A high voltage of ethnocentricity surged through the crowd at the Hecklevesque rally in Montreal at an auditorium on Avenue du Parc in Montreal. A huge crowd streamed out to Avenue du Parc thrashing any Hassidic Jews, Portuguese, Haitians, Greeks and visible minorities. Two Greek restaurants were set ablaze. It was beginning to look the 1918 anti-Greek riots in Toronto. One lady at the rally who had set one of the Greek restaurants on fire was attacked by the berserk owner of the restaurant in flames and stabbed her in the back with a sizzling skewer of lamb and there she lay screaming in pain as the lamb and green pepper sizzled away. Another protestor was locked in a meat locker freezer overnight and was carted away a la rigor mortis the next day. Three Portuguese shopkeepers were taken to hospital with broken noses. Some 75 injured people were lying on Avenue du Parc.
Charges of inciting a riot were laid against Hecklevesque who was delighted to be a martyr. He was out on bail a few hours later. The audience was so full of hotheads was it his fault they overreacted? The media attributed the event to over enthusiastic rabble rousers. The Greek community formed a “Greek Life Matters” movement. The Marxist Leninists at McGill University (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) hailed it as a true proletarian uprising. The Canadian Albanian Friendship League said, “Comrades it is clear what happened on Avenue du Parc. Zealous bourgeoisie and petit bourgeoisie elements are waging a war to tear Quebec apart from Canada. When they accomplish it they intend to share the plunder. The proletarians of Quebec are being swindled by nationalistic opportunists. These counterrevolutionaries never tire of bashing immigrants hoping to divert attention from the real proletarian bourgeoisie struggle. They never talk of masters and wage slavery but one should be aware of there would be masters in an “independent” Quebec. The proletarians of Quebec will have nothing to gain from this drive for independence. Capitalists whether Greek, French, American or English are the true enemies of the Quebec working class. It is not the immigrants who are stealing the jobs. They either have the ambition to start businesses to escape economic enslavement by the bourgeoisie or take jobs the local working class deems too degrading. They work in sweat boxes where they are paid low wages where the owners claim their wages are low as they are involved in a risky business yet they enjoy luxurious winter vacations, live in grand houses in Outremont or Hampstead and have their children drive Corvettes. Isn’t it a tough life? The hype over the Avenue du Parc incident serves to divide the working class into compartmentalized pockets incapable of acting as a unified working class when it is required the most to fight the nationalist swindle in Quebec.”
The Montreal Greek community was nervously fingering its worry beads outraged by the insults thrown their way by people who they had trusted over the years. In such cases it seemed understandable why immigrants formed insular communities. When times were good all went well but when times got rough, either politically or economically you as an immigrant were the first to get finger pointed at. After “The Slaughter on Parc” as many Greeks called it the Cretan Workingman’s Club formed vigilante groups to patrol Avenue du Parc and Park Extension to protect Greek-Canadians and Greek businesses. The immigrants complained bitterly to the federal and the Quebec provincial government but almost all politicians failed to make any commitment for fear of upsetting “the delicate equilibrium in Quebec”. There was outrage in Athens as the Canadian embassy was spray-painted with the slogan “Murder and Looting in Quebec”. The Canadian ambassador’s car was firebombed.