with Maxime Aurélien and Ted Rutland

You are cordially invited to join authors Maxime Aurélien and Ted Rutland on Tuesday March 27 from 2-4 p.m. for a discussion on their new book: Out to Defend Ourselves: A History of Montreal’s First Haitian Street Gang

This event will be held in the COHDS sunroom, LB-1019.

About the book:

This first critical history of a street gang in a Canadian city is a result of a four-year collaboration between a university professor (Ted Rutland) and the leader of les Bélangers (Maxime Aurélien). Out to Defend Ourselves tells the story of Montreal’s first Haitian street gang, les Bélangers. It traces how the gang emerged from a group of Haitian friends, the children of migrants from Haiti in the 1970s. It documents the forms of racial violence they experienced and their battles against them. It also documents the everyday lives of the gang members, the petty crime some members engaged in to make ends meet, and how the police actions against the gang changed its nature and function – making it, finally, a more criminally oriented and violent formation. It is a story about a gang, but it is also a story of young Haitians making their lives in 1970s and 80s Montreal and a story about Montreal in a period of great change.

Maxime Aurélien is the former leader of les Bélangers, Montreal’s first Haitian street gang. He is the owner of Cash Content, a pawn shop and barbershop in Montreal’s east end.

Ted Rutland is a professor at Concordia University. His research and activism focuses on the racial politics of urban planning and policing in Canadian cities. He is the author of Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax.


Please note that all of our events are free and open to all. For any questions and to register, contact us at: cohds.chorn@concordia.ca 

In-person at LB-1019 (Sunroom)


COHDS/ALLAB is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory, in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal.