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In the early 1960's the culture of North America was evolving quickly towards a more action orientated process of change. Quebec was no exception with the ongoing reforms of the new Liberal government and the development of the Quiet Revolution. The impact of revolutionary philosophy and politics also began to spread the doctrines of violent action as a means of legitimate change, among young people and university students. Figures  such as Che Guevara, Chairman Mao, and the writer Franz Fanon offered different interpretations of history and politics where violence played a role in their ideas. The frustration at the pace of change in Quebec lead some o believe that only violence would speed the process up.

Various people and groups such as the Belgian revolutionary, George Schoeters, and the Palestine Liberation Organization were responsible for training some people in Quebec who had taken to calling themselves the FLQ or the Front for the Liberation of Quebec. (Front de libération du Québec). One of the principles of terrorism is that in order to avoid a the destruction of the organization when one or two members is captured, no central control and knowledge of all of the members is ever organized. Groups of 2 to 10 members are formed under the guidelines of the movements philosophy and are called cells. The FLQ had several adherents to it's political objectives and some of the cell formed were the Viger Cell, the Dieppe Cell, the Nelson Cell and the two that eventually triggered the October crisis in 1970, the Liberation cell and the Chenier Cell.

Violent attacks, bombings, bank robberies, kidnappings, and murders started in 1963 and escalated as the years went by cumulating in the October Crisis with the kidnapping of James Cross and Pierre Laporte. The paper known as Revolutionary Strategy and the Role of the Avant Garde, which was released in 1966 formed the backbone of the action plan of the FLQ. On March 7, 1963 a railroad bombing took place on a line that Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was to travel on.


Over the next few years more and more acts of violence took place and several case the FLQ terrorists were arrested and jailed. Many were released within a few years. Many more murders, bombings and acts of violence took place and in 1966 a couple of FLQ members who had fled Canada to avoid arrest began a protest in front of the United Nations. They were quickly arrested and in 1967 extradited to Canada to face charges.

After the euphoric year of 1967 with all of the centennial celebrations across Canada, the FLQ activity began to pick up again. In February of 1969 the FLQ struck the Montreal Stock Exchange by setting off a large bomb which injured 27 people and then in September they managed to bomb the house of Jean Drapeau, the mayor of Montreal.

In 1969 the South Shore Gang Cell of the FLQ was formed with members Paul Rose, Francis Simard, Nigel Hamer and Jacque Rose. This cell would later be responsible for the October Crisis.

Although the escalation of violence did result in governmental action to counter the FLQ and an increase in general security and eventually the invocation of the War Measures Act during the October Crisis, the general population did not deem government action as oppressive or overly authoritarian and hence the terrorist tactic of alienating the public and government from each other failed.

After the shocking murder of Pierre Laporte, a Cabinet Minister in Robert Bourassa's Quebec government, the FLQ lost almost all public sympathy. With the rise of the Parti Quebecoise as a reasonable alternative to  terrorist activities, the FLQ lost it's momentum and eventually died out.