Our Soldiers in the Streets:
The 1970 October Crisis

On October 5th, 1970, the FLQ kidnapped James Cross, a British Diplomat, from within his Westmount home. The kidnappers demanded, amongst other things, that 23 “political prisoners” be liberated and that their manifesto be broadcast on radio and television. Five days later, after the government had only met one of the kidnappers’ demands, another cell of the FLQ kidnapped Quebec politician Pierre Laporte. Thus began what we now call the October Crisis. 

The army was called in to support the police, and armed soldiers, most of them fFrancophone, patrolled the streets of Montreal and surrounding cities for months. The War Measures Act was invoked, for the first and only time in an era of peace, to enable the police to search and detain suspected individuals without warrants or charges. Over 3,000 searches were performed and 497 people were detained as a result of these special powers.

You can access the different themes of the exhibition directly here, or simply navigate using the arrows at the bottom of the page!

A World in Turmoil

Our October

After 1970 : The Impacts of the Crisis

Explore the Quebec and global contexts of the 1960s in order to better understand the motivations of different actors. Featuring the video ”The Sixties in Quebec”

Discover the roles of the soldiers who were deployed throughout Quebec in our two videos, “The Army Arrives” and “Respect and Cooperation”

And then what? What lessons can we learn from these events? In a final video, soldiers reflect back on the crisis fifty years later.

Timeline