Student strike against tuition hike #2

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Student strike against tuition hike #2

Gotta get a new thread ready for tomorrow!

Issues Pages: 

Denise Savoie, 2011 wrote:
"For a full decade since the Liberals gutted federal transfers, Canada's post-secondary community has been forced to choose between accessibility and quality," said Savoie. "For students, it's meant unaffordable tuition, overflowing class sizes, deteriorating resources, and increasingly corporate campuses."

Federal transfers for post-secondary education, as a percentage of GDP, have fallen by two-thirds since the beginning of the Mulroney government, and by one-half since the start of the last Liberal regime in 1993. Correspondingly, average undergraduate tuition has tripled since 1990-91, and students in Nova Scotia pay over three times as much in tuition as students in Quebec.

We need guaranteed federal funding for post-secondary ed not cutbacks, corporate campuses nor "starve the beast" neoconservatism in Ottawa.


Jacques-Yvan Morin, former vice prime minister and minister of Education in the René Lévesque government, supports the student movement and advocates for a tuition freeze.

I'm also happy (and surprised, as a former law student...) to see that all the law students associations in Quebec, through their Confederation, have made it known that they unanimously oppose the tuition fees hike.

And now: manif!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..beautiful day in montreal. seen one guy without a shirt and lots of sunshine.
Les étudiants manifestent dans l'est de Montréal


Blocage du port, repli, nouveau blocage du port. C'est à un véritable jeu du chat et de la souris qu'ont été invités les policiers par les étudiants ce matin à Montréal.

La Coalition large de l'association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) avait promis hier une action de «perturbation économique» pour ce matin, avant la grande manifestation de l'après-midi. Ils ont tenu parole, et c'est le port qu'ils ont choisi comme cible....


Back from the manif.

It was fantastic: great energy, huge crowd. Apparently, the crowd extended across something like 50 street corners. Organizers' estimation is that we were 200 000. I don't know how accurate that number is, but I know it was a massive, massive crowd. Breaking most (all...? who knows...) historic records.

A couple of pics:




My feet are killing me.

This was the biggest demo of my life. And that's saying something.

I was with the union contingent (CSN, FTQ, CSQ, etc.). It was utterly impossible to get a sense of the entire demo, not least of all because half of us marched east down Ste-Catherine and the other half down Sherbrooke!

Montréal wasn't big enough to contain us!

And these young people are on fire.

I'll see if I can post my own photos somewhere. First, food and drink. And something for my feet!


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Incredible. Bravo aux étudiants de Québec!

Sometimes I believe a better world is possible. I wish I could have been there!

(As it was, I was trying to mobilize my Teaching Assistant Union to a strike vote--let's say I had more trouble than the students of Quebec appear to have had.)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Nova Scotia Students in Solidarity with Striking Quebec Students

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Day of Action March 22, 2012
..some pics
Over 200,000 Keep Things Peaceful Marching Against Tuition Hikes

Over 200,000 people flooded downtown Montreal on March 22 as part of a national demonstration against impending tuition hikes, paralyzing upwards of 50 city blocks throughout the afternoon....



It rained for about 15 minutes in mid-march - but none of the thunderstorms which had been predicted.

Undaunted, a group of female students near our delegation started chanting:

"La pluie! La pluie! La pluie nous appuie!"

Even the elements shall conspire to ensure our victory.

Today, everyone was a student!


Catchfire Catchfire's picture


"La pluie! La pluie! La pluie nous appuie!"




Some other slogans seen or heard yesterday:

"Je penses, donc je m'endette!"

"Cogito ergo $um!"

"Sorry for the inconvenience, we are trying to change the world!"

"Chomsky opposes the hike!"

And countless others, home-made with loving care.

And every so often, in spreading waves of volume, hundreds shouting in unison:

Crions plus fort, pour que personne ne nous ignore!

No one was ignoring us yesterday.



Le Devoir had a great front page today—love the headline, and there was this very nice chronicle by Jean-François Nadeau:

La Presse also had the apposite front page for the circumstances (of course, they had to go with the smaller number, but eh...):


I thought to myself, "Surely the main papers in the ROC will feature if not a front-page story, at least a prominent one, for one of the largest demonstrations in Quebec history...?"

I don't have access to actual front pages of these papers at the moment, but a glance at the Globe and Mail and the Star's websites seems to indicate that only was this not featured as a prominent story, it seems like this isn't even covered at all...

ETA: holy crap, I just saw the front page of the Empire's newspaper. Pathetic. I won't soil this thread by displaying it here.


Bärlüer wrote:

ETA: holy crap, I just saw the front page of the Empire's newspaper. Pathetic. I won't soil this thread by displaying it here.

I can't tell you how much I wish you hadn't posted that link! I might have carried on my life in blissful ignorance of the depths to which these characters can sink. I've adjusted your link accordingly.

BTW, did your part of the demo march along Sherbrooke or Ste-Catherine (like mine)??

ETA: And yeah, Nadeau's chronique captured the spirit of the day and the city quite well.



At first on Ste-Catherine (up till Peel, IIRC...?), then on Sherbrooke.

(And sorry about that link... I myself wish I hadn't been subjected to it...)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs unionist!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Quebec student union CLASSE plans week-long actions to disrupt economy, Quebec government

Translated by

March 22, the beginning of a long fight

March 22nd is often seen as the climax of our strike. With more than 300,000 strikers and a massive demonstration, we can for sure say that March 22 is of crucial importance. Nevertheless this day is not the last chapter in our struggle. On the contrary, March 22 is the catalyst of a long fight against the government.

If the government continues to ignore us after this day in the face of the largest student strike in the history of Quebec, we will not have any other choice but to significantly step up the pressure. This is why CLASSE is calling for a week of actions disrupting the economy and the State from March 26 to March 30. The March 22 protest shows a general and significant support for our struggle. Now we have to show that each day that the government refuses to listen to us will be a day in hell for it. Across the province we will block the State's administrative centres, we will paralyze key points of the economy; we will disrupt, where ever we are, the interests of the political and economic elite. We will force the Charet government to back down by disrupting its ministries, its crown corporations and by disrupting the economic activity of major corporations and the movement of goods in the economy....


I was at the family demo on Sunday, but couldn't attend the huge March 22nd one. Le Journal de Montréal, c'est de la marde.

The last huge demos I attended in Montréal were against the war on Iraq, in 2003. Bloody cold!


I also have a red fabric square hanging from my balcony.


Thanks for finding that photo, epaulo!!

And hi, lagatta!

Now, just in case Bärlüer thinks he found the most disgusting page from the MSM, here is an editorial by the editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald. WARNING: Click at your own risk!!

[url= students need lesson in equalization[/url]

My heartfelt apologies to all people of good taste and good manners.


M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Bärlüer wrote:

Le Devoir had a great front page today—love the headline...

[url='s an English translation of the lead article from today's Le Devoir.[/url]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


[url= government, student protestors exchange warnings one day after big rally[/url]


Students warned that they would target vulnerable ridings held by Jean Charest's Liberals while some even warned of gestures that might disrupt the economy.

Education Minister Line Beauchamp shot back with a warning of her own: get back to class, or there will be consequences. More than 200,000 students have been boycotting classes and staging frequent protests against tuition hikes.

"At this point, the students must understand that the biggest disturbance will be in their own lives," Beauchamp said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "Boycotting class will result in disrupting their lives. It could mean an extension of the session, makeup classes, possibly at night." [...]

One political scientist says that while low tuition is unsustainable, Charest likely underestimated the ferocity of the student opposition because young people do not usually vote in significant numbers.

"I think the assumption was that these people aren't going to vote — but suddenly these people are mobilizing," said Bruce Hicks, a political scientist at Montreal's Concordia University. "They're going to the streets, they're having demonstrations and they could actually vote.

"This could have a very negative effect on the Charest government," he said. "This would mean that the PQ would actually win the next election in Quebec."




Richard Martineau is a notorious anti-student columnist for the Journal de Montréal. He delights in characterizing students as spoiled brats. Scores of demonstrators yesterday carried placards which displayed a simple black-and-white photo of him, with a red clown's nose attached. No comment required.

On March 20, Martineau tweeted as follows:

Richard Martineau wrote:
Vu sur une terrasse à Outremont: 5 étudiants avec carré rouge, mangeant, buvant de la sangria et parlant au cellulaire. La belle vie!

In reply, some genius set up [url=]this site[/url], and invited the world to help Richard Martineau spy on students - using drop-down menus to create whistle-blowing tweets!

The custom tweets haven't stopped flowing since! And Martineau, of course, receives a copy of each one...

And here's a short piece describing the phenomenon:

[url= Richard Martineau spies on students - we need to help![/url]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

« Celui qui combat peut perdre, mais celui qui ne combat pas a déjà perdu. »

Pictures of solidarity from students around the world including places like Norway where students are paid to study.


Amazing - carry on!

[url= protests continue this week[/url]

Buoyed by their huge protest march against tuition hikes in Montreal last week, striking students say they are about to start targeting Liberal MNAs.

Beginning Monday, students will visit voters in 10 ridings across Quebec where Liberal MNAs were narrowly elected in the 2008 provincial election. They want to persuade swing voters in those ridings to vote for another party in the next election.


Students have identified “scandals” involving the Liberals in each of the ridings, and will talk to voters about them, Bureau-Blouin said. Targeted ridings include Châteauguay, represented by Transport Minister Pierre Moreau, Laval-des-Rapides, whose MNA is junior finance minister Alain Paquet.


Demonstrations are planned for March 27 in Montreal, Quebec City, St. Hyacinthe, St. Jean sur Richelieu and Laval, Bureau-Blouin said, with another scheduled for April 4 in Charest’s Sherbrooke riding.

In the next week planned strike activities on the island of Montreal include a parade through the downtown Montreal on March 29 and a “Tour de l’Île en rouge” with students on bicycles leaving from Lafontaine Park on April 1.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Taipei, March 26th: Rally against Tuition Fees

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Professeure suspendue pour délit de solidarité

QUÉBEC - Liette Yergeau, professeure au Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (CMM), vient d’être suspendue deux jours, sans solde, de son travail après s’être montrée solidaire de ses étudiants en grève. Furieuse, sa hiérarchie juge qu’elle a manqué de « loyauté » envers l’institution scolaire....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Des étudiants aspergés de gaz irritant dans le métro


Plusieurs étudiants ont été incommodés par du gaz irritant lancé vers eux par la police, en pleine station de métro Jarry.

Environ 150 étudiants déambulaient dans les rues du quartier Villeray, après avoir occupé les bureaux de la Fédération des cégeps pendant près de deux heures....


How Protest is Being Outlawed


The message being sent may as well have been printed on official police stationary and distributed outside the court: in protest situations, police are never in the wrong. Meadows is among the most high profile of dozens of protesters who have been tried for serious public order offences over the past eighteen months. As emergency measures against public assembly and popular protest are passed in time for the Olympics, any political direct action more energetic than standing silently with a few signs in designated areas is becoming functionally illegal in Britain.

The narrative of public dissent is being rewritten with astonishing speed. As police continue to crack heads with impunity, peaceful protesters are handed down harsh deterrent charges. Ten defendants in the Fortnum and Mason trial were recently given six-month suspended sentences for aggravated trespass, essentially for standing around in a grocery shop with some leaflets. I was there at the time, and the worst I saw was some slogans against corporate tax avoidance being carefully wrapped on printed ticker-tape around large stacks of Earl Grey tea. For those swept up in last year's riots, meanwhile, there hasn't been a crumb of mercy. As I write, teenagers are still in prison for creating Facebook events.....


It's great that Québec students have at least one genuine and eloquent ally in the Assemblée Nationale:

[url=]Amir Khadir on YouTube[/url]



Hundreds of students have been surrounding the S.A.Q. headquarters (provinicial liquor authority) this morning at De Lorimier and René-Lévesque in Montréal, blocking entry. It's part of the targeted action campaign announced for this week by the strike coordinators. The riot police have just arrived - more news to come.

UPDATE: Cops attacked the students, pepper-sprayed them, arrested at least one, and managed to squeeze in between the demonstrators and the SAQ HQ. The students then waved "bye bye" to the cops and are now marching west on René-Lévesque, followed by police. Don't know their destination. This is fun!

UPDATE 2: They've reached the Hall Building (Concordia U.), as of noon.



UPDATE 3: They headed back east to McGill, and are now apparently heading back toward Concordia.

Meantime, another sit-in has begun at the offices of the Montréal School Commission, to condemn them for blocking a high-school students' association from taking a position in favour of the strike.

And more to come!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


March 26, 2012, Montreal – This week, Quebec students escalate their tactics, building on almost one month of a general strike, and last Thursday’s massive demonstration against the Charest government tuition hikes.

The ongoing strike and Thursday’s historic demonstration are a starting point, not an end, as many student organizers have pointed out. The upcoming week of disruptive actions is especially important.....


Statement endorsed by:

- Solidarité sans frontières / Solidarity Across Borders –
- QPIRG Concordia / GRIP à Concordia –
- La Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes (CLAC) –
- Personne n’est illégal / No One Is Illegal-Montreal –
- Organisation populaire des droits sociaux de la région de Montréal –
- La Pointe Libertaire –
- Dignidad Migrante –
- Le Centre Social Autogéré –
- Réseau de la Commission Populaire / People’s Commission Network –
- Ste-Emilie Skillshare –
- Artivistic –
- Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC) –
- Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP) –
–> To endorse this callout, please contact . The callout will be re-sent this Thursday morning. <–
[By signing this callout, we will share information actively via our networks (public contact lists, public events, e-mail announcements, website, social media etc.) and publicly support students and their supporters who are organizing economic disruptions this week and beyond. We also support the CLASSE in opposing all tuition hikes, within the perspective of free access to education.]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

00 a.m.;Montreal police tweeted that they were forced to use pepper spray on the protestors at SAQ headquarters.

Just after 10:00 a.m.;Montreal police tweeted that they were forced to use pepper spray on the protestors at SAQ headquarters.

MONTREAL - After being dispersed by riot police near the Société des alcools du Québec's headquarters Tuesday morning, students opposing tuition increases massed downtown in the afternoon, preparing to march to Premier Jean Charest's Montreal office.

The afternoon rally began about 2 o'clock at Guy-Concordia métro station. Protesters were to march along Sherbrooke St. to Charest's office on McGill College Ave.....

Freedom 55

[url=]... furieux: Pris dans la foule, il se joint aux manifestants[/url]


Un automobiliste pris dans la manifestation étudiante à Montréal mardi était furieux de ne plus pouvoir avancer dans la foule massée devant les bureaux de Loto-Québec. Mais, faute de pouvoir bouger, il s'est finalement joint aux manifestants.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Thousands take part in Tuesday protest
Students protest against alleged hitting of student

Students who were supposed to occupy the Guy-Metro building today on Concordia’s downtown campus changed their plans and ended up merging with a protest in support of a student who was allegedly hit by a Concordia security guard yesterday.

The protest was called yesterday evening on Facebook, after a video showing a security guard seemingly hitting a student in the face attracted quite the attention on the Internet. The video, that had less than 400 viewers yesterday evening, now shows that almost 7,000 people have watched it. The Facebook event was calling for the support of all Montreal schools to join Concordia students against the “repressive” methods used by the university against students who choose to block access to classrooms.
Amber Gross, the philosophy student at McGill who was allegedly hit by the security guard, was walking by the protest today, surprised to see people recognized her in the street.
Gross explained that she and a group of students were met with violence by Concordia security when they were not actually picketing....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

An incomplete summary of Tuesday's actions:

Loto-Quebec offices in Montreal blocked;
March on Charest's Montreal offices;
Liquor Board's Montreal office blocked, closed for the day;
Major street blocked outside University of Concordia after campus security guard punched student;
Downtown streets blocked in Quebec City;
Minister of Finance offices blocked in Quebec City;
Students marched into Education ministry building also in Quebec City;
At least 500 students and locked out Rio Tinto Alcan workers from Alma march downtown Jonquiere;
In Chicoutimi, students occupy a floor at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi for one hour;
Sherbrooke, hundreds of students block traffic downtown;
Protests at 10 Liberal Party MP's offices across the province;
Other protests reported in Laval, St. Hyacinthe, and Val d'Or.


Students have blocked the Port of Montreal again.

Publié le 28 mars 2012 à 07h46 | Mis à jour à 15h44

«Pour que la grève aille jusqu'au bout»


Un autre rassemblement d'étudiants, celui-ci organisé par la CLASSE et par le cégep du Vieux-Montréal, se déplace dans les rues du centre-ville depuis 14 h.

Les élèves de cet établissement, qui ont voté un mandat de reconduction de grève jusqu'à la gratuité des droits de scolarité, souhaitent que la grève «aille jusqu'au bout».....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Today, a group of "teachers against the hike" disrupted a parlimentary commission presided by the minister of education to ask the governement to come to the negociation table with the student unions. Let's say this is a step further then signing a petition, sending an oped to the media or even joining students on a picket line or a demonstration. Actually, this kind of symbolic direct action *in solidarity* is really unusual.
Profs contre la hausse - Interruption de la commission parlementaire - 28 mars 2012



Students Won’t Back Down

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union held its third GA on March 27, resulting in a vote to extend the department’s original March 12 strike vote to an unlimited general strike.....


Cross-University Protesters Join Concordia Demonstration

Students from francophone universities and CEGEPs joined a Concordia student protest on March 27, marching through downtown Montreal in protest of the Charest government’s proposed tuition increases.

The demonstration began at the Hall building and continued throughout the afternoon.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Red Wave Hits Montreal
250,000 march against tuition fees in Quebec


The Montreal Media Co-op spoke with with students, teachers, artists, grandparents and others to get a sense of why they were out in the streets on March 22.

flight from kamakura

biggest day yet, amazing.  the government is cracking, offering to student financial aid to off-set increases in tuition.  keep it up!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Costumed students circle Montreal

9 min video

On a day of colourful street demonstrations that saw costumes fit for a masquerade ball, Quebec student protesters blocked access to Montreal's main courthouse, clogged several city boulevards, and vandalized police cars Thursday.

The daily battle over tuition hikes began with a crowd infiltrating the courthouse, while a group of 200 students also briefly occupied the lobby of a National Bank office in the city's financial district.

About midday, hundreds of students gathered in Phillips Square with plans to disperse in four different directions and block downtown roadways....


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

epaulo13 wrote:
Costumed students circle Montreal

Saw that on CBC Newsworld tonight - awesome!

I think 2012 is going the biggest year for demonstrations in Canada, ever.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:
Costumed students circle Montreal

Saw that on CBC Newsworld tonight - awesome!

I think 2012 is going the biggest year for demonstrations in Canada, ever.

..this is the future bb. direct democracy or so i believe.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

General strike!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture much more than that. collective determination as to how our world is organized rather than coporate domination with the ability to make it happen.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Jean Charest burns in effigy during a student demonstration against tuition increases in Montreal on Thursday.
After march on Charest's house, students hang and burn effigy of Quebec premier

MONTREAL - One day after student demonstrators marched on Jean Charest's family home, they staged a mock hanging and burned down an effigy of the Quebec premier during street protests Thursday.

That fiery stunt was among the multiple signs in downtown Montreal of the bitter feud over tuition hikes that has gripped the province.

During colourful street demonstrations that saw costumes fit for a masquerade ball, student protesters also blocked access to Montreal's main courthouse, clogged several city boulevards, and vandalized police cars Thursday.

The latest battle over tuition, which has now become a daily affair, began with a crowd infiltrating the courthouse in the morning. A group of 200 students also briefly occupied the lobby of a National Bank office in the city's financial district.

Student groups staged larger demonstrations in the afternoon, when four separate marches were making their way through the downtown core, snarling traffic....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Quebec student fails in legal bid to limit student protest actions

MONTREAL - A judge has rejected a motion by a law student who wanted to attend classes without being stopped by student protesters.


Charette had to demonstrate an urgency in his application and prove he had suffered irreparable harm. In his affidavit, he mentioned he'd missed two days of class in the last week, including last Monday after a protest blocked access to the Universite de Montreal.

He filed a motion against the law students' association, the student union, the university and an umbrella group of student groups that is one of the main protest organizers.

Justice Luc Lefebvre ruled Charette failed on all counts for the injunction.

"As the applicant has lost but two days of classes and that there is no intention to cancel this semester, this tribunal finds that the applicant has not demonstrated the irreparable harm required for issuing an injunction at the provisional stage," Lefebvre wrote....

Freedom 55

For those who can't get to Québec to join the students in person: [url=]Angry Grévistes[/url]


Great game, F55 - took me a while, but I beat RoBeauchamp!

Now, for tomorrow:

[url= protests: Series of April Fools marches planned[/url]

An April Fools march calling for higher tuition fees, a two-wheeled protest and a “family” demonstration outside the Laval venue where Premier Jean Charest is scheduled to appear on Sunday are among the events planned as Quebec students extend their strike into its third month.

And the university faculty unions are reiterating their support and exposing the government's lies:


Sunday’s agenda of protests comes in the wake of the public reiteration on Friday of support for the students’ cause from the unions representing Quebec’s university professors and personnel.

“If we’re here today it’s because we want to get the facts straight because the debate is now one of public opinion,” Michel Tremblay of the Fédération professionèles-CSN told reporters. “What’s being offered to public opinion by (Finance Minister Raymond Bachand and Education Minister Line Beauchamp) is that there was a place for us during consultations (for the financing of universities) in 2010 and that we left that consultation.

“But it was a mock consultation — there was only question: There will be an increase of $1625 in tuition fees. How should it be paid for? One payment? Deducted at source or by credit card?”



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