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Red Square Scare

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Movie poster circa 1949 (post-WWII red scare period)
Movie poster circa 1949 (post-WWII red scare period)

They are on the Montréal metro, in summer festivals crowds and on the street–-anywhere havoc can be wreaked or terror instilled in the general population. That teen or twentysomething may look innocent enough, but what about that square of felt cloth pinned on the young person’s t-shirt?

What colour is the cloth?


Green is a wonderful patriotic colour, signifying health, growth, personal sacrifice and individual responsibility. A young man or woman wearing the green patch does not have unrealistic demands for public post-secondary education, daycare and healthcare. He or she recognizes the need for austerity. Such an individual happily provides authorities with the itinerary of his or her own movements and those of the individuals with whom he or she associates whenever the law requires it. A green-square-wearer willingly denounces the civil disobedience of his or her fellows. Such a person is our ally in the fight to keep our streets and festivals safe and our economy free from disruption. Unfortunately, very few young people in Québec wear the green square–-a sign of our decaying moral fibre and the growing red menace.


Be wary. Wearers of the white square claim to be neutral on the need for austerity (they don’t fully understand that to be prosperous we must allow the 1% to freely trickle down wealth on the less fortunate instead of forcing the well-to-do to pay for services they don’t use--our prosperity-through-austerity plan). White-square-wearers claim to be against all forms of violence, yet they do not support bill 78, the law that gives police the powers they need to deal with the red menace. Opposition to bill 78 is beginning to give a pink tinge to the white square. They claim to call for a “truce” in the conflict, but that is code for surrender.


Be afraid, be very afraid. If you see anybody, but especially a young person, wearing a red square in a public place, alert the authorities. Be sure to note whether the individual is carrying a bag that may conceal devices or weaponry of any sort. Do not approach such persons or accept any “literature” from them since they are known to distribute dangerous propaganda or misinformation about how Québec tuition could be financed by a tax on banks amounting to a fraction of 1%.


Be just as afraid as you would be of a person with a red square. The black square symbolizes ardent opposition to our best tool in the fight against the red menace–-bill 78. The “movement” against bill 78 has unified all the dangerous anti-austerity forces, whether they support public education, environmental protections, social housing, healthcare, daycare or other unaffordable social services.

David Bernans is a Québec-based writer and translator. Follow him on twitter @dbernans.

Author’s note: The above text is political satire inspired by the arbitrary searches and detention of red-square-wearing youth carried out by police in the Montréal metro system and in the vicinity of Formula 1 festivities. A shocking account of those practices was provided by undercover Le Devoir journalists wearing red squares (see

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bernans (David Bernans)
Member since September 2011


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Tim McSorley's picture

Awesome piece Dave! Really

Awesome piece Dave! Really enjoying your posts about the strike/student movements/social movements

anabraxas's picture

Misleading and dishonest...

It's been already asserted that the "black square" is the symbol of the anarchists in the movement and anarchy in general, as it ALWAYS been, and not a protest against Bill 78.

The Black Square Manifesto was published on the net a few months ago by people within the student strike... perhaps you didn't notice it because it didn't show up anywhere on Facebook?

Of course, you can mess up with symbols as you like, and use the herd mentality argument of numbers to justify the "redefinitions". But at the end of the day, who will it serve best... the student strike, or the authority that wants it to be all messed up and uneffective so it will go nowhere other than in circles?

Do you even self-criticize, at times, or is it too "cynical", or "green", for you?

I also find it very sick that we went on labelling the reactionary students "greens", just as if it would be a bad, anti-movement thing to be green (in the sense of eco-struggle). Why not "blue", or "white", which would be more representative of their racist, pro-order mentality? The fact that I haven't read or heard much criticism about it is very, very worrying.

Herd mentality is dangerous. This is what led to the worst, most murderous, repressive regimes in History.

Open your damn mind before it's too late.


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