Photo from mtlp‘s photostream on Flickr
While a whodunnit may sound fun, it’s disquieting and mysterious to think who’s throwing all these Molotov cocktails at cafes and bars.
CBC has reported that there have been at least 5 fire bombings in the past month. The incidents have been scattered around the city: a couple in the Mile-End, one in St. Michel, one in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and one in Little Italy.
The report also notes that no witnesses are stepping forward, raising suspicious that the victims of the attacks are implicated in some way. And since no one’s talking, these police investigations underway are likely going to be filed away under “Unsolved”.
A bit of levity was added to this serious issue by the police investigator assigned in this case: according to Cmdr. Robert Quevillon, the overall arson rates are down between 12-17% compared to this time last year. Talk about optimism!
But seriously. Has a rival gang invaded the Mafia’s turf? Or is it infighting? Or maybe a new thrust to gain power by the Hell’s? It’s easy to let the imagination run wild with plausible scenarios borrowed from “The Sopranos”. But there’s no need for TV for inspiration: these attacks are likely very familiar to Montrealers, given the similarities with the biker gang wars of the 1990s. I wasn’t here then, but it sounded pretty ugly at times.
Back in the 1990s, given the recessed state of Montreal’s economy, these kinds of events probably contributed to feelings of unease about living in the city and probably fueled the exodus from the Island, and the province. Could a similar thing happen again? It seems unlikely, giving the trendiness or urban living (not to mention the higher cost of gasoline, so essential to the suburban dream).
Should we be more worried about this? I’m still not sure. But one thing’s sure: worrying probably didn’t help much last time around.