Patriotes honoured in the rain

Hundreds turn out to rally for sovereignty and remember those who gave their lives

Fête des Patriotes 2008

BRENDA BRANSWELL, The Gazette - It rained on their parade, but that didn't dampen the spirits of a few hundred people who marked the Journée nationale des Patriotes yesterday with a march that ended at Mount Royal Park.
Carrying umbrellas and sodden Quebec and Patriotes flags, the marchers chanted sovereignist and nationalist slogans as they wound their way through Montreal streets.
The steady rain never let up as they varied chants that included: "Le Québec aux Québécois," "Montréal français" and "On veut un pays."

Since the Parti Québécois re-named the holiday in 2002, it has commemorated the rebels' struggle in 1837-38 against British colonial rule in Lower Canada. The holiday is known as Victoria Day in the rest of Canada.
The marchers gathered near the Jacques Cartier Bridge at Pied-du-Courant, the former prison where 12 patriotes were hanged in 1839.
Yan Lamoureux was there with his 4-year-old son who was in a stroller, an umbrella protecting him from the rain.
"He's a bit fed up because it's raining," Lamoureux said, adding that his son said earlier that he wanted to come to the march.
Jean Dorion, head of the Société St. Jean Baptiste de Montréal, said he found it extremely encouraging that so many turned out despite the weather.
He alluded to the turnout of many young people for the march, suggesting it contradicts pundits who have proclaimed the independence movement is dead.
As for the importance of highlighting the day, Dorion called it a duty toward a group of men who sacrificed their lives for "freedom, the independence of their country and also recognition of national identity."
The marchers made their way to Mount Royal Park where musical acts performed, including Loco Locass.

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