The Maple Spring is important to all Canadians, and not just Quebec. Here's why.
That's why Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, past student leader of CLASSE, has undertaken a cross-Canada speaking tour to help spread the message of resisting austerity and defeating the stranglehold of neoliberalism across this country.
Massive student protests have been ongoing in Montreal since March 22nd, when 200,000 protesters took part in a demonstration in downtown Montreal. Exactly a month later, on Earth Day, another 200,000 people took to the streets. And yet another month later, only picking up steam, a wave of people in red packed downtown Montreal on May 22nd, more than 300,000 strong.
June 22, as expected, was a massive show of solidarity across Canada
(and of course massive amounts of people on the streets of Montreal and across Quebec).
Every month has a 22nd, so here's to ongoing shows of solidarity and support! Check out the global call to resistance on the 22nd of every month.
As of Sept 20th, after the inauguration of Pauline Marois' minority Parti Quebecois government (and the defeat of Jean Charest's government (he was also defeated in his own riding)), the tuition fee hikes have been repealed. However, the Concordia Graduate Students Association, still fighting for a very realistic goal of free education in the province, along with other student groups such as CLASSE, will show that they are still organized and come out for a demo on Sept 22.
Click here for a refresher on what this conflict is about: The Conflict: 101
Here is a great explanation of the context for the current mobilisation of students in Quebec. Free education is not a new idea, neither is it impossible. In fact, "it was the state’s very own idea on the recommendation of a Royal Commission
, a choice that was respected and prized for four decades."
|Downtown Montreal on May 22, 2012
Great recap: Ten Things Everyone Should Know about the Quebec Student Movement.
In response to the emergency law passed, Law 78, people have this to say: Arrest me!
Concordia Student Union General Assembly operates using horizontal decision making like that used by the Occupy movement, and they spearheaded the student strike originating at Concordia. More info here about how this started. View this video on the 8 Myths of Tuition Hikes.
For up-to-date and reliable info on the Montreal student movement, check out the Montreal Media Co-op and Concordia University TV (CUTV) to watch the recap videos and livestream from the student protests.
You can also visit the Concordia Student Union site. And the McGill Student Union has a Student Strike FAQ up on their site.
Visit the CLASSE website for more info as well. CLASSE is a temporary national student organization that includes, across Quebec, more than 76,000 members in many student unions from both colleges and universities.
Visit the MobSquad website for info on the campaign against tuition hikes.
Click here for more images from the March 22 demonstrations.
Demands to Concordia's Administration from students on strike
Here's a good overview of what's been happening since March 22.
April 11th -- Occupy Wall Street reports on Montreal student protests
April 20th -- CUTV footage of violent police encounter with student protesters
April 20th -- Footage of protests at the Montreal Palais des Congres
April 22th-- Crowd shot of Earth Day protest
April 28th -- Montreal demonstrators march in protest of Jean Charest (here's why)
May 4th -- Montreal Students Stage Nearly-Nude Protests
May 14th -- Quebec's Education Minister Resigns as Protests Continue
May 17th -- Montreal students occupy University of Quebec
May 17th -- Quebec announces emergency law to restore order and thousands protest in Montreal
May 19th -- Quebec steps closer to martial law to repress students
May 22nd -- Anatomy of a conflict after 100 days of student protest
May 30 -- We are immense (translated from Le Devoir)
June 3 -- Protests shine spotlight on skewed priorities
June 7 -- Canada's Maple Spring (via Aljazeera)
June 22 -- Highlights from the Streets of Montreal
Sept 20 -- It's official: Quebec tuition hikes are history (proof that radical movements can win).