Remember, remember the fifth of November.
That was the catchy phrase the Ryerson Students’ Union used in their campaign to get students to come out for the drop fees rally. Without a doubt, it worked. By 11 a.m., there were already about 200 students gearing up for the rally. Half an hour later, a herd of students from George Brown College impressively marched towards us with their placards and signs. It was quite daunting, in a good way though.
The two groups blended together and marched towards the University of Toronto, where more students were anxiously waiting to take over the streets. Toronto had just a fraction of the students who protested in the province that day for lower tuition fees. Thirteen other cities were also rocked by student protests.
In Toronto, pedestrians, professionals, bikers and the rest all stopped to watch us loud, obnoxious kids shout “DROP FEES!” over and over. What we protested for was accessible education by means of a tuition freeze or tuition reduction. And our voices were for the Ontario government to hear.
The energy and presence of the rally was appropriate: it was young, lively and fun. Music blared from speakers that rested on a moving truck at the front of the march. It was a rally that woke the city. Jack Layton was surely impressed. For someone who was just in the neighbourhood, he whipped out that camera fairly quick as we marched pass him.
I know some peers didn’t attend the rally because they don’t see the effectiveness of it, especially since our tuition increased this year. My response to them: whether the government hears us or not, we can’t just stay silent.
Photo: Riley McLeod