Student strike against tuition hike #3

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Chaotic scene mars Charest's Plan Nord event

video

MONTREAL — A chaotic scene unfolded at a high-profile event featuring Jean Charest, with rubber bullets, projectiles and tear gas raining on what was supposed to be the Quebec premier's political parade.

A speech by the premier was delayed as protesters disrupted a long-planned Montreal symposium on his northern-development project Friday.

A group of students had managed to get into the Palais des Congres convention centre, leading to a standoff with police.

Riot police were guarding the inside of the centre. One protester was being treated for injuries following a scuffle. At least eight people were arrested, as police announced over a loudspeaker that the protest was being declared an illegal assembly.

Outside, the scene was equally messy.

While some protesters hurled objects or built a barricade in the street with construction materials they'd found, police fought them off -- with batons, chemical irritants, and even rubber bullets which were fired on some protesters.

Nicolas Moran, 21-year-old law student at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, was one of the students who had earlier managed to get into the building.

He had a gash on his forehead and blood on his shirt.

"I wasn't doing anything violent," he said. "A police officer hit me over the head... But I doubt the education minister will denounce violence from police."...

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120420/charest-speech-rowdy-protest-120420/#ixzz1sc45Hh4b

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

An Open Letter in Support of the Student Strike in Québec

An Open Letter in Support of the Student Strike in Québec

We, the students of the City University of New York and State University of New York, openly support the Québécois student strike.  For over nine weeks, post-secondary education students have been on indefinite strike, galvanizing 300,000 people to take the streets and holding the largest student demonstrations in North American history.

Three Brooklyn College student organizers visited Montréal for four days over our spring break to meet with and learn from the student strike–to understand the challenges that Québécois students face and how they have been able to successfully mobilize around their tuition hikes. Even if for only a couple of days, what we witnessed was beyond our wildest dreams of what a student movement could look like and accomplish. We marched with hundreds of students in the strikes, we saw students with pepper spray stained cheeks and the courage to stand up for their right to education.

Québec is rightfully proud of its institutions of higher learning, and Québécois students are rightfully proud of years of work they have put into ensuring that these places remain accessible despite provincial attempts to raise tuition beyond the reach of many Québécois and to convert grants and scholarships in to student loans. In keeping with the tradition that has kept Québec’s tuition the lowest in Canada — an important insurance that education will remain available to the many instead of the few in one of the country’s poorer provinces —  students have taken to the streets to protest tuition increases of 127% over ten years. We see these hikes as an attack on the rights of low-income and communities of color to access higher education, and we find their parallel in the tuition increases that will affect SUNY and CUNY students. Our “rational tuition increase” will result in students and their families having to pay an additional $1500 over the next five years.

In addition to seeing clear connections between the struggles around access to education facing our two provinces, we also see the Québec student strike as a model for gaining legitimate student power in our own city in struggling against the anti-austerity measures affecting students across the United States.

We denounce the violence against strikers and unjust profiling of students in Montréal for exercising their right to protest against unjust policies. In particular, the use of pepper spray to violently hinder the strength of the hard picketing on the part of students.

As an act of solidarity and a symbol of our escalation campaign as a student movement in New York, we are launching a “Red Square Campaign” in which allies wear the very same red squares pinned to their chests as the student strikers of Québec. We do this in solidarity with the student struggles in Québec, and to signify our shared struggles against the neoliberal corporatization of our institutions of higher learning. We will wear the red square because we share a common vision of a truly free university.

Thank you for being an inspiration to students everywhere, despite the colonial borders that separate us. We are together in this fight. Nous sommes ensemble.

Solidarité,
Brooklyn College Student Union

New York Students Rising

Students United for a Free CUNY

CUNY wide General Assembly

The Graduate Center General Assembly

http://takebackbrooklyn.wordpress.com/

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC certainly seems dismissive of the strike. Today CBC reported that Charest is getting more support as a result of the strike, and that the strike talk is taking the focus of investigations into corruption in the province. Also, Charest gave a speech on 'Plan Nord' today and got a long standing ovation, all the while police outside are tear gassing and arresting demonstrators.

Unionist

Here's a relatively decent wrap-up of the day's events from the Gazette, of all sources. It includes a hint of the anger generated by Charest in his speech to the millionaires inside the Palais, when he "joked" that the students protesting outside were knocking on the door looking for jobs in his Plan Nord project (the planned rape of northern Québec's resources and environment):

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Student+rally+against+Plan+Nord+turn... rally against Plan Nord turns ugly[/url]

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Imagine if Charest wins the next election. Frown

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i post this because i wanted to share my fascination with how well students are organized.

 

How to Help with the May 2 Student Manifestation

ALL STUDENTS

1) Attend Upcoming meetings:

  • Brooklyn College Student Union meeting: Wednesday at 10pm at Liz’s house
  • GC GA: Friday at GC
  • Everybody interested in plugging in for May 2: Sunday from 12-8pm at Biola’s house


       2) Plug into Working Groups:Press and Media Team

     Contact:  Julieta Salgado: joolietasalgado@gmail.com

Tasks:

  • Develop press kits
  • Make press contacts
  • Generate and fill out the master press contact google excel sheet
  • Delegate contact people
  • Schedule interviews
  • Generate a social media campaign: twitter, facebook!

Legal Team:

      Contact: Stephen Thompson: stephenthompson91@gmail.com ...and much much more.

http://takebackbrooklyn.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/how-to-help-with-the-ma...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

 


https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/525835_10151524116625062_666270061_23223155_1723364861_n.jpg

Pics from yesterday's protest in Gatineau. FTP!

L'une des suites d'une altercation entre manifestants et les policiers du Service de police de la ville de Gatineau à cause d'une tentative de la part des derniers d'entrer au pavillon Lucien-Brault de l'Université du Québec en Outaouais.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Breaking Ground
Concordia President to Send Letter to Charest

Concordia University Senate voted unanimously to request that Quebec Premier Jean Charest start an unconditional dialogue with student groups, and that Interim Concordia President Frederick Lowy pass along the message.

“I think that this is a very important and powerful step,” said Concordia Student Union President Lex Gill. “Concordia is the first university to call on the minister to negotiate without condition and with all stakeholders at the table to resolve the student conflict.”

The original motion proposed by Fine Arts faculty member David Douglas asked that a letter from Lowy be addressed to Education Minister Line Beauchamp. An amendment was added by Arts and Science Senator June Chaikelson to send it to Charest instead.

“That’s even better. It goes to the premier, that’s her boss,” said Gill. “I think its a breaking point for universities to realize that they also have a responsibility to tell the minister and the premier that they need to show some serious leadership right now,” she added.

It is currently unknown how the letter will be written, but Gill believes it might be the original wording of the final motion, and that the letter will first have to be presented to the university community.

The Trans Identity Project also made progress with an announcement by VP Services Roger Cote that students will now be able to list their preferred name on student records and gender will be removed from forms. Legal last names will remain on all documents.

Despite lengthy discussions at the Senate and Board of Governors meetings this week, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the finances and governance of eConcordia and KnowledgeOne.

More to come.

http://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/2973

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Riot erupts in Montreal between police and protesters

video

http://rt.com/news/montreal-police-protesters-rally-608/

Freedom 55

Catchfire wrote:

I still cannot get over the uniforms of the SQ riot police. Are we living on an Alfonso Cuarón film set?

 

...or a video game?

call of duty

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Demonstration Against The Plan Nord In Pictures

Police were overwhelmed by demonstrators Friday, before receiving reinforcements from the Sûreté du Québec.

One of the police officers (seen accepting a flower from a demonstrator in the third and second to last photographs) offered a quasi apology, stating "I don't have a choice" in regards to his presence. This is not really true of course, but perhaps suggests the beginning of fissures in the morale of the Montreal riot squad. At any rate, historically it is never a good sign for the regime when military and police start accepting flowers from activists.

http://montreal.mediacoop.ca/photo/demonstration-against-plan-nord-pictu...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Rally -- Solidarity with Québec student strike!

    • Thursday, April 26, 2012

    • 12:00pm in UTC-04

  • 20 Queen St W., Toronto

  • Join us for a rally in front of Québec's Office in Toronto in solidarity with the ongoing student strike. On this occasion, we will be delivering a petition to be sent to the Premier's office in Québec.

    With this action, we also want to contribute to bringing this great movement's democratic and combative spirit to Ontario.

    You can sign the petition here:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/solidarity-with-the-quebec-student-strike.html

    Organizations can sign it by sending an email to this email address:

    quebecstudentstrikesolidarity@gmail.com

    Here is the petition's text:

    Solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike

    The Quebec student strike against an increase in tuition fees and for free education is a crucial battle against the austerity agenda and for, accessible, quality post-secondary public education. This is the longest student strike in Quebec history, with over 170,000 students on strike for more than two months and some peak days where over 300,000 joined the strike. It remains strong in the face of the Charest government’s refusal to negotiate and university/CEGEP administration efforts to use injunctions and threats to force students back to school.

    We recognize that students in Quebec pay lower fees than in the rest of Canada because of a long tradition of activist mobilization for quality, accessible education. We stand in solidarity with the student strikers and the professors, campus workers and community members who have supported this movement. Students in Quebec are fighting against the commercialization of education and user pay through tuition increases that create massive barriers to access and student debt that profits the banks while haunting students for years after graduation. We believe victory for the student movement in Quebec will signal a new level of mobilization for proper funding of quality, accessible education and against the austerity agenda. We commit ourselves to the defense of those arrested. We strongly support the mobilizations to defend free political expression on campus and to continue the strikes until victory, even in the face of repression. Together, we can stop the hike.

    http://www.facebook.com/events/392457047441913/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

SPVM shoots demonstrator point blank / SPVM tire sur un manifestant a bout portant

Demo/Manif 20 Avril 2012.

SPVM Shoots demonstrator point blank with CS canister gun at the montreal congress center.

SPVM Tire sur un manifestant a bout portant une canette de gaz lacrymogene au palais des congres.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Gm4_cix8w

Hoodeet

epaulo13 wrote:

quote

Oppression is not merely taking the form of rhetoric. The Occupy and student movements were treated naively when they began, but youth are now pepper sprayed and beaten on a near-daily basis in Montreal and elsewhere. Police have begun to deploy riot squads immediately to dismantle actions, whereas some effort was made at conciliation in the past. “Our job, as police officers, is repression,” said the President of the Police Fraternity of Quebec, Yves Francoeur. “We do not need a social worker as a director, we need a general. After all, the police is a paramilitary organization, let's not forget it.” It is wretched to say this, but the point has been reached where creative thinking is needed to figure out how to organize effectively in the face of increasing physical oppression.

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/619.php

 

Hoodeet (JW)

The quote from the police rep confirms what many have always thought: that the SQ was a paramilitary outfit of uniformed, well-armed goons operating as psychopaths with absolute impunity, whether they smashed heads in the Asbestos strike or killed carpet-layers asleep in a motel room (mistaking them for the robbers they were looking for, and whom they presumably planned to shoot in cold blood) or, more recently, murdered youths of immigrant origin.  No one can bell that cat, or wants to, probably.

 

 

NDPP

Quebec Government Seeks to Intimidate, Split Striking Students

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/queb-a21.shtml

"...the student strike must become the catalyst for the mobilization of the entire working class against the austerity measures being implemented by the Charest Liberal government and by all levels of governments in Canada."

but it won't, alas.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Frigid releases strike-inspired video for Earth Day
Cri D'un Coeur Terrien

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9C8yyJnaM_8#!

Unionist

Bärlüer wrote:

Just shut up, WSWS armchair-quarterbackers.

I don't know how you manage to remain so polite, Bärlüer.

These are the same assholes (oh, sorry!) who were calling on students in February to send delegations to workplaces and help workers break from the "trade union bureaucracy".

When they see a struggle, all they can see is how it will fizzle and die. And that's the spirit they try to imbue us with.

They should stick to their comfortable armchairs in the U.S. and leave us alone.

Bärlüer

18 public personalities enjoining the government to dialogue

They propose a 4-point plan to resolve the crisis:

1. The government must meet without delay with all three student unions

2. There must me a 5-year moratorium on the tuition fees hike

3. Quebec must open a debate on education and its funding

4. The student unions must cease the strike movement after obtaining a positive response from the government

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

thread drift...

November 19th 2012: Global Education Strike?

~ DISCUSSION ~
November 19th 2012:
Global Education Strike
to Resist increasing Privatisation and Commercialisation of Education and fight for
Free Emancipatory Education?

★ ★ GLOBAL CHAT MEETING - April 28th (saturday) ★ ★

Why strike together globally?

People worldwide are struggling against the increasing commercialisation of education and fighting for free emancipatory education.

Massive staff cuts, budget cuts, privatisation, de-democratisation within schools and universities, tuition fees hike, an increasing pressure to perform, and increasing influences of 'private economic actors' on teaching and research - it's the same shit everywhere!

To resist these effects from the current dominating economic system and fight for an alternative together I believe it is time to call for a first coordinated strike at educational institutions across the world. Furthermore such an action would encourage a desperately needed public discussion on the actual purpose of education for the individual as well as society at large. It could also point out the global dimension of the struggle and therefore put greater emphasis on the actual root of the problems we are all experiencing....

http://ism-global.net/discussion_global_education_strike_2012

..end thread drift

Bärlüer

Yet another WSWS armchair-quarterback peroration chastizing the students for, you know, organizing one of the biggest social movements in recent Quebec history, but lamentably failing at bringing about revolution.

I don't know about this Keith Jones but the events I go to are attended by a wide spectrum of persons and organizations—students, teachers, unions, social groups, workers, parents, concerned citizens, etc.

The student movement I know is forging alliances with groups that share the goals of a fairer society and that reject the neoliberal drift of our governments. The student movement I know filled up I don't know how many buses to go demonstrate in solidarity with the workers of Rio Tinto Alcan at Alma, FFS (about 475 km from Montreal).

Just shut up, WSWS armchair-quarterbacks.

ETA (to conclude on a less bitter note): I hope to be at tomorrow's event, work permitting! Bring your working-class friends, Keith Jones' of this world—they're all welcome!

Michelle

Hey, for a real treat, tune into Cross Country Check Up right now on the English CBC to hear Rex Murphy have a completely one-sided discussion of this issue.

He managed to open the show with a student who supports the student strikes (and gave him a hard time, asked hard questions, but at least let him speak).

Then he interviewed another student who is leading some "moderate" group at McGill, who is completely right-wing and against the strike.  And with him, Murphy chortled along with him, completely agreed with everything he said, and asked completely sycophantic questions, not challinging him in the least.

I was yelling at the frigging radio. It's like, "I'm completely fair and balanced. So, do you think the student strikers are violent idiots on the one hand, or complete assholes on the other? Call in with your thoughts!"

I fucking hate Rex Murphy. When he finally retires, I hope people dance in the streets and spit in his retirement cake.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I haven't been able to listen to him for years.  He is toxic so I just turn him off.  He is also really just sooooo predictable.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Hey, for a real treat, tune into Cross Country Check Up right now on the English CBC to hear Rex Murphy have a completely one-sided discussion of this issue.

Just turned off the radio. Rex Murphy and his friends have the sick stench of death about them.

The wonderful thing about this strike is how it's separating the 1% from the 99% - at least in Québec. They've tried everything, and nothing has worked. The youth have given new meaning to the word "courage". Fighting on, at great personal sacrifice, with almost no hope of victory (to listen to all the chattering classes). The feelings it generates are hard to describe.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist do you know what kinds of conditions the courts are putting on the demonstrators that have been arrested? Are they being made to sign agreements that include things such as promising not to protest or associate with known student strikers?

Given the resources that our state had to bring to the anarchists' preparations for the Toronto summit I fear for the student leaders. By now Montreal must be crawling with hundreds of our federal and provincial security spooks. That is not including the American ones that I am sure are operating in the command structure. In Canada we jail our young people for dissent.  In Toronto organizing events that were not legally sanctioned was considered a conspiracy to commit a variety of crimes against property.

I wish I was 40 years younger and a student in Montreal.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Fascism rears its ugly head among forces against Québec student strike

Students, unions and other progressive voices in Quebec are condemning the statements of a high-level Québec civil servant from last week, but the provincial Charest Liberal government doesn`t seem particularly bothered that one of there staff advocated that pro-fascist movements be an inspiration for the resolution of the student strike.

Bernard Guay, head of the tax office in the Municipal Affairs Department, recently wrote a vehement online letter against the student protests that have rocked the province.

The letter was published on the website of Quebec Le Soleil -- but generated such an outcry that the including a Quebec city protest that the newspaper withdrew it and apologized to readers. You can read the original article, in French, here in PDF.      (edit this link no longer works. i will search for another)

The text was titled, in rough translation, "For an end to the student strikes." Among other things, Guay urged opponents of the student strike to:draw on the "fascist movements" of the 1920s 30s to deal with "leftists" what the author terms "their own medicine";

  • find the  "means" to remedy this "wasteful and anti-social" situation by  cabal, by organizing a secret political clique or faction (his word was `cabal`)
  • the cabal would mobilization masses of students to cross their picket lines, and also assault the wearers of the symbolic red square
  • when you see someone in the street wearing a red square, confront them, respond to the `bullying` of the students with a challenge
  • "people who oppose the views in the left-wing controlled media (sic) must develop their own media... (such as the) popular radio stations in the regions of Quebec (which) worry our leftists, so they are constantly trying to discredit them by calling them trash-radio."

We must do everything, he says, to "overcome the tyranny of Leftist agitators" he writes.

Municipal Affairs Minister Laurent Lessard said Guay's comments were .... criminal? ... worthy of resignation? ... no just "inappropriate." They sat down and had a chat which counted as an administrative sanction. Lessard refused to elaborate.

Needless to say this is a complete violation of the civil services`codes of conduct. Moreover, the government just spend the last several days endlessly demanding that the students denounce any form of violence in the strike before negotiations take place. At the same time, police brutality at demonstrations continues to outrage people.

The latest news is that today, Saturday April 21st, Member of the National Assembly Amir Khadir narrowly escaped arrest. His crime? Marching with the students and, in response to heavy-handed actions by the police to their rally, proposing to negotiate a different approach.

...............

..can't find another link but did find this.

Bernard Guay, un néo-fasciste actif depuis les années ’90 au sein de l’organisation « Jeune Nation »
http://www.fachowatch.com/bernard-guay-un-neo-fasciste-actif-depuis-les-...

 

Skinny Dipper

I'll throw in my two cents:

If the students and their supporters wish to campaign for low or free tuition, they should emphasize the necessity of education in a modern world.  Why is elementary and secondary education free when tertiary education is not?  What is the minimum amount of education that one needs into order to be a successfully contributing member of society?  Note: I don't just mean monetary.  I also include social/participatory.  A well-educated person is more likely to vote.  A more educated person is likely to use his/her critical thinking skills, and suggest new ideas.  A well-educated person is more likely to listen to new ideas.

If the minimum amount of education that one needs today is at least a two-year college diploma, then education should be free to those who wish to achieve the minimum requirements to be a successfully educated person.  I know this is subjective.  I think that people should value education as a social good rather than just as an individual economic commodity.

I won't suggest that everyone has the right to go to university for free.  I do think that other institutions such as community colleges and applied universities can offer fulfilling diplomas and degrees for free or low tuition and at a lower cost to educate each student.  Remember that the debate about tuition should not be about the individual cost and future value.  Instead it should be about the societal value of having an educated citizenry with fair access for all citizens through free or low cost tuition.

Skinny Dipper

While supporters of tuition increases state that students in Quebec will still have the lowest tuition fees in Canada, what will happen five, ten, or twenty years from now when another government decides to raise tuition fees to the Canadian average?  What will happen to Quebec society if Quebec just becomes like the other provinces?  While there may still be the French language and civil law traditions, what kind of culture will there be?  Languages are hard to survive is there is no culture to back them.  E Pluribus Unum.  Ad Mari Usque ad Mare.  Dolo E. Coyote et Via Cursor.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

skinny dipper

..i'm thinking the questions all along have been who gets to decide re tuition and on what basis is that decision being made.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Quebec student organizers share inspiring stories with CUPE’s post-secondary task force

Post-secondary institutions across the country are facing major funding shortages, and students—already struggling with major debt loads after graduation—are being asked to pick up even more of the tab.

But students in Quebec are fighting back in impressive style.

Student activists Roxanne Dubois and Ariane Campeau were hosted by CUPE’s newly-formed national post-secondary sector task force at the all-committees meeting in Ottawa, where they provided updates on the mass student protests happening across Quebec, and set the context for the post-secondary situation in the rest of the country.

Over the past two months, hundreds of thousands of students and supporters have taken to the streets in Quebec, striking in protest of a proposed 75 per cent hike in tuition fees over five years.

Members from other committees attended the presentation to the task force, packing the room to capacity.

Ariane Campeau, vice president of the Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ), described the long history of the student movement in Quebec, which dates back to the 1960s, and talked about some of the organizing that went into the mass demonstrations.

She told the crowd how FEUQ and other student organizations didn’t rely on Facebook and Twitter, instead focusing on direct, face-to-face communication on campuses to get their message across. Wisconsin student activist Peter Rickman talked about using a similar strategy to generate support for mass protests in Madison, when he spoke to CUPE activists in June 2011.

She also explained how the red square, a simple, easily replicable symbol that’s become synonymous with the movement and highly recognizable across the province, was adopted by the students after seeing anti-poverty groups use it in the 90s.

Dubois, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), told the crowd that students across Canada face an average debt load between $20,000 and $30,000 upon graduation, and called for a national framework to ensure that post-secondary education is affordable and accessible to all Canadians.

Quebec student organizations are currently in discussions with the provincial government to set parameters for negotiations. More protests are expected, with a massive, province-wide rally planned for April 22.

http://cupe.ca/post-secondary/quebec-student-organizers-share

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Une répression et une violence policières injustifiées


L’Alliance sociale somme le gouvernement de négocier avec les étudiants sans condition


Montréal, le 19 avril 2012. – Les leaders de l’Alliance sociale (APTS, CSQ, CSN, FTQ, SFPQ, SPGQ, FECQ, FEUQ) pressent le premier ministre Jean Charest et la ministre de l’Éducation Line Beauchamp de cesser dès maintenant de recourir à la répression policière contre les étudiants du Québec et d’assumer leurs devoirs en négociant avec les représentants de tous les mouvements étudiants, sans aucune exception, afin de dénouer la crise actuelle.

Les porte-parole de l’Alliance sociale s’inquiètent de voir le bras de fer entre Québec et le mouvement étudiant glisser sur une pente dangereuse, par la faute d’un premier ministre et d’une ministre de l’Éducation qui laissent pourrir une situation qui devient de plus en plus explosive.

« Après s’être défilés de leurs responsabilités au profit d’une judiciarisation du conflit, Jean Charest et Line Beauchamp vont maintenant encore plus loin en cautionnant, par leur silence et leur inaction, un durcissement de la situation qui se traduit par des forces policières de plus en plus agressives, voire violentes, contre les étudiants. Cette violence policière, cautionnée par l’État, n’est pas plus acceptable que la violence que la ministre Beauchamp voudrait voir condamnée par les jeunes », dénoncent unanimement les membres.

Charest et Beauchamp dépassés par les événements

Les leaders de L’Alliance sociale soutiennent que l’attitude adoptée par Jean Charest et Line Beauchamp donne l’impression que le gouvernement est dépassé par les événements.

« Le premier ministre et sa ministre de l’Éducation doivent revoir leur stratégie et ça presse. Ce n’est pas en envoyant la police sur les campus pour qu’elle arrête des étudiants et des enseignants qu’on va dénouer la crise. À ce que nous sachions, nous sommes encore dans une société démocratique et les étudiants qui s’opposent à la hausse des frais de scolarité ont le droit d’exercer leur droit de manifester, que cela plaise ou non au gouvernement », rappellent les porte-parole de l’Alliance sociale.

Une dangereuse négation de la démocratie étudiante

Les leaders accusent également le gouvernement de s’être livré à un jeu dangereux en mettant en opposition le droit étudiant à la grève avec le droit individuel d’un étudiant-client de se prévaloir d’un cours pour lequel il a payé.

« C’est la première fois dans l’histoire du Québec qu’un gouvernement est allé aussi loin que de nier et de refuser de reconnaître la démocratie étudiante, préférant privilégier le droit individuel plutôt que les droits collectifs. Il s’agit là d’un grave précédent qui aura des conséquences dans l’avenir et qui, à court terme, est en train de créer un véritable chaos sur les campus, lourd de tensions et de menaces entre groupes d’étudiants eux-mêmes. C’est totalement irresponsable de voir un gouvernement monter les étudiants les uns contre les autres dans le seul but d’arriver à ses fins politiques », déplorent les porte-parole.

Une commission permanente sur la gestion des universités

En terminant, les porte-parole de l'Alliance sociale réitèrent qu'il est urgent que le gouvernement mette en place la commission permanente sur la gestion des universités pour apporter des solutions à long terme à la situation actuelle.

L’Alliance sociale représente plus d’un million de membres. Elle regroupe la Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), la Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), la Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), la Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD), le Syndicat de la fonction publique du Québec (SFPQ), l’Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS), le Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ) ainsi que la Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) et la Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ).

http://ftq.qc.ca/modules/nouvelles/nouvelle.php?id=2195&langue=fr

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Unionist do you know what kinds of conditions the courts are putting on the demonstrators that have been arrested? Are they being made to sign agreements that include things such as promising not to protest or associate with known student strikers?

Sorry krop, been busy all day, missed your question. The vast majority of arrests in recent days have been for things like failing to disperse after the riot act was read (or rather, after a demonstration is declared "illegal" by the cops as per the Criminal Code). Although that can be treated as a criminal offence, I haven't heard of such charges. So, they round up students, take them to the cop shop, process them, and give them tickets of up to $500, which of course can be challenged in the same way as traffic tickets. But there's no "conditions" - there can't be, unless it's connected with bail, and that requires serious criminal charges.

In the past 3-4 days, there have been announcements that criminal charges would be laid in some of the big demos for "méfait", which is mischief - breaking windows, etc. Haven't heard anything further about those charged in that fashion and what were the bail conditions if any. But in the case of Toronto, I think the charges you're talking about were way more serious - conspiracy, etc. - which (besides just acting like fascists) may explain the conditions you're describing.

Anyway, you don't have to be younger or a student to participate in the actions here, but it does help to be in Québec. Or, messages of solidarity. I've seen quite a few, and they help.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

Anyway, you don't have to be younger or a student to participate in the actions here, but it does help to be in Québec. Or, messages of solidarity. I've seen quite a few, and they help.

I have always marched until the last two years. I hope that after my second knee gets replaced I will be marching again but not capable of the fun stuff like outrunning police.

It seems that the cops didn't riot today in Montreal.  I was very pleased to see the lack of state violence.

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

Bärlüer

kropotkin1951 wrote:

It seems that the cops didn't riot today in Montreal.

Smile

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

When the cops see 300,000 people exercising their democratic rights to demonstrate (and peacefully so) they'd be insane to misbehave.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Probably need a separate thread for this, but here goes:

Our Generation's Quiet Awakening must be Green and Red

excerpt:

The neoliberal economic model that commercializes education is also the model that will turn the St Lawrence valley into an industrial shale gas experiment. That will turn the north of Quebec into a mining and forestry sacrifice zone. That will turn the gulf of St Lawrence into an oil pumping site. And that will turn the province into an eastward launching pad of the Alberta tar sands, a carbon bomb.

Science tells us that this model of business as usual-of perpetual growth and greed, of constant expansion and extraction-is spilling so much carbon into the atmosphere that it will ensure cataclysmic climate change. It insists we find alternatives.

excerpt:

We need to end the reign of oil in Ottawa, and its influence in Quebec city. The federal government now hands-out $1.4 billion a year to the world's richest and most polluting oil companies, when such a hand-out to students could begin a system of free education in Quebec and across Canada.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Quebec's education minister to meet with students to discuss tuition hikes


MONTREAL - The Quebec government says it will finally meet with some of the student groups that have led huge protests in the province over recent weeks.

Education Minister Line Beauchamp says two of the main student groups have accepted her invitation to meet today to discuss their concerns about planned tuition hikes.

It's unclear whether the third, most radical, student group will be participating.

Beauchamp says the time and location of the meeting will not be announced publicly.

Under pressure from the government, the more aggressive group, named the C.L.A.S.S.E., issued a denunciation this weekend of violent protest tactics.

But Beauchamp said in a statement that the government wants to know more about the C.L.A.S.S.E.'s intentions before including it in any discussions.

http://www.globalnews.ca/quebecs+education+minister+to+meet+with+student...

Unionist

Talks began yesterday afternoon between the government and all three student organizations (CLASSE, FEUQ, and FECQ).

CLASSE refused to be bulldozed into a premature decision in response to the education minister's blackmail demand to "condemn all forms of violence and vandalism". CLASSE waiting until its regular weekly assembly yesterday, fully debated the issue, and came out with an announcement condemning direct physical violence against individuals, such as throwing rocks off overpasses - and including police violence. They refused to issue a blanket condemnation of "vandalism"; they emphasized that they aim was to work in alliance with the working population, not to attack them; and they underlined their ongoing support for "civil disobedience".

Obviously this was not to the taste of Line Beauchamp and Jean Charest, who would have liked either: 1. a refusal to say anything, which would have helped them split the united front; or 2. second best, to capitulate to Beauchamp's demand, which would have amounted to a condemnation in advance of everything, right up to picket lines.

Also, the three organizations, in the face of unbearable pressure from the government, were able to maintain their unity. FEUQ even said that if the the government refused to meet with CLASSE, then they'd have to face a FEUQ delegation that included CLASSE representatives. Bravo!

As a final ploy, Beauchamp said yesterday she'd meet with all three, but she demanded a 48-hour "truce" (no acts of "civil disobedience"). CLASSE said, "fine, we had nothing scheduled for Monday and Tuesday anyway!"

Finally, Beauchamp is no longer saying that "I will meet, but the tuition fee hikes can't be on the agenda". That's the first opening ever on that issue - into the 11th week of the strike. She must have some kind of offer in her back pocket - maybe changing the 5-year schedule of introducing the increases. That will probably be the last-ditch effort to split the three organizations. This is just my uneducated guess.

So far, the students have outplayed the government nicely. Now we'll see what happens today and tomorrow.

 

Unionist

More happening today:

Students at Jean-François Perreault High School have launched a 3-day strike, saying that they are the ones with the most to lose from the proposed fee hikes. High school students haven't been directly involved in the strike movement and they're not represented in the talks which began at 4 pm yesterday, but many have participated actively in the mass demonstrations and marches.

The Université de Sherbrooke had been among those institutions where the courts had issued injunctions requiring them to give courses to some individuals. In order to avoide clashes like those at UQO in Gatineau, they were respecting the injunction by offering review sessions (no new material). The individuals who had obtained the injunctions are now charging the university with contempt of court, which will be heard next Friday.

Also in Sherbrooke, CÉGEP students marched through the streets and are picketing the courthourse. I'm not sure what the immediate trigger was. But some media are wondering whether this breaches the so-called "truce" demand by the thug of an education minister, who had waited till after CLASSE held its session to debate her previous ultimatum in order to issue this fresh one.

At UQO in Gatineau, meanwhile, which has been the scene of mass blockades and arrests, the administration has apparently been giving some courses by internet.

I forgot to mention that in response to CLASSE's affirmation that they continue to organize and support "civil disobedience", Minister Beauchamp had said: "So, that means non-respect for our laws. I don't think that's responsible." CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois retorted by praising civil disobedience and its role in obtaining all the rights of the Québec people, whether by the union movement, the feminist movement, or civil rights movements.

ETA: The demonstration at the Sherbrooke courthouse: Students are protesting in advance of an expected ruling on an injunction request which would require the resumption of courses. Such injunctions have generally led to more pickets, blockades, etc., and a decision by administrations to leave the institution closed for safety purposes. I guess that's what the thuggish minister calls "civil disobedience". Or maybe "violence". LOL.

Unionist

High school student strikes are spreading:

[url=http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/348336/piquets-de-greve-dans-t... lines go up at three high schools![/url]

All three Montréal area schools (Joseph-François Perrault, Édouard-Montpetit and the Académie de Roberval) have been shut down on account of the student bodies being on strike and picketing.

Meanwhile, Québec Superior Court did indeed issue an injunction today - so the students of CÉGEP Sherbrooke have marched back to their school and occupied the administration offices.

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs once again unionist.
General Assembly of the Concordia-Wide Community

quote

Thousands of students on campus have missed more than a third of their scheduled lectures and are currently in the seventh week of the strike. As the administration insists on the maintenance of a normal exam schedule, students and faculty that are affected by the strike continue to be left to their own devices. In an attempt to break the strike movement, the administration is refusing to provide any meaningful marge de manoeuvre to professors tasked with evaluating students who have not engaged in anything close to a semester of learning. Strikers are being penalized academically and financially for their political involvement.

The April 10 “Town Hall” meeting held by the University administration and President Lowy in response to an occupation of the administration office produced nothing of substance. Waiving of incomplete fees, and minor extensions to discontinue and grade submission deadlines, without refunding paid fees, and claiming this to be a comprehensive solution is an insult to strikers considering that the standard practice employed by other Quebec universities and CEGEPs is interruption of “business as usual” for the duration of the strike. We are sick and tired of this situation and ask for solidarity to build strength in numbers.

At this point, only a spontaneous response by the entire Concordia University community can produce significant results that no other negotiation, press release, media conference, dialogue with a handful of association representatives, Senate meeting, Board of Governors meeting, or Town Hall can ever rival. The success of this event will highly depend on everyone’s participation to make sure that the strike is effectively implemented.

In an effort to expand the debate to a campus wide level and to open up democratic spaces for discussion, we propose a General Assembly open to the entire Concordia community on Thursday April 26, 1:00 PM to decide on an immediate action plan in response to the intransigent attitude of the administration. The success of the action plan will be largely dependent on a high turnout of the Concordia community at large, students, faculty and staff. Everyone can participate in debates and discussion, and formulate demands and propositions that will be binding to the assembly. Priority speaking turns will be set to ensure that everyone is given a fair chance to speak and be heard....

http://concordiastudents.ca/general-assembly-of-the-concordia-wide-commu...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike

The Quebec student strike against an increase in tuition fees and for free education is a crucial battle against the austerity agenda and for accessible, quality post-secondary education. This is the longest student strike in Quebec history, with over 170,000 students on strike and over 200,000 demonstrating on March 22. It remains strong in the face of the Charest government’s refusal to negotiate and university/CEGEP administration efforts to use injunctions and threats to force students back to school.

We recognize that students in Quebec pay lower fees than in the rest of Canada because of a long tradition of activist mobilization for quality, accessible education. We stand in solidarity with the student strikers and the professors, campus workers and community members who have supported this movement. Students in Quebec are fighting against the commercialization of education and user pay through tuition increases that create massive barriers to access and student debt that profits the banks while haunting students for years after graduation. We believe victory for the student movement in Quebec will signal a new level of mobilization for proper funding of quality, accessible education and against the austerity agenda. We commit ourselves to the defense of those arrested. We strongly support the mobilizations to defend free political expression on campus and to continue the strikes until victory, even in the face of repression.

Together, we can stop the hike.

Jamie Ross
President
CAW Local 2002

Chuck Atkinson
President & Directing General Chairperson
IAMAW Transportation, District 140

John Reis
President
CUPE Local 4092

http://www.caw2002tca.ca/NewsRoom/solidarity-with-the-quebec-student-str...

Unionist

Great find, epaulo - was just about to post that!

Now, I really hope this works:

[url=http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/conflit-etudiant/201204/24... this video of 500 high school students on strike at one school in Mtl today![/url]

Everyone supports them - their parents, their teachers, even the head of the school - you'll see all of them interviewed here - plus students, one 12 years old. They're singing, chanting, and doing the limbo!

I think the revolution's near...

Unionist

Excellent statement by Amnesty International (francophone Canada section), much reported in the media yesterday. Wish I could find an English-language version:

[url=http://amnistie.ca/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=175... conflict: Amnesty International francophone Canada is seriously concerned by the attacks on the right of peaceful protest[/url]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..here's a google translation of the amnesty statement.

Student conflict - Amnesty International Canada is seriously concerned by violations of the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Amnesty International calls on the Government of Quebec to find a peaceful solution to the student and stop resorting to means with potentially interfere with the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest.

We have seen the growing number of news stories, testimonies and reports describing police tactics at demonstrations, methods of arrest, vandalism and other forms of violence in some cities and universities in Quebec.
This information leads us to believe that the approach taken to provide security at events seems to have caused human rights violations associated with peaceful demonstrations and the normal course of law, including the right to freedom of expression and the right peaceful assembly and association and the right to protection against arbitrary arrest.

Thus, Professor, University of Quebec at Montreal, Paul Belanger, filed a complaint against the police of Montreal, after being beaten with batons, Friday, April 20, while demonstrating peacefully near the Palace Montreal Convention: "As soon as the police announced that the demonstration was illegal, they started running towards us. I do not run as fast as young students, which does not mean that I opposed any resistance to police, said Paul Belanger. "The people, he says, has the right to protest without being attacked by the police. "

We know that a great responsibility rests with governments and the police about safety at events that punctuate the student conflict. Governments must also be guarantors of the safety of persons participating in peaceful demonstrations and other public activities.

We condemn unequivocally the acts of assault, vandalism and other acts of violence perpetrated by certain individuals. Police have a duty to prevent such crimes and to arrest and charge those against whom there are reasonable grounds and probable.

Under international law concerning human rights, however, it is essential that security measures respect the rights associated with peaceful protests. Amnesty International is concerned that the tactics employed by police forces deal with some incidents of violence and peaceful protests, and the security measures adopted in some universities, raise troubling questions about compliance with these fundamental rights: excessive use of force by police authorities, and potentially arbitrary mass arrests, intimidation and profiling by security forces on the premises of the university.

"The government must, by words and deeds, reaffirming its commitment to respect freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully," said Beatrice Vaugrante, Executive Director of Amnesty International.
We also note an appeal to a process of judicialization through injunctions that require the resumption of classes. Although legal, these orders may jeopardize the right of association and expression of striking students. We are also concerned about the questionable use in certain situations to the Highway Safety Code that could undermine the right to peaceful protest.

Finally, Amnesty International Canada recognizes the right of protesters to try to peacefully protect the right to education. Amnesty reiterates its concern over rising tuition, which would undermine the progressivity toward accessibility for all and all the university curriculum, as understood by the general comments on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural which Canada is party.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A petition asking the main Quebec union federations to organize a one day general strike in support of the student movement, and to take further actions if needed.

LES SYNDICATS EN APPEL À LA DÉFENSE DU PEUPLE

Nous voulons en appeler publiquement à la force que représentent le nombre de vos membres de vos centrales syndicales respectives et la force qu'elles symbolisent publiquement.

Quoique les étudiants en grève (pour faire reculer le Gouvernement de Jean Charest sur la hausse de 75% en cinq ans des frais de scolarité) aient reçu de vos organisations un appui durant le conflit présent, il n'en demeure pas moins que ce même gouvernement refuse tout dialogue et concession.

Plusieurs de ces futurs diplômés seront membres de l'une ou l'autre de vos centrales syndicales un jour. Tous ces futurs diplômés seront des contribuables qui soutiendront par leurs impôts nos services publics....

http://www.lettre-aux-syndicats.info/

Unionist

With great respect, epaulo, I will not personally sign the petition in your last post, because:

1. There's no indication who has drafted it.

2. There's no indication as to when they plan to send the letter.

3. Requests for specific actions of solidarity should come from the students' organizations (CLASSE, FEUQ, FECQ) - otherwise, it's just anonymous interference in their plans. They're having a hard enough time coordinating their actions as it is.

4. The text is obsolete - it says the government is "refusing all dialogue", which is no longer true.

The students have been amazing so far - discussing and debating and voting on all their actions through general assemblies organized within the framework of their associations. My union, like virtually all others in Québec, has verbally and physically supported the students' actions. If we decide a one-day general strike is a good way of intensifying our support, then we'll approach the students' organizations and propose it - unless they propose it to us first. Any other way of doing things just doesn't work well, in my experience.

 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Unionist do you know what kinds of conditions the courts are putting on the demonstrators that have been arrested? Are they being made to sign agreements that include things such as promising not to protest or associate with known student strikers?

Hey krop, if you're reading this, I have an updated answer to your question. Yes, in fact, at least some demonstrators who have been arrested on criminal charges (mainly mischief, sometimes the old favourite of obstruct police) have been released pending trial with condiitons such as not participating in demonstrations. Last night, two women were arrested on grounds of having violated such prior conditions, and this has happened previously.

Sorry for not knowing everything!

 

Unionist

Breaking news:

[url=http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/348420/line-beauchamp-exclut-l... Minister "excludes" CLASSE from negotiations - other two organizations suspend talks in protest[/url]

This two-bit thug Beauchamp tried from the start to split CLASSE from FEUQ and FECQ. When that didn't work, she has now accused CLASSE of advertisiing a demo that took place last night (a demo that CLASSE did not organize and had nothing to do with) where some vandalism allegedly took place. This, she says, violated the so-called "truce" which she had unilaterally declared as a "condition" of talks.

She has learned well from the Israeli Zionists.

This is very bad news, and it's hard to see how it will help the Liberals look like saviours so as to be able to prepare conditions for an election call. It's just another attempt to either divide or simply exhaust the student movement. The students will ensure that it fails.

ETA: [url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/CLASSE+excluded+from+talks+with+stud...'s an English-language report.[/url]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

 

Unionist wrote:

With great respect, epaulo, I will not personally sign the petition in your last post, because:

1. There's no indication who has drafted it.

2. There's no indication as to when they plan to send the letter.

3. Requests for specific actions of solidarity should come from the students' organizations (CLASSE, FEUQ, FECQ) - otherwise, it's just anonymous interference in their plans. They're having a hard enough time coordinating their actions as it is.

4. The text is obsolete - it says the government is "refusing all dialogue", which is no longer true.

The students have been amazing so far - discussing and debating and voting on all their actions through general assemblies organized within the framework of their associations. My union, like virtually all others in Québec, has verbally and physically supported the students' actions. If we decide a one-day general strike is a good way of intensifying our support, then we'll approach the students' organizations and propose it - unless they propose it to us first. Any other way of doing things just doesn't work well, in my experience.

..i was sceptical at first of this petition as well unionist and i do understand what you are saying. i originally found it on a facebook page that reported on student activities. after not finding where the petition came from i was going to dump it, that is until i looked over to see who was supposedly signing it and decided to post it and let people decide what they may. unfortunately i didn't have a chance to explain this as i was on my way out. another idea i thought about since was what does decentralization mean? why can't someone, anyone put out an idea that travels outside the usual communication streams or protocols..and that idea develops momentum on it's own merit. how empowering is that!

..in future i will attempt to add explanations to some of my more ambiguous / controversial postings.

..in mutual respect.

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