Oh Canada?

 “The Biggest Student Uprising You’ve never heard of “

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dedicated to all the students in Quebec who have peacefully hit the streets to protest AUSTERITY!
I had no idea that there were so many of you protesting
As is so typical the msm is absent/downplaying and lying!
They do not want the rest of Canada aware. They do not want the rest of the world aware.
Protestors are being attacked by the Surete de Quebec. (provincial police force)
The Surete has a history of brutality. The Surete has a history of using provocateurs.I have borrowed this entirely from Axis of Logic-We hear endlessly about so called protestors in Syria and their government oppression. Which is bullshit.
In Canada the NATO media complies with the powers that be, therefore large protests against Austerity do not exist

On an unseasonably warm day in late March, a quarter of a million postsecondary students and their supporters gathered in the streets of Montreal to protest against the Liberal government’s plan to raise tuition fees by 75% over five years.  As the crowd marched in seemingly endless waves from Place du Canada, dotted with the carrés rouges, or red squares, that have become the symbol of the Quebec student movement, it was plainly obvious that this demonstration was the largest in Quebec’s, and perhaps Canadian, history.

The March 22nd Manifestation nationale was not the culmination but the midpoint of a 10-week-long student uprising that has seen, at its height, over 300,000 college and university students join an unlimited and superbly coordinated general strike.  As of today, almost 180,000 students remain on picket lines in departments and faculties that have been shuttered since February, not only in university-dense Montreal but also in smaller communities throughout Quebec.
The strike has been supported by near-daily protest actions ranging from family-oriented rallies to building occupations and bridge blockades, and, more recently, by a campaign of political and economic disruption directed against government ministries, crown corporations, and private industry.  Although generally peaceful, these actions have met with increasingly brutal acts of police violence: Student protesters are routinely beaten, pepper-sprayed, and tear-gassed by riot police, and one, Francis Grenier, lost an eye after being hit by a flashbang grenade at close range.  Meanwhile, college and university administrators have deployed a spate of court injunctions and other legal measures in an unsuccessful attempt to break the strike, and Quebec’s premier, Jean Charest, remains intransigent in spite of growing calls for his government to negotiate with student leaders.
So, why haven’t you heard about this yet?
While the Quebec student strike is comparable in scale to student movements in Europe and Latin America, it is entirely unique in the context of Canada and the continental United States, which makes the absence of media coverage outside the province puzzling at best and disturbing at worst.  As the veteran Canadian activist Judy Rebick observed in a recent rabble.ca column, “it is incredible that there has been almost no coverage of this extraordinary uprising of young people in Quebec in English Canada,” and, save for a brief mention on Democracy Now!, the movement has been ignored by even the independent American press.  A key factor, certainly, is language: Quebec is a predominantly French-speaking province with a fully separate media infrastructure, and its famously militant student unions, which are responsible for organizing the strike, operate largely independently of the academic and activist networks that link the rest of the continent.  In this sense, English and French North America exist as two solitudes in much the same way that English- and French-speaking Quebecers once did—that is, they live in close quarters but don’t actually talk to each other very much.
Still, language differences are no excuse for overlooking this important student movement.  Montreal, the province’s cultural capital, is a bilingual city and student leaders have made efforts to ensure that strike information is available on English Web sites, Facebook groups, and Twitter feeds.  Further, the English student media, based at Montreal’s Concordia and McGill universities, have provided consistent and often excellent coverage of the strike and related protests.  Even the national Canadian press has finally picked up the story, albeit without addressing the larger historical and political context of the strike or its connection to the austerity measures that are being imposed on students and workers across Canada and around the world.  More promisingly, next weekend’s Edufactory conference, The University is Ours!, is holding a special plenary session on tuition struggles in Quebec, which will help to raise awareness of the events that have fueled le printemps québécois.  At the very least, the student strike should serve as inspiration to social movements far beyond Quebec’s borders, as well as an urgent call to solidarity.

This headlines says it all!

Quebec Premier jokes with business leaders as police beat back protesters

Where is the UN?

Where is NATO? To ‘save’ these kids from their oppressors?




Filed under Rights, Social/Society

2 responses to “Oh Canada?

  1. Anonymous

    A bunch of over-privileged whiners go “on strike” to protest their subsidised tuition fees, (the lowest in Canada, and a fraction of the cost of their schooling). They smash windows, set fires, and prevent real students from attending classes. Canada’s media have been reporting their antics, but the rest of the world understandably doesn’t give a toss.

    • Anonymous: project much?
      Get your talking points from a specific political party?
      “They” smash windows?
      Who is they?
      Canada’s media has been reporting their “antics”
      That is the problem
      One sided reporting

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