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Student strike against tuition hike #4

cco
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Joined: Apr 25 2005

Continued from here.


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Freedom 55
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Joined: Mar 14 2010

good synopsis of last night's student demonstration...

Fifteen thousand take to Montreal streets as Quebec government plays semantics, blocks negotiations

Quote:

At the end of a day where 15,000 people took to the streets, a day that saw the provincial government play the worst kind of politics during negotiations with student representatives, you'd be hard pressed to get any of that from the night's headlines.

Also invisible from those opening lines are any mention of police actions. Actions which, if you were watching the live stream from CUTV, checking out clips on Youtube, or even following nearly any twitter feed (let alone if you were actually at the protest), did more to set off tensions than anything protesters did tonight.

 


cco
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Joined: Apr 25 2005
The government is now refusing to meet with representatives of CLASSE in any way, including as part of the FEUQ/FECQ delegations. Presumably, they're settling in for the long haul.

Unionist
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CLASSE will organize a demo in Montréal every evening at 8:30 pm until at least May 4. 


cco
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Last night I had RDI on parallel to the CUTV stream, and couldn't help but notice that RDI was pirating the CUTV feed throughout much of the night to get live updates. I really hope they're paying CUTV for the use of their footage, as CUTV made repeated financial appeals throughout the stream reminding people of how expensive live coverage like that is.

Boom Boom
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cco
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It looks like they didn't get advance permission, but contacted them today to offer to pay for the footage. TVA is still refusing to return their calls. There will not be a live stream tonight.

Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

This evening's demonstration has already been declared "illegal" by the fascist pigs. This has become standard operating practice.


Unionist
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epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Chile to Raise Corporate Taxes as Students Reignite Protests

Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera will raise corporate taxes to fund education as he looks to head off a repeat of last year’s students protests that shuttered schools and led to weekly confrontations with police.

The government will increase the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 18.5 percent, while reducing income taxes and the stamp duty on loans, Pinera said in a televised address to the nation last night. The state will also cut fuel costs through a sliding tax rate and increase taxes on hard liquor. The measures will raise as much as $1 billion a year, Pinera said.

The government decided to overhaul the tax system after students led seven months of demonstrations last year to pressure authorities to increase spending on education. Protests resumed this week with at least 48,000 students marching through Santiago, the biggest demonstration in seven months, according to police estimates.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-27/chile-to-raise-corporate-tax-ra...


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Proposal for a Social Strike this May 1st and 15th

We’ve been discussing a social strike for some time now and it’s high time that we translate words into actions. The fight against the tuition hike is not a question of nickels and dimes; it’s a struggle that is calling for a radical transformation of society. A transformation that rejects the austerity politics of the current government. Health tax, tuition fee increases, increases in rents and electricity fees, restrictions on the right to strike, the pillage of natural resources, and failure to respect the rights of aboriginal peoples…

In the face of such social attacks, there is only one possible response: social strike!

A social strike is the simultaneous strike of all workers and all actors in a society, whether salaried or not. It’s an opportunity not only to demonstrate general discontent with government policies, but also to attack directly the only thing that the government seems to hold dear: business as usual. Thus we urge all of civil society to join the student movement in days of mass general protests.

This call for a social strike is made in the broad spirit of protest against the neoliberal policies that are being imposed on us.

Many student associations, unions and social groups have already taken positions in this direction.

Yesterday, the students in the faculty of social sciences at UQAM (AFESH-UQAM) called for days of social strike and economic disruption this May 1st and 15th.

So we invite you to adopt a similar position and to begin meetings and negotiations with unions and community groups in your area to broaden this event and to maximize its impact.

At the end of this message we have included the wording of the proposal that the AFESH-UQAM

adopted and we ask you to adopt it in turn.

In solidarity,

Profs contre la hausse (Profs against the hike)

Enough is enough! Social strike!

http://rougesquad.org/en/content/proposal-social-strike-may-1st-and-15th

 


epaulo13
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Proposal for a Social Strike (by AFESH-UQAM)

Whereas the student strike movement has reached a historic magnitude and the obstinacy of the ruling political class is equally historic in its refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of student demands,

Whereas the student strike movement aspires in its struggle to a radical social transformation and as such goes beyond mere corporatist interests,

Whereas the hike in tuition fees represents only one aspect of a much large plan of austerity measures aimed at privatizing a growing number of social spheres and bearing in mind the related or connected issues of the health tax, the hike in electricity fees and the hike in cost of rents,

Noting the climate of anti-unionism aided by the relentlessness and mediocrity of many politicians and leaders, which is expressed through widespread lock-outs, restrictions on the right to strike and the tacit support of strike breakers,

Noting further that it is a matter of utmost urgency that we step up the strike movement in the face of government inaction and that the student movement has the potential to act as a catalyst for other social struggles, (your student association) calls for a social strike for May 1st and 15th of this year, so that these dates become days of general social strike and economic disruption;

Given that the organization of this social strike is a matter of emergency in order to ratchet up the pressure on the government, be it further resolved that (your student association) will without delay reach out to various provincial and regional unions and community groups;

Be it resolved that (your student association) call on its member associations to make contact with their regional unions and community groups;

Be it resolved that (your student association) promote the social strike to the wider public by whatever means available;

Be it resolved that (your student association) explain and popularize the idea of a social strike to its members and in its appeals to the public in general;

Be it resolved that the days of social strike be in solidarity with the striking workers at AVEOS and Rio Tinto and all other currently active social and union movements;

Be it resolved that (your student association) also bring all these demands to CLASSE.

http://rougesquad.org/en/content/proposal-social-strike-may-1st-and-15th


epaulo13
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BLOG: Montreal Demonstration “Turned Violent” When Police Shot Explosives at Us Front-Line Account of April 25th Montreal Student Demo

Montreal - I was at last night’s demonstration in Montreal. What was most impressive was that 15,000 people showed up to a night demo, knowing that there was a certainty of brutal police repression, but they showed up anyway. It was without a doubt the most intense demonstration I’ve ever been to: but its been par for the course for people here in Montreal, and they keep showing up in the streets, day after day.....

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/megan-kinch/10656


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
The Doors Open Charest, Beauchamp Offer Alternative to $1625 Hike

Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Education Minister Line Beauchamp announced a tweaked alternative to planned tuition fee increases at a press conference on April 27.

In an attempt to calm the waters of a province stricken by 11 weeks of non-stop student action, the Premier announced a set of alterations to its intended $1625 tuition increase over five years—stretching instead an increase of $1778 over seven years.

In addition to a slower tuition increase, the government is offering an extra $39 million to bursaries and loans, as well as making loan payments proportional to income....

http://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/2978


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

[deleted my criticism of the article - on further reflection, I agree with epaulo's take below]

This is a desperate government indeed. Every day, and every move they make, they hope to insert one more tiny crack of division and frustration and doubt in the students' ranks. The students will need all the moral and physical support we can muster to stay united and strong in the face of these attacks.

 


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009

..i disagree unionist that this is a terrible article. the journalist is reporting what is being said. he ends by saying this:

quote:

However, some students are already calling this latest attempt by the government an insult, and expressing that this negotiation will not be accepted by any group.

The Coalition Large d’ASSE (CLASSE) said on Twitter that these alternatives still do not respond adequately to the demands of students on strike.

Student groups have expressed that they need time to discuss these new measures, however several Facebook groups indicate plans for another night of protest.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Highly reputed Québec actor, author, and playwright Alexis Martin was attacked and arrested April 25, even though he wasn't participating in that evening's demo and never heard the police declaration that it was "illegal".

Although in no way resisting, he was struck in the arm and the abdomen while trying to explain to a riot cop that he wasn't part of the group. He was made to sit in the road for 45 minutes before being searched, handcuffed, and boarded onto a bus where he was made to wait for 2 hours, his hands cuffed behind his back. He was released in the early hours of the morning after being handed a $146 "contravention".

Alexis Martin said in his public statement [my translation]:

Quote:

For the good of everyone, the government must negotiate the tuition fee hike with the students. That's my personal conviction. At the same time, the students don't need me to express their demands. They are doing so with great intelligence. [...] [My two hours in the bus] at least allowed me to discover, to my satisfaction, the calm, intelligence, and humour of these young men and women who show a profound understanding of the essence of democracy: Speaking out.

The story is detailed here.


cco
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Joined: Apr 25 2005
Seeing as Charest is a known fan of the mafia, perhaps this should be the student counteroffer: Nothing.

Freedom 55
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kropotkin1951
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I am really impressed with this young activist.  She certainly is persuasive.


epaulo13
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'Cop brutality fuels fire of student anger in Canada'

video

160 protests within just two months - and Canada's student uprising continues unabated. And, with new clashes on Thursday night, the standoff over tuition fee hikes is turning increasingly violent. Centering on the country's second largest city of Montreal, clashes resumed after talks collapsed between student leaders and authorities. Riot officers charged, maced and detained dozens of protesters, while the police chief publicly complained that his forces were worn out. The students are incensed over a tuition fees rise which the government says is necessary. But journalist Bernard Desgagne, says heavy-handed policing will only provoke the students further.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxCJQ6kK0no&feature=g-all-u

............

@CUTVnews - Montreal says "NO!", protest confront po..

video

http://www.livestream.com/cutvmontreal/video?clipId=pla_70373962-b1c8-47...


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Thousands of students have been marching in the streets of Montréal. At about 10:15 pm, as usual, the demo was declared "illegal" - there had been one arrest and apparently two windows broken. And some graffiti! Horrors! But the demo continued, and the riot squad was too chickenshit to launch a full-scale attack on such a huge group. Now there seems to have been a charge at the front of the demo (it's on Ste-Catherine St. near Place des Arts, on the way back to the Émilie-Gamelin square starting point), but I don't know more than that yet.

One thing is clear. The student movement has powerfully answered "NO!" to Charest's mockery and cynicism. It makes you proud.

 


epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Gov’t is asking for trouble by refusing to negotiate with students

OTTAWA –“The Quebec government's refusal to negotiate in good faith is driving an overwhelmingly peaceful protest movement into a more desperate position,” says Gaétan Ménard, Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

“The government’s announcement this morning is an insult to Quebecers intelligence and is pure demagoguery, says Menard.

“Simply maintaining the fee increase amounts to closing the door on negotiations. This government is playing politics on the backs of students. Its arrogance and refusal to negotiate with the students is just asking for trouble.”

“Education minister Line Beauchamp and premier Jean Charest must take responsibility for the deteriorating situation,” adds Menard, who has joined the student protests and done a number of media interviews to
support the students’ demands.

Ménard stresses that the union movement is there in a supportive role because the Charest government is clearly not hearing their message.


Catchfire
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Via Dru Oja Jay

epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009

On April 25 workers at Pearson airport in Toronto wore red squares to show solidarity with the strike.

Fwd: 4/25 Photos www.flickr.com

epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Quebec student fight gains international attention

video

MONTREAL — What began as a provincial policy spat over tuition hikes in Quebec has transformed, in just over a year, into a movement of broader student unrest now receiving some international attention.

In the last few days, Quebec's student protests have received coverage in French news outlets like Le Monde and Agence France-Presse, in Australia, in New Zealand, and in the U.S., including on CNN.

A New York Times blog suggested tuition fees and student debt could become a key theme in President Barack Obama's bid for re-election as the president tries to energize young voters. The "French-Canadian students" were cited as an example in the tuition debate, as part of an international outcry against the high price of education.

The annual tuition for a private university in the U.S. is over $30,000 a year, with collective student debt poised to reach $1 trillion -- which is even more than all the credit-card debt in that country. So why should Quebecers be complaining about a comparably measly $1,625-a-year hike?

Protesters say it's because they want their education system to move in the other direction -- away from the U.S. model and closer to a system like Sweden's, where post-secondary education is free.

The opposition has grown steadily, ever since the Quebec government announced its $325-a-year, five-year increases in the March 2011 budget. While the move would still leave Quebec with some of the lowest tuition rates in the country, protesters say they're fighting for principles......

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20120428/quebec-student-fight-gains-international-attention-120428/#ixzz1tMKLedH4

epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
The Quebec Student Movement Needs Our Union Solidarity And Money!

On April 25th my union local, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 3906, representing  almost 3,000 academic workers at McMaster University, voted to give the student federation ASSE 10,000 dollars.

We did this for several reasons. We recognized that the months long student strike to stop the Charest governments’ tuition hike  was important, not just for students in Quebec but across the country. We also saw that the strike was taking on a new dimension. It was becoming more about the rejection of Charest’s neoliberal policies than just about student concerns. The April 22nd march of 300,000 people was emblematic of this turn. We believed that the state was beginning to really try to repress the strike through violence. The strikers, unlike in some labour struggles, could not be forced back to school through a government order. We also noted that the main organization CLASSE – which includes ASSE – had a huge need for funds. The arrests, tickets and the general organizing costs of running a months long strike with over 170,000 people required huge resources.

After some debate we decided we could afford to give, what I believe is the single largest donation we have ever given. It should also be noted that CUPE 3902, representing academic workers at University of Toronto also gave 20,000 dollars. While the sum of money given is great, so to is the need. We did not give this money out of a sense of sympathy or charity, rather we gave this money in the spirit of solidarity and as part of a strategy to counter neoliberalism and austerity.

After some debate we decided we could afford to give, what I believe is the single largest donation we have ever given. It should also be noted that CUPE 3902, representing academic workers at University of Toronto also gave 20,000 dollars. While the sum of money given is great, so to is the need. We did not give this money out of a sense of sympathy or charity, rather we gave this money in the spirit of solidarity and as part of a strategy to counter neoliberalism and austerity.

The Quebec student strike is the current frontline in the battle against austerity. A victory by students against Charest’s austerity would be a boon to the left in North America. It would a powerful lesson of solidarity and collective power. To rollback the cuts in Quebec is to get the ball rolling for the left in North America. A strategic allocation of funds to ASSE – the most active and solid of the three student federations – in the next two weeks could mean the difference between defeat and victory.

If you are a rank and file member or an elected official in a union please consider making a motion at your next local meeting to donate to ASSE to help ensure victory for the Quebec student strike. I know funding and supporting local struggles is important but if your local has any money to give please consider. The time is now.

https://hammerhearts.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/the-quebec-student-movemen...


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Night march anger targets Charest's offer

Quote:
For the third night in a row, students took to the streets in downtown Montreal Friday, venting a fresh sense of betrayal and with no end in sight for the 11-week-old strike by 180,000 students across the province.

Police made 35 arrests. Of those, 24 were men, 11 were women and three were youth, according to the Montreal police.

Premier Jean Charest and Education Minister Line Beauchamp earlier on Friday made public the government's offer to the students, which includes $39 million more for bursaries, increased eligibility for student loans and phasing in the tuition hike over seven years rather than five.

But student leaders rejected the proposal, and titled the nightly demonstration's theme as "It's not an offer, it's an insult." Protesters expressed deep disappointment with the government which, until Wednesday had been in face-to-face talks with the three main student groups.

"I don't feel it was an honest offer," said Étienne De Sève, a 31-year-old Université du Québec à Montréal student, about the proposal, saying that it does not deal with the students' core demand - a freeze in tuition fees at 2012 levels.


M. Spector
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Excerpt from a statement issued by CLASSE, the largest of the student coalitions or federations leading the strike movement:

Quote:
Toward a social strike

It’s a student strike, a people’s struggle.

Hike in tuition fees is part of “the cultural revolution”.

 

For several weeks now a student revolt has shaken the neoliberal consensus imposed for many years by the Quebec and Canadian governments. It was sparked by the announcement of a new, 75% increase in university tuition fees. Since its announcement in the 2010 Quebec budget, the media lackeys of the Liberal government have attempted to present this measure as inevitable. But behind this claimed inevitability we find an eminently political decision expressed in what the finance minister terms a “cultural revolution,” and the international economic authorities refer to as an “austerity budget.” Whatever the name given to it by governments, it clearly and definitively involves the dismantling of public services aimed at privatizing what remains of the commons.

The student movement has focused on the issue of tuition fees and the commoditization of the universities. However, it is not unaware that this measure is integrally linked to a larger project affecting elementary and secondary education, the healthcare sector and the unfettered development of natural resources. Our resistance to the Quebec government’s neoliberal measures has to take into account all of these sectors, establishing a social link that enables us to speak of a community. The government is trying to compartmentalize our strike by saying its tuition hike is designed to get the students to pay their “fair share.” However, the students have attempted from the outset of the strike to say that their policy goals went beyond the framework of a strict accounting and corporatist exercise with the government. Of course we want to see the government cancel this tuition fee increase, but at the same time we want to challenge the economic imperative that informs the policies of our governments.

If it is to do this, the student movement cannot remain alone, and must be joined by all of the forces that make up our society and make it live — whether it is the workers in healthcare, education and social services; the workers locked out by Rio Tinto and laid off by Aveos, victims of unfettered capitalism; the casual employees of the Couche-Tard convenience stores, denied the right of association; the women faced with Conservative threats to their rights; the elderly forced to work longer; or the Indigenous peoples seeing a new colonization that pillages the territory remaining to them.

Read the whole statement, as translated by Richard Fidler.


NDPP
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Breaking: Quebec Students Call for Saturday Protests

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/04/28/quebec-tuitin-pr...

"Student groups reject concessions, call offer 'an insult' - begin nightly march in downtown Montreal.."

This is the kind of reaction the Liberal-NDP Ontario austerity budget should have been met with. Good to see there are still people who get it..."

 

Police Brutality Fuels Fire of Student Anger in Canada (and vid)

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/04/police-brutality-fuels-fire-student-...

"Desgagne added that people were 'infuriated' by police brutality towards peaceful protesters, stressing that it would only' fuel public misconduct' and support for the student movement.."


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

There was a sit-in in front of the Palais de Justice (main courthouse) earlier today, and a demo in front of Tanguay prison in solidarity with all those arrested in recent weeks.

As announced by CLASSE, a march is being held every evening at 8:30 PM in Montréal. Another one is under way right now, following roughly the same route as last night. No reports of police violence yet. Here's a glimpse:


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