I haven't seen anything on this subject yet, although it's been going on for 12 weeks...
In Quebec, students have been protesting a rise in University fees. University fees in Quebec are the lowest in Canada. The current liberal
governement of John (Jean) Charest decided to raise fees starting next fall. Students voted for a strike to protest and it's been going on for 12
It took 10 weeks for the government to accept to negociate. First thing they did was throw out the representative from one of the student
associations, claiming he incited his members towards violence. The governement eventually came back with an offer which increased fees even more!
I agree that there has been some violence on the student side; although most of it came from non-students using the protests an excuse for rioting,
but mostly the students have been orderly.
This weekend, the governement is holding a party congress, they moved from Montreal to a smaller city, Victoriaville. Of course, the protests have
On this link
you can see photos of last night's
protests. I appologize that the video and text are in French, I've so far been unable to find neutral English-language articles. Some English
Canadian media claim that this is organized by communists, feminists, etc... There are no communists to speak of in Quebec, and feminism is not an
issue in this conflict.
What started off as a protest against increasing university fees has become a social issue, reflecting much more of what's going on in the Quebec
society. The population is unsatisfaction rate with the government is 76%. There will be an election in the coming year. Some think it will happen
over the next few weeks because of the student protests (more people are against the students than for them), thus giving the government a chance at
being re-elected. A commission on construction will be starting up this fall which will be exposing a lot of the corruption in the Charest
governement; everybody knows about it, some things have become public, more will come out, thus the governement stands no chance at re-election in the
As for myself, I support the students 100% and am proud that they haven't given up. In April, my wife and I attended a concert in downtown Montreal.
During the break, we went outside for a smoke. After about 10 minutes, the cops were at the corner of the street dispelling an "illegal" protest
(since when is protesting illegal in a democracy?). The cops were loud and violent. Until they came, we hadn't even realized there was a protest.
That tells you how loud and violent the students were.
The right wing is trying to turn this into a false debate about money. They use the fact that only 1/3 of students are on strike. You know as well as
I do that if 1/3 of the students are in the streets every single day, it means that you have at least another 1/3 supporting them. And they are joined
by teachers, oppostiion party members and other people.