully understand the nature of the organizers’ political positions. (Antifascist militants distributed several hundred leaflets in the area where the demonstration began and explained to passersby that the FPQ was infiltrated by and associated with racist groups, which likely served to considerably reduce the number of demonstrators.)
The FPQ was next heard from a little more than a month later, on May 28, this time under the slogan “Le Québec s’insurgecontre le PLQ” [Québec is Rebelling Against the Liberal Party of Quebec]. This demonstration was a major setback; only around forty people showed up. Over the summer, the FPQ held several more marches: June 4 (to celebrate Bill 101);July 1 (“Marche pour la république du Québec” [March for a Quebec republic]);July 24 (to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s speech at City Hall in Montreal). Each march drew few participants than the previous. The FPQ also turned out for some other demonstrations: May 22, the“Marche des patriotes” [Patriot’s March];November 25, the Storm Alliance/La Meute demonstration in Quebec City.
Membres et sympathisants connus
Michel “Malik” Éthier