Student Strike #10: aux 100 prochains jours

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Student Strike #10: aux 100 prochains jours

Continued from here.

 

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quebec is the Canada we should want

Quote:
The student protest is just one element of the Canada I see in Quebec. The Globe and Mail’s editorial board wrote this morning that Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s compromise with the students was “sending a message that Quebec’s social entitlements will not last forever.” They went on to describe these entitlements: $7-a-day daycare, lowest tuition in Canada, subsidized hydro-electricity, and reasonably priced pharmaceuticals. The use of the word “entitlements” was a poor choice, but one the Globe obviously choose as a slight of those who believe that such “entitlements” are an essential part of the fabric of this nation. Here, it has a negative connotation that suggests that Quebec is Canada’s petulant child. Instead, I see these as the social necessities that are fundamental to not only the human condition, but also the success of a social democracy....

Instead of condemning the students for wanting their tuition to remain reasonable, why doesn’t the rest of the country stand up and demand the same thing? Instead of questioning the validity of $7-a-day daycare, why not ask why daycare in Toronto, in Edmonton, in Victoria, and in Dawson City isn’t equally affordable? The simple answer, the answer that lacks ambition or ingenuity, is that it’s an impossibility. That we live in a world where social programs are the first to be cut, because they’re the least essential. Because someone making $150K-a-year in Calgary, doesn’t give a damn about someone making $30K in Montreal. And frankly, that’s straight up bullshit. And it’s lazy. Canada was built on ambitious notions, on the steadfast belief that a country could be all things. Waving our collective finger in the nose of the Quebec students, the Quebec people, and telling them they can’t have their “entitlements” because the rest of Canada is afraid to ask for them, makes Canada the petulant child.

I always pictured Canada as this great meeting of cultures, brought together by hockey and a belief in simple social values, that a basic tenet of being Canadian was in that we believed in taking care of one another, and how we valued contributions to our culture from all corners of our society, no matter the collective expense. This is why we have universal healthcare, why tuition is subsidized, why arts funding exists, why EI exists. It’s what separates us from the animals, or at least separates us from the Americans. And as the students battle on in Quebec, I hope that the rest of the country takes notice. Like the students, we shouldn’t be afraid of asking for what we believe in, and in doing so reminding the rest of the country of how we got here in the first place.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

"...This is why we have universal healthcare, why tuition is subsidized, why arts funding exists, why EI exists. It's what separates us from the animals, or at least separates us from the Americans." Laughing

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

"We didn't know it was impossible, so we did it."

Quote:
The politics of austerity and the increased policing of everyday life reveal themselves in these instances to be inseparably linked. We can see the direct link between tuition hikes and the criminalization of assembly in Quebec, just as we can see Bloomberg’s management through “free speech zones” of political protest, the silencing of media, and the increased police aggression in suppressing the Occupy Wall Street movement. Thus, solidarity with Quebec students is also important work in defense of our right to demonstrate here and everywhere. When times of crisis provoke ramped up police power and allow desperate politicians to pass “emergency laws” that target unquiet sectors of the population, we are certain that the class balance of present society is threatened. But it is a cautious joy we should preach, along with the sober insight that without powerful international solidarity and coordination, as James Baldwin once wrote to Angela Davis, "if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night."

The police backlash—through intimidation, repression, and wanton brutality—we have faced in NYC for trying to assemble is enormous. On May 2nd, students at Brooklyn College were met with police hostility as they demonstrated against policies that restrict access to education for lower-income students. Wherever the site of struggle, the very idea of opening up space for collective imagination is policed. But we are not battling on the plane of the imaginary. An attack in Quebec on the right to assemble, if unchallenged through coordinated international solidarity, will have real and chilling effects on our movements here.

 

Vansterdam Kid

They don't need to claim. They have caught them. Tabernak de crisse, the cops weren't very subtle.

NDPP

Quebec Law 78 is a Dangerous Club to Beat the People

http://rebelyouth-magazine.blogspot.ca/2012/05/quebec-law-78-is-dangerou...

"The adoption of Law 78, May 18, 2012 by the corrupt and reactionary government of Jean Charest (with the support of the ultra-right party, Coalition Avenir Quebec or CAQ) will do down in Canada and Quebec's history as one of the most serious attacks against civil liberties, fundamental rights and democracy in general.

The attack in Quebec on freedom of speech, assembly and the right to organize, threatens the people across Canada. We call to intensify mobilization efforts to organize a general strike in Quebec.

What began as a campaign for access to education by the students has therefore become a broad popular struggle against cuts, privatization and austerity measures. Now it is a battle for the right to organize, freedom of association and for democracy itself.."

Brachina

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/quebec-student-struggle-poses...

Okay here's the deal the NDP's official position is neutrality, but a neautrality leaning,towards the students. Several NDP MPs have attended the student protest and Boultrice has heavily condemned it on his sight.

The NDP is calling for both sides to get back to the negotiating table and for the federal government to increase education transfere to the proviences immediately by 800 million dollars.

Mulcair himself as said he's worried the protests will end in human tradgety, which with rubber bullets and tear gas and who knows what next is basically a certainty at this point. The NDP acknowlgeds education is provincial juristuction, but it appears its giving its support subtly through unofficial channels. If this was happening in Ontario Mulcair could refere the question to Andrea Horwath, but Quebec has no NDP wing and so Mulcair's caught in an ironic. In Alberta at least Mulcair can claim technically he wasn't violating provinicial juristiction, he can say it was about,federal enviromental law enforcement, international trade, and Currency all federal juristraction.

Mulcair must be hating Jean Charest right now for all this.

I don't think we've heard the last of this from Mulcair, he's going to get pulled into this thing which is ironic given that for decades Quebec becomes enraged when ever a federal party encrouched on the National Assemble. If he publicly endorses the students he gets burned for being a Centralist Federalist, if he doesn't he gets burned for not caring, which I have no doubt he does care deeply.

One thing that maybe be possible is Mulcair has an unofficial meeting where he tells John Charest to smarten the fuck up.

This whole thing is a for greater challenge then what's going on in Alberta.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Mulcair and the NDP hace been nothing short of cowardly in their failure to support the students of Quebec. I don't see how you can paint it any differently.

Look to Amir Khadir if you want a lesson in bravery.

Freedom 55

 

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK3ZFYj0dzE]And they stole this guy's skateboard.[/url] (0:21)

Freedom 55

This woman was sexually assaulted by the cops. When her boyfriend came to her aid he was pepper-sprayed.

[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INqlcyHCSi8]MANIF ÉTUDIANTE 2012 - AGRESSÉE SEXUELLEMENT ET BATTU PAR LA SQ.MP4[/url]

News from the 2012 Quebec student general strike wrote:

As stated by CUTV (Concordia University Television) "Tens of women have told CUTV News off-camera that they have been sexually harassed by SPVM and Sûreté du Québec riot troops over the past 3 months. The m[e]ssage is that if you dare to oppose Jean Charest then you are fair game for sexual harassment, after all you must be a "whore" or a "lesbian", names female demonstrators are called by the Cops daily at the demos.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Charest is toast. This shit reverberates.

cco

Tonight even RDI is calling bullshit on the SPVM claims that "projectiles have been thrown", saying they didn't see any except for one solitary rock thrown after the assault had begun. Mass arrests are proceeding at St-Denis and Sherbrooke.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just in, from a friend in Montreal: Amir Kadhir on CUTV tonight. 400 or so protestors arrested tonight, including journalists.

torontoprofessor

Unfortunately, that facebook link is now dead. Do you know of any other source for this? (My attempts to search for the video on YouTube haven't been successful.)

NDPP

As is its practice, the  NDP will determine its position based largely upon whichever side promises the most political advantage. Until then it will, as is also its practice, lay low and make vague signs and indications it hopes will be variously interpreted as 'support' by both sides. Anybody watching the NDP and certainly the Quebec Student movement itself, knows that the NDP stands exposed as at best a fair-weather friend and at worst a silent partner  - of Jean Charest. So there's little to go on. Here's CP on May 8:

"Tom Mulcair bristles at the suggestion that he's forbidden his younger members from taking sides in the dispute over tuition - a charge levelled at him by opponents in his home province, particularly those of the left-leaning sovereigntist variety. Mulcair says his caucus is united and that young New Democratic MPs, some of whom were university students just last year, understand their role as federal politicians.

And that role doesn't involve weighing in on Quebec provincial debates, Mulcair says, even if his party now holds the bulk of the province's seats and is seen as its voice in Ottawa...

'Our fight is not with the Charest government,' said Mulcair, who served as a minister in Charest's cabinet.."

http://www.brandonsun.com/national/breaking-news/ndps-policy-on-quebec-s...

What we know, is that the NDP has not come out for the students, even though that is clearly the right thing to do.  And we will also know that if and when they do, it will only be because politically the students are already winning.

 

6079_Smith_W

Quebec already has an elected provincial opposition, no? 

I think Mulcair was right about not weighing in on provincial education and justice issues, except when there is a clear connection to federal politics. All it does is invite provincial leaders to stick their noses into his business on issues that have nothing to do with them.

But then, I didn't expect him to get involved with this one.

On the other hand, I think there is one thing he could and should do to help this situation, and that would be to press Stephen Harper on transfer payments, which ARE related to provincial education funding.

Everybody is talking about free education; the best and probably the only way it is going to happen is if the federal government increases its portion of post-secondary funding. And from this government's record I don't think that is likely their plan when it comes up for renewal in 2014. 

The federal government is at least partly to blame for the proposed tuition hikes in Quebec. That is the connection he should be making - taking care of business in his own house rather than barging into someone else's legislature.

 

 

love is free love is free's picture

yeah, as much as it would be a nice moral boost for the leader of the opposition to back the students, it's really not the sort of thing that quebecers want or expect.  mps, you bet, but it's just not a federal issue.

what they do want and expect is a less openly hostile anglophone media.  it's incredible, i've basically started getting all my national news from la presse, the complete disconnection from reality in the anglophone media in even the most basic factual reporting has put the bias into relief in a way that for me problematizes everything they do.  there are camera crews from tva and cbc right next to each other and the tva team is reporting basically what's going down, while the cbc is going on about what the police have told them and describing fears of violence and shopkeepers' irritation.  like even the devoir is running so many canadian presse stories these days that it's not even worth bothering to pick up.  then again, the journal briefly had an online publication claiming that the co-leader of the classe had been evicted from his apartment for failing to pay rent, classic hit journalism.  so i guess it's a bigger problem.

and for people who want to get the real scoops in english, this had been the go-to montreal english blog for years and years: http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/ a daily read, no question.

NDPP

Canadian Police Arrest 400 in Student Protest in Montreal

http://presstv.com/detail/2012/05/24/242821/canada-police-arrest-400-in-...

"Canadian police have arrested 400 people in Montreal in the latest student protest against tution hikes.."

Brachina

That laughable coming from left leaning sovergiegntists given they keep complaining the Mulcair will interfer in provincial politics and the ridiculous suggestion of Mulcair being a silent partner with Charest is obscene, Mulcair wants talks to resume and for the federal gov to transfer 800 million dollars to the proviances to reduce tuition.

Ghislaine

Catchfire wrote:

Instead of condemning the students for wanting their tuition to remain reasonable, why doesn’t the rest of the country stand up and demand the same thing? Instead of questioning the validity of $7-a-day daycare, why not ask why daycare in Toronto, in Edmonton, in Victoria, and in Dawson City isn’t equally affordable? The simple answer, the answer that lacks ambition or ingenuity, is that it’s an impossibility.

re: 7$/daycare: it is not just about cost, but quality. In Quebec, the regulations are the most lax in the country in terms of child to staff ration. For age one to two year old it is 5:1, which is absolutely outrageous in my opinion. Here on PEI it is 3:1, which makes much more sense. All of the research on infant development shows how important snuggling, touch, etc. is, however how is this possible with five babies to one person? What is the point of 7 dollars per day if the government is not willing to pay for adequate staff? Sorry for the thread drift, but we have to make sure the focus isn't just on affordability, but quality based on the latest child development research.

Freedom 55

Catchfire wrote:

 

Instead of condemning the students for wanting their tuition to remain reasonable, why doesn’t the rest of the country stand up and demand the same thing?

A start, perhaps...

30 students are currently blocking access to the Administration offices at the University of Ottawa in a bid to block the drafting of a tuition increase budget and in solidarity with the Quebec student strike.

 

A_J

NDPP wrote:

. . . Mulcair says his caucus is united and that young New Democratic MPs, some of whom were university students just last year, understand their role as federal politicians.

And that role doesn't involve weighing in on Quebec provincial debates, Mulcair says, even if his party now holds the bulk of the province's seats and is seen as its voice in Ottawa...

'Our fight is not with the Charest government,' said Mulcair, who served as a minister in Charest's cabinet.."

http://www.brandonsun.com/national/breaking-news/ndps-policy-on-quebec-s...

It's odd, becayse Mulcair has no trouble wading into municipal politics, yet is so quick to point to the party's federal role as an excuse to remain silent on the Quebec strike.  I agree NDPP - Mulcair and the NDP will be watching carefully, as it always does, to see which the side is "winning".  If people remember this in 3 years' time, the PQ might stand a chance to retake some of its losses.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

A_J wrote:

It's odd, becayse Mulcair has no trouble wading into municipal politics, yet is so quick to point to the party's federal role as an excuse to remain silent on the Quebec strike.  I agree NDPP - Mulcair and the NDP will be watching carefully, as it always does, to see which the side is "winning".  If people remember this in 3 years' time, the PQ might stand a chance to retake some of its losses.

Obviously you meant BQ which lost to the NDP in 2011.

6079_Smith_W

A_J wrote:

It's odd, becayse Mulcair has no trouble wading into municipal politics, yet is so quick to point to the party's federal role as an excuse to remain silent on the Quebec strike.

Well yes, part of what I was implying was that it's not such a good idea to do that either. After all, I don't think Harper came out openly and supported Danielle Smith.

Whatever Mulcair has done before, I think letting the provincial people take care of their own business is probably the smart thing to do. 

/drift

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Except there's no left alternative in Quebec provincial politics aside from QS which has, what, one elected member, and 4% of the popular vote. I don't see any hope for the PQ as long as they are led by Marois. Wasn't Mulcair was in the Earth Day/May Day parade in Montreal this year? I'd love to see him give unequivocal support to the student movement here. I'd love to see him give Charest some serious grief. All he has to do to justify mingling in Quebec politics is say he feels some responsibility to do so given the lack of a provincial NDP here.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Where's Unionist? Was he arrested???  Frown

Caissa

A sports-gambling site has begun taking bets on potential outcomes of the Quebec student strike - and the array of betting scenarios ranges from funny to frightening.

The site sets odds for when the strike will end; whether there will be a referendum on tuition hikes; how many fines will be levied against the most hardline student group; and whether the government will back down.

It even sets odds on whether martial law will be declared in Quebec by the end of 2012 - a suggestion that has so far been limited to Internet chat boards and never come up in mainstream political discussion.

Nevertheless, it pegs the odds of imminent military rule at 5.5 to 1.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/05/24/quebec-student-strike-betting-website.html

 

Mniemoeller

If the students put as much energy into organising political opposition to M. Charest as they do into protests, riot and mayhem, they stand a better chance of achieving their goals.

 

Slumberjack

Mniemoeller wrote:
If the students put as much energy into organising political opposition to M. Charest as they do into protests, riot and mayhem, they stand a better chance of achieving their goals. 

Have they been able to find a a potential alternative that would reverse the tax increases..errr..I mean the tuition hikes?  Because the simple act of no longer following one political camp in favour of another doesn't necessarily translate into the achievement of the original goal.

Freedom 55

Freedom 55 wrote:

30 students are currently blocking access to the Administration offices at the University of Ottawa in a bid to block the drafting of a tuition increase budget and in solidarity with the Quebec student strike.

 

[url=http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/audio/interview-5mins-inside-university-otta... (5mins) from inside University of Ottawa administrative offices barricade[/url]

Mniemoeller

No, considering the wider context of these protests embracing the vision of a better society via good governance, achieving the original goal is no longer valid. Political opposition to the status quo precludes joining present political actors in favour of a new party that represents the principles and policies of the future generation.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

How much energy have the students put into "riot and mayhem"? From what I've seen, that's been the purview of the police, not the students.

At any rate, I find it extremely glib to tell students--historically and repeatedly betrayed by elected officials--how best to achieve the change they seek. Especially in the face of the most compelling and sustained demonstration againt entitled old-style politics for decades.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

One thing that's struck me lately is the increased insistence by Montreal municipal politicians and Charest stenographers that this hullabaloo will not be allowed to stand as thie city approaches tourist season. The F1 race is two weeks away and, we are promised, the city will be back in working order by then. Not only does this strained insistence ring false, it's also a strategic error: what better way to tell the students that they have the government and city over a barrell?

Slumberjack

Catchfire wrote:
At any rate, I find it extremely glib to tell students--historically and repeatedly betrayed by elected officials--how best to achieve the change they seek.

I don't know if it can be described as glib, precisely because of the historical track of being susceptible to betrayal. Wouldn't it more resemble a mercy shout-out at this point?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I doubt that the F1 race will go ahead. This strike thing will still be ongoing, and as more get pissed off with Charest's draconian new law (78) it can only grow. Screw F1, that's a rich people's sport.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is a good photo journal of Tuesday's protests.

The protests are now entering a new stage.  The police seem to be arresting people not giving them statutory fines.  That normally leads to bail conditions not to protest or meet with people who are involved in organizing protests.  Anyone brave enough to  breach those conditions are in criminal contempt of the courts and they will be incarcerated.  Even if it means sentencing a sick grandmother to jail without a worry that the jail conditions could end her life the courts will incarcerate for not following their orders.

So the bouncing ball is the police have the absolute right to declare any protest illegal.  Once it is declared illegal anyone may be arrested.  In practice in Canada that in large part means targeted arrests of the protestors that various spy agencies have determined to be capable of displaying leadership skills.  Then those activists are hauled in front of a judge who says you may not protest anymore or we will imprison you.  That is the way it has always been in Canada.  It has been used against environmental activists as well as trade unionists. 

I can only hope that at least on the left people begin to awaken to the reality that the right to protest in Canada has always been an illusion.  The Clayoquot Sound protest in BC was successful because they had new people ready to be arrested day after day.  As well they faced off against an NDP government that eventually solved the problem by mediation and negotiation.  By contrast the BC Liberals looking out on more than 50,000 on the lawns of the legislature on February 23, 2003 told reporters they were all union thugs and of course they would not be listened to.

http://montreal.mediacoop.ca/photo/manifestation-montreal-22-mai-2012/11009

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Our Not-So-Friendly Northern Neighbor Quebec is trampling basic democratic rights in order to end student protests against tuition increases.

Slumberjack

One might begin by now to consider that the Charest government's existence is incompatible with all human existence in that province, and that they should all go as one of the necessary and non-negotiable preconditions for a return to civil obedience.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

And yet self-righteous pricks from the Charest government appear on the news daily to say they are the government of 8 million people and are not going to be dictated to by a small minority of students in the province. I think this will continue for a while yet, maybe right up to the next Quebec election.

NDPP

Sun Poll:

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/poll/index.html

"Should the Canadian military be called to restore order in Quebec if the government can't do it?

Freedom 55

Ha!

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Student+leader+wins+Lieutenant+Gover... leader wins Lieutenant Governor’s medal[/url]

 

Quote:

Quebec has essentially told one of its most controversial student leaders – one who has encouraged a strike that has caused months of turmoil on the province’s streets and in its political corridors – to keep up the good work.

Despite her calls for civil disobedience in the face of Quebec’s new Bill 78, Jeanne Reynolds – one of the co-spokespeople for the province’s most militant student associations – has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s medal for her academic excellence and her social involvement.

Reynolds, who received the medal as an arts student at the Collège de Valleyfield, is one of the representatives of the Coalition large de l’association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE), considered the most hard-line among the major student groups. The government has consistently refused to negotiate with the CLASSE, even when it has agreed to talk to the other student groups during the 15-week-long boycott of classes to protest tuition hikes.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If this is becoming a right wing trial balloon then it is clearly something that Mulcair can speak against. If people are calling on the federal government to become involved then he has to wade into the fray. I suspect that the Orange Wave that elected 59 NPD MP's is either in the streets or supportive of the protestors and view the police riots as abhorrent.  He should be very careful about how he treats his Quebec base or a BQ revitalized by the student strike will regain many of their seats.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Feminist scholar Judith Butler foresees rising repression against protests in the western world

quote:

Butler mentioned that new laws—such as Quebec’s Bill 78—are often justified by authorities in the name of security for dignitaries and the global economy. She highlighted the fact that many protesters are in the streets to demonstrate about their lack of “security” over such basic needs as shelter, employment, and health care.

“Wealth is accumulating at accelerated speed for fewer and fewer people,” Butler stated. “And conditions of precarity are being intensified at an accelerated speed for more and more people. It’s not exactly the traditional conception of class warfare, but it is our very contemporary version.”

Under Bill 78, police must receive eight hours’ notice of any demonstration involving more than 50 people. Authorities can order demonstrators to move their protest to a different location. Encouraging someone to protest is illegal, and people can be fined up to $5,000 for preventing someone from entering an educational institution. For these actions, student leaders face fines of up to $35,000, and student federations face maximum fines of $125,000.

“I think if those demonstrations can bring the routine operation of a university to a halt, that means they are exercising quite a bit of power,” Butler declared. “I actually think the Montreal students’ strikes have been among the most powerful.”

Butler stated that in Berkeley, a legal case has been made that demonstrating students pose security risks for the university. She added that sometimes, the law works to “shore up military and police power”.

“The more we see courts and judges accept that kind of argumentation, the more serious this conflict will become because there is no recourse even to basic classical liberal precepts of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly under those conditions,” Butler said. “That is very, very frightening. Some would even say that those kinds of laws that prohibit assembly and free speech on grounds of state security are emblematic of fascism. I’m not saying we live in a fascist society, but I am saying those are the hallmarks. So it’s extremely important that these kinds of legal decisions not become normalized or accepted as reasonable. And it does mean that extra-legal forms of resistance will become more and more important.”

Judith Butler will deliver UBC’s Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies free spring lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (May 24) at the Vogue Theatre.

http://www.straight.com/article-692066/vancouver/prof-foresees-rising-br...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Quebec Education Minister Michelle Courchesne Ready To Meet With Students, Bill 78 Not Up For Debate

The Quebec government has set strict conditions for any resumption of negotiations with student strike leaders: there will be no talk of a tuition freeze, and no question of scrapping a newly enacted emergency law.

Barring that, Education Minister Michelle Courchesne suggested Wednesday that there will be no return to the bargaining table in a dispute that has made international news.

"I'm not giving up. I'm very tenacious, very determined,'' Courchesne said. "I want to talk to them, and it's up to them to take some steps so that we might talk.''....

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/23/quebec-education-minister-michel...

NDPP

Quebec Premier Replaces Chief of Staff Amid Student Crisis

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/05/24/montreal-arrests...

"694 arrested in Montreal and Quebec city protests...officers were ordering the demonstraters to leave, but were blocking the way out.."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Its too bad that the CBC can't afford to hire reporters to go out into the streets and they have to rely on police spokespeople for their stories.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Red Square, Everywhere:
With Quebec Student Strikers, Against Repression

quote:

Democratic Activist Student Unionism

The core of democratic activist student unionism is the recognition that students, like workers, have collective interests (e.g. quality accessible public education) and a potential for collective power that needs to be organized to be effective in defending these interests. This kind of student unionism depends on finding ways of fighting collectively around immediate and local issues as well as challenging government policies. Solidarity is at the core of this collective power, both within the student movement and with other allies in social movements.

The potential collective power of students can only become a real force when students have developed capacities to analyze their situation, communicate with each other and act in concert, confident that others will also join the fight. Governments and university administrations will only really pay attention to student unions that have mobilized and knowledgeable memberships willing to take action to back up demands.

The General Membership Meeting (GMM) plays and important role in this process, as it puts transparent collective and democratic decision-making at the core of the student union. Here, students gather to debate and pass motions to establish the direction of their union. The GMM also elects and supervises delegates to Quebec-wide congresses that coordinate overall campaigns. The GMM is a rich and challenging venue, where activists must engage their fellow students, listen to counter-arguments and attempt to persuade others that mobilization is necessary and possible.

The scale of these meetings varies on different campuses. In some places, student unionism is organized around specific departments, schools or faculties, while in others it is campus-wide. ASSÉ did not invent the GMM, which is written into the constitution of many student unions as a result of the long history of militancy in the Quebec student movement. Rather, ASSÉ developed mobilizing strategies that used the democratic decision-making of the GMM as a key component of campus activism....

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/640.php

love is free love is free's picture

judith butler is a personal hero of mine.

charest has replaced his chief of staff.  every bit of momentum is with the protesters now, tourism season disruptions will be catastrophic for the premier, a sure-fire recipe for a complete electoral wipe-out.

not to sound hyperbolic, but at this point, i'd be willing to bet that charest elects not to contest the next election.

love is free love is free's picture

contrast an opinion piece like this with anything in any english canadian daily.  here's the google translation.

Slumberjack

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Its too bad that the CBC can't afford to hire reporters to go out into the streets and they have to rely on police spokespeople for their stories.

What's the diff from when they could afford it?  At least in not being there, the usual Sgt. Shultz routine they perform manages to convince at least.

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