Montreal Cops Sought Army Advice After 2008 Riots

File this under “not surprising, but important”:

On October 30 and 31, 2008, Montreal’s Assistance Chief of Police Pierre Brochet met with a Canadian Army commander to discuss working together. Mr. Brochet wanted to take advantage of the Army’s experience on the ground in similar situations.

“Events such as those in Montreal-North, they push all emergency services to reexamine how they intervene. When things get out of hand like that, they teach police an enormous number of things, about how to be more effective next time,” Sylvain Lemay, in charge of operational planning for the Montreal Police Department, explained to

The “events” referred to, of course, are the night’s rioting that followed the police murder of Fredy villanueva, a teenager from a working-class immigrant family in Montreal North. Not only was Villanueva murdered in a case of white police panic (“All these brown children, our lives were in danger!”), but two of his friends were also shot. Their crime? Playing dice in a park, and getting in the face of the cops who came to harass them, and who tried to arrest Fredy’s older brother. The riots that evening were significant by Canadian standards, and one cop was shot (non-fatally).

Some bumper sticker i once saw said, “Life Isn’t A Dress Rehearsal”, and this is certainly true. The meaning being, act for real now, stop putting things off.

Can’t argue with that.

But we also need to ponder cop Lemay’s words, “how to be effective next time.” The enemy and their lackeys know that there will always be a next time, not because they’re nefariously evil (tho they are that too), but because they think institutionally, and historically. Every success like every failure provides an opportunity to learn, to draw lessons, to prepare to do better next time. In that sense, today is always a dress rehearsal for tomorrow, so learn your shit.

True for our side as well as theirs.


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