In their never-ending quest to tweak the sensibilities of anyone dumb enough to take them too seriously, the “hipsters” at VICE profile ’70s terrorists, from the Tupamaros to the Red Brigade:
In Hollywood they’re making yet another film about Carlos The Jackal, and Bernhard Schlink’s writing books about the Baader-Meinhof gang again. From Spielberg’s Munich to Soderbergh’s Che, the last decade’s been happy to fete the terrorists who were at large in the 1970s. In contrast to the amorphous and utterly unquenchable threat currently hanging over our Western heads, everyone knew what figures like Guevara and The Black September group wanted: suitcases crammed full of cash and choppers to Cuba. They had a negotiable quality to them that’s largely missing from today’s suicide fanatics. Here are some lesser known terrorists from the 1970s that pop culture’s yet to turn into stocking-clad, cemtex-strapped, hostage-garotting rock stars.
FRONT DE LIBERATION DU QUEBEC
The FLQ’s Mario Bachand. Thin eyes.
By the 90s, the “liberation” of Francophone Quebec from overeating, culturally-destitute Anglo-Saxons was something only really discussed whimsically in newspaper comment pages. But in the 60s and early 70s, people were prepared to die for their right to not be Canadian. The FLQ intended to establish a French-speaking Marxist republic on the North American mainland by bombing shoe factories and kidnapping important political figures. Quebec deputy-governor Pierre Laporte was found strangled after a tip-off was phoned into a local radio station. British trade commissioner Richard Cross, also captive, was used as a bargaining chip when Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau responded to the FLQ’s brattishness by declaring a state of martial law and arresting 500 people. The kidnappers issued the usual demands – $500,000 in gold, helicopters to Cuba, etc – but, less usually, they won, and Trudeau’s government sent five of them off to sunny Cuba in exchange for Cross’s life.
ARE THEY COOL? No, they were French Canadian.
WOULD THEY GUT THEIR OWN GRANDMOTHER? Probably.
DID THEY BELIEVE IN ANYTHING WORTH BELIEVING IN? Yes. Putting a barrier between Francophones and everyone else…
[Read about the others at VICE]
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