10,000 Quebec students clash with police after rejecting tuition increase
February 28, 2013

A tuition-fee compromise by Quebec’s premier couldn’t prevent a violent protest that rekindled memories of last year’s Quebec Spring.

The window-smashing rally of 10,000 people took place despite Pauline Marois’s efforts to appease student hardliners with a bilateral meeting.

The hardliners instead boycotted Marois’s summit and organized a massive demonstration after the premier refused to abolish tuition fees.

As the meeting drew to a close south of downtown, Montreal riot police charged crowds of mask-wearing protesters north of the summit site.

Suspects pelted officers and their horses with rocks, eggs and red paint. Windows were smashed and vehicles were damaged along the rally route and police tackled at least one masked man and led him away in handcuffs.

It was the second straight day of vandalism related to the student movement. Suspects splattered red paint at the offices of several provincial politicians hours before the meeting got underway on Monday morning.

The premier concluded her two-day summit by holding firm on a $70 annual tuition increase and $250 million in cuts to university budgets over two years.

Marois marched with the students when she was opposition leader but has since drawn their ire despite cancelling the previous Liberal government’s seven-year, $1,800 tuition hike.

Before the violent outbreak Tuesday, she suggested the summit that brought together unions, university rectors and moderate students was a success.

"We have done a tremendous job," she told reporters. "We managed to put the fighting behind us and return to dialogue."

Even moderate student groups opposed to Tuesday’s protest gave Marois the thumbs down.

They said they were “extremely disappointed” Marois didn’t maintain a tuition freeze first implemented in 1993.

University principals and rectors are also upset at the budget cuts, warning that student services will suffer.

Quebec students have been willing to create social unrest to make their point.

The previous Liberal government’s decision to hike tuition led to months of protests last year that taxed police services, disrupted Quebec’s economy and made international headlines.

Source

We desperately need this kind of organization in the US. My alma mater is raising tuition & living costs yet again this year & barely any students even know about it.

Edit note: The 3 percent increase is cumulative, so $70 more the first year, but even more the second, and the third, and so on.

Student leaders Camila Vallejo (vice president of the University of Chile Federation) & Noam Titelman (president of the Catholic University Student Federation) will receive the 2012 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award for organizing the largest protests in Chile since the Pinochet era.

A massive student movement has taken over the country in times of unlimited privatization of schools and universities. The award is given by the Institute for Policy Studies and named for the Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and his colleague Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were murdered in Washington by agents of the U.S.-backed Pinochet regime in September 1976.

We had the opportunity to hear Camila & Noam speak yesterday along with CUNY & Quebec student leaders. It was incredibly inspiring to listen to the struggles of other students across the world & to learn how to move forward in the global fight for education. 

We’ll have more on the student leaders coming soon!

Quebec student movement begins the fight for free higher educationSeptember 23, 2012
Police in Montreal dispersed a student march as several hundred people took to the streets, despite the government’s recent cancellation of a proposed tuition hike, which caused massive outrage. The students are now rallying for free education.
Police arrested at least two demonstrators after projectiles were thrown, the Montreale Gazette reports.
A projectile hit a policeman in the knee, causing a slight injury, a police spokesman reported.
On her first day in office, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois said that the government was ending the tuition hike proposal and nullifying Bill 78 – an emergency law designed to curb the powerful protests.
Marois said that an inflation-only hike may be put into place. An inflation increase would raise tuition by a rate of around one to three per cent – compared to the 82 per cent increase proposed by the previous Charest government.
In addition to the cancelled fee hike, Marois has promised not to decrease funding for universities.
The news was considered a triumph for many students who spent over a year protesting against plans to raise tuition costs by $1,533 over the course of several years.
“It’s a total victory…it’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation,” Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (Québec Federation of University Students), told the Montreal Gazette.
“Together, we have written a chapter in the history of Quebec. Together, we have just proven that we can stand up and reach one of the student movement’s greatest victories,” he said.
However, one organization says the government’s peace offering simply isn’t good enough.
CLASSE student group says the tuition hike cancellation doesn’t put an end to the students’ battle. The organization is seeking completely free university education.
Jeanne Reynolds, a co-spokesperson for the group, says CLASSE “must celebrate a victory,” but that the struggle must continue.
Group members will take to the streets on Saturday, as they have done on the 22nd of each month since spring, to fight for tuition-free education.  It’s a concept that Quebec’s new Premier may be willing to consider.
“That’s a proposal I’m putting on the table…it’s a debate we need to have,” Marois said.
Students began the campaign against the proposed tuition hike in August 2011, with the movement quickly gaining momentum. Demonstrators hit the streets in protest just three months later.
The protests were largely peaceful until spring 2012, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began clashing with police in Montreal – leading to the arrests of thousands of students.
Many were detained under the controversial Bill 78, which restricted mass gatherings and increased fines for violations during large events.
SourcePhoto
Canadian & Chilean students are really pushing worldwide student movements forward with these massive demonstrations demanding fair education opportunities. Chile is especially radicalizing younger high school students fighting for more funding for schools and to eradicate the profit motive from higher education. Canadian students really have shown the power of unions and opposition demonstrations to keep tuition affordable so that everyone may have an equal chance at education. 
After their victory of crushing the proposed tuition hike, this is their next monumental struggle that could really send shockwaves of energy & optimism to other movements. 

Quebec student movement begins the fight for free higher education
September 23, 2012

Police in Montreal dispersed a student march as several hundred people took to the streets, despite the government’s recent cancellation of a proposed tuition hike, which caused massive outrage. The students are now rallying for free education.

Police arrested at least two demonstrators after projectiles were thrown, the Montreale Gazette reports.

A projectile hit a policeman in the knee, causing a slight injury, a police spokesman reported.

On her first day in office, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois said that the government was ending the tuition hike proposal and nullifying Bill 78 – an emergency law designed to curb the powerful protests.

Marois said that an inflation-only hike may be put into place. An inflation increase would raise tuition by a rate of around one to three per cent – compared to the 82 per cent increase proposed by the previous Charest government.

In addition to the cancelled fee hike, Marois has promised not to decrease funding for universities.

The news was considered a triumph for many students who spent over a year protesting against plans to raise tuition costs by $1,533 over the course of several years.

“It’s a total victory…it’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation,” Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (Québec Federation of University Students), told the Montreal Gazette.

“Together, we have written a chapter in the history of Quebec. Together, we have just proven that we can stand up and reach one of the student movement’s greatest victories,” he said.

However, one organization says the government’s peace offering simply isn’t good enough.

CLASSE student group says the tuition hike cancellation doesn’t put an end to the students’ battle. The organization is seeking completely free university education.

Jeanne Reynolds, a co-spokesperson for the group, says CLASSE “must celebrate a victory,” but that the struggle must continue.

Group members will take to the streets on Saturday, as they have done on the 22nd of each month since spring, to fight for tuition-free education.  It’s a concept that Quebec’s new Premier may be willing to consider.

“That’s a proposal I’m putting on the table…it’s a debate we need to have,” Marois said.

Students began the campaign against the proposed tuition hike in August 2011, with the movement quickly gaining momentum. Demonstrators hit the streets in protest just three months later.

The protests were largely peaceful until spring 2012, when tens of thousands of demonstrators began clashing with police in Montreal – leading to the arrests of thousands of students.

Many were detained under the controversial Bill 78, which restricted mass gatherings and increased fines for violations during large events.

Source
Photo

Canadian & Chilean students are really pushing worldwide student movements forward with these massive demonstrations demanding fair education opportunities. Chile is especially radicalizing younger high school students fighting for more funding for schools and to eradicate the profit motive from higher education. Canadian students really have shown the power of unions and opposition demonstrations to keep tuition affordable so that everyone may have an equal chance at education. 

After their victory of crushing the proposed tuition hike, this is their next monumental struggle that could really send shockwaves of energy & optimism to other movements. 

Parti Québécois leader: Tuition hikes, Bill 78 will be repealedSeptember 5, 2012
 Student leaders have been assured by the Parti Québécois that their promise to cancel the tuition hike and repeal Bill 78 will be honoured once the newly elected party takes power in Quebec City.
“We had a call from a PQ aide this morning,” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec. “They said they will reimburse any students who have already paid.”
She said the call was a relief for students, who were concerned that a minority PQ government might be blocked from making those changes.
“Although we will really celebrate when there is a decree, this is really a victory for our cause,” said Desjardins.
As many as 200,000 students were boycotting classes this winter and spring as students vehemently protested the Liberals’ plan to proceed with tuition increases of $254 a year for seven years this fall. This showdown with Premier Jean Charest during the “Printemps Érable” was very likely what sparked the unusual call for a summer election.
Desjardins believes social peace is a good possibility with the PQ in power and said students are happily preparing for an Estates General summit on higher education that the PQ promised in its election platform.
“We’ve been asking for that for years,” she said on Wednesday. “It is our best chance to prove we were right and to ensure there is a tuition freeze that endures.”
Source

Parti Québécois leader: Tuition hikes, Bill 78 will be repealed
September 5, 2012

 Student leaders have been assured by the Parti Québécois that their promise to cancel the tuition hike and repeal Bill 78 will be honoured once the newly elected party takes power in Quebec City.

“We had a call from a PQ aide this morning,” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec. “They said they will reimburse any students who have already paid.”

She said the call was a relief for students, who were concerned that a minority PQ government might be blocked from making those changes.

“Although we will really celebrate when there is a decree, this is really a victory for our cause,” said Desjardins.

As many as 200,000 students were boycotting classes this winter and spring as students vehemently protested the Liberals’ plan to proceed with tuition increases of $254 a year for seven years this fall. This showdown with Premier Jean Charest during the “Printemps Érable” was very likely what sparked the unusual call for a summer election.

Desjardins believes social peace is a good possibility with the PQ in power and said students are happily preparing for an Estates General summit on higher education that the PQ promised in its election platform.

“We’ve been asking for that for years,” she said on Wednesday. “It is our best chance to prove we were right and to ensure there is a tuition freeze that endures.”

Source

The Quebec student protest movement & the power of radical imaginationAugust 23, 2012
It is precisely against the background of growing uncertainty, despair, diminishing expectations, state violence and the crushing policies of neoliberal austerity that young people in Quebec have organized a protest movement that may be one of the most “powerful challenges to neoliberalism on the continent.”(24) Thousands of students have raised their voices in unprecedented opposition to the ideology, modes of governance and policies of the neoliberal state. The initial cause of the protest movement began in response to an increase in tuition fees announced by the Quebec provincial government in March 2011. The tuition hike was “part of the government’s effort to advance neoliberalism in Quebec by introducing new fees for public services and raising existing ones.”(25) The government’s proposal included raising tuition by $325 per year over five years with the increased fees going into effect in September 2012. The hike amounted to a 75 percent increase over five years, rising from $2,319 to $3,793 by 2017.
In February 2012, after the government refused to negotiate with organizations representing student interests, the student leaders called for a strike. Tens of thousands of students responded immediately by boycotting their classes. Many of the province’s colleges and universities were shut down as a result.
Mainstream media consistently sided with the Quebec government, downplaying the significance of the tuition increases - even as they pertained to those students who could least afford them and for whom it would have the greatest impact. Critics of the strike repeatedly drew the public’s attention to the fact that, even with the increase, tuition fees in Quebec would be among the lowest in Canada: “Average undergraduate tuition in Canada for 2011-12 is $5,366, but ranges widely from province to province. Quebec has the lowest fees, followed closely by Newfoundland and Labrador. Ontario has the highest average tuition, at $6,640 a year.”(26)However, it soon became apparent that the students viewed the tuition increase as only one symptom of an ailing and unjust social order about which they could no longer be silent.
The students preferred to speak for themselves rather than have others speak abstractly for them and about them, especially when it came to the material conditions of their own educations, their own futures. It is telling and will remain telling, that government officials and newspaper pundits responded with anxious indignation, as if wholly caught off guard by the simple fact that the students can speak - and speak intelligently, passionately and urgently about the most pressing issues facing themselves and their society. In a reversal of roles familiar to anyone who actually works in a classroom, the student also teaches the teacher. The first lesson to be learned from striking students was that the protests were about much more than fee structures. Yet, the government seemed unwilling to learn and its high-handedness touched a nerve in the larger social body of Quebec, activating new forms of dissent and solidarity.
What soon developed was a student strike of unprecedented proportions, involving more than 200,000 students and rallying many additional supporters for a mass demonstration on March 22, 2012. Moreover, as the strike progressed and expanded its base of support, over a quarter of a million joined the demonstrations on a number of occasions, and an estimated half-million people marched in Montreal on May 25, 2012. By July 2012, the Quebec student strike had emerged as not only “the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America,” but also “the biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.”(27) 
The strike, which began as a protest against the provincial government’s plan to increase tuition fees, has developed into a popular uprising with tens of thousands post-secondary students and their supporters marching nightly in the streets of Quebec cities and in solidarity demonstrations across Canada.(28) Now a major broad-based opposition movement against neoliberal austerity measures, the Quebec student strike initiated one of the most powerful, collectively organized challenges to neoliberal ideology, policy and governance that has occurred globally in some time.
The initial phase of the movement focused almost exclusively on higher educational reform. The issues addressed in the early stage of the protests included a rejection of the province’s call for a tuition increase, a sustained critique of the underfunding of post-secondary education, a critical interrogation of the perils facing a generation forced to live on credit and tied to the servitude of debt and the opening up of a new conversation about the meaning and purpose of education - in particular, the kind of educational system that is free and removed from corporate influences and whose mission is defined around issues of justice, equality and support for the broader public good.
Students rejected the tuition hike by arguing that the increase would not only force many working-class students to drop out, but also prevent economically disadvantaged students from gaining access to higher education altogether. Expanding this critique, many students spoke of the tuition increase as symbolic of repressive neoliberal austerity measures that forced them to pay more for their education, while offering them a future of dismal job prospects when they graduated. Situating the protest against tuition hikes within a broader critique of neoliberal austerity measures, students were then able to address the fee hikes as part of the growing burden of suffocating debt, government funding priorities that favor the financial and corporate elite, the ruinous transfer of public funds into the reserves of the military-industrial complex and the imposition of corporate culture and corporate modes of governance on all aspects of daily life.
By stressing debt as an issue rather than focusing exclusively on tuition, students were able to highlight the darker registers of finance capital that increasingly closes off any possibility of a better life for themselves and everyone else in the future. Andrew Gavin Marshall has provided a theoretical service in highlighting the broader effects and politics of the debt crisis. He wrote:

Total student debt now stands at about $20 billion in Canada ($15 billion from Federal Government loans programs and the rest from provincial and commercial bank loans). In Quebec, the average student debt is $15,000, whereas Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have an average student debt of $35,000, British Columbia at nearly $30,000 and Ontario at nearly $27,000. Roughly 70% of new jobs in Canada require a post-secondary education. Half of students in their 20s live at home with their parents, including 73 per cent of those aged 20 to 24 and nearly a third of 25- to 29-year-olds. On average, a four-year degree for a student living at home in Canada costs $55,000 and those costs are expected to increase in coming years at a rate faster than inflation. It has been estimated that in 18 years, a four-year degree for Canadian students will cost $102,000. Defaults on government student loans are at roughly 14%. The Chairman of the Canadian Federation of Students warned in June of 2011 that, “We are on the verge of bankrupting a generation before they even enter the workplace.” The notion, therefore, that Quebec students should not struggle against a bankrupt future is a bankrupted argument.[29]

Connecting student opposition to the tuition hike with the broader issue of debt and the fact that “the average debt for [Canadian] university graduates is around $27,000” helped shift the focus of the strike - viewed by some critics as a narcissistic, collective temper tantrum by whiny students - to a much more public and broader set of considerations. In this instance, what was being implicated by the students calling for higher educational reforms, as Randy Boyagoda pointed out, was “a profound crisis of faith in the socioeconomic frameworks that have structured and advanced societies across North America and Europe since World War II [as well as] a rejection of the premise of the postwar liberal state: that large-scale institutions and elected leaders are capable of creating opportunities for individual citizens to flourish.”(30)
Source
As the spirit of resistance continues to grow in Quebec, I really hope that same defiance spills over to the United States. Especially considering how inflated tuition is & that student debt has surpassed $1 trillion, we really need to take a cue from those fighting austerity measures in Canada. 

The Quebec student protest movement & the power of radical imagination
August 23, 2012

It is precisely against the background of growing uncertainty, despair, diminishing expectations, state violence and the crushing policies of neoliberal austerity that young people in Quebec have organized a protest movement that may be one of the most “powerful challenges to neoliberalism on the continent.”(24) Thousands of students have raised their voices in unprecedented opposition to the ideology, modes of governance and policies of the neoliberal state. The initial cause of the protest movement began in response to an increase in tuition fees announced by the Quebec provincial government in March 2011. The tuition hike was “part of the government’s effort to advance neoliberalism in Quebec by introducing new fees for public services and raising existing ones.”(25) The government’s proposal included raising tuition by $325 per year over five years with the increased fees going into effect in September 2012. The hike amounted to a 75 percent increase over five years, rising from $2,319 to $3,793 by 2017.

In February 2012, after the government refused to negotiate with organizations representing student interests, the student leaders called for a strike. Tens of thousands of students responded immediately by boycotting their classes. Many of the province’s colleges and universities were shut down as a result.

Mainstream media consistently sided with the Quebec government, downplaying the significance of the tuition increases - even as they pertained to those students who could least afford them and for whom it would have the greatest impact. Critics of the strike repeatedly drew the public’s attention to the fact that, even with the increase, tuition fees in Quebec would be among the lowest in Canada: “Average undergraduate tuition in Canada for 2011-12 is $5,366, but ranges widely from province to province. Quebec has the lowest fees, followed closely by Newfoundland and Labrador. Ontario has the highest average tuition, at $6,640 a year.”(26)However, it soon became apparent that the students viewed the tuition increase as only one symptom of an ailing and unjust social order about which they could no longer be silent.

The students preferred to speak for themselves rather than have others speak abstractly for them and about them, especially when it came to the material conditions of their own educations, their own futures. It is telling and will remain telling, that government officials and newspaper pundits responded with anxious indignation, as if wholly caught off guard by the simple fact that the students can speak - and speak intelligently, passionately and urgently about the most pressing issues facing themselves and their society. In a reversal of roles familiar to anyone who actually works in a classroom, the student also teaches the teacher. The first lesson to be learned from striking students was that the protests were about much more than fee structures. Yet, the government seemed unwilling to learn and its high-handedness touched a nerve in the larger social body of Quebec, activating new forms of dissent and solidarity.

What soon developed was a student strike of unprecedented proportions, involving more than 200,000 students and rallying many additional supporters for a mass demonstration on March 22, 2012. Moreover, as the strike progressed and expanded its base of support, over a quarter of a million joined the demonstrations on a number of occasions, and an estimated half-million people marched in Montreal on May 25, 2012. By July 2012, the Quebec student strike had emerged as not only “the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America,” but also “the biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.”(27) 

The strike, which began as a protest against the provincial government’s plan to increase tuition fees, has developed into a popular uprising with tens of thousands post-secondary students and their supporters marching nightly in the streets of Quebec cities and in solidarity demonstrations across Canada.(28) Now a major broad-based opposition movement against neoliberal austerity measures, the Quebec student strike initiated one of the most powerful, collectively organized challenges to neoliberal ideology, policy and governance that has occurred globally in some time.

The initial phase of the movement focused almost exclusively on higher educational reform. The issues addressed in the early stage of the protests included a rejection of the province’s call for a tuition increase, a sustained critique of the underfunding of post-secondary education, a critical interrogation of the perils facing a generation forced to live on credit and tied to the servitude of debt and the opening up of a new conversation about the meaning and purpose of education - in particular, the kind of educational system that is free and removed from corporate influences and whose mission is defined around issues of justice, equality and support for the broader public good.

Students rejected the tuition hike by arguing that the increase would not only force many working-class students to drop out, but also prevent economically disadvantaged students from gaining access to higher education altogether. Expanding this critique, many students spoke of the tuition increase as symbolic of repressive neoliberal austerity measures that forced them to pay more for their education, while offering them a future of dismal job prospects when they graduated. Situating the protest against tuition hikes within a broader critique of neoliberal austerity measures, students were then able to address the fee hikes as part of the growing burden of suffocating debt, government funding priorities that favor the financial and corporate elite, the ruinous transfer of public funds into the reserves of the military-industrial complex and the imposition of corporate culture and corporate modes of governance on all aspects of daily life.

By stressing debt as an issue rather than focusing exclusively on tuition, students were able to highlight the darker registers of finance capital that increasingly closes off any possibility of a better life for themselves and everyone else in the future. Andrew Gavin Marshall has provided a theoretical service in highlighting the broader effects and politics of the debt crisis. He wrote:

Total student debt now stands at about $20 billion in Canada ($15 billion from Federal Government loans programs and the rest from provincial and commercial bank loans). In Quebec, the average student debt is $15,000, whereas Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have an average student debt of $35,000, British Columbia at nearly $30,000 and Ontario at nearly $27,000. Roughly 70% of new jobs in Canada require a post-secondary education. Half of students in their 20s live at home with their parents, including 73 per cent of those aged 20 to 24 and nearly a third of 25- to 29-year-olds. On average, a four-year degree for a student living at home in Canada costs $55,000 and those costs are expected to increase in coming years at a rate faster than inflation. It has been estimated that in 18 years, a four-year degree for Canadian students will cost $102,000. Defaults on government student loans are at roughly 14%. The Chairman of the Canadian Federation of Students warned in June of 2011 that, “We are on the verge of bankrupting a generation before they even enter the workplace.” The notion, therefore, that Quebec students should not struggle against a bankrupt future is a bankrupted argument.[29]

Connecting student opposition to the tuition hike with the broader issue of debt and the fact that “the average debt for [Canadian] university graduates is around $27,000” helped shift the focus of the strike - viewed by some critics as a narcissistic, collective temper tantrum by whiny students - to a much more public and broader set of considerations. In this instance, what was being implicated by the students calling for higher educational reforms, as Randy Boyagoda pointed out, was “a profound crisis of faith in the socioeconomic frameworks that have structured and advanced societies across North America and Europe since World War II [as well as] a rejection of the premise of the postwar liberal state: that large-scale institutions and elected leaders are capable of creating opportunities for individual citizens to flourish.”(30)

Source

As the spirit of resistance continues to grow in Quebec, I really hope that same defiance spills over to the United States. Especially considering how inflated tuition is & that student debt has surpassed $1 trillion, we really need to take a cue from those fighting austerity measures in Canada. 

Thousands of Canadian students march in sixth mass demonstration against austerity measuresAugust 22, 2012
Thousands gathered in Place du Canada for the sixth mass demonstration to protest against university tuition fee hikes Wednesday afternoon, blowing whistles, drumming and calling for a more just Quebec.
While numbers were far short of the hundreds of thousands seen last spring, student leaders said it was the largest protest ever organized during an electoral campaign and a sign of the renewal of the protest movement.
"We already have far more than seen in the summer protests held on the 22nd of each month (which drew about 10,000 people," said Jeremie Bedard-Wien, spokesman for CLASSE. "The mobilization is starting up again."
As of 2:45 p.m., marchers were still assembling and preparing to take to the streets. Along with students, 100,000 of whom voted for a strike day Wednesday as most opted for a return to class last week, several unions and members of a coalition protesting against the privatization of public services and user fees for things like health care were also in attendance.
Student associations FEUQ and FECQ called for youth to vote en masse to oust the Liberal government that instituted the fee hikes. CLASSE, however, said the political debates have shown their demands are not being recognized, and said the fight would continue no matter who was elected.
By 3:30, the protest was starting to resemble marches of the spring, with tens of thousands clogging University St. From René Lévesque to Sherbrooke and then heading east.
Many held placards reading “I’m voting for (blank), with words like ” education” “change,”” tomorrow” and “us.” None said Charest, although many read “anyone but Charest.” There were also a few PQs and Quebec Solidaires.
CLASSE had been calling for the biggest march in history of Quebec, which was asking a lot given the election campaign that has put the issue somewhat in limbo pending its outcome.
But as CLASSE and the other student federations were hoping, Wednesday’s march proved the issues have not died down for many.
Protest perrennial Anarchopanda came out, and a few people clutched stuffed pandas, one of the student movement’s unofficial mascots.
All was peaceful, and noisy as of 3:45.
Source
Montreal leading the way for other mass student demonstrations! 

Thousands of Canadian students march in sixth mass demonstration against austerity measures
August 22, 2012

Thousands gathered in Place du Canada for the sixth mass demonstration to protest against university tuition fee hikes Wednesday afternoon, blowing whistles, drumming and calling for a more just Quebec.

While numbers were far short of the hundreds of thousands seen last spring, student leaders said it was the largest protest ever organized during an electoral campaign and a sign of the renewal of the protest movement.

"We already have far more than seen in the summer protests held on the 22nd of each month (which drew about 10,000 people," said Jeremie Bedard-Wien, spokesman for CLASSE. "The mobilization is starting up again."

As of 2:45 p.m., marchers were still assembling and preparing to take to the streets. Along with students, 100,000 of whom voted for a strike day Wednesday as most opted for a return to class last week, several unions and members of a coalition protesting against the privatization of public services and user fees for things like health care were also in attendance.

Student associations FEUQ and FECQ called for youth to vote en masse to oust the Liberal government that instituted the fee hikes. CLASSE, however, said the political debates have shown their demands are not being recognized, and said the fight would continue no matter who was elected.

By 3:30, the protest was starting to resemble marches of the spring, with tens of thousands clogging University St. From René Lévesque to Sherbrooke and then heading east.

Many held placards reading “I’m voting for (blank), with words like ” education” “change,”” tomorrow” and “us.” None said Charest, although many read “anyone but Charest.” There were also a few PQs and Quebec Solidaires.

CLASSE had been calling for the biggest march in history of Quebec, which was asking a lot given the election campaign that has put the issue somewhat in limbo pending its outcome.

But as CLASSE and the other student federations were hoping, Wednesday’s march proved the issues have not died down for many.

Protest perrennial Anarchopanda came out, and a few people clutched stuffed pandas, one of the student movement’s unofficial mascots.

All was peaceful, and noisy as of 3:45.

Source

Montreal leading the way for other mass student demonstrations! 

Quebec protesters enter 100th day of demonstrations against austerityAugust 1, 2012
As Quebec’s political ranks gear up for a late summer election campaign, student protesters and their supporters took to the streets with renewed fervour.
For the 100th night in a row, protesters marched through Montreal streets, with many banging on pots and pans, reminiscent of evening protests that spread across the city in the spring. The number of protesters who took to the streets Wednesday was higher than it has been in recent weeks.
Some carried large red banners with anti-Jean Charest slogans, and electoral messages like “our dreams are too big for your polls.”
The protest came as Premier Charest triggered an election, with voters heading to the polls on Sept. 4.
The vote call comes on the heels of Quebec’s raucous student crisis over tuition increases, that gripped the province last winter and spring.
Many of the hundreds of people who joined the street march donned masks to mock a controversial city bylaw forbidding face coverings at public protests.
Protesters started their march in the Villeray district, north of the Jean-Talon Market, and slowly made their way south via St-Denis Street.
Several media outlets reported one protester was injured after a car hit him at the corner of Saint-Denis Street and Laurier Avenue.
The Villeray protesters joined another group in the Émilie-Gamelin Park, near UQÀM.
Police supervised the crowd and declared the protest illegal just after 9 p.m., but told people they could continue to march if they kept the peace.
Wednesday night was the 100th night in a row that students and their supporters took to the streets.
Thousands of students started to boycott classes in February to protest tuition increases. The boycott evolved into daily protests by spring.
After months of negotiations, student leaders rejected the government’s final, watered-down tuition increase offer in May.
The student-fuelled protests escalated, prompting the Liberal government to pass Bill 78, a temporary law that restricts the size and location of some protests, if authorities aren’t alerted ahead of time.
The legislation also suspended the winter semester for college and university students, effectively allowing them to retake missed classes later this year rather than losing a term.
Protesters have been subject to the rules laid out in Bill 78 since its adoption, but it’s not clear whether any of its rules have been formally implemented by police.
The passage of the bill fuelled public anger towards the government.
What was initially a student-led protest movement spread to include civil rights groups, families, and seniors.
An adjunct casserole protest movement mushroomed in May, with average people taking to the streets every night to bang on pots and pans in cities across Quebec.
The protests petered out over the summer, just as Montreal’s festival circuit kicked into high gear.
Source
The poster reads “Our dreams are too big for your polls.”

Quebec protesters enter 100th day of demonstrations against austerity
August 1, 2012

As Quebec’s political ranks gear up for a late summer election campaign, student protesters and their supporters took to the streets with renewed fervour.

For the 100th night in a row, protesters marched through Montreal streets, with many banging on pots and pans, reminiscent of evening protests that spread across the city in the spring. The number of protesters who took to the streets Wednesday was higher than it has been in recent weeks.

Some carried large red banners with anti-Jean Charest slogans, and electoral messages like “our dreams are too big for your polls.”

The protest came as Premier Charest triggered an election, with voters heading to the polls on Sept. 4.

The vote call comes on the heels of Quebec’s raucous student crisis over tuition increases, that gripped the province last winter and spring.

Many of the hundreds of people who joined the street march donned masks to mock a controversial city bylaw forbidding face coverings at public protests.

Protesters started their march in the Villeray district, north of the Jean-Talon Market, and slowly made their way south via St-Denis Street.

Several media outlets reported one protester was injured after a car hit him at the corner of Saint-Denis Street and Laurier Avenue.

The Villeray protesters joined another group in the Émilie-Gamelin Park, near UQÀM.

Police supervised the crowd and declared the protest illegal just after 9 p.m., but told people they could continue to march if they kept the peace.

Wednesday night was the 100th night in a row that students and their supporters took to the streets.

Thousands of students started to boycott classes in February to protest tuition increases. The boycott evolved into daily protests by spring.

After months of negotiations, student leaders rejected the government’s final, watered-down tuition increase offer in May.

The student-fuelled protests escalated, prompting the Liberal government to pass Bill 78, a temporary law that restricts the size and location of some protests, if authorities aren’t alerted ahead of time.

The legislation also suspended the winter semester for college and university students, effectively allowing them to retake missed classes later this year rather than losing a term.

Protesters have been subject to the rules laid out in Bill 78 since its adoption, but it’s not clear whether any of its rules have been formally implemented by police.

The passage of the bill fuelled public anger towards the government.

What was initially a student-led protest movement spread to include civil rights groups, families, and seniors.

An adjunct casserole protest movement mushroomed in May, with average people taking to the streets every night to bang on pots and pans in cities across Quebec.

The protests petered out over the summer, just as Montreal’s festival circuit kicked into high gear.

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The poster reads “Our dreams are too big for your polls.”

Student movement begins to stir in Ottawa
July 23, 2012
Police arrested two adults in relation to a student protest pushing for free tuition downtown Sunday.
Around 40 protesters marched from Confederation Park to Major’s Hill Park starting at 3 p.m. with pots and pans to accompany their chants for free education.
Police arrested two protesters for common nuisance and mischief later in the afternoon. Police said demonstrators caused traffic disruptions and concerns during their march from Laurier Avenue to Major’s Hill Park by splitting into different directions in what is called a “Snake March.”
Organizer Ian Brannigan, 23, said the protest was over and most of the demonstrators had dispersed when a few police officers approached the small remaining group and arrested two of them, who made no move to resist.
“It’s exactly what’s been happening in Quebec,” Brannigan said. “I’m really disappointed it’s happening in Ottawa.”
The student protest made a point to stand in solidarity with similar movements in Quebec, where Montreal students have staged strikes and protests against proposed tuition rises and other issues since February. Thousands in Montreal participated in a demonstration Sunday.
Brannigan said the Ottawa arrests were a move by police to intimidate protesters, but showed that their movement was noticed. At 7 p.m., hours after the conclusion of the demonstration, he stood outside the police station waiting for the two arrested friends, calling for his network to join him.
The demonstration is the first of its kind in Ottawa, organized by Ottawa Students Mobilize! in collaboration with Solidarity Against Austerity. The 22nd day of the month is the same date in March and May where Montreal demonstrations saw turnouts of hundreds of thousands of people.
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Student movement begins to stir in Ottawa

July 23, 2012

Police arrested two adults in relation to a student protest pushing for free tuition downtown Sunday.

Around 40 protesters marched from Confederation Park to Major’s Hill Park starting at 3 p.m. with pots and pans to accompany their chants for free education.

Police arrested two protesters for common nuisance and mischief later in the afternoon. Police said demonstrators caused traffic disruptions and concerns during their march from Laurier Avenue to Major’s Hill Park by splitting into different directions in what is called a “Snake March.”

Organizer Ian Brannigan, 23, said the protest was over and most of the demonstrators had dispersed when a few police officers approached the small remaining group and arrested two of them, who made no move to resist.

“It’s exactly what’s been happening in Quebec,” Brannigan said. “I’m really disappointed it’s happening in Ottawa.”

The student protest made a point to stand in solidarity with similar movements in Quebec, where Montreal students have staged strikes and protests against proposed tuition rises and other issues since February. Thousands in Montreal participated in a demonstration Sunday.

Brannigan said the Ottawa arrests were a move by police to intimidate protesters, but showed that their movement was noticed. At 7 p.m., hours after the conclusion of the demonstration, he stood outside the police station waiting for the two arrested friends, calling for his network to join him.

The demonstration is the first of its kind in Ottawa, organized by Ottawa Students Mobilize! in collaboration with Solidarity Against Austerity. The 22nd day of the month is the same date in March and May where Montreal demonstrations saw turnouts of hundreds of thousands of people.

Quebec protesters start tour at Ontario universities
July 13, 2012
As the pots and pans take a summer break from the streets of Montreal, leaders of Quebec’s huge, headline-grabbing student protests are in Ontario to share their strategies with 10 universities during a week-long tour that began Thursday night at the University of Ottawa.
One of the panel members is Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a well-known face of the student movement and spokesperson for CLASSE, the most militant of the student groups involved.
“For us, it’s kind of a responsibility as activists, to share what we have learned,” he says. “There is a lot of curiosity around our capacity to mobilize so many people.”
Nadeau-Dubois, who is only attending the Ottawa event, says there is no reason that students could not stage an effective strike in Ontario — but says, “Ontario students need to find their own reason to fight.”
As in Quebec, that unifying issue could be high tuition fees.
“(Ontario students) have the highest tuition fees in the country. We have seen (an) increase of up to 71 per cent since 2006. We’ve seen a government committed to reducing tuition instead of increasing them this fall,” says Sarah Jayne King, head of the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students.
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Quebec protesters start tour at Ontario universities

July 13, 2012

As the pots and pans take a summer break from the streets of Montreal, leaders of Quebec’s huge, headline-grabbing student protests are in Ontario to share their strategies with 10 universities during a week-long tour that began Thursday night at the University of Ottawa.

One of the panel members is Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a well-known face of the student movement and spokesperson for CLASSE, the most militant of the student groups involved.

“For us, it’s kind of a responsibility as activists, to share what we have learned,” he says. “There is a lot of curiosity around our capacity to mobilize so many people.”

Nadeau-Dubois, who is only attending the Ottawa event, says there is no reason that students could not stage an effective strike in Ontario — but says, “Ontario students need to find their own reason to fight.”

As in Quebec, that unifying issue could be high tuition fees.

“(Ontario students) have the highest tuition fees in the country. We have seen (an) increase of up to 71 per cent since 2006. We’ve seen a government committed to reducing tuition instead of increasing them this fall,” says Sarah Jayne King, head of the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students.

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Quebec teachers to join students against government plansJune 30, 2012
Student protests in Canada’s eastern province of Quebec are expected to build up steam before the end of the summer with teachers becoming involved in the demonstrations against the government’s plans.
Quebec teachers will reportedly engage in student protests as differences with the provincial government over their demands still remain unsettled. With talks over the teachers’ demands ending in failure, Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s plan to reopen universities in August to finish the postponed winter term could be undercut. The teachers’ union has called on the government to employ a few hundred temporary teachers to help professors manage their workload during the intensive fall plan. The union has also threatened to stop working if their demands are not met by the government. "We’re ready to do our part in all of this," Micheline Thibodeau, vice-president of the teachers’ federation said. "We’re just trying to provide the resources so that our students succeed." 
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Quebec teachers to join students against government plans
June 30, 2012

Student protests in Canada’s eastern province of Quebec are expected to build up steam before the end of the summer with teachers becoming involved in the demonstrations against the government’s plans.

Quebec teachers will reportedly engage in student protests as differences with the provincial government over their demands still remain unsettled. 

With talks over the teachers’ demands ending in failure, Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s plan to reopen universities in August to finish the postponed winter term could be undercut. 

The teachers’ union has called on the government to employ a few hundred temporary teachers to help professors manage their workload during the intensive fall plan. 

The union has also threatened to stop working if their demands are not met by the government. 

"We’re ready to do our part in all of this," Micheline Thibodeau, vice-president of the teachers’ federation said. "We’re just trying to provide the resources so that our students succeed." 

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