Ten Years of Montreal’s Mauvaise Herbe


Fifth Estate # 386, Spring, 2012

The Montreal zine and distro, Mauvaise Herbe (MH; The Weed), celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2011. The journal, with its green and anarchist insurrectionist influences, prints articles in French and English, was first to publish this perspective in French in Quebec.

Since 2002, Mauvaise regularly presents workshops at the annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair and at other events including the city’s Eco-radical festival. The topics include anarchism and the anti-civ critique, the question of organization, the concept of autonomy, and on the challenges to Quebec’s eco-radical movement.

In 2003, Mauvaise Herbe Distro was formed to distribute insurrectionist anarchist and anti-civ pamphlets and books. In 2004, zine members and others took over the city’s anarchist bookstore, Alternatives, renaming it L’Insoumise.

In 2008, MH brought John Zerzan to Montreal, whose visit provoked great deal of controversy. A “coalition for progress in the anarchist milieu” was formed to oppose his visit. Zerzan received an e-mail death threat signed by the coalition’s main group.

Just before his presentation at the bookfair, a bomb threat was received, followed by a picket line at the bookfair venue. After the event, a special issue of MH was published to respond to criticisms of its anti-civilization critique.

In 2011, the MH and others organized Montreal’s first Anti-Civilization Week consisting of workshops and the screening of Franklin Lopez’s film, End:Civ, whose director was present for the event.

Issues are available online at http://anarchieverte.ch40s.net/