100,000 Québec students will skip classes on Thursday

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Unionist
100,000 Québec students will skip classes on Thursday

Unionist

[url=http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/societe/2011/11/06/001-frais-scolar... fees: a broad coalition supports students[/url]

Quote:
With a national demonstration against tuition hikes a few days away, students have received the support of a powerful coalition of 130 organizations.

Sorry, no time to translate the rest... but Thursday will be a big day in Montréal!

 

Slumberjack

Admirable.

Unionist

[url=http://www.quebecsolidaire.net/actualite_nationale/manifestation_etudian... solidaire will be there, in full support[/url]

Handing out this newsletter:

Unionist

[url=http://www.bloquonslahausse.com/2011/11/mandats-de-greve-la-manifestatio...'s a list[/url] of student bodies that have voted a strike mandate to their associations - representing almost 189,000 to date and counting!

And here's an update in English:

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/CEGEP+university+students+boycott+cl... and university students to boycott classes on Thursday[/url]

 

Unionist

And so, it begins:

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/Dawson+students+block+entry... students block entry as protest starts[/url]

Quote:

The students are to meet at 2 p.m. at Berri and Ste. Catherine Sts. They will then make their way to Charest's office and plan to end with a rally at McGill College and Sherbrooke Sts. Motorists are warned that the throngs of students lining the streets will probably interfere with the traffic.

 

Unionist

Taken around 2 pm near the Berri-UQAM métro station. There are thousands here - some estimates say 20,000. And there's at least one English-language live blog collecting tweets and photos: [url=http://montreal.openfile.ca/blog/curator-blog/breaking/2011/live-blog-qu... Blog: Quebec students strike against tuition increases[/url]

 

Unionist

Demo was a huge success! Big celebration, all unity, around 30,000 participants. Police stayed well back for the most part.

Exception: Riot police pepper-sprayed and evicted students from McGill campus. I can't find a story on the police violence yet, but this must have been filed just beforehand (from McGill Daily):

[url=http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2011/11/students-occupying-james-administrati... occupying James Administration assaulted by security[/url]

Quote:

Thirteen McGill students claim to have been assaulted by McGill Security while they occupied the fifth floor of the James Administration building for almost two hours on Thursday afternoon.

The students were able to occupy several rooms on the floor, including Principal Heather Munroe-Blum’s office, before negotiating an end to the occupation with Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Morton Mendelson and Provost Anthony Masi. The protesters have been granted immunity.

The occupation was protesting the five years of tuition hikes scheduled to begin next September, and coincided with a 30,000 person-strong demonstration.

“I think what the administration is more afraid of than anything is charges against their security officials and their representatives right now. The fact is we were completely non-violent throughout the entire operation, and the private security officers that McGill pays assaulted more than one of us,” said a student.

Read the story and check out the photos. I'll keep looking for reports.

[url=http://www.flickr.com//photos/ssmu/sets/72157628100825176/show/]Slide show.[/url]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm absolutely disgusted by this.

Quote:
“We decided to let go of one another and put our hands up, and say, ‘we’re standing here peacefully, this is our campus, we have a right to be here. Please’ – I’m sobbing at this point…asking, ‘why are you doing this, we’re students, we can be here, we’re protesting peacefully, please don’t come forward,’” she continued.

“They were still pushing us, beating us, I think that was around the time when the first can of tear gas was thrown, they were sort of pushing us down the stairs. A couple of us fell down the huge steps… But they were actively pushing,” she added.

McGill students violently forced off campus

 

Freedom 55
Unionist

Students are demonstrating today outside the admin building, chanting "we want in" etc. They're demanding answers as to why McGill called in the riot police. Heather Monroe-Blum (McGill Principal) is refusing to meet with them. There have been interviews with e.g. a professor jabbed in the ribs with a riot stick and pepper-sprayed - not a participant in the occupation or demo - saying there was no reason to call the cops on campus.

ETA:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2011/11/11/mtl-protestreact...'s some partial coverage[/url] from the Gazette web site.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

McGill's message to students demanding no change to the tuition freeze? Send in the riot cops--this campus belongs to Citibank,  Pfizer and Telus, not to its students.

Fucking bastards.

Unionist

Striking MUNACA workers joined in struggle with the students:

[url=http://www.munaca.com/node/376]McGill is not poor: It only has poor priorities[/url]

Quote:
McGill’s Principal Heather Munroe-Blum has an annual salary of more than half a million dollars, which is three times that of Quebec’s Premier Jean Charest. In a Maclean’s recent list of the 10 highest-paid university administrators in Quebec, 6 of them were from McGill University, and Ms. Munroe-Blum was at the top. Meanwhile, students are crumbling under increasing debt and there’s a growing gap between McGill’s wealthy administrators and the employees’ poor working conditions.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Changed, changed utterly

Quote:
The Daily, along with many students and staff, is still reeling from the events that took place on our campus on the night of November 10. The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and McGill security committed violence against students and professors on their own campus.  The SPVM was using physical force, pepper spray, tear gas, and forcibly removing demonstrators from campus  – a space that is rightfully theirs. Further, many members of the McGill community, some of whom were just bystanders, were assaulted and emotionally traumatized. Whether or not you agree with the demonstrators, these actions were surreal and appalling, particularly in a university environment. McGill is no longer the same.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

 

Québec achète «grève étudiante» sur Google

Quote:
Au lendemain de la grande manifestation contre la hausse des frais de scolarité, Québec a payé pour acheter les noms des principales associations étudiantes et certaines expressions comme «grève étudiante» sur le moteur de recherche Google, afin de promouvoir le point de vue gouvernemental.

Plusieurs internautes qui recherchaient dans Google les acronymes de la Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), de la Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) ou de l'Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ) ont vu apparaître une publicité pour le site gouvernementalwww.droitsdescolarite.com.

Même résultat pour les expressions «grève étudiante» ou «manifestation étudiante».

Sous le titre «L'université demeure accessible», le site annoncé propose d'apprendre aux lecteurs «pourquoi une hausse est nécessaire pour continuer à assurer la qualité de l'enseignement et garantir la valeur des diplômes universitaires».

 

Les associations étudiantes qui combattent la hausse sont outrées que leur nom ait été utilisé à cette fin.

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.tvmcgill.com/2011/11/14/livestream-we-are-all-mcgill-mcgill-c... THE CROWD![/url]

Hundreds of McGill students, teachers, workers are rallying right now and testifying as to what happened on Thursday. Watch the live stream on McGill TV above!

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
Neither McGill Principal Heather Munroe-Blum nor anyone else from her administration has taken responsibility for the actions of riot police on campus, including  beatings, macings, and the eviction of students from the campus.  In an e-mail to the entire University community 24 hours after the fact, the Principal claimed that “security personnel called Montreal police,” and that “the presence of the riot squad, which dispersed the protesters by its usual means, was entirely directed by the Montreal police service.”  This response has not won anyone over.  For the Principal to declaim any responsibility for the actions of security services reminds us of nothing so much as when our son knocks over a glass of milk and then excuses himself by saying that his arm did it.  And if the police sent their riot squad onto campus without any invitation from or consultation with the administration of the University, then the Principal ought to be outraged at the invasion, and ought to be leading the charge against the SPVM. 

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to believe that this administration asked the police to intervene.  An increasingly oppressive and adversarial atmosphere has characterized life at McGill this fall.  The use of riot police against protesting students is the culminating point of a noticeable trend, not at all a sudden interruption of peace and tranquility....

Three things stand out from these events:

First, the university administration’s denial of responsibility for the welfare of students protesting on campus.  Many have noted since Thursday that, where faculty and students of universities once organized themselves as militias to protect themselves from bands of armed townsfolk, now the universities’ for-hire security services call in the armed townsfolk to protect themselves from the students and faculty.  The autonomy of the university, and the sense of concern and responsibility for students are in mortal danger.  Any university administrator who fears the students, and sees them as a threat, ought to find a new line of work, or be compelled to do so.

Second, the mutation in the university’s response to student protest also marks a mutation in the protests themselves. In 1997, students occupied the same offices as last week.  They came with a list of demands, stayed for three days, and left peaceably when the administration refused to negotiate on the demands.  The occupiers last week made no demands.  Occupy everything, demand nothing.  That is their watchword.  This is not the frightening or confusing development people seem to think it is.  If occupations do not make demands, that means they are not engaging in mercenary activity.  The occupiers were not holding the Principal’s office hostage.  They just want to talk and be heard.  They occupy to short-circuit the usual channels by which concerns get mediated and diluted, and arguments get muted to the point of inaudibility.

Finally, the administration’s response, if it going to do anything but reinforce the divide, also has to ignore the usual channels.  There is little hope of this.  The day after the invasion by the riot police, the administrators did not reach out to the students.  They barricaded themselves behind locked doors and security staff, drafted a self-serving e-mail about the catastrophe of the previous night, and refused to meet with or talk to the hundred or so students and faculty who gathered outside the administration building in the November chill.  The faculty and students have to know who called the police.  They have to know whether the cops consulted with anyone in the administration before trying to disperse the protesters.  And they have to know why the administration allowed or encouraged or was ignorant of riot police invading the University.  No matter what the answers are to these questions, the students and faculty of McGill will not abide the lethargic legalese of commissioned reports and internal investigations.  The university – not just McGill, but the very institution of the university – is in danger, and may not survive these continuing assaults on its mission and members.

 

who called riot police onto campus?

 

 

Unionist

Thanks for that article by a gutsy faculty member, Catchfire. One of the remarkable features of these events is the number of teachers that are speaking out against the use of violence against the students.

 

theboxman

Some good images of the gathering at McGill today here

Mrpotato

Thats BS, I've been through the education system in quebec in both french and english institutions. Students have it so easy here, they don't even realize it. Its a freaking joke they go on strike every other day. Maybe if they didn't have Ipods, Iphones, Ipads, Icrap in general, trendy clothes, party money, etc, they would have money left for their studies. You pretty much can't get a cheaper education anywhere else in canada, they should get down to earth and realize life isn't a given. I work my butt off all week so they can benefit that "cheaper" education and now that they'd have to pay their share they're complaining?

Fidel

Yeah we should increase everyone's debt load in the middle of a debt crisis and go deeper into hawk as a nation Tory style. Where do they get these people?

Unionist

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Student+strike+horizon/6039267/story... university student strike on the horizon?[/url]

Quote:

Student organizations are gearing up for a second day of protest on March 22 against the provincial government’s plan to increase tuition fees, but the biggest student unions are also asking their member associations to consult students about staging a possible strike.

“We need to ramp up pressure on the government,” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération Étudiante Universitaire du Québec, which has 15 member associations and about 125,000 members. The FEUQ’s members will decide by the first week of March if they want to hold a week-long strike, she said, although it will be up to each association to decide when to hold it.

“If we strike, the government and the universities will lose a lot of money so it puts a lot of pressure on them,” she said after the FEUQ held a press conference on Monday, along with the Fédération Étudiante Collégiale du Québec, to outline their pressure tactics this winter.

Bärlüer

The situation is actually in a more advanced state than the news reports depict. The more militant student group, ASSÉ, already has a number of strike mandates from its constituent members and a number of strike votes are planned in the near future. See this link for reference.

If FEUQ and FECQ student associations do indeed join in with strike votes, things could get more heated.

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/02/03/student-protest-... captures police violence during Jan. 27 fee hike protest[/url]

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs for this thread unionist!

Unionist

duplicate post

Bärlüer

Update: 11 student unions on 3 campuses representing more than 12 000 students now have strike mandates. The "floor" for the strike to be triggered is 7 student unions (check!) on 3 campuses (check!) representing 20 000 persons (getting closer).

By mid-February, there should be enough mandates to get to 20 000.

This is just on the ASSÉ side of things. I don't know what's the situation like in FEUQ/FECQ-affiliated unions. They are historically less militant... but it seems that they are now seriously considering a strike: the FEUQ/FECQ's tuition fees campaign website has a resolutely pro-strike Q&A section.

Unionist

À bas les hausses! Vive la grève générale!