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Activists from across the country will be coming together this weekend in Ottawa to unite their movements against the right-wing policies of the Harper government. They are joined by two of Idle No More's founders. Jessica Gordon and Sheelah McLean are scheduled to address the meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday January 26th.
At a general assembly set to take place at the University of Ottawa on January 26th and 27th, a number of activists from national social movements plan to launch a process that will pave the way towards a countrywide Canada-Quebec-Indigenous People’s Social Forum scheduled for 2014. The forum’s purpose is to establish a structure for uniting social movements against Harper’s conservative policies. This weekend’s assembly will feature Jérémie Bédard-Wien, spokesperson for the militant Québec student organization ASSÉ, as well as many representatives from national unions (Postal workers, Public Sector, Communications and Energy, etc.) and labour federations (Ontario Federation of Labour and Québec’s FTQ, CSN and CSQ). The co-founders of the Québec branch of Idle No More, Widia Larivière and Mélissa Mollen Dupuis, will also be in attendance.
Almost a year ago, Quebec was deep into the Maple Spring. Today, the red feathers are sweeping the country. Both movements have been drawing closer, demonstrating the general will amongst social movements to join forces together and fight against Harper’s policies.
“The student unrest we saw last year has really inspired us. We figure if collective anger can make a Premier disappear, then maybe it can have the same effect on Harper.” - Mélissa Mollen Dupuis.
“Their movement [Idle No More] is an inspiration to Quebec students. It’s clear that both movements can work together to defeawhat affects us both” - Jérémie Bédard-Wien (ASSÉ).
Michel Lambert, Executive Director of Alternatives, a national and international solidarity organization that is at the source of the project adds "our objective with this Ottawa gathering is to have social movements converge in order to create the largest alliance ever seen in Canada to oppose the most reactionary government in our history."
rabble.ca correspondents will be attending this weekend's meetings of the People's Social Forum and will provinding updates. On Twitter, follow @EthanCoxMtl @NoLore and @rabbleca