Student strike against tuition hike #4

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

 Que. Liberals move annual meeting

The Liberal Party of Quebec Premier Jean Charest, faced with a student-protest movement that has often turned violent, said Sunday it was relocating its annual convention to a city outside Montreal.

The party had been scheduled to hold its party meeting at the Centre Mont-Royal in Montreal May 4 to 6.

Instead, it will hold the convention in Victoriaville, 170 kilometres to the east, the party said in a statement.

Since mid-February, the provincial government has faced a stiff challenge from students angry over plans to raise school fees as part of an effort to rein in the budget deficit.

After talks with the government broke down, students took to the streets, resulting in violent clashes with police and smashed storefronts in Montreal.

Charest on Friday offered a compromise - to stretch out the tuition hike over seven years - but the students wouldn't budge, and again took to the streets Saturday night.

On Sunday, CLASSE, the organization that represents half of the 180,000 students still on strike, rejected the government's new offer.

Meanwhile, the only glimmer of hope for a resolution heading into Week 12 of the dispute is the possibility of mediation.

Charest's offer was "insulting," student leaders said. "Our only choice is to continue to be on strike and in the streets," said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, spokes-man of student organization CLASSE.

"There is a lot of panic in the Liberal government. We are beginning to seriously destabilize them. They soon won't have a choice but to back down."

Stories circulated on the week-end after a Facebook page calling for Nadeau-Dubois's resignation received more than 7,500 likes in a few days. Not so, Nadeau-Dubois said, noting a Face-book page devoted to Charest's resignation has more than 123,000 likes.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Liberals+move+annual+meeting/6539802/story.html#ixzz1tabvmhUA

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

Several thousand students are marching right now in Montréal, for the 7th consecutive nightly demo. Several hundred are also marching in Québec.

 

And another 200-300 in Hull.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
I should add, the NDP would be hypocritical to support the Quebec student strikers because NDP governments in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, where tuition fees are much higher than in Quebec, are continuing to increase tuition fees.

But overall cost of living is as cheap and prolly cheaper in NDP Manitoba compared to PQ. Of course, the anti-NDP party would never mention that. Not everyone is a student in Canada.

The students are providing pretty good diversion for the Charest crooks and their well connected friends embroiled in corruption charges. And the newz media are playing right along.

Unionist

Above: Despite a court injunction, students have forced the cancellation of classes at CÉGEP Sherbrooke for a third consecutive day.

The same scene played itself out yesterday at CÉGEP St-Laurent, and it looks as if striking students at CÉGEP Maisonneuve will succeed today as well in forcing closure in defiance of an injunction.

On this May 1st, 2012, the students are in the forefront of the workers' struggle!

 

Freedom 55

Fidel wrote:

genstrike wrote:
I should add, the NDP would be hypocritical to support the Quebec student strikers because NDP governments in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, where tuition fees are much higher than in Quebec, are continuing to increase tuition fees.

But overall cost of living is as cheap and prolly cheaper in NDP Manitoba compared to PQ. Of course, the anti-NDP party would never mention that. Not everyone is a student in Canada.

The students are providing pretty good diversion for the Charest crooks and their well connected friends embroiled in corruption charges. And the newz media are playing right along.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

The students are providing pretty good diversion for the Charest crooks and their well connected friends embroiled in corruption charges. And the newz media are playing right along.

Nice bit of solidarity, there, Fidel. Dismissing the student uprising in Quebec as a "diversion" and criticizing the MSM for giving them coverage! And on May Day, no less...

You've gone completely down the rabbit hole in your zeal to prop up the treacherous social democrats.

I've flagged this post and asked the moderators to tell you to stay out of this thread.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Workers at several social agencies in Montreal will be going on strike May 1 and May 15 answering the call of la CLASSE for social strikes on those days.

Des groupes communautaires de Montréal en grève sociale pour soutenir la lutte étudian

Salut aux permanents et permanentes des groupes communautaires qui brandissent fièrement le drapeau de la grève sociale en solidarité avec la lutte étudiante!

Plusieurs groupes ont déclaré la grève pour les premiers et 15 mai prochain en solidarité avec la lutte étudiante et le mouvement de contestation social en général! Par exemple: Les employéEs du Réseau D’entraide de Verdun d’Halte-Femmes de Montréal-Nord, de l’Organisation Populaire des Droits Sociaux – Région Montréal et de l’Acef du Nord....

https://sitt.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/des-groupes-communautaires-de-mont...

Unionist

FECQ and FEUQ (the Cegep and university federations) have jointly announced a "counter-offer" to the government's "offer" of last week - CLASSE has said it may announce its own counter-offer on Thursday:

The key one is #7 - freeze tuition fees at 2012 levels to maintain accessibility. That of course is supposedly the non-starter for the Charest government. But the PQ was pushing for a moratorium for 2012 to give time for more talks... What if the government comes back with a freeze for 2012, postponing the start of the phased increases till 2013 - in an attempt to show flexibility, reasonableness, divide the students, etc.? Just thinking out loud.

It's unfortunate that two organizations are stepping forward with this, leaving CLASSE to its own decision.

 

Unionist

I'm tired. Too much going on here. Of three demonstrations (one run by the unions and women's groups, the usual nightly one by the students, and one by CLAC and black bloc types etc.), of course the police geared their violence and the MSM turned their full attention to the third one - 107 arrests out of a couple hundred participants. The other marches and rallies, regrouping thousands, were left alone and seem to have unfolded without incident.

The Charest government is getting more desperate by the minute. Its fight for public opinion is based on spreading the lies that the students are inflexible, that their demonstrations are violent, that they hurt the interests of the "taxpayers", and that they are divided. Unity is more important than ever, and the students are doing an incredible job to maintain their stand of principle, their democratic decision-making, and their unity in the face of nonstop provocation.

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/march+turns+violent/6549690/story.ht... Gazette[/url].

Sorry for this crappy MSM link, but if you read between the lines you can figure out one or two factual things. The real student march was obviously only getting under way when that story was filed.

 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

The students are providing pretty good diversion for the Charest crooks and their well connected friends embroiled in corruption charges. And the newz media are playing right along.

Nice bit of solidarity, there, Fidel. Dismissing the student uprising in Quebec as a "diversion" and criticizing the MSM for giving them coverage! And on May Day, no less...

You've gone completely down the rabbit hole in your zeal to prop up the treacherous social democrats.

I've flagged this post and asked the moderators to tell you to stay out of this thread.

 

I don't understand. Are you suggesting that aside from imposing higher tuitions in PQ, the Charest Government is clean otherwise? Why can't they be both neoliberals and corrupt at the same time? Is there a rule against it happening?

Corruption in Quebec widespread, watchdog says as probe expands

Quote:
Quebec's anti-corruption squad has no fewer than 16 investigations under way, in addition to the one that made headlines this week with the arrest of 15 people, including construction magnate Antonio Accurso, charged with corruption, fraud, conspiracy and bribery.

Allegations of corruption in major construction projects have tainted all levels of government from smaller municipalities to bigger cities, spreading to the Quebec government and federal officials. But statements on Thursday from the head of the province's anti-corruption unit indicate suspicions of wrongdoing in Quebec's biggest resource program, major energy projects and even social programs.

They mention a name which all the big families in Quebec are related to. Quebecers didn't trust their government in October 1970 and thought they were corrupt then, too.

Unionist

I've flagged post #60 for its offensive diversionary content. Real struggle by real people is happening in Québec, which is anathema to the armchair electoral partisan types.

Fidel

Cops have arrested two fund raisers for the governing Liberal Party.

Maria Peluso, Concordia teacher's union wrote:
"The problem is that the debt has not been the result of any abuses of the citizens," Peluso said. She pointed to the corruption allegations swirling around the governing Liberals as one of the reasons the province is in a financial hole.

Don't sell the kids or Quebecers short, Unionist. They aren't as naive as you think.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

I've flagged post #60 for its offensive diversionary content.

Not much point, I'm afraid.

The "moderators" are obviously content to allow trolls to divert this important thread with slanderous attacks on the Quebec student uprising by way of covering for the NDP's complete lack of sympathy for their struggle.

Freedom 55

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/02/quebec-st... student protests mark 'Maple spring' in Canada[/url]

 

Martin Lukacs wrote:

In the painful tumult of daily protests, an entire generation of Québécois youth is learning a political lesson no class would ever teach: violence underlies all of society's inequalities, and power doesn't yield an inch without a fight.

The students' courage and creativity in the face of such brutality has lit a fire under Quebec. Their achievement has been to begin to clarify for a broad swath of society that a tuition hike is not a matter of isolated accounting, but the goal of a neoliberal austerity agenda the world over. Forcing students to pay more for education is part of a transfer of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the rich – as with privatization and the state's withdrawal from service-provision, tax breaks for corporations and deep cuts to social programs.

The fault-lines of the struggle over education – dividing those who preach it must be a commodity purchased by "consumers" for self-advancement, and those who would protect it as a right funded by the state for the collective good – has thus sparked a fundamental debate about the entire society's future.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I've flagged post #60 for its offensive diversionary content.

Not much point, I'm afraid.

The "moderators" are obviously content to allow trolls to divert this important thread with slanderous attacks on the Quebec student uprising by way of covering for the NDP's complete lack of sympathy for their struggle.

 

Nice try. Yes according to the progressive anti-NDPers among us the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party shouldn't be criticized for their entitlements to kick-back and graft and running up the debt while, and at the same time, raising tuition fees!! According to them the students and Quebecers should not walk and chew gum at the same time.

Note: The debt, the corruption, and the Charest Liberals raising tuition fees are all part of the same issue. Quebecers and all progressive Canadians need to get behind the students and bring down this crime gang posing as the government of Quebec.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What Really Happened at the Montréal May Day Protest?
From Peaceful Protest to Police Brutality

quote:

Having been at the protest from its beginning, I can say that it was a peaceful march. While there were individual acts of vandalism (the worst I saw was drawing on a bank's window with a black marker), if police action were to be taken, it should be to arrest the specific vandal. Instead, they implemented collective punishment for exercising our "fundamental freedoms."

The protest began in the Old Port of the city of Montréal, and made it's way down rue Notre-Dame, up St-Laurent, and down to the financial district. The mood was good, people were in high spirits, with music, drums, the occasional fire cracker, young and old alike.

As we entered the financial district, the presence of the riot police became more apparent. When the protest made it to McGill College Ave. - crossing a wide intersection - as the march continued in its consistently peaceful path, the riot police quickly assembled alone the street below us. The crowd quickly became nervous as the protest was declared "illegal." Before I could even take a photo of the police down the street in a long line, they began charging the crowd. Protesters dropped their signs and began up the street toward McGill University, while another section branched off along the intended direction, and others scattered.

The march had been successfully split, and the small factions were then being isolated and surrounded. Suddenly, riot police were everywhere, marching up the street like storm troopers, police cars, vans, horses, motorcycles, and trucks were fying by. As one faction of the protest continued down another street, the riot police followed behind, while another massive onslaught of riot police went around to block off the protesters from the other side. When the police first charged, I had lost one of my friends simply by looking away for a moment. After having found each other up the street, we watched as the protest which descended down the street was surrounded by police from nearly every side. It was then that we saw flash grenades and tear gas being launched at the crowd of people. There was a notable smell that filled the air.

As we stood, shocked and disturbed by what had just happened, we made our way toward McGill to see where other protesters were headed when we saw a group of riot police "escort" three young protesters whom they had arrested behind a police barricade at the HSBC (protecting the banks, of course!).

Up the street, and across from McGill, one protester who had run to get on the bus was chased down by several riot police who then threw him face-first onto the pavement, and as a crowd quickly gathered around (of both protesters and pedestrian onlookers), the police formed a circle around the man and told everyone to "get back!" and then they began marching toward us, forcing the crowd of onlookers to scatter as well. The police then took the young man over to where the other protesters were being "collected" at the HSBC.

There was one young girl, with the notable red square patch on her jacket (the symbol of the Québec student movement) who had to be taken away on a stretcher into an ambulance. We don't know what happened to her.

As more and more police gathered, we decided it was time to leave, walking down the street through which the police had chased the protesters, remnants of signs, red patches, and other debris spilled across the streets; the remains of a peaceful protest ended with police violence....

http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/what-really-happened-montr%C3%A9al-may-day...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

May 2: GSA General Assembly

May 2 General Assembly: with Lunch and Q & A with Provincial Negotiators

WHEN: Wednesday, 2 May at 12:00 noon
WHERE: CSU Lounge, 7th Floor Hall Building
Please note the new location and bring student ID

Celebrating the General Assembly!

Direct democracy – then a pizza lunch

The semester is drawing to a close, yet the Quebec student strike is continuing (at this time) after broken-off negotiations, and this very important General Assembly is needed to determine what the GSA will do next.

*Representatives from the CLASSE negotiation committee, who have personally met with government representatives to try to resolve the strike, will visit to give an update and answer questions.*

Whether or not you have been affected by the strike, and whatever your views are, the General Assembly is open to all members and structured in a way that strives for civil debate and open discussion for everyone present. Participation is important: the General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the GSA and one in which every member has an equal voice and an equal opportunity to bring forward and argue for propositions. This is a very common and longstanding practice in Quebec student associations and is in part responsible for the province’s exceptionally dynamic, engaged and well-informed student culture.

We’ll also have a celebration of the seventh General Assembly of the semester, by far the most the GSA has ever held! A pizza lunch will be served at the close of the meeting for those who attended.....

http://gsaconcordia.ca/may-2-gsa-general-assembly/

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hi Fidel, if you'd like to open a thread about the Liberal Party of Quebec and alleged corruption, I encourage you to open a thread about it. This is not the place for that discussion.

Spector, if you have a problem with "moderators," my email address is . I'd love to hear your suggestions that don't contain scare quotes.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Catchfire wrote:

Spector, if you have a problem with "moderators," my email address is catchfire@rabble.ca. I'd love to hear your suggestions that don't contain scare quotes.

They're not scare quotes; they are sarcasm quotes. Learn the difference.

I made my suggestions by the usual channel for flagging offensive posts. As far as I am concerned, that ought to be sufficient.

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I've flagged post #60 for its offensive diversionary content.

Not much point, I'm afraid.

The "moderators" are obviously content to allow trolls to divert this important thread with slanderous attacks on the Quebec student uprising by way of covering for the NDP's complete lack of sympathy for their struggle.

 

Nice try. Yes according to the progressive anti-NDPers among us the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party shouldn't be criticized for their entitlements to kick-back and graft and running up the debt while, and at the same time, raising tuition fees!! According to them the students and Quebecers should not walk and chew gum at the same time.

Note: The debt, the corruption, and the Charest Liberals raising tuition fees are all part of the same issue. Quebecers and all progressive Canadians need to get behind the students and bring down this crime gang posing as the government of Quebec.

1. You're the one who is saying the students are a "good diversion for the Charest crooks and their well connected friends embroiled in corruption charges."  It sounds like you're the one saying that Quebecers shouldn't walk and chew gum at the same time

2. Does "Quebecers and all progressive Canadians" include the NDP?  Because they don't seem to be getting behind the students.

MegB

M. Spector wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Spector, if you have a problem with "moderators," my email address is catchfire@rabble.ca. I'd love to hear your suggestions that don't contain scare quotes.

They're not scare quotes; they are sarcasm quotes. Learn the difference.

I made my suggestions by the usual channel for flagging offensive posts. As far as I am concerned, that ought to be sufficient.

Perhaps you'd like to donate to rabble so that they can afford to pay us to be here more often.  There are only so many volunteer hours we have in a week, and those paid hours get used up real fast.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

M. Spector wrote:
I made my suggestions by the usual channel for flagging offensive posts. As far as I am concerned, that ought to be sufficient.

Here is how conversation works: you or I start us off. Let's say you do. You say something. Then I respond. This can take a number of different forms: agreement, a request for clarification, my own elaboration of your point, a challenge, a rebuttal, a refutation--any number of things, really. Then--and here's the kicker--you do the same to what I said. That's how consensus forms, change happens and understandings occur. So far I think you've only got the first step.  It doesn't happen--for example--with contemptuous sneers of self-importance and arrogance. That sort of approach ensures that such a person's vision of the world only exists inside their own petty, miserable head. 

Now: should I have put that whole paragraph in quotes?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

May Day in Montreal


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador lends support to striking Quebec students

GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - May 1, 2012) - Delegates to the CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador convention have given their support to the Quebec student movement that is fighting dramatic tuition fee increases.

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, "These students are taking on an issue that is critical to their futures. Tuition fees create a barrier to students - especially those from lower and middle income backgrounds.

"Up until now, Quebec has been a beacon for the rest of the country by having the most affordable post-secondary education in the country. These students are fighting to protect that," says Lucas.

The convention unanimously supported a resolution submitted by CUPE Local 4554, the Memorial University of Newfoundland Students' Union.

The resolution stated in part:

"In an unprecedented show of solidarity and unity, hundreds of thousands of Quebec post-secondary students have voted to go on strike against the Quebec provincial government to oppose the tuition fee increases.

Government and university administrators have sought court injunctions to try to end the strike, and during the past several days, government crackdowns on the student strike have become extremely violent and repressive."

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
1. You're the one who is saying the students are a "good diversion for the Charest crooks and their well connected friends embroiled in corruption charges."  It sounds like you're the one saying that Quebecers shouldn't walk and chew gum at the same time

Someone should ask the criminal Liberal Government of Quebec whether they would prefer dealing with irate students or the law. Personally if I was a crook in the PQ Liberal Government, I would definitely prefer that the students take some of the heat off my criminal activities with a diversion in the streets. Quebecers in general seem to be siding with the crooks in government not students demanding their right to education.

genstrike wrote:
2. Does "Quebecers and all progressive Canadians" include the NDP?  Because they don't seem to be getting behind the students.

It's funny because I mentioned the NDP's and CFS concerns that billions of dollars in core federal funding should be restored to PSE in a number of threads focusing on the subject of fees in Manitoba, an NDP province where graduates are able to claim a 60% tax rebate on tuition. And you were having none of it then. I think for one of us it's entirely a provincial issue, yes?

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

[From the resolution:]

Government and university administrators have sought court injunctions to try to end the strike, and during the past several days, government crackdowns on the student strike have become extremely violent and repressive."

Great to have a motion of support, but that last paragraph is almost 100% inaccurate. It shows that we have a lot of work to do building communication, let alone solidarity. The injunctions have been sought against universities and CÉGEP administrations and against student unions by individual students - not by government or administrators. And the violence and repression did not start, nor did it even become particularly worse, in "the past several days". The tear gassing and illegalizing of demos and stun grenades and physical injuries and mass arrests have been ongoing for almost three months. And in fact, the student demos of the past few nights in Montréal have been calm and virtually without confrontations.

Which reminds me, tonight the ninth consecutive march of thousands of students is taking place as we speak:

And there's a bit of a chronology being updated [url=http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/conflit-etudiant/201205/02/01....

The new slogan is: Manif chaque soir, jusqu'à la victoire!

Translation (taking literary liberties): A demo each night, till we win our fight!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs for pointing this out unionist. i've run across more than a few news pieces with inacurate info since the students thread opened. and it's always a judgement call whether to post or not. i've tried searching for the original motion but couldn't find it. mind you my attention spam for it wasn't that long.

Unionist

No problem, epaulo - just keep up the posting and the support - what you're doing here is great!

 

Unionist

Ok, the demo has been marching through Westmount, and has just arrived at Jean Charest's home on Victoria!!

They've been marching in their thousands and shouting (in English of course): "Wake up Westmount!"

The cops are blocking off Charest's house.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs unionst! it energizes me to do so.


Unionist

Thousands in front of Charest's home shouting: "Charest! Charest! Resign!" and "Charest! Go forth! We'll find you a job way up north!" (liberties again, based on Charest's mockery of the students two weeks ago while they were being savagely attacked outside as he spoke to his millionaire buddies in the Palais des Congrès).

Hopefully the neighbours will turf this low-life out - he attracts crowds of noisy opponents late at night. A new slogan is wafting into my head for the neighbours to take up:

"Charest! Charest! Not in our back yard!"

ETA: 22:46 pm: Thousands of demonstrators are now sitting down in the street, chanting "Olé, olé, olé".

 

Unionist

All right! They came, they sat, they shouted, they kindly offered Charest a job (he'll need one!), and they left. The demonstrators are now back downtown around Ste-Catherine and de la Montagne. No violence, no arrests, no "mischief". Mission accomplished!

MegB

Fidel, you've already been asked to take the issue of Quebec's Liberal party corruption to another thread, yet you persist in derailing the discussion.  Polite time is over.  You've generated numerous complaints, so I'm saying you need to take it elsewhere or there will be consequences.

Fidel

Sorry I will bad mouth the very corrupt Liberal Government no more.

Unionist

Breaking News:

CLASSE - a coalition of 43 student associations representing about one-half of the 180,000 students now on strike - has called a press conference for 10 am (10 minutes from now) to announce their counterproposal to the government's offer of last week. The government offer was unanimously rejected during a weekend CLASSE congress.

It is rumoured that CLASSE will propose: 1. Return to 2007 fee levels immediately. 2. A capital tax on financial institutions, with proceeds to go toward eliminating tuition fees completely over a five-year period.

 

Unionist

The press conference is over. Here (roughly) is the CLASSE counterproposal, in two parts. Of course, no fee increases is the underlying assumption.

Phase 1 (immediate):

1. Research budgets benefiting private enterprises comprise a higher percentage of university budgets in Québec than the Canadian average. Reducing this gap by just 50% will save $142 million, which is to be redirected to education. CLASSE notes that if the government chooses to move directly to the Canadian average, this would save $284 million, and would allow fees to immediately revert to 2007 levels, just before the then-existing freeze was first breached.

2. Eliminate commercial advertising by universities (which goes to marketing themselves vs. other institutions) - saving $18 million, redirect to education.

3. Immediate salary freeze and end of bonuses for university rectors and upper management, as well as a hiring freeze.

4. Halt on construction of "satellite" campuses - there are almost 300 of these, and their purpose again is competition for existing student populations.

Phase 2 - for long-term stable and sustainable funding of university education:

1. Capital tax of 0.7% on financial institutions, instituted in 0.14% steps over 5 years.

2. Elimination of all university tuition fees in 2016.

Sorry if I got that somewhat wrong - just going by what I heard during the press conference.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

An Open Letter to the Québec Government: Defend Public, Accessible Post-Secondary Education Now

On behalf of workers, academic staff and students across Canada, we jointly call on Québec Premier Jean Charest and Minister of Education Line Beauchamp to promptly resolve the student strike by reversing the decision to increase tuition fees in Québec.

For over two months, students in Québec have been striking to oppose the government's 75% tuition fee increase over five years. The hike effectively shatters the principles of accessible education on which the system currently rests on in Québec and moves towards a model of user-pay funding.

In light of the recent breakdown of negotiations, we are increasingly concerned that your government is ignoring the growing voices of an entire generation committed to the very principled and just value of accessible education.

Students in Québec have taken it on themselves to defend the next generation's right to education. They have put their semester on the line to fight for a vision of the world where no one is excluded. They have made a convincing case, they have garnered public support, and they have presented government with several alternative solutions to the tuition fee hike.

Despite this, the government has continued to grasp onto arguments to justify the hike even though they have been widely refuted. Increasing tuition fees does not provide for shortfalls in funding to the education system. It merely transfers the responsibility from the government to individual students. Increasing tuition fees forces students to take on debt, thus replicating the very social inequalities that the education system is meant to alleviate. Increasing tuition fees signals a shift in priorities where the government is progressively removing its responsibility to provide accessible education.

We are dismayed that the government of Québec has continued to demonstrate contempt towards young people and bad faith in the negotiation process that it has claimed to be committed to.

We believe that every Canadian should have the right to get an education regardless of how much money they or their family makes. We believe it is in the best interest of our society to allow everyone to be skilled, educated and to reach their full potential. And we believe it is the government's responsibility to support education as a social good.

We support the exemplary work done by students in the province during this strike and will stand in solidarity with them as long as needed to stop the tuition fee hike.

To download the complete statement please click here.

flight from kamakura

it would have been nice if the two statements had been co-ordinated, but this is a very good statement by the classe here, prefacing and rough costing is certainly more effective than just a list of demands.  i really really hope this continues strong, even if the government doesn't break, the pq eventually will, eventually forcing marois to make promises along the lines demanded by the striking students.

Fidel

Well in addition to the CFS at least a few other Canadians agree with me on the issue of a lack of federal funding for PSE:

Quebec Tuition: Between a Rock and Hard Place?

Nick Falvo wrote:
It therefore won't surprise many readers to learn that, while the federal government at one time covered 80% of a typical Canadian university's operating budget, today the federal government covers just 50% of a typical university's operating budget. If you're a federal government, it seems you can't have your cake and eat it too!

Thus, I would argue that the current "crisis" in Quebec over tuition fees has been largely created by successive federal governments that have defunded Canadian universities, indeed putting provincial governments "between a rock and a hard place."

Quebec's Liberal Government as crooked as they are, still only have fiscal policy and the ability to tweak a few taxes here and there. 

PQ already spends more on social programs than other provinces regardless of the corruption and gross mismanagement of PQ's massively lucrative hydroelectric power exports.

The Feds in Ottawa have been undermining social transfers to the provinces since the corrupt Mulroney, Chretien-Martin governments and continuing under the Harpers.

Unionist

The above demo of about 1000 students ended just a while ago, then merged with the main nightly march which is now ongoing. Signs read: "82% indecent!", "Student body against the hike!", "We have nothing to hide!", "For a transparent government", etc. It was supposed to be entirely nude, but organizers compromised a bit when the cops mumbled something about section 174 of the Criminal Code (I believe).

 

Bärlüer

A slogan from the demo: "Un peuple, tout nu, jamais ne sera vaincu" ("The people, naked, will never be defeated")

janfromthebruce

HA HA HA The people, butt naked (just sounded better), will never be defeated" - yeah, sure hope the day was warm!

Unionist

The people, undressed, can never be suppressed!

bouchecl

janfromthebruce wrote:

HA HA HA The people, butt naked (just sounded better), will never be defeated" - yeah, sure hope the day was warm!

14°C in Montreal at 8 p.m., scattered showers.

Unionist

[url=http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/ottawa/2012/05/04/001-greve-cegepouta... Cégep forced to cancel classes 3rd day in a row despite injunction[/url]

Unionist

Charest's Liberal Party is holding its general council this weekend in Victoriaville - they changed the venue from Montréal to try to avoid mass protests. But students know how to use Google Maps!

[url=https://www.facebook.com/Soyons200000aVictoriaville]Soyons 200,000 à Victoriaville! [note: this is a Facebook page][/url]

[url=http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/societe/2012/05/04/002-victoriavill... sur les dents[/url]

 

Freedom 55

I posted this in the activism thread because of the broader lessons for organizing in general, but I'll post it here again:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQcX1S4xIXc]The Real News: How did Quebec Students Mobilize Hundreds of Thousands for Strike?[/url]

Bärlüer

There will be a meeting between Quebec and the four student groups (CLASSE, FEUQ, FECQ, TaCEQ) this afternoon. Also convened: Fédération des cégeps, CRÉPUQ, and CSN/CSQ/FTQ.

Let's hope this won't be just a PR operation for the Liberals' meeting.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Contentious Quebecois: Province-Wide Student Strike Enters Fourth Month

In arguably the most radical political climate north of the Rio Grande, a strike by university students in Quebec has led to the biggest upsurge in civil resistance Canada has seen in decades. There’s energy and uncertainty in the streets of Montreal, the province’s largest city. The symbol of the movement: the little red felt square (“squarely in the red,” as in, broke), is ubiquitous, pinned on the jackets and backpacks of students and supporters. Protest banners hang from university buildings and posters plaster signposts. Students are everywhere, as are the police, who dart around the city in vans, frequently deploying in full riot gear.

The Quebec government of Premier Jean Charest has proposed a 30 percent increase in tuition fees, or $1,625, over five years. The measure would raise the cost of tuition in Quebec from its current rate of $2,168 to $3,793 by the 2016–17 school year. In response, approximately 170,000 students, nearly half of those enrolled in Quebec’s post secondary institutions, with the number swelling to as many as 300,000 on key days of protest, have refused to attend classes since early February. Instead they have taken to the streets, holding daily general assemblies at campuses to determine strategy, and are engaged in a diverse range of actions — from mass marches to blockades of bridges and the Montreal Stock Exchange. On April 24, students at three Montreal-area high schools voted to begin a three-day strike of their own, in solidarity with their older peers....

https://www.indypendent.org/2012/05/04/contentious-quebecois-province-wi...

Bärlüer

Quick follow-up on my post above: the list of invited unions is rather strange... CSN is understandable (Cégep teachers, some lecturers), CSQ... "passe encore" (a couple of lecturers, but not that many)... but the presence of the FTQ is something of an enigma.

The biggest WTF question, however, is the absence of the FQPPU—the federation of university teachers...

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