October 17 - 1970 - The Killing of Pierre Laporte
When Pierre Laporte was kidnapped by the Front de Liberation du Quebec, no one thought he would be seriously harmed. Laporte was the Deputy Premier of Quebec and the Minister of Labor, while the FLQ was seeking specific political goals. The FLQ was a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist group seeking Quebecois sovereignty through violent means, in particular planting bombs around the province. Yet in October of 1970, the FLQ's activities took a different approach. On October 5, a group of FLQ members kidnapped James Cross, the British Trade Representative. Then on October 10, they kidnapped Laporte. Their idea was to use the hostages to get the release of political prisoners, publication of their manifesto, and other political concessions. The situation was tense, and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau famously said, when asked how far he would go against the FLQ, "Just watch me." It was the FLQ that would go too far, however, as they strangled Laporte. Immediately, they announced this fact and upped their demands to release James Cross. It didn't work, but instead saw a greater resolve by the government and dwindling support for the FLQ.