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Student strike #9 -- jusqu'à la victoire

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epaulo13
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
TUESDAY, MAY 22 – SOLIDARITY WITH QUEBEC STUDENT STRIKE

Frankfurt, Chicago, Quebec. We are with you!

2pm to 4pm—Demonstrate, 1 Rockefeller Plaza
Demonstration in solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike
Outside the Quebec Government Offices at 1 Rockefeller Plaza

5pm—Gather, Check-in, Washington Square Park, North Side of Fountain
Gather to paint banners, make ‘book bloc’ shields, and cut red squares for the evening march.
Check-in for those who want to facilitate lectures, workshops, skill-shares, and discussions. Please bring all the materials you may need to make banners and host classes.

6pm—Free University, Washington Square Park, various locations-- check board on North Side of Fountain
Teach in/Speak out assembly about the Quebec student strike, the emergency laws, and the criminalization of dissent; followed by self-organized lectures, workshops, skill-shares, and discussions of the Free University.

8pm—Assembly and March, Washington Square Park
General Assembly and March against Repressive anti-protest laws worldwide

WEAR RED!

Organized by folks from Strike Everywhere and Occupy Wall Street.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Is anyone else experiencing difficulty getting worked up into a lather, vicariously or otherwise, over the specter of what appears as mostly petit bourgeoisie angst about paying a similar amount of tuition like they do in other provinces?  Try not to get me wrong.  I mean, the sight of 10s of thousands marching in the street certainly has a nice ring to it, but when all is said and done, is it about anything other than a tuition hike?  If the govt. caved entirely or laid out an acceptable compromise...that's it?  The Quebec spring got what they came out for?  No other issue exists?  It seems to have always been the case you know, at least ever since Francis Bacon jotted down a few warnings and suggestions to the authorities in his essay "Of Seditions and Troubles," that middle management, which in his day ranged from the mercantile class to the landowner lords, were capable of shifting their allegiances toward the peasantry or the nobility as their fortunes dictated.  The question in this instance is how quickly will all the ancillary causes that mobilized and lent their support in the form of numbers in the street be abandoned, once the petit bourgeoisie are returned to a state of satisfaction with their place in the way of things?


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

SJ, the protests have moved beyond being just about tuition fee increases. It's also about student debt and other matters, among them being a concern for what is happening to our society and our civil rights, and a determination to recover the principles of democracy. And, lately, outrage over Bill 78.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

How large was the Kegaska demo, Boom Boom?


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Oh, my goodness, the Kegaska demo exceeded expectations! Laughing


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Boom Boom wrote:
SJ, the protests have moved beyond being just about tuition fee increases. It's also about student debt and other matters, amonth them being a concern for what is happening to our society and a determination to recover the principles of democracy.

These are ancillary issues to the main event, wouldn't you agree?  Where would a resolution to the main event leave everything else?  Would the participants of the main event stay out in support of other causes that have attached themselves as things have unfolded, in an attempt to gain some popular traction?


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

All good questions, I guess. But I think a resolution to the main issue - which seems highly unlikely given Charest's hard line - would not mean the protests would end. This is now a popular movement, and, in my opinion, can only grow - and across Quebec borders.

Charest can try repression, but beware of blowback.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Slumberjack wrote:

These are ancillary issues to the main event, wouldn't you agree?  Where would a resolution to the main event leave everything else?  Would the participants of the main event stay out in support of other causes that have attached themselves as things have unfolded, in an attempt to gain some popular traction?

I don't think the question needs to be asked.

This is about public education, which I don't see as a concern to be denigrated by calling it "petit-bourgeois". It is the difference between maximizing people's access to what they want to do with their lives and more equal control, and our current system which is turning more and more into indentured servitude, a job machine rather than a place of learning, and a system where technology and training are all in the hands of those with enough money to pay for it.

It is not an unimportant issue. And as for whether anyone would do it for anything else, I don't really care. They can cross that bridge when they come to it, and this job is not finished.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I went to Wiki to look up post seondary education in Germany after I read a comment about 'Austerity Queen' Anglea Merkel on Facebook, and also to see what alternatives there are elsewhere in the world to tuition fees and increases.

 

Tuition fees (Germany)

 

Most colleges are state-funded. In 2010, five of the 16 states of Germany charged tuition fees at state-funded colleges, while in 11 states tuition was provided free of charge. There are no university-sponsored scholarships in Germany, but a number of private and public institutions award scholarships, usually to cover living costs and books. Moreover, there is a law (BAföG or Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) which ensures that needy people can get up to 650€ per month for 4-5 years if they or their parents cannot afford all the costs involved with studying. Part (typically half) of this money is an interest-free loan which has to be repaid. Many universities planning to introduce tuition fees have announced their intention to use part of the refunded money to create scholarship programmes, although the exact details are mostly vague.

 

and then I saw this:

 

List of countries with free post-secondary education

(This is not a complete list, and only countries discussed in the article are mentioned)

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Norway
  • Scotland
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Barbados
  • Kenya

 

It appears that alternatives are possible.


Leigh
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Joined: Feb 26 2012

"Just protecting their asses from financial repercussions."

No, protecting their children from getting assaulted.


Leigh
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Joined: Feb 26 2012

at the same time, there is a need for civil disobedience when unjust laws restricting peaceful dissent are introduced.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Heh. The Charest spokeswoman on CBC's "Connect" last night said civil disobedience can not be tolerated. Unbelievable, and shows where Charest is at.


Leigh
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Joined: Feb 26 2012

thanks for the updates at this and other threads and articles.

when students graduate, there are insufficient jobs for them, in Greece, e.g. (on list of free tuition), and here in Canada where youth unemployment is over twenty percent (CCPA).

Private bankers and financiers fund destruction of public services, jobs, people- through arms trade and NATO, and Nature, through the tarsands, pipelines, mining, nuclear weapons and energy, pollution, tree clear-cutting, etc.

Governments need to create money for universal public services, full employment, and laws which prioritize and protect people and our common planet.

 

 


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

Smith wrote:
 I don't actually think one has to go out and break a law in order to demonstrate against it - unless there's a compelling reason, that is

While I agree that "not everyone" has to break the law while demonstrating, surely an unjust and politically motivated law, like restrictions on public assembly is an excellent reason.

As for this being "just" about tuition:

Ten Points Everyone Should Know about the Quebec Strudent Movement

Quote:

1) The issue is debt, not tuition

2) Striking students in Quebec are setting an example for youth across the continent

3) The student strike was organized through democratic means and with democratic aims

4) This is not an exclusively Quebecois phenomenon

5) Government officials and the media have been openly calling for violence and "fascist" tactics to be used against the students

6) Excessive state violence has been used against the students

7) The government supports organized crime and opposes organized students

8) Canada's elites punish the people and oppose the students

9) The student strike is being subjected to a massive and highly successful propaganda campaign to discredit, dismiss, and demonize the students

10) The student movement is part of a much larger emerging global movement of resistance against austerity, neoliberalism, and corrupt power

The article goes into a lot of depth for each point.

 


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Slumberjack wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:
SJ, the protests have moved beyond being just about tuition fee increases. It's also about student debt and other matters, amonth them being a concern for what is happening to our society and a determination to recover the principles of democracy.

These are ancillary issues to the main event, wouldn't you agree?  Where would a resolution to the main event leave everything else?  Would the participants of the main event stay out in support of other causes that have attached themselves as things have unfolded, in an attempt to gain some popular traction?

NDPP

THe hope is that the student fee hikes cause and response will spark a national movement in which other BIG issues like austerity and anti-democratic neocon misrule will galvanize Canadians.  But Slumberjack's point is well taken. If this were a movement of simply poor people protesting the barbaric savagery of the Ontario Liberal-NDP austerity budget, it is highly unlikely it  would  have been as photogenically pleasing or garnered huge support. Au contraire...


6079_Smith_W
Online
Joined: Jun 10 2010

@ Maysie

My point on civil disobedience was in reaction to the statement that those who do not part in civil disobedience are collaborators.

I have no problem with people who decided to break the law in order to challenge it. It totally makes sense to me. And yes, it is an excellent reason; I agree.

But not everyone is free to take the risks involved; that does not mean they are allied with the enemy. This is a struggle to influence the government, not show how big a sacrifice one can make for the cause.

And regarding the broader links, sure I know tuition is just one part of it. Again, I am responding to the notion that it is just a petit-bourgeois concern and that there is presumably some more important but unnamed thing that we should all be fighting for. 

My point is that this is an important fight, and I think the links I drew show that I recognize that this is not just about paying a few extra dollars for tuition. 

If there is some other great cause that people should rally around after this I think that will become apparent, when and if that is put on the table.  But this fight is not yet over.

(edit)

And I don't understand why this is being spun a bit as something which concerns only the middle and upper classes and not the poor. Ideally EVERYONE should have fair access to higher education, and the work and positions of influence and service in our society that opens the door to. I don't think the rich are the only people who should get to be doctors, lawyers, researchers, or scientists. 

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Slumberjack wrote:

Is anyone else experiencing difficulty getting worked up into a lather, vicariously or otherwise, over the specter of what appears as mostly petit bourgeoisie angst about paying a similar amount of tuition like they do in other provinces?

It's a bad idea for people to pass negative judgment on people's struggles. What's needed, rather, is a simple: "How can we help?"

Or do the students need to convince everyone that they're fighting for world revolution before their struggle is deemed worthy?

Québec youth believe postsecondary education should not involve user fees - that it is a social good. And not just the youth. It was one of the goals and promises of the Quiet Revolution. It's even written into the Québec Charter - the right of everyone to free education, within the terms set by law.

Were you aware of that?

Since 1966, we have had Cégeps which are tuition-free. That means two years (equivalent of Grades 12 and 13) if you're in a university entrance stream, or more if you're in a vocational stream leading to a diploma. So already, Québec is ahead of the rest of Canada.

If the neoliberals decide to dismantle the Cégep system, and the youth hit the streets - and their parents and the workers and teachers and women (as is the case right now) - can we count on your understanding and sympathy?

When the government wants to appropriate some old unused ground for a golf course, and people take up arms and fight for months and blockade bridges... would that be an overreaction?

You see, divide and rule is an old and proven methodology. If you don't concretely sympathize and unite with the struggles of others - if you demand to "understand" them first, or to give advice from the sidelines - then don't be surprised what happens to your own struggles, the ones you think are so all-fired important.


Catchfire
Online
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Great post, Unionist. Next thread?


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