Stitch n’ Bitch about Tuition Hikes!

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We will be meeting every Monday from 3p.m.-7p.m. at Thomson House to knit red squares and talk about the tuition hikes!

Come learn how to knit, get answers to all your tuition hike and student strike questions, and discuss tuition issues. Let’s talk about alternatives to tuition, how we can work towards free high-quality education, whether free education is possible or desirable, and what we can do as students to make our Universities better and more accessible for everyone.

Non-stitchers and non-bitchers welcome.

Join the Facebook Group

Why are students preparing to strike across Quebec?

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Students are striking to oppose the provincial government’s unnecessary tuition increases. Tuition is set to increase nearly 75% in the next five years, or $325 more every year starting in September 2012 and ending in 2017, which amounts to an added financial load of $1,625 per student per year.

Students are striking to resist the privatization of education. Along with the ever increasing role of private and corporate funding to the university, tuition increases are part of a larger trend to shift the responsibility of higher education from society (via the federal and provincial governments) to the private sector. The privatization of the university is a move towards the commodification of learning and constitutes an attack on a widely held view that education is a collective right and responsibility.

Students are striking to demand that university administrators end the improper use of our funding and our resources. McGill University is not underfunded. The real problem is how funds are spent: on real estate projects, on ambitious building expansions, on heightening McGill’s profile, and other spending that siphons money out the operating budget (responsible for teaching and learning).

Students are striking to reassert their right to McGill. Tuition increases are just one further measure to control who has access to McGill and who does not. The 2011- 2012 academic year has seen a series of attacks on legitimate student participation in University affairs. Increased securitization of campus, the lack of authentic student participation in decision making following the events of Nov. 10th, censoring undergraduate student groups’ use of “McGill,” and most recently invalidating student electoral practices, all send a strong message to students that our opinions and potential contributions to McGill are inconsequential to the administration.

Students are striking because general student strikes are effective. Throughout Quebec history general strikes have effectively forced the government into negotiations with student associations because the possibility of cancelling a semester is economically and logistically impossible. Alternative and symbolic actions by students such as petitions and demonstrations are ignored unless within the context of a general strike.

Students are striking for their siblings, their friends, their children, for all Québec students, today and tomorrow. Tuition fee increases make universities less accessible, especially for students from racialized communities and less affluent backgrounds.

Why should graduate students care?

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Because of our unique position in the academy, graduate students have a lot at stake in the trend to defund and privatize the University. From the intrusion of private and corporate money in determining what gets researched and how, to the increased financial burden on students to cover this research, to diminishing access to student funding and fewer TA hours, the financial position of graduate students is becoming more and more precarious.

Increases to tuition ignore the vital role graduate research plays in Canadian society. Forcing students to enter into student debt for research activities is exploitative. Graduate students need to start taking strong stands against the privatization of the academy, something that gravely compromises the integrity of the important work we do.

Assiste-t-on à la mort définitive du mouvement étudiant?

Julien Day writes:

C’est cette semaine, la 13e, que se joue l’avenir du mouvement étudiant. Je ne parle pas ici du mouvement étudiant de 2012, celui du “printemps érable”, mais bien du mouvement étudiant au sens large, celui qui depuis 1968 joue un rôle majeur dans la défense de l’accessibilité aux études et qui s’impose comme une force critique énorme sur plusieurs enjeux économiques et sociaux.

L’affirmation peut sembler alarmiste, à la limite défaitiste, mais une simple analyse permet de mieux comprendre l’importance de la réponse des différentes associations étudiantes à la dernière offre  du gouvernement, qui consiste essentiellement au maintien de la hausse des frais de scolarité de 82% sur 7 ans, avec possibilité d’une baisse de 125$ des frais afférents pour la session d’automne 2012, et ce seulement si quatre étudiants réussissent à convaincre le gouvernement (potentiellement le même) et les recteurs de la mauvaise gestion de l’argent dans les universités. En gros, il leur faudra convaincre les gens qui nient la mauvaise gestion des universités, qui tournent leur combat à la dérision depuis 12 semaines et qui ont clairement démontré le peu de respect qu’ils avaient envers la démocratie étudiante avec, entre autres, la judiciarisation du conflit, le débat de sémantique et le refus de dénoncer la brutalité policière.

Un beau piège à con. Malheureusement, un piège qui, dans l’éventualité où il fonctionnerait, risque de signer l’arrêt de mort du rapport de force (la grève générale illimitée) qui a si bien servi le mouvement étudiant au cours des 44 dernières années. La jeunesse apolitique d’avant le conflit étudiant s’est laissée convaincre de la pertinence de cette grève pour une seule raison, les succès précédents des grèves générales étudiantes, directement attribuables au potentiel désastre que représente pour l’état une annulation de session. Une menace bien réelle, autant au niveau administratif, avec le casse-tête que représenterait une cohorte complète d’étudiants qui ferait du surplace dans leur cheminement scolaire, qu’au niveau économique, avec le manque à gagner que créerait le retard de l’entrée de dizaines de milliers d’étudiants sur le marché du travail.

La grève étudiante de 2012 est la plus longue et la plus massive de l’histoire québécoise. Si cette offre minimaliste est acceptée par les étudiants, il sera bien difficile de convaincre les futures cohortes de l’efficacité de ces moyens de pression qui sont, malgré ce que l’intransigeance des libéraux laisse croire, responsables des trois propositions “revampées” auxquelles les étudiants ont eu droit dans les dernières semaines, et plus globalement, responsables de la plupart des gains et de la protection des acquis en matière d’éducation.

Read the whole article here.

Quebec Student Movement Threatens Austerity Agenda

Linda McQuaig writes:

No wonder those Quebec student protesters have been spooking the English Canadian establishment. If they get their way, the same ideas could catch on here, leaving the best-laid plans for austerity in tatters.

What seems to particularly gall some English Canadian commentators is the fact that the Quebec students — who reached a tentative deal with the province on the weekend after a three-month strike — have been protesting tuition hikes that would still leave them with the lowest tuition in the country. Why can’t these spoiled brats be grateful, and go back to watching video games and keeping up with the Kardashians like normal, well-adjusted North American youth?

It’s that old problem about Quebec. Somehow people there manage to shake a bit loose from the rigid corporate-imposed mindset that has gripped North America in recent decades, convincing us that we as a society must cut back on things — like university education and old-age pensions — that were somehow affordable in days when our society was a lot less rich.

The Quebec students, more attuned to the outside world, have figured out that this self-denial has more to do with dogma than with some new reality allegedly necessitated by the global economy.

How else to explain the fact that many northern European nations manage to keep university education easily affordable — even free in Scandinavia — while managing to compete very effectively in the global economy?

Read the full article at rabble.ca

Solidarity from Ontario!

Members of the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario) working to bring the student strike to their province. Solidarity!

[To sign on, email your name and affiliation(s) to Farshad.enghelab@gmail.com or Rashin.alizadeh@gmail.com]

To our representatives at the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and affiliated student union locals,

We the undersigned are writing to the CFS as proud student unionists and activists, as well as workers and community members who support the student movement in Canada. We write this letter asking that the CFS engage in a consistent and serious mobilizing effort to bring the Quebec student movement to the rest of Canada.

We believe that this is the best solidarity we can give our sisters and brothers in Quebec. We believe it is the obligation of the elected student leaders to build this movement, and we commit, as rank-and-file students, to support you.

After 12 weeks of strikes against massive tuition hikes, and facing massive police repression and brutality, the student movement in Quebec is forcing the government to budge. This is a heroic example.

We ask that the CFS begin mobilizing for a student strike in Ontario and the rest of Canada. A campaign of mass educationals, solidarity delegations and mass mobilizations should be used to lead up towards a student strike in Ontario. Bring the lessons of Quebec to Ontario.

Quebec has shown, again and again, that the only way to force concession from governments is to mobilize on a mass basis through a strike campaign and confront the government, not with postcards, but with action! Students and youth, as well as the working population in general, have been inspired by the Quebec movement.

We are therefore asking that our representatives at the CFS and affiliated locals immediately begin a campaign for free post-secondary education, and make preparations to carry out a strike ballot in the Fall of 2012.

 A massive student movement in Ontario would show the Quebec students that they are not alone. It would strengthen the movement for free post-secondary education across Canada, and it would cut across the divisions created by the pro-business politicians and corporate press to weaken the student movement.

Our response to the race to the bottom; tuition fees across Canada should be immediately lowered to the levels in Quebec, as a step towards abolishing all tuition fees in the country.

Prepare for an Ontario-wide strike vote in the Fall of 2012!

Read the letter, with signatures, here.

In appreciation for the Quebec Student Movement

Anne Lagacé-Dowson writes:

For 40 years, older people have lamented self-absorbed, apolitical youth. Now that so many have taken their ideas to the streets, many of those same observers are outraged, calling them spoiled, pointing to their iPads and Starbucks coffees as evidence.

The unemployment rate for young people is at 14 percent and most of them end up burdened with huge debt when they graduate. Many students work while studying — 20 or more hours per week. They may have a Starbucks coffee from time to time. So what?

Supporters of the Occupy movement in New York speak admiringly of the Quebec student mobilization.

The Occupied Wall Street Journal, the newspaper of the movement, writes: “A deep democratic movement, something most of us have never seen and scarcely imagined, turned a small park near Wall Street into the centre of a global storm. Everybody knows the deck is stacked. But it turns out not everyone is willing to put up with it.”

Beautifully written, and who would have thought that the Quebec branch of this worldwide mobilization, with 300,000 people in the streets, would have become the most stupendous of all? Quebecers in the streets are united, with the world marching. Everyone knows something is profoundly wrong — with the economy, with the environment, with the political system, corrupted with cash.

André Pratte, chief editorialist of La Presse, who is in favour of the tuition fee increase, compares the upheaval to May 1968. Students around the world protested against the war in Vietnam and demanded a voice in their education. In 1970, four students were shot down and killed at Kent State University in Ohio. You have probably heard the song by Canadian Neil Young that starts with the line, “Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming…”

When it was all over, students had a say in the running of educational institutions.

Quebec’s student strike perplexes, annoys, thrills. Montreal writer Elise Moser says she supports it for three reasons:

a) The more accessible education is, the fairer, more stable and richer a society is, because we can develop the resources of all our people, not just the thin layer of entitled wealthy who can pay for education. That seems obvious, doesn’t it?

b) The strike is not just against a tuition hike, it’s for a much broader vision of an equitable society.

c) The investment in an undergrad degree produces much higher economic returns to the state than an equal amount in subsidies to industry.

On March 22, at least 100,000 people protested peacefully in the streets of Montreal against the tuition fee hike. That was the first sign that something really big was underway. In another song of the 60s, Bob Dylan sang, “Something is happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?”

Read the whole article on rabble.ca

Montreal Calling: On the “Quebec Spring” & its Enemies

By Jasmin Mujanović at Politics Respun

Just a quick memo to Canada’s vocal, reactionary minority (with vast over-representation on online forums and comments sections): the students in Quebec do not care that you think they are: “spoiled brats,” “crazy,” “anarchists,” “communists,” and/or “French” (?!). Your moaning and complaining is absolutely and utterly vacuous. Why? Because the students, unlike you, are actually mobilized and organized and are standing up for their rights. You, on the other hand, are sitting down for plutocracy. They are expanding our conception of what democratic politics ought to entail. They are engaging in the fundamental practice of politics, in fact: if you want something, you have to fight for it. They are a representation of the society we could be, rather than the tepid, depoliticized, ethereal mass we currently exist as.

Read the whole thing here.

Massive Student Upsurge Fuels Major Debates in Quebec Society

By Richard Fiddler at GlobalReasearch.ca

A crowd estimated at 250,000 people or more wound its way through Montréal April 22 in Quebec’s largest ever Earth Day march. They raised many demands: an end to tar sands and shale gas development, opposition to the Quebec government’s Plan Nord mining expansion, support for radical measures to protect ecosystems, and other causes. And many wore the red felt square symbolizing support to the province’s students fighting the Liberal government’s 75 per cent increase in post-secondary education fees over the next five years. The Earth Day march was the largest mobilization to date in a mounting wave of citizen protest throughout the province.

In the vanguard have been the students, now in the eleventh week of a strike that has effectively shut down Quebec’s universities and junior colleges. In recent days they have battled court injunctions and mounting police repression. Their resilience has astonished many Québécois and inspired strong statements of support from broad layers of the population.[1] Equally surprising to many has been the government’s stubborn refusal to even discuss the fee hike with student representatives.

Addressing the huge crowd assembled at the foot of Mount Royal, student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois answered the taunts against the students by Premier Jean Charest and his deputy, Education Minister Line Beauchamp:

‘In recent days they have been calling Quebec students hoodlums, vandals, violent people. That’s false! What is more violent than selling the lands of indigenous peoples to some multinationals? What is more violent than polluting the air that our children are going to breathe? We are not violent, it is they who are violent!’

Read the full article here

An open letter to the Québec government: Defend public, accessible post-secondary education now

On behalf of workers, academic staff and students across Canada, we jointly call on Québec Premier Jean Charest and Minister of Education Line Beauchamp to promptly resolve the student strike by reversing the decision to increase tuition fees in Québec.

For over two months, students in Québec have been striking to oppose the government’s 75% tuition fee increase over five years. The hike effectively shatters the principles of accessible education on which the system currently rests on in Québec and moves towards a model of user-pay funding.

In light of the recent breakdown of negotiations, we are increasingly concerned that your government is ignoring the growing voices of an entire generation committed to the very principled and just value of accessible education.

Students in Québec have taken it on themselves to defend the next generation’s right to education. They have put their semester on the line to fight for a vision of the world where no one is excluded. They have made a convincing case, they have garnered public support, and they have presented government with several alternative solutions to the tuition fee hike.

Despite this, the government has continued to grasp onto arguments to justify the hike even though they have been widely refuted. Increasing tuition fees does not provide for shortfalls in funding to the education system. It merely transfers the responsibility from the government to individual students.

Increasing tuition fees forces students to take on debt, thus replicating the very social inequalities that the education system is meant to alleviate. Increasing tuition fees signals a shift in priorities where the government is progressively removing its responsibility to provide accessible education.

We are dismayed that the government of Québec has continued to demonstrate contempt towards young people and bad faith in the negotiation process that it has claimed to be committed to.

We believe that every Canadian should have the right to get an education regardless of how much money they or their family makes. We believe it is in the best interest of our society to allow everyone to be skilled, educated and to reach their full potential. And we believe it is the government’s responsibility to support education as a social good.

We support the exemplary work done by students in the province during this strike and will stand in solidarity with them as long as needed to stop the tuition fee hike.

Roxanne Dubois
National Chairperson
Canadian Federation of Students

Charles Fleury
National Secretary-Treasurer
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Jean-Pierre Fortin
Director
TCA-Québec

John Gordon
National President
Public Service Alliance of Canada

Denis Lemelin
National President
Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Ken Lewenza
National President
Canadian Auto Workers

Gaétan Ménard
Secretary-Treasurer
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

Paul Moist
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Wayne D. Peters
President
Canadian Association of University Teachers

Union Joint Statement [English] (pdf)

Union Joint Statement [French] (pdf)

The Student Movement: Radical Priorities

The student movement in Quebec is an incredibly important development, with implications that reach well beyond provincial borders. The movement emerged in response to a 75 per cent increase in tuition fees to be implemented over the next five years, but it has quickly evolved into something far more significant. “People are starting to realize that the real problem behind the rising tuition fees and the commodification of education is something related to a socioeconomic system that is behind it all,” said Frank Lévesque-Nicol, a spokesperson for a protest that was held on February 2, 2012. The student movement has rekindled the political imagination to a degree not seen since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. This is the most troubling and dynamic period in recent Quebec history, and the possibility that this energy will foster fundamental social change is very real.

The student movement is being treated as a single-issue by the mainstream media, and while one of the core demands is indeed for tuition to remain frozen, students have consistently framed and fought their struggle in broader social terms. The movement today is one of resistance and social change. People are refusing to pay for decades of corporate tax cuts, deregulation, economic crises and environmental exploitation. And while the conditions in Quebec are unique, many of the basic principles apply across Canada and most of the industrialized world. A spirit of political agitation, resistance and civil disobedience is emerging that will likely broaden in the months and years ahead.

Austerity and Class Struggle

There are reasons for the timing and emergence of these movements. Decades of policies that favour multinational corporations and discipline the broader public have reached new heights with the global economic crisis. Rather than seeking to ameliorate these conditions in light of the ongoing crisis, powerful interests have decided to exacerbate these trends. The official rhetoric is that people have to pay their fair share as nations struggle to exit from the global crisis. But the reality is that the public sector has incurred the necessary expenses to keep neoliberal capitalism alive – effectively lifting these costs from the corporations and banks – while imposing its environmental and social costs upon the people.

State Oppression

For many who are participating in the movement, these events have marked a decisive shift from dissent to resistance. As social movements grow in power and influence, it is clear that they are being met with increasing levels of state and corporate propaganda, manipulation, surveillance, infiltration and physical police oppression and brutality. Traditional measures of order in liberal democratic societies like work discipline, personal and household debt, mass culture, propaganda and social conformity are proving insufficient today, and the state is increasingly resorting to force. I am writing here specifically of recent developments in North America and Europe, as the democracy uprisings and revolutions in the Middle East and Northern Africa are far more brutal.

The first thing worth noting is that these oppressive measures have been in place for a long time, but they have largely targeted black, Latino, aboriginal and other communities that are the first to feel the effects of austerity and oppression. Racial profiling and police shake-downs are all too frequent in major urban centres, with women and children generally left to suffer the consequences. What makes the recent wave of state oppression distinct is that police are now openly targeting political actors. Police oppression is only receiving widespread attention today because it is on dramatic display and because predominantly white youth are now on the receiving end. Whatever the case, the primary function of both racial and political oppression is to maintain the existing social order through force.

One potential measure of the influence that popular movements and dissident groups yield is the extent to which they are targeted and oppressed. Thus, organized labour and socialist groups were the primary targets for surveillance and oppression in the 1960s. Unions, artists, intellectuals and elected state leaders all became the target of state action. Today, police are largely targeting grassroots organizations and self-identified anarchist groups. Montreal police recently established the Guet des activites et des mouvements marginaux et anarchistes (the GAMMA squad), which roughly translates to “surveillance of marginal and anarchist group activities.” The most expensive and elaborate covert police infiltration operation in Canadian history largely focused on grassroots organizations during the G-20 summit in Toronto. There are important reasons that explain this historical shift in police oppression.

Globalization, industrial outsourcing and union-busting in the 1970s and 1980s have considerably diminished the power and influence of organized labour in North America. With unions no longer serving as the sole conduit for political organization, autonomous political groups have come to fill the void. Looked at in this light, the widespread emergence of grassroots community groups and anarchist organizations is largely the product of neoliberal capitalism. As Marx wrote, “what the Bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers.” These grassroots organizations are now some of the most active in terms of organizing, and there is a real need to establish strong links with these groups. They are at the forefront of political organizing today and on the receiving end of state oppression. One of the most important questions to ask moving forward is how to effectively organize within this increasingly oppressive climate.

Read the whole thing here.

March 22nd 2012 Speeches after the demonstration

March 22nd Demo:

Manifestation du 22 Mars – le premier jour du Printemps Érable – Discours de Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. from DAVAÏ on Vimeo.

Transcript of the speech by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois:

“In recent weeks, I have been fortunate to do several interviews on television, on the radio and in the newspapers, repeating the claims of the student movement, but today … today is a unique moment for me because we are in the hundreds of thousands in the streets, and the strikes are not happening on television sets. The strike is happening in the streets! In recent weeks, the media, the Minister of Education, Mrs. Beauchamp, Minister of Finance, Mr. Bachand and Prime Minister Jean Charest keep hammering that WE are at war with the workers. I have some news for the Liberal government. Since coming into power, it is THEY who continue to attack our working men and women. During the Journal de Montreal lockout, where were the Liberals? Following the Rio Tinto Alcan lockout, where were the Liberals? Following the AVEOS closing, where were the Liberals? THEY were with the bosses! And WE were, and ARE STILL on the side of the working people of Quebec, and against the corrupt and dirty government. It’s not … it’s not the student movement that is at war with the people of Quebec. Those who are at war against the people, is the Liberal government and their economic and political allies WE. ARE. THE. PEOPLE. Mrs. Beauchamp’s glasses might be broken, but it’s the government that is blind to the largest grassroots mobilization in the history of Quebec. One day, when we have free education, our kids will be in school, and when they’ll open their history books to the date of March 22nd 2012, they will speak of this day as the day when the youth of Quebec stood up for accessible education. And when they will speak of spring 2012, it will be called the Student Spring, and it will be the spring of victory! We will, dear friends…WE WILL WIN. We will win, but we have not yet won. Everywhere in the media, and around the corridors of the National Assembly, they say that today’s event was very beautiful, that it’s the only one that will be as massive, and that starting today, the student movement will falter. NO! We must make them liars, starting tomorrow! We must return to our CEGEPs and our universities, and talk about the general strike even more. We must go beyond the general strike if we want to disprove those who say that our movement will falter. We will have to collectively go beyond our streets. We will have to disrupt. We will have to occupy. We will have to shake Québec. Today, hundreds of people bravely blocked the access to the Port of Montreal, because… Why did they do that? Because this government has only one language: money. And if we want to win, THAT is the language we must speak to them. Mr. Charest, Mrs. Beauchamp, Mr. Bachand, you are wrong when you say that the student movement will collapse. In the coming weeks, we will be more numerous than ever before and we will take to the streets even more. We will disturb Quebec more than ever. Mr. Bachand, Mrs. Beauchamp, Mr. Charest, open your eyes, you are surrounded. You only have one option: BACK OFF ON YOUR DECISION.”

After the demo:

JR
You are beautiful. Quebec is beautiful today! We were 200,000 in the
streets of Montreal. A historic demonstration for a historic movement.

We are showing the government that they were wrong to suggest that we
were only a minority. The Charest government thought that our movement
would run out of steam. But we declare today that we are not finished
with them! And that we’ll continue to intensify the pressure until he
backs off on these anti-social and unjust tuition hikes!

GN-D
Today, the province of Quebec is at a crossroads. Today, Quebec has a
choice to make.
A choice between a Quebec for sale. A Quebec where culture would be
for sale, sold at a great price to the highest bidder, sold to the
highest bidder among the rich minority. This Quebec, we can choose
this, but there’s another choice. We can also choose another Quebec, a
Quebec that is ours. A Quebec that we can re-appropriate, where
education will not serve the economy, will not serve the bosses, but
where it will serve autonomy, free thinking, passing on culture, for
everyone, irrespective of how thick their wallet is!

Minister Beauchamp asks us to return to school to learn. Well, I have
some news for Minister Beauchamp. By striking, we learn, we learn a
lot. During this strike, we learn about the disdain of the government,
we learn who the government serves. During this strike we learn what
the function of the police is and what role it serves through its
violence. During this strike, we learn what social injustice is, what
neoliberalism is and how it disadvantages the people of Quebec.

JR
And we resist because we are not a commodity, and because we do not
want to become a commodity! All over the planet, all over the planet,
in England, in Greece, in the Czech Republic, in Colombia, students
are fighting against tuition hikes, always in solidarity with the
workers, who are also fighting against austerity measures.

We assert once again our solidarity with the students of Chile, who
were on strike for eight months. Solidarity with workers, from here or
abroad, who are the victims of lookouts at Alma at the Rio-Tinto-Alcan
factories and, notably, at Avéos more recently. We are in solidarity
with these people. Solidarity with all women in the world who are the
first victims of these non-egalitarian and unjust policies. Solidarity
with all those who bear the burden of oppression.

G-ND
And, above all, above all, we’re here this evening to tell Ministers
Bachand, Beauchamp and Charest, that what they call a “cultural
revolution” will not be allowed to pass. The students, the people of
Quebec, will not accept, will never accept, the destruction and the
privatization of its public services. Sunday, we were 30,000 people in
the streets. The majority of the people were not students. It was the
families of Quebec that took over the streets of Montreal with us to
say “no”. This evening, it is the artists who are in the streets, who
were in the streets, who are here on-stage with us, to say “no” to the
hike, to say “no” to privatization, to say “no” to the Quebec of
commodification and capital.

Everyone — the youth, the workers, the artists, everyone — is in the
streets with one and the same message. This tuition hike is an
injustice. It’s an injustice. And, this injustice … it will not
pass!

But, instead of listening to the people, instead of listening to those
it is supposed to represent, the Liberal government prefers answering
us with batons, grenades, tear gas. We know what this means, we know
where it comes from. We know it’s because the government doesn’t serve
the interests of the population. This government, we know who it
listens to. This government has ears only for the demands of the rich,
for the demands of bosses, for the demands of the mining companies
that will benefit from its “Plan Nord” that is full of crap. It is
more receptive to these people than it is to its citizens, and this is
unacceptable.

After today, the fight against tuition hikes should never again be
depicted as a student struggle. As of today, the fight against tuition
hikes should be called by its name: it’s a people’s movement, it’s a
class struggle!

They have tried to reduce us to silence. But, I have some bad news for
the Liberal government over there in Quebec City. We will not stop
fighting. We will not stop fighting during our strike and after our
strike for public education, for free education, and even more, for a
Quebec that’s more just, a Quebec that’s more egalitarian, a Quebec
that’s more human.

I don’t know if you’ve read the newspapers recently. Mister Bachand
was speaking about his last budget as being not only a cultural
revolution, but also as a second May ’68. I’m not sure if Mister
Bachand has taken history classes, but let’s remind him about what
happened in May ’68. In May ’68, there was a student strike. In May
’68, this strike become a social strike. In May ’68, there were
barricades, there were people in the streets, and so if he wants a May
’68, that’s what he’ll get!!