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Student strike against tuition fees hike

Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

This is it! Student unions that are taking part in CLASSE (Coalition large de l'ASSÉ—an ad hoc coalition built around the ASSÉ group of student unions but extending beyond the actual members of ASSÉ) have now reached the floor that had been determined for the unlimited general strike to take effect. As of the writing of this post, 18 student unions on 5 campuses representing around 20 210 students have obtained unlimited general strike mandates.

Strike mandates votes will continue to be held in other student unions in the coming days and weeks.

FECQ- and FEUQ-affiliated student unions are also contemplating the general strike option.

In fact, the mechanics of the strike are very similar to what happened in 2005, when a massive strike took place to protest cuts of $103 million in the Grants and Loans program: a group coalesced around the ASSÉ (then named the CASSÉÉ) took the initiative and FECQ- and FEUQ-affiliated unions gradually joined the movement. Even the timeframe is similar: the strike started on February 24 in 2005.

Some student unions might be beginning the strike as soon as next Monday.


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Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

I now understand that some FEUQ/FECQ-affiliated student unions have in fact already obtained strike mandates or will hold votes to this regard.


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

The strike has begun: 3 student unions representing around 7250 students from Université Laval and UQAM are now on strike. Around 5000 students will be joining them tomorrow. Others will be joining them in the coming days and weeks. Votes on strike mandates are still trickling in every day.


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Please read this superb editorial by Rima Elkouri in La Presse (she's really been on a roll lately with some great articles), a great summary of the stakes. Also remarkable for bringing the matter back to the essential question: what is it that we want of education.


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009

..this is exciting!!!!! thank you for the thread.


RevolutionPlease
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http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1132798--quebec-students-clash-with-police-during-tuition-protest?bn=1
Quote:
Along with other groups protesting service fee increases, students surrounded and blocked entrances to the Montreal Stock Exchange and the adjoining Delta hotel Thursday morning. Riot police were called and officers used tear gas and batons in the ensuing scuffles. Four people were arrested. In the hours that followed, the protesters taunted police. “Let us get an education,” they chanted, “so we don’t become policemen!” The university and college students are in the early stages of a province-wide strike, which is set to vastly increase in size and scope as more student associations in post-secondary institutions vote to strike.

Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Number of students on strike reaches 31,000 today, and will increase to 36,000 tomorrow!

 

And, this morning, students hung a red flag from the Jacques Cartier cross on Mount Royal - god I wish I had a photo of that - will keep looking! It's been taken down now.

 


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Outstanding. Students in Québec know how powerful they are (unless they go to McGill).


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

This is the best I could find. Non-Montréalers need to understand that the Jacques Cartier cross atop Mount Royal is visible from most of the city - and a red square is the symbol of the student protest movement:

ETA: Well, not really visible from "most" of the city - not if you're too close. But certainly when approaching the city, by road, air, etc.

 


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

A group of students has constructed a "wall of concrete" in front of MNA François Rebello's office. They say they are members of ACMÉ (Actions contre la marchandisation de l'éducation). ACMÉ—geddit? (I laughed.)

To recap, François Rebello recently left the PQ—whose position is supposed to be against the tuition fees hike and for a freeze—for the CAQ, which is favorable to the tuition fees hike. For additional irony points: Rebello once was a FEUQ (Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec) president.

Interestingly, another PQ deserter, Jean-Martin Aussant, has founded a party (Option nationale) which advocates for free tuition (as does Québec solidaire). Aussant has relayed a petition to table in the National Assembly calling upon the government to put aside its tuition fees increase plan. Please sign it!


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

I voted for Rebello in 2004 when he ran for the Bloc - I never saw all this coming...

However, I also voted for Amir Khadir in 2000 when he ran for the Bloc!! (Did I mention that I love QC politics?) And here is his status update on Facebook:

Amir Khadir wrote:
Motion de censure visant à faire tomber le gouvernement inscrite par Québec solidaire : Que l'Assemblée nationale retire sa confiance et blâme le gouvernement libéral pour la grave atteinte à l'accessibilité aux études et au droit à l'éducation que représente laugmentation cumulative de 1 625 $ en frais de scolarité pour des études universitaires à temps plein. La motion sera débattue mardi prochain.

Next Tuesday, the National Assembly will debate a QS non-confidence motion condemning the Liberal government for severely limiting access to education by its $1,625 phased increase in tuition fees.

That's how a sincere and reliable ally behaves. Let's see what the others do.



Unionist
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Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

A grab bag of items:


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Super!


Unionist
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About 15,000 students and supporters marched in Montréal today; a group blocked the Jacques-Cartier bridge until the riot squad dispersed them; and over 60,000 students are now on strike!


Catchfire
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Simonac, le Québec me manque.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Et tu nous manques aussi.

ETA: Tabarouette.

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

About 200 students have been blocking the entrances at CÉGEP de St-Laurent since 3:00 A.M. Even though classes are cancelled, the administration is trying to gain access to the building. Students are accusing management of having locked them out yesterday. The situation is developing, but police are on the scene and there's fear they may be preparing to force their way through the picket lines.

The MSM are also making a big deal out of the fact that one institution - only - has just voted 54% against joining the strike (Université du Québec en Outaouais, in Gatineau). It's one of the few, if not the only one, that didn't vote by faculty or department.

The organization coordinating the strike has also cautiously distanced itself from yesterday's one-hour blockade of the Jacques-Cartier bridge, which is one of the crucial rush-hour arteries. It was a spontaneous action by a few hundred students - they ended up being pepper-sprayed, and I think three arrests. The student leaders are acutely conscious of the need to keep public support onside during this struggle.

 


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Quick update: medicine students at Université de Montréal voted to join the strike. (Granted, it's only scheduled to start on March 20, but still.) I believe they voted on a "renewable" mandate of a couple of days. This is a pretty significant milepost. Even in 2005, when the strike movement got huge, they only were on strike for 3 days (which, at the time, was already a pretty big deal).


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Tout le monde en parle had a segment on the student strike on its last show (the link is to part 1 of 2).

They invited Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, of the CLASSE (who did quite well) and Arielle Grenier, of the astroturf... erm, sorry, of the MESRQ (who... um... well, insert-the-standard-saying-about-mothers-and-contingency-of-speech-WRT-presence-or-absence-of-nice-things-to-say.)


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

Concordia students plan 5-day sleep-in to protest fee hikes and urge fellow students to vote for strike:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Student+protesters+plan+sleep/621684...

 


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Amir Khadir in a press conference today:

Quote:
Encouragez-vous les étudiants à faire la grève? «Absolument. Si c'est nécessaire pour faire plier le gouvernement, absolument», a déclaré mardi la [sic] député de Québec solidaire en point de presse à l'Assemblée nationale.

I don't know who asked the question, but most likely it was intended to be a sort of "gotcha" question—or a question with an implicit "Surely you cannot be saying that..." preamble. But Amir just answers without any prevarication whatsoever.

Love it. Smile


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

The aggressive loudmouth Minister of "Education" Line Beauchamp has sent a letter to school administrations in effect telling them they can "ignore" student votes to strike and continue scheduling classes anyway. This move has been condemned by students and teachers alike:

Students blast Quebec education minister for urging schools to ignore strike

Quote:
Tension is mounting in Quebec colleges and universities as some schools are continuing with classes despite a student boycott – and students are livid that their protests are being dismissed. [...]

Dawson College has its vote on Thursday, while Concordia is to vote March 7. Most other universities are voting department by department.

The so-called directive was at the heart of a tense confrontation at the Université du Québec à Rimouski on Monday, when angry students blocked the entrance to the college and prevented staff from entering.

In the end, students and administrators agreed classes would be cancelled for the next two weeks, said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec. [...]

At Concordia, the administration has said teaching will continue in the event of a strike, though some staff have signed a declaration saying they pledge to accommodate students who boycott classes.

 


Bärlüer
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Joined: Aug 20 2007

Unionist wrote:

I voted for Rebello in 2004 when he ran for the Bloc - I never saw all this coming...

However, I also voted for Amir Khadir in 2000 when he ran for the Bloc!! (Did I mention that I love QC politics?) And here is his status update on Facebook:

Amir Khadir wrote:
Motion de censure visant à faire tomber le gouvernement inscrite par Québec solidaire : Que l'Assemblée nationale retire sa confiance et blâme le gouvernement libéral pour la grave atteinte à l'accessibilité aux études et au droit à l'éducation que représente laugmentation cumulative de 1 625 $ en frais de scolarité pour des études universitaires à temps plein. La motion sera débattue mardi prochain.

Next Tuesday, the National Assembly will debate a QS non-confidence motion condemning the Liberal government for severely limiting access to education by its $1,625 phased increase in tuition fees.

That's how a sincere and reliable ally behaves. Let's see what the others do.

So the vote on Amir Khadir's censure motion took place yesterday evening (and of course the motion did not pass).

The transmogrification of Rebello is now complete! He was there and voted as did his CAQ colleagues, with the government.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Is there a procedure under the Elections Act whereby I can formally withdraw my 2004 vote for Rebello?

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Demonstration today at the National Assembly in Québec City - and 98,500 students will be on strike by the end of the day!

Almost 100,000 students on strike today [en français]

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Thousands of students marched to the National Assembly this afternoon. Riot police had no choice but to defend the heart of our democracy in massive numbers, and then to use tear gas on the selfish and unruly students.

Video and report here


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

I am apalled, in spite of myself, at those police uniforms. These are the clothes of the stewards of the peace?

Bravo et courage aux étudiants!

ETA. Honestly, when I first saw the second picture, I thought it was a piece of theatrical resistence making a caricature of the state. Little did I know that the state had already made a caricature of itself.


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Thousands to march in Quebec City as strike movement nears 100,000


Momentum gaining at English schools, amid possible admin foul play

As thousands of students prepare to demonstrate in Quebec City this afternoon, the strike against tuition fee increases continues to grow: As of today, 84,500 students are officially on strike, with another 16,000 or so having voted in favor of a strike mandate, but not officially going on strike. This means the total could soon reach the 100,000 student mark, with some of the largest student associations in the province still to hold votes in the coming weeks.

Latest polls also indicate a majority of Quebeckers are supportive of the students' cause. Numbers released by Forum Research polling on Feb. 24 showed that 53 per cent of Quebeckers oppose the Liberal government's proposed increases....

http://montreal.mediacoop.ca/story/thousands-march-quebec-city-strike-mo...


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Student unions on strike & vote calendar

Total of student unions currently on strike:

72 students unions
Representing +/- 90 400 students

Total of students unions with a strike mandate – waiting to begin:

26 student unions
Representing +/- 16 152 students

Read more Student unions on strike & vote calendar



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