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Tension mounts at Oka roadblock

The Story


The masked and armed Mohawk warriors refuse to take down the barricades despite court injunctions. Jean Ouellette, the mayor of Oka, is determined to go ahead with the expansion. Tensions soar. Mayor Ouellette sends a written letter asking the Quebec police (Sûreté du Québec), to tear down the roadblocks. The situation quickly disintegrates. CBC reporter Laurent Lavigne finds himself smack in the middle of the action, dodging bullets and inhaling tear gas during his report.

Medium: Radio Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: July 11, 1990
Guests: Pierre Cadieux, Tom Siddon, Elizabeth Thunder
Host: Barbara Smith
Reporter: Laurent Lavigne
Duration: 0:55

Did You know?


• In support of the Mohawk warriors, some of the 10,000 people of the nearby Kahnawake reserve set up sympathy roadblocks. They block two major highways as well as the Mercier bridge, a popular commuter route into Montreal. It becomes a trouble spot inciting riots and clashes between frustrated commuters, the Quebec police and the native people.


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