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Activist Communiqué: Masquerade solidarité in support of the Quebec student strike on Friday

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Masquerade Solidarité: Students and Allies United Against Tuition Fees!
Street Party and Demonstration

Friday June 22, 2012.
http://www.osmc.ca

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHO:
Ontario Students' Mobilisation Coalition, a grassroots collective of students, alumni, workers, and community members of all backgrounds.

WHAT:
Masquerade Solidarité, a street party/demonstration to denounce unconstitutional laws limiting free speech and to demand free and accessible education for all.

WHERE:
St. George Subway Station, Bloor St. and Bedford, Toronto, ON.

WHEN:
Friday, June 22nd 2012 at 7 p.m.

Toronto, June 19, 2012 - - On the evening of Friday, June 22nd, students, parents, workers, and friends will march en masquerade. Starting at Bedford and Bloor (St. George Subway Station), and organized through the Ontario Students' Mobilisation coalition (OSMC), we march in strong solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike, and to call for free, accessible, and equitable education for students in Ontario.

"The government of Ontario is in a long process of perverting our education system: tuition fees have increased more than twice the rate of inflation, classroom sizes continue to grow, and corporate interest has infiltrated all aspects of postsecondary education", says Roxy Cohen, member of OSMC. "Rather than being for the full development of the individual human personality, our education is dehumanizing, privatized, and increasingly inaccessible. Frankly, we're not going to stand for it anymore. We're here to get our rights respected again."

This masquerade is set to highlight repressive laws preventing rights to self-determination, expression, association, and peaceful demonstration. Bill 78 is discriminatory and disgusting, and the federal Bill C-309's similar ban on masks is an affront to democratic engagement. Participants in the masquerade are encouraged to wear masks, bring instruments, and bring attention to these serious problems through fun and peaceful collective action.

This event is based on the tradition of charivari, a form of political protest dating back to the 16th century most recently exemplified by the casseroles and masquerades in Quebec. Our targets are the federal and provincial governments, our reason: the continued exploitation of students and perversion of the education system through privatization, cuts to funding, and mounting debt.

"The issues of high-debt, unemployment, poverty, and post-secondary education as an "expense" that students, families and our future generations face, is not okay - we won't accept the status quo," says Salomeh Ahmadi, a recent graduate with student debt, "We are protesting that students are not a commodity with a market value, but an investment. These issues are getting worse, so we have to demand that alternatives exist."

The streets of Toronto: filled with the most beautiful masks and costumes - a party. A party with a purpose: to heckle our governments for their dehumanizing policies, and their unwillingness to respect, protect, and fulfill those most fundamental rights to which they already agreed decades ago.

The Ontario Students' Mobilisation Coalition is a grassroots network of students, alumni, workers, and individuals of all backgrounds working together to eradicate tuition fees, tear down the barriers to education, and protest illegal government behaviour.
For Further Information: http://www.osmc.ca
Follow us @OntarioSMC

For media inquiries contact:

Roxanne Cohen
905-717-0765
roxanne_cohen@hotmail.com

Salomeh Ahmadi
647 285-5754
salomeh_ahmadi@hotmail.com

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