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May 24, 2012
As the Quebec tuition protests continue, media outlets around the world are taking notice. Reporting on the situation has ranged from the even-handed look at the situation of Al-Jazeera's article to a New York Times op-ed calling Quebec "a province that rides roughshod over its citizens' fundamental freedoms".
Here's a sampling of how some international publications are covering the situation in Quebec:
The Guardian - 'Quebec's 'truncheon law' rebounds as student strike spreads'
"In its contempt for students and citizens, the government has riled a population with strong, bitter memories of harsh measures against social unrest - whether the dark days of the iron-fisted Duplessis era, the martial law enforced by the Canadian army in 1970, or years of labour battles marred by the jailing of union leaders. These and other occasions have shown Québécois how the political elite has no qualms about trampling human rights to maintain a grip on power.
Which is why those with experience of struggle fresh and old have answered Premier Jean Charest with unanimity and collective power. There are now legal challenges in the works, broad appeals for civil disobedience, and a brilliant website created by the progressive CLASSE student union, on which thousands have posted photos of themselves opposing the law. (The website's title is "Somebody arrest me" but also puns on a phrase to shake a person out of a crazed mental spell.)"
Al-Jazeera - 'Why are Quebec students seeing red?'
"Right now, Quebec's young scholars shell out just over $2,000 a year for a university degree, not including their living costs. That will be closer to $4,000 if the government gets its way. But even in the rest of Canada, the average is between $6,000 and $7,000.
As many Canadians, Americans, Britons and others have been asking, what's all the fuss about?
As always, it depends on who you ask and what your politics are. [...] The streets of Quebec don't seem likely to calm down anytime soon. A provincial election is due before the end of next year, and many are wondering if this issue - at once seemingly trivial, yet evidently so serious - might just be best turned over to the voters."