The Passion in Quebec

Tuition peeve or spectacular revolt?


The mood on the streets of Montreal is electric, with growing numbers of activists flooding the streets nightly, banging pots and pans and vowing to protest until victorious. One jammer described the scene: “I come home from these protests euphoric. The first night I returned, I sat down on my couch and I burst into tears, as the act of resisting, loudly, with my neighbors, so joyfully, had released so much tension that I had been carrying around with me, fearing our government, fearing arrest, fearing for the future. I felt lighter… Every night is teargas and riot cops, but it is also joy, laughter, kindness, togetherness, and beautiful music. Our hearts are bursting…”

After over 100 days of protest, the question is whether the students will go beyond a simple demand for free education to begin struggling for a totally different future.

As one commentator put it: “While student issues are important, the Red Square has come to represent something much more than just disgruntled student demonstrators against tuition hikes. It has become another symbol – think the tent and the term Occupy – of a growing awareness that continuing the ‘business as usual’ model in Canada will not solve economic or social inequalities and we are, in fact, heading towards economic and social disaster.”

By pushing through an unpopular and authoritarian anti-protest law, Bill 78, which bans demonstrations near universities, and declares protests consisting of more than 50 people illegal (unless routes, times, and transportation methods have been cleared by police), authorities have handed students an opportunity to shift the uprising onto new terrain: the struggle over the future of democracy… the same struggle that animates the global Occupy insurrection.

Ultimately, youth have the passion and the daring to catalyze a spectacular global revolt. But to pull it off, they’ll need to keep going deeper, past Ivory Tower protests, and start rebelling against the black hole future that awaits us all.

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82 comments on the article “The Passion in Quebec”

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If the Government doesn't owe me anything, then I don't owe the the Government anything.

Simple contract law.


Done. They don't owe you kindergarten to high school either then. Or roads, or utilities, or social program, etc. If you want things to be free, then you need to figure out where the money is going to come from. Have you noticed? Governments everywhere are broke.


This is such a copt out for governments to become more responsible, cut costs and prioritize spending. If everyone in the country had the option of getting a free degree it would be making more money. If governments raised minimum wage, increased welfare, and a plethora of other social programs that cost a fraction of what people make them out to be everyone would be better of without poverty and homelessness as threats.

I don't believe you can make a objective difference between high school, kindergarten and college - education is education. We deserve it all


"We deserve it all" This phrase pretty much sums up the attitude Occupy movement and the student movement in Quebec. I deserve everything, I'm special, somebody should have to pay for it.


Original poster: you are deeply confused. All of us need information to function and for all of us to function together, we need similar information. Education gives us a common base that provides that similarity and also provides us a means to communicate differences effectively. Education in a democracy is first about the creation of an informed, critical, and active electorate and only secondarily as a means of to enhance one's j income. Education through college level is essential for democracy and must include critical thinking, history etc. Education is society's obligation to us and as such should be paid for by society. Students make their contribution by studying and learning to think. If they are effective, our democracy succeeds. There is more to criticize about your understanding of education, money, and power, but I'll stop now. I hope this post is of use to you and that you pull out of your current deep confusion.


Society cannot afford to pay for 'free education' through the college level.

The problem, it appears, is that it is not cost effective.

Taxes would be too high, which means that the economy would suffer, requiring even higher taxes on the ever-decreasing tax-base.

Soon we would all be taking our 5th PhDs in Advanced Basket Weaving, with only a few part-time workers at Macdonalds to pay for it.


What are you right-wingers talking about? The US is the Land of the Rich, and if rich fork would pay all their tax....


Quebecers are especially special because they speak a language that is pretty much useless in the rest of North America and the world.

And, they do that in slang, like hill-billies.


I agree wit everything u say kcept:

1. Sum peple r two dumb to git univercitee degreeds. But I gess they can still git an arts dgree...

2. I tried to say "plethora" and there wuz spit all over the place...


"If everyone in the country had the option of getting a free degree it would be making more money."

Hey, man, I guess if everything was free, then we'd all be rich, man!

I like that, except who would be the 1% if we were all rich?

Like, would we have to Occupy against ourselves, man?


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