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Student Strike, Social Struggle #11

lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

summary translation of "la grève est étudiante; la lutte est sociale". And now lots of lovely tintamarres of pots, pans and other domestic items.


Comments

6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

@ Baerlueer

Thanks for the background to the employment law at the tail end of the last thread. That is truly fascinating. To clarify, I wasn't taking a poke at Quebec, I do realize that we have laws which are just as feudal. 

It is interesting that it actually says loyalty to "the employer" .  Loyalty to the the institution, to the field, to the people being served is one thing, but to be compelled to support management even in bad decisions flies in the face of almost every labour dispute, especially ones in which workers did not go to the line for themselves so much as protecting the interests of the public. 

And that would be the case in this dispute.

I know things are sometimes written just so, and not meant to be taken literally (like the lyrics to our anthem). The idea that someone would try to crack the whip on employees on that point is a perfect example of how far some of them are removed from the reality of the situation.

 


epaulo13
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Quebec students ready for tuition hike, says one leader

The outgoing president of Quebec's College Student Federation (FECQ), Leo Bureau-Blouin, says students are "ready for a compromise" on tuition fees, as the Quebec government and the province's student associations prepare to resume talks in an effort to end the conflict that has gripped the province for over three months.

In an interview airing on CBC Radio's The House on Saturday, Bureau-Blouin tells host Evan Solomon that he believes "we are ready for a compromise — and if the Quebec government is ready for it too, I think we can come to something."....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/05/26/pol-the-house-qu...


Bärlüer
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6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Baerlueer

Thanks for the background to the employment law at the tail end of the last thread. That is truly fascinating. To clarify, I wasn't taking a poke at Quebec, I do realize that we have laws which are just as feudal.

It is interesting that it actually says loyalty to "the employer" .  Loyalty to the the institution, to the field, to the people being served is one thing, but to be compelled to support management even in bad decisions flies in the face of almost every labour dispute, especially ones in which workers did not go to the line for themselves so much as protecting the interests of the public.

And that would be the case in this dispute.

There are qualifications, exceptions, "temperances" (tempéraments) to it—the obligation is not absolute (unfortunately, the case law, at least in Quebec, tends to be very harsh). And I wish freedom of expression would weigh more heavily in the balance in these cases.

For example, union representatives have what's called a "relative immunity" to this obligation. If they didn't have that, they would be completely unable to do their job.

There are also exceptions related to whistleblowing—protection of the public from hazards, etc. But these are rather restrictive and I can guarantee you that they would not apply in the instant case.

 

To get back on track: here's a good article in today's edition of Le Devoir on Anarchopanda. His commitment to the movement is amazing.


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Anarchopanda meets the Socialist Squirrel!


Boom Boom
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epaulo13 wrote:
Quebec students ready for tuition hike, says one leader

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/05/26/pol-the-house-qu...

Q: if this compromise indeed happens, will there be any further struggle to make university education free in Quebec? Too early to tell, I guess.

love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

hahaha, that panda/squirrel photo is gold!

something tells me that this copper is going to become very well known in the days and weeks to come: http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/justice-et-faits-divers/...


Freedom 55
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epaulo13 wrote:

Quebec students ready for tuition hike, says one leader

 

Meh. Even Quebec's finance minister doesn't believe this will amount to much. It's gotta sting just a little when you announce that you're ready to back down on your demands, and the government has this to say about you:

Quote:

"I'm not sure [Bureau-Blouin] is supported by his base," Bachand said. "It's a nice overture but [Bureau-Blouin] represents a minority of a minority of students."

 


Freedom 55
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epaulo13 wrote:

Anarchopanda meets the Socialist Squirrel!

 

I wonder where CLACoon is in all this?


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

'Quebec Protests No Longer Simply a Student Issue' - Journalist

http://www.rt.com/news/quebec-protest-wider-issue-282/

"...it is an ideological movement. It no longer just encompasses the issue of tuition increases. It's no longer simply a student issue. The issue is much larger now.."

Canada Protest Spreads as Arrest List Hits 2,500 Benchmark

http://www.rt.com/news/canada-protest-spreads-ontario-284/

"Ontario students have pledged to take to the streets in solidarity with their protesting fellows in Montreal and other cities of Quebec. The students are defying emergency laws the authorities are imposing to curb the wave of dissent. 'The most important thing we can do in Ontario to support the struggle in Quebec is to bring the spirit of democracy and activism into the province of Ontario,' said student and activist Xavier Lafrance as cited by the Toronto Sun. 'The spirit is in the air. Mr McGuinty needs to be aware that it can and will happen in Ontario.."


love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

this is the number 1 recommended article on lemonde.fr at the moment, a straightforward outline of the enjeux by an absurdly accomplished - if not quite universally known - montreal novelist, that finishes with the following:

Cette jeune génération qui se met en travers du chemin du Parti libéral au pouvoir et la répression de sa colère ont fait entrer le Québec dans le temps de la fiction. La société québécoise a besoin de moments charnières pour avancer, mais elle devra trouver le chemin de l'apaisement. Je formule le souhait que les jeunes Québécois votent massivement aux prochaines élections provinciales, qu'ils ont l'habitude de bouder. Il faut redessiner le visage du Québec.

Je me demande si nous n'assistons pas là à la naissance d'un Québec nouveau, qui n'oublierait pas son histoire récente et ne ferait plus la sourde oreille aux revendications de ses enfants. Ce sont ces enfants du Québec qui financeront les soins de santé de ceux qui les méprisent aujourd'hui, car c'est un Québec juste, socialement responsable, que cette génération tournée vers l'autre désire plus que tout.

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2012/05/26/nuits-blanches-a-montreal...

yep.  when i explained to an ex-montrealer what was going down in quebec, she said fairly flatly, "yeah, it's been building for years, i'm surprised it took this long."  it struck me that i was struck by how plain it seemed to her.  like yeah, the political system has been so un-representative for so long that we've basically developed our politics completely outside of the party structures that exist in the ndp provinces.  i think what perrine leblanc is saying there is that having worked from the outside for so long, against a political class that's almost universally despised, the task is for us to parlay this movement into a new narrative of quebec's values and aspirations.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Thread drift:

Bärlüer, previous thread wrote:

Well the terms "master-servant relationship" are still used sometimes to this day...

This is in no way specific to Quebec BTW: the same kind of obligation exists WRT employment contracts in common law jurisdictions.

Exactly right. In practice, I know of no difference at all between the law in Québec and the rest of Canada, except that the law here is written down. Employees owe a duty of "loyalty" to their employer, generally meaning they can't defame it or harm its reputation. When it's a matter of a government employee speaking out on a matter of public policy, the case law gets much more complicated - because Charter issues will also be involved, which is not the case with non-governmental employers.

This gives a quick picture of some key Supreme Court decisions in this regard.

Sorry, back to the movement!

Bang bang, you shot me down, bang bang, I hit the ground, bang bang, like the Mary Ellen Carter my pots and I will rise again!

Charest - wouhou!!

 


Freedom 55
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Joined: Mar 14 2010

love is free wrote:

the political system has been so un-representative for so long that we've basically developed our politics completely outside of the party structures that exist in the ndp provinces.

Which is a huge reason why this movement has so much breadth and strength, and why many of us outside Quebec can't help feeling just a tinge of envy, knowing that we're so far from being able to muster anything close to what's happening there. Not that our political systems aren't just as un-representative, but for better or worse (ok, I guess I'm saying worse), so much of the hope and energy for change gets channeled into the NDP.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

and that's their function in the Canadian body politic, their great service to the Canadian ruling class and why no change is taking place. An example is the spectacular lack of response to the Lib-NDP Ont. austerity budget with its vicious attacks upon the poor here. With reference to the student movement's success in Quebec - any attempts to emulate that in Ontario will first need to extricate from the smothering effects of close Canadian Federation of Students' (CFS) ties to the NDP.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Has everyone forgotten Occupy? 

Yes it is happening in Quebec right now. Since it concerns Quebec tuition fees I'd be a bit surprised if the first wave of protest started in Calgary. And yes, it is inspiring.

But I'd hold off on crying in our beers, or making up reasons why it is impossible for anything like this to happen anywhere else. Seems to me there are things that can be done to help what is going on there right now, if someone is so inclined.

And as for the rest of Canada, things may yet get very interesting.

 

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
The student protests have gone beyond just "tuition fee increases" and could fit nicely with Occupy.

Boom Boom
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Souvenirs of Monreal: http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s320x320/154514_352865978... Can't hotlink today - what's up with that???

Freedom 55
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Joined: Mar 14 2010

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Has everyone forgotten Occupy?

 

No, I haven't forgotten Occupy, but I don't think it's inaccurate or unfair to the positive stuff that's come from that movement to say that it hasn't come anywhere close to achieving the same resonance with the general public (so far).

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Yes it is happening in Quebec right now. Since it concerns Quebec tuition fees I'd be a bit surprised if the first wave of protest started in Calgary.

 

Well, obviously the fight against an increase in Quebec students' tuition isn't going to start anywhere but Quebec. But as the apologists for austerity have reminded us ad nauseum from day one of this strike (or at least from the day they finally decided to acknowledge its existance), students in other parts of Canada were already paying higher tuition than their Quebec counterparts - with more increases to come - and yet the only pushback that I'm aware of is the CFS' Day of Action ritual. The point is that students in other parts of the country have had every reason to fight for more accessible education in their own provinces, but for some reason they haven't. I'm certainly not saying that it can't happen. I'm just looking to understand the reasons why it hasn't happened.

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Seems to me there are things that can be done to help what is going on there right now, if someone is so inclined.

 

Definitely. Which reminds me; I should be getting ready to head out to join tonight's manif nocturne in Gatineau.

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And as for the rest of Canada, things may yet get very interesting.

 

I hope so. Smile

 

Before anyone scolds us; maybe this discussion belongs in a different thread(?)


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
So many threads and posts, hard to tell if a link has been posted earlier or not. If so, my apologies. No, The Student Protest Is Not Just About Tuition http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/larry-rousseau/quebec-protest_b_1541432.htm... Just as there are reasonable alternatives to cutting public services at any level of government in Canada, there are also many viable alternatives to raising Quebec's tuition fees that should be considered. But these, unfortunately, have been successfully kept out of the realm of public discussion over the course of this strike. ...good discussion on taxes follows, including this: "...And what about mining royalties? Quebec is extremely well endowed with raw materials and natural resources, but are citizens getting a fair share of that wealth? In 2011, MiningWatch Canada and Québec meilleure mine observed that the province "still ranks near the bottom of the heap in the collection of mineral royalties," and that it "was only paid $114 million on revenues of over $5.6 billion." It is no coincidence that only a couple of months after Premier Jean Charest went on his province-wide dog and pony show to sell off Québec's immense northern riches, through his Plan Nord, students went on strike over plans to raise tuition fees." (hotlinking appears to be turned off...)

epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009

An Open Letter to the Mainstream English Media:

Thank you; you are a little late to the party, and you are still missing the mark a lot of the time, but in the past few days, you have published some not entirely terrible articles and op-eds about what’s happening in Quebec right now. Welcome to our movement.

Some of you have even started mentioning that when people are rounded up and arrested each night, they aren’t all criminals or rioters. Some of you have admitted that perhaps limiting our freedom of speech and assembly is going a little bit too far. Some of you are no longer publishing lies about the popular support that you seemed to think our government had. Not all of you, mind you, but some of you are waking up.

That said, here is what I have not seen you publish yet: stories about joy; about togetherness; about collaboration; about solidarity. You write about our anger, and yes, we are angry. We are angry at our government, at our police and at you. But none of you are succeeding in conveying what it feels like when you walk down the streets of Montreal right now, which is, for me at least, an overwhelming sense of joy and togetherness....

http://translatingtheprintempserable.tumblr.com/post/23754797322/an-open...


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
epaulo13: great link (and photo!)

Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
I wonder what this could be? Msg received today: "An anonymous tipster who works for SPVM has told me that they should be receiving new crowd dispersal equipment shortly. As always, be careful out there." Link: http://www.facebook.com/messages/524758194#!/CUTVmontreal/posts/462641003762001

Left Turn
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Has everyone forgotten Occupy? 

Yes it is happening in Quebec right now. Since it concerns Quebec tuition fees I'd be a bit surprised if the first wave of protest started in Calgary. And yes, it is inspiring.

But I'd hold off on crying in our beers, or making up reasons why it is impossible for anything like this to happen anywhere else. Seems to me there are things that can be done to help what is going on there right now, if someone is so inclined.

And as for the rest of Canada, things may yet get very interesting.

Things could get very interesting -- and ugly -- here in BC down the road when the Enbridge pipeline gets approved and construction starts. The indigenous people in this province won't be taking it lying down. And when the repression comes against the indigenous peoples standing up and defending there territories, there sure as hell better be a massive solidarity movement in this province.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

May 25: Quebec Tornado Protest + Arcade Fire (and vid)

http://youtu.be/sLnBD03LPKM

"Student strike has led to 'Social Strike' & social strike should make broader social demands in our communities and workplaces. My social strike demands: free public transport; police banned from colleges; regularization for all sans-papiers; cancel plan Nord.."

(jaggimontreal) on Twitter

 


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Five Thoughts From Quebec on Organizing Student Strikes  -  by Jamie Burnett

http://rebelyouth-magazine.blogspot.ca/2012/05/five-thoughts-from-quebec...

"I thought I'd put together a few ideas about how to organize strikes in English Canada, specifically Ontario. I'm basing this on my own experiences doing student-strike organizing at McGill..."

 


Ethan Cox
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Joined: Sep 4 2011

My latest article from the front page, a love letter of sorts to nos casseroles.

It starts in Quebec: our revolution of love, hope and community: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ethan-cox/2012/05/it-starts-quebec-our-revolution-love-hope-and-community


Hope y'all like it! :)


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Awesome article, Ethan - the kind that unites age groups, nationalities, etc., just as the movement does. Well done!

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Amnesty International has condemned Bill 78:

Quebec law breaches Canada’s international human rights obligations

Quote:

“Bill 78 is an affront to basic freedoms that goes far beyond what is permissible under provincial, national or international human rights laws,” said Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International.

“It is unreasonable and unacceptable to require citizens to apply to the authorities in advance any time they wish to exercise a basic human right. Quebec’s National Assembly should rescind this restrictive law immediately.”

The overbroad provisions of Bill 78 are contrary to Canada’s international obligations with regard to a number of human rights, including the rights to freedom of assembly and association, the right to freedom of expression, the right to the presumption of innocence, and – in the case of restrictions on university employee associations – many of the rights related to trade union activity.

 


cco
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Joined: Apr 25 2005
Hey Ethan, don't I know you from somewhere? ;)

lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002
A decent report from the Guardian. Comments follow, kicked off by the typical neo-con commenter, but lagatta has answered him and you should too. I forgot to mention cuts to scientific research (though that is also on the Federal side), but it is among those negative social choices: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/26/montreal-casseroles-student-... And, of course, the anti-democratic aspects of the special law itself.

lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002
A decent report from the Guardian. Comments follow, kicked off by the typical neo-con commenter, but lagatta has answered him and you should too. I forgot to mention cuts to scientific research (though that is also on the Federal side), but it is among those negative social choices: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/26/montreal-casseroles-student-... And, of course, the anti-democratic aspects of the special law itself.

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