Pierre Vallières

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Pierre Vallières
Born (1938-02-22)22 February 1938
Montreal, Quebec
Died 23 December 1998(1998-12-23) (aged 60)
Occupation Journalist, writer, publisher
Nationality Canadian

Pierre Vallières ((1938-02-22)22 February 1938 – 23 December 1998(1998-12-23)), was a Canadian journalist and writer from the province of Québec. He was considered an intellectual leader of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ).

Vallières was born in the east end of Montreal, Quebec, but grew up in Ville Jacques-Cartier (now part of Longueuil), on the south-shore of Montreal, an area considered one of the most disadvantaged of the metropolitan region.[1] He started working in a bookstore, then became a journalist, first for Le Devoir, then for Cité Libre, which he became the director. He then went to cover international news for La Presse.[2] He had been working for La Presse for two years when he was fired for taking part in "subversive activities". He became a left-wing political activist at a young age and conducted a hunger strike at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to protest what he considered to be Quebec's plight.

While in New York, Vallières was held in the Manhattan House of Detention for Men before being extradited to Canada. There, he was arrested after a heist in a Montreal cinema on August 27, 1966.[3] Along with Charles Gagnon and five other people, he was then convicted of the manslaughter of Thérèse Morin, a 64 years old secretary who died in the explosion of a bomb that was delivered at the H.B. La Grenade shoe manufacture in Montreal on May 5, 1966, and of Jean Corbo, a 16 year old FLQ member who died on July 14, 1966 in the explosion of the bomb he had put himself at the Dominion Textile manufacture in Montreal.[4] For that, he was condemned to life in prison.

Vallière's conviction was overruled by the court of appeal but, in a second trial held in 1969, he was convicted again and condemned to 30 months in prison this time. He got paroled on May 26, 1970 after 44 months behind bars.[5]

During his near four years' imprisonment in New York, he wrote a number of works, the most famous of which was Nègres blancs d'Amérique (1968), translated into English as White Niggers of America. This book compared the situation of French-Canadians in Quebec to that of African-Americans at the height of the latter's civil rights struggles. He also called for armed struggle.

In 1970, during the October Crisis, the FLQ kidnapped and murdered the Quebec Vice-Premier, Pierre Laporte. The following year, Vallières renounced violence as a means to achieve Quebec independence and on 4 October 1972, under a plea bargain agreement, he received a one-year suspended sentence on three charges of counselling kidnapping for political purposes. He then resumed his career as a journalist, writer, and publisher.

He died of heart failure.

Works[edit]

  • Nègres blancs d'Amérique, autobiographie précoce d'un « terroriste » québécois. Montréal : Éditions Parti pris, 1967 (translated as White Niggers of America: The Precocious Autobiography of a Quebec Terrorist by Joan Pinkham, Monthly Review Press, 1971 and McClelland & Stewart, 1972)
  • Vivre sans temps morts, jouir sans entraves ! Paris, 1970
  • L'urgence de choisir. Montréal Parti-Pris, 1971; (translated as Choose!, New Press, 1972 )
  • Pour un front commun multinational de libération. with Charles Gagnon. S.l. : Front de libération du Québec, 1971
  • Un Québec impossible. Montréal : Éditions Québec/Amérique, 1977 (translated as The Impossible Quebec: Illusions of Sovereignty Association, 1980)
  • L'exécution de Pierre Laporte : les dessous de l'Opération. Montréal : Éditions Québec/Amérique, 1977 (translated as The Assassination of Pierre Laporte by Ralph Wells, Lorimer, 1977)
  • Les scorpions associés. with René Lévesque. Montréal : Éditions Québec-Amérique, 1978
  • La démocratie ingouvernable. Montréal : Québec/Amérique, 1979
  • La liberté en friche. Montréal : Éditions Québec/Amérique, 1979
  • Changer de société. with Serge Proulx. Montréal : Québec/Amérique, 1982
  • Les héritiers de Papineau : itinéraire politique d'un "nègre blanc" (1960–1985). Montréal, Québec : Québec/Amérique, 1986
  • Noces obscures. Montréal : L'Hexagone, 1986
  • Le devoir de résistance. Montréal : VLB, 1994
  • Paroles d'un nègre blanc. with Jacques Jourdain and Mélanie Mailhot. Montréal : VLB éditeur, 2002

Film[edit]

  • Freedom Outraged Vallieres plays his own role in a documentary by the national Film Board of Canada directed by Jean Daniel Lafond. A 16-mm medium length, color, 1994.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "La troisième solitude". Montreal Labor Council.  as cited in Vallières, White Niggers of America, p. 120.
  2. ^ "Notice Biographique de Pierre Vallières". L'Île: L'Infocentre littéraire des écrivains québécois. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  3. ^ "Bilan du Siècle". University of Sherbrooke. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  4. ^ "Instantannés: La vitrine des archives de BAnQ". Bibliothèque des Archives Nationales du Québec. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  5. ^ "FLQ: Chronologie d'un mouvement clandestin". Unité Ouvrière. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 

External links[edit]