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What is the FLQ?

The Story

The Quiet Revolution turned bloody in 1963. On April 20 and 21, Molotov cocktails and dynamite time bombs planted by l'Armée de libération du Québec rocked Anglo-Saxon Montreal. The group's first victim was Wilfred O'Neil, a 65-year-old war veteran one month away from his pension. Another, explosives expert Walter Leja, was maimed for life while digging out a bomb in a Westmount mailbox on May 17, 1963. On Feb. 13, 1969, more bombs exploded, ripping through the Montreal Stock Exchange and injuring 27. It was the work of fed-up Québécois nationalists looking for Ottawa's recognition. They became the Front de libération du Québec.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Production Date: Oct. 10, 1970
Reporter: Frank Roach
Duration: 3:06

Did You know?

• Nationalist sentiment growing in Quebec under the government of Liberal Premier Jean Lesage was known as the Quiet Revolution.

• From 1960 to 1966 Lesage instituted social, economic and educational reform and helped foster a desire for special status for Québec within Confederation.

L'Armée de libération du Québec was an antecedent group to the FLQ. The two groups participated in the 1963 Montreal bombing spree.

• The FLQ was made up of several cells. Two separate ones orchestrated the October Crisis kidnappings: the Liberation cell, responsible for kidnapping then British Trade commissioner James Cross, and the more radical Chenier cell which abducted and killed then Quebec Labour minister Pierre Laporte.


The October Crisis: Civil Liberties Suspended more