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The Passion in Quebec

Tuition peeve or spectacular revolt?

ELOI BRUNELLE

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”

Displaying 61 - 70 of 82

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Anonymous

You sound like a fascist right winger. Students should definitely be paid to go to University, but not paid more for better grades. That might encourage personal responsibility and hard work! You have no right suggesting that people be rewarded for their achievements. That constitutes an act of hate speech against students with low grades. What are you, an evil conservative cop!?!

Anonymous

Well we're not talking about a million dollars for an A+ in statistical psychology.

Marginal increase on top of cost of living for better grades.

Or is the Earth still a free-for-all with the possibility of a Kraken suddenly appearing in an epic battle against the Archangel Gabriel, thus everybody should incur debt in order to ensure that the chief remains well maintained and prepared for battle?

Anonymous

Does 'cost of living' include booze and recreational drugs?

Because those necessities comprise a large proportion of my budget. They need to be included.

They should also be made deductible so that I pay less tax if I ever earn any money, man.

Like, the more I use, the less tax I should pay, right?

Anonymous

"Students should be PAID to study at university. The better you do, the more you're paid."

That is the STUPIDEST thing I have read in a long time. I hope you are not a university student getting a nickel of subsidies.

In your world, consumers are paid to consume.

Who pays for the goods and services - the goods and services providers?

Anonymous

TED.com trying to sensor Nick Hanauer's tallk. He destroys the bull shit that the Romney campaign rests on- the job creators and all that nonsense. As if Romney didn't get his money by making the rest of us worse off.

Anonymous

'Ivory Tower protests'? Wonder if you are actually here on the ground. Nothing ivory tower about it.

The government has brilliantly fueled the fire and fanned the flames for a few weeks now and now have resorted to making the rules up as they go with the current stalling at negotiations. Draconian, we had our judges and lawyers marching in robes en masse the other afternoon. The casserloes has been big every night in multiple neighbourhoods. Day and night marches, all illegal, but the police are becoming inundated and are letting a lot go now.

But is the antagonistic approach by our much unloved and now unwanted Charest part of a desperate smokescreen to turn the public eye from the mafia-construction commission? Hmm...

Stay tuned. All going down here and now.

Anonymous

The Montreal and Quebec economies depend on tourism in the summer, with the various festivals and the auto race.

The Government of Quebec will not allow a few thousand students and union hacks to ruin the finances of the Quebec government and thousands of private businesses, many who are the so-called 'mom-and-pop shops', your neighbourhood corner stores.

I suspect a crack-down is being planned in the near-term if negotiations fail to bring peace.

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