Arrêtez-moi quelqu'un! Vowing to violate Quebec's anti-protest law

Arrêtez-moi quelqu'un! ("Someone stop me!") is a site where Quebeckers and their supporters around the world can post photos of themselves holding signs in which they state their intention to violate Special Law 78, which suspends the right to freedom of assembly in Quebec: "Nous nous engageons à continuer à lutter; à rester mobilisé·e·s, en vertu des libertés fondamentales. Si cela nous vaut des poursuites pénales en vertu de la loi 78, nous nous engageons à y faire face."

Arrêtez-moi quelqu’un! (Thanks, PaulR!)


    1. Was going to say the same about the translation. Love the act, though! Freedom of assembly is an essential right. Even in magical Canada.

      1.  heh, Canada is hardly magical. It was founded on the genocide of indigenous nations, a process which continues today through environmental racism and treaty violations (among other things).

        1. Does anyone have the high ground, here?

          It’s true though that we get beaten by our police just like everyone else does.

  1. “Arrêtez-moi quelqu’un” usually means “Someone stop me!” in French, which you might say as a joke if you want to do something silly or stupid on impulse. (“I’m gonna buy that $30 t-shirt. Someone please stop me!”)

    In the context of civil disobedience, it takes on the added meaning of “Someone arrest me”. “Arrêtez-moi” means both “stop me” and “arrest me”.

  2. I guess the right to assemble was OK with the government, right up to the moment that someone actually decided to do it in a way that the government didn’t appreciate. That shows how really fragile democracy is.

  3. Another really neat effort is this cartoon protest (“manif de bonhommes”) from a bunch of Quebec and francophone comic book artists: There’s Julie Delporte, Yayo, Iris, Zviane, Boom, Patrick Girard and many more (it is still in progress) .

        1. Claiming that the Quebec gov’t is interfering with the right to assemble is a good demonstration of how the rhetoric around Bill 78 is  overblown.  Bill 78 requires organizers of protests to inform police of where they will meet and their planned route eight hours of advance.  The police may require a change of venue or route, but there is nothing in the bill allowing them to cancel the demonstration.  It does prohibit demonstrations within 50 metres of buildings where instructional services are provided.  Granted, that is a limit on the right of assembly… but that right is NOT absolute; it is governed by the “reasonable limits” clause of section one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  That’s really the question: is this a reasonable limit?  Ask protestors, then ask students who couldn’t attend classes they wanted to even after obtaining court orders… you will get two very different answers.

          1. Just out of curiosity, how many students who couldn’t attend classes will I be asking?

            Because we’ve seen hundreds of people arrested or worse over this, and only assertions that the problem was serious enough to warrant it, never numbers to justify it. Which makes it sound a lot like welfare queens and other mostly-made-up epidemics.

        2. From

          “This bill infringes many of the fundamental rights of our citizens. The basis of a democracy is the rule of law. We must respect the law. We must also respect fundamental freedoms, like the freedom to protest peacefully, the freedom of speech and the freedom of association [emphasis mine],” [Quebec] bar association president bâtonnier Louis Masson, said in an interview.

          As far as I can tell, the only group that is for the law is the Conseil du Patronat, a business lobby group.

          So, the question is asked: What is the purpose of government?

          In Québec, the phrase projet de société – a social/group plan, a society’s project/purpose – is used by politicians, journalists, and during the usually-intense political discussions you’ll find in bars and cafes (in Québec, people talk about things other than work and/or money…).

          The projet de société that is generally accepted in Québec, as far as I can tell, does not include authoritarian rule. Authoritarianism, especially of the church-imposed variety, was soundly rejected decades ago as part of the Quiet Revolution. And the typical Québecois is someone who believes that the government should be scared of the voters, not the other way around.

          While I find Québec politics sometimes has residual echoes of ‘pure laine’ xenophobia, this projet de société has resulted in lots of very progressive social policy. This social policy was often imposed on the Québec government by the people.

          Examples: the constant, repeated refusals by juries to convict Dr. Henry Morgenthaler; the lower age of majority; the laissez-faire attitude about homosexuality resulting in then Canadian Minister of Justice (Montrealer) Pierre Trudeau’s 1967 remark ‘The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation’.

          Another part of this projet de société that taxes can be good when these are collected so as to fund things that benefit the population as a whole. THIS is what started the students’ stike. Yes, the tuition fees are low, but the taxes are high – this is/was a choice that the population made years ago.

          Yes, the (usually white, rich, male) libertarians will find this abhorent, but the people of Québec have spoken. And are speaking right now. The ‘leaders’, however, are refusing to listen. This refusal can’t last. Eventually, they’ll have to call an election.

      1. The worse part of this law is the ridiculous fines that is trying to kill off student organisations in Québec:
        ”According to the provisions of the bill, any infraction against its prohibitions require offenders to pay fines, which are paid for each day of infraction. Those fines amount to $1,000-$5,000 for individuals, $7,000-$35,000 for student or union leaders, and $25,000-$125,000 per day for student or labor organizations.[16][1] Fines are doubled for second and subsequent offences. Universities or institutions which do not comply with the provisions of Bill 78 are subject to the daily fees paid by student or labor organizations.[1]”

    1. It was suspended in the province of Quebec. Now more and more of the population of the cities are become politicized and engaging in a good old fashioned Chiviari…publicly defying the law each night with pots and pans and loud music.
      The government is getting scared that this may affect the Quebec summer tourist season.

  4. I have been trying to post my picture (from france) for the last 25 minutes…I will try again later, but there is a message that says that there is an server error…anyone else have this problem? I am going to email my picture to them. Could the Canadian Government be screwing with their site?

  5. SO as far as I can tell, they decided to give people something else to protest. Brilliant.

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