(Montreal) “Quebec will rise again. Quebec is not on its knees, Quebec is unbeatable. Whatever we say, whatever we think, we will survive and we will win. »
It is with these words that the journalist, author and fierce independence activist Pierre Schneider concluded, on Tuesday March 28, a video recording of farewell to his friends on the social network Facebook, indicating that his end was imminent.
Mr. Schneider thus died on Thursday at the age of 78, confirmed to La Presse Canadienne by email Les éditions du Mont Royal, having published his essay The Assassinated Republic of Daniel Johnson.
Pierre Schneider was born in March 1945 in Outremont to an English-speaking father and a French-speaking mother. Sensitized at a very young age to national and linguistic issues, he had become an activist within the Rally for National Independence (RIN) in 1962 and then became one of the co-founders of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) and co-editor of the manifesto of April 1963.
Arrested in June of the same year, he will be sentenced to serve three years in prison, in September, for a series of bombings and will be released after having served two thirds of his sentence. It is this episode of his life that would have served as inspiration for the lyrics of the song Bozo-les-culottes, written by his friend Raymond Lévesque.
He made his journalistic debut in the Quebecor weeklies in 1966 and moved to the Journal de Montréal where he eventually became a legal columnist. After tumultuous years of judicial journalism and as a freelancer in a few other publications, including Le Devoir, he returned home and was appointed executive in the news department of the Journal de Montréal in 1988.
A little over ten years later, in 1999, his career took a completely different turn when he took over the management of the Arts and Entertainment section of the Journal.
It was in 2002 that Pierre Schneider made his debut as an author by publishing an autobiographical story entitled “Boum baby boom” with Quebec America, as well as a notebook of poems. The autobiography retraces his passion for independence followed by the shock of prison reality to then paint a portrait of the sordid underworld of Montreal in the 60s and 70s. underworld of alcohol and the path of his rehabilitation leading to his return to journalism.
The writing experience marked him enough for him to leave the Journal de Montréal in 2003 to devote himself entirely to it.
His most recent book, published in October 2021, is entitled The Assassinated Republic of Daniel Johnson.
In his touching farewell video of just over three minutes, Pierre Schneider says he was “very, very, very happy to be able to share with you these years of my life, which gave me the greatest pleasure”.
He says he is leaving in peace, with “the feeling of accomplishment”, inviting his friends to “continue the fight that I have been leading for my part for 60 years”.