- Montreal police announced on the anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre that officers had arrested a blogger who published anti-feminist hate speech.
- This is not the first time the individual has been arrested.
The SPVM announced on the anniversary of the massacre of women at the École Polytechnique that it had proceeded with the arrest of Jean-Claude Rochefort, "editor of an anti-feminist hate blog." He appeared in court December 6 "to answer charges of promoting hatred against women," the police announcement states. "Under the cover of a pseudonym, Jean-Claude Rochefort has posted on his blog several articles in which he praises, in particular, the person responsible for the massacre at the Polytechnique."
"The SPVM's Cyber Investigation Team identified him as the author of these worrying texts. The police arrested him at his Montreal home and conducted a search during which computer equipment was seized."
Rochefort will remain in custody until a preliminary release hearing, the police announcement concludes.
This isn't the first time Rochefort has been arrested for misogynist hate speech.
He was previously detained for, as the CBC wrote in 2009, "uttering threats against women."
A judge later ruled such speech legal despite menacing posts on his blog.
Le #SPVM a procédé hier à l’arrestation de Jean-Claude Rochefort, rédacteur d’un blogue antiféministe à caractère h… https://t.co/P4behDs9PC— Police Montréal (@Police Montréal) 1575663715.0
According to La Presse, Rochefort once declared December 6 a day "established in memory of the first counter-attack against feminazis in the war against men."
News of his arrest comes as Canadians commemorate the 30th anniversary of the massacre.
Thousands have taken to social media to share striking feminist messages on what is now known as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.
[rebelmouse-image 26887969 alt="Montreal Polytechnique Massacre: Canadians Sharing Feminist Messages On 30th Anniversary" photo_credit="R\u00e9mi St-Onge & Moment Factory | Wikimedia" expand=1 original_size="1200x630"] Rémi St-Onge & Moment Factory | Wikimedia
Universities across the country will put on light displays in honour of the victims while, in Montreal, the prime minister, Governor-General, mayor, and several other political figures gather atop Mount Royal for a commemorative ceremony.
There, an additional 14 beams of light will illuminate the night sky.
Rochefort's arrest is just a further reminder that the same misogynist sentiment that motivated the 1989 attack persists in the contemporary moment.
As the government of Canada writes on its webpage devoted to statistics on gender-based violence (GBV), "if you look closely, you will see the roots of GBV all around you — in the jokes that demean members of the LGBTQI2+ community, in the media messages that objectify women, and in the rigid gender norms imposed on young children."
It is incumbent upon everyone, especially men, to call out misogyny and end violence where they see it.