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Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale
It was founded on September 10, 1960 in the very beginnings of the effervecent times of the Quiet Revolution by some 30 people, including many of former Alliance Laurentienne members. (The Alliance Laurentienne was dissolved after the creation of the RIN.) The founding members included André D'Allemagne , Jacques Bellemare and Marcel Chaput. Another prominent member was Andrée Ferretti . D'Allemagne, having participated in the Alliance Laurentienne , has stated that he had found the Alliance's right-wing tendencies quite unpleasant. This was a factor leading to the creation of an officially neutral organisation. However, as the RIN attracted many new young members and it quickly became associated with left-wing ideas.
In October of 1960, the first general assembly of the organization published its manifesto calling for the independence of Quebec. Pierre Bourgault, who had joined shortly after foundation, became its president in 1964. Following the wish of the members as expressed in a resolution in 1963, the RIN was turned into a political party. Bourgault and his impassioned, fiery speeches contributed largely to the popularity of the RIN, and is often wrongly believed to be the founder of the movement.
In the 1966 Quebec general election, the RIN, along with the Ralliement National or RN, won about 8.8% of the popular vote and no seats. Bourgault lost the northern Duplessis riding by a very small margin, a great accomplishment for such a third party. Although it never gathered a high number of votes Quebec-wide, it played an important role in the birth of the modern "indépendantiste" movement in Quebec and was very active in public demonstrations. Famous protests of the RIN include a 1964 demonstration disapproving the coming of Queen Elizabeth II to Quebec and a 1968 protest about the presence of Pierre Trudeau on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day that turned to riot. Their members and supporters wera also present in the Montreal crowd and their symbols visible when French President Charles de Gaulle shouted his famed "Vive le Québec Libre" (Long live free Quebec).
In 1968, the charismatic liberal member and minister René Lévesque left the Liberal Party when its members voted to not debate his idea of two independent but associated states (Quebec and Canada). Shortly after came the foundation of the Mouvement Souveraineté-Association with Lévesque as leader. The RIN (as did the RN) quickly engaged in talks over a possible merger with the MSA. Bourgault and D'Allemagne strongly believed that forces of independence had to unite to challenge the "old parties" (Liberals and Union Nationale). André Ferretti notoriously opposed the idea of abandonning civil actions to jump into the provincial political arena. There were disagreements between the two organizations and it was in no small part because of the clash of Bourgault and Lévesque. Lévesque had come to distrust the RIN because of its perceived rowdy behaviour. Thus began a conflict between the two men that would last forever. Opposition was also found in the RIN itself for some militants were heart-broken from the prospect of the "end" of the party but, ultimately, the desire of a strong independentist force nonetheless won the hearts of the members. The MSA came to an agreement with the RN but not the RIN. Ultimately, the RIN voted to dissolve itself and invited its members to join the newly created Parti Québécois.
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- Politics of Quebec
- List of Quebec general elections
- List of Quebec premiers
- List of Quebec leaders of the Opposition
- National Assembly of Quebec
- Timeline of Quebec history
- Political parties in Quebec
- Quebec Sovereignism
- Secessionist movements of Canada
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