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Massive student demonstrations in Quebec a non-story, oddly, or not, to our famously free press

Chronicle of Higher Education:

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?

Gee. I can't imagine.

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RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

4/20: American college students were getting stoned. Quebec college students were throwing stones.

Submitted by lambert on

Wrong on both counts, at least from the evidence of the article, despite the original witticism:

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.

I looked for a reference to plywood shields, but couldn't find one, even if the block bloc did try to shit the bed with an FtP march.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

You know, I think I finally have this "violence-advocate/nonviolence-advocate" thing figured out with you guys. To you, the only acceptable behavior is absolute weakness (and damn the context and results). That's the only reasonable conclusion. Thus obviously violence against humans is violence; but also property damage is violence, not because there is a victim but because it makes the agent feel something other than weakness. This is the only explanation I can think of that accounts for the truly absurd term "violent language"... So if you really were serious about wanting a term other than "violence advocates," let me suggest "strength advocates" or "power advocates".