If you would like to volunteer and join the effort, please contact us at the above email before embarking on any translation work, in order to avoid any redundancies. We cannot accept translations that have not been cleared with us first.
For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Jean Barbe June 12, 2012
Original French text: http://blogues.journaldemontreal.com/barbe/actualites/pour-le-quebec/
It’s seemed evident for a while now, but Charest’s insistence on demonizing the red square, and the recent statements made by the minister of culture Christine St-Pierre about Fred Pellerin’s refusal to be inducted into the Order of Quebec, leaves no room for doubt: “We know what the red square means: it means violence, intimidation and preventing people from going to school.”
Call it a PR strategy, if you will. The Charest governments plan is clear enough and has 3 main objectives;
1. To demonize the red square and to reduce the social crisis to a simple complaint from students who are violent and categorically refuse to negotiate.
2. More fuel for the fire: to incite anger and provoke violence by making derogatory statements, by passing Bill 78, by using excessive police pressure, by illegal dispersions, and mass arrests illegal all the same.
3. Playing politics: triggering elections where the Liberal Government will present themselves as champions of the law, order and democracy in an attempt to distract us from their disastrous political career.
This is Charest’s game of power. Power that he is desperately trying to hold onto after 10 years of a Liberal Regime that has massively increased Quebec’s debt while diminishing the quality of life of Quebekers. It is a cynical game unworthy of a chief of state, a game that attempts to scare off anyone far away enough from Montreal, who cant see firsthand how he is exaggerating the violent nature and damaging effects of the movement in order to mislead and crystalyze public opinion.
The result? A Quebec that is being torn apart, with tears in the social fabric that are getting deeper and deeper. If this isn’t a social crisis, then maybe we should ask Charest: “What will it take?”
This is his game. He established the rules, the players and the issues. He invented this game, he is the card dealer and the owner of the Casino all at the same time. If we play his game, we can’t win. No one can win. No one. If we play his game, the only Quebekers who will ever win are those who are presently in power and their friends who lurk in the shadows.
To continue playing Charest’s game is to continue to further divide Quebec, it is to risk deferring power to a government who, albeit the minority, prefer power over social peace and profitable markets over the nurturing and growth of the people of Quebec.
This isn’t a student conflict, it is a social conflict, a Quebecois conflict, of two competing world visions. Two different visions for the future of Quebec, a future that we will have to share.
We need to guide those who don’t understand us. We need to explain our position clearly, and tirelessly. Stop the insults and personification. Don’t be mean or threatening just for laughs. Don’t make jokes at the expense of an idea that has the potential to bring us all together. Don’t stop thinking. Think more. Express yourself with prudence and determination. Advocate with compassion. Make some noise - not just to be heard, but to be understood. If we reclaim the common good, we must also always consider those who don’t think like us. We must communicate with open eyes, open minds, and open hearts. We need to speak our minds and share our vision of a world that isn’t enslaved to the market economy, but rather an economy that serves the needs of the people.
We need to organize and mobilize now more than ever. Not against tuition hikes, but for Quebec. The same applies to the opposition parties, The Parti Québécois, Québec Solidaire, Option Nationale and independent MPs. If you can’t, for electoral reasons, create the conditions to defeat the Liberal government, you will bear a heavy, historic burden on your conscience.
If, over minor details, you refuse to hear the call of the people, you will have failed miserably in your duties as elected representatives.
Together, we need to put mechanisms in place that will permit us to reflect calmly and democratically about our common future.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when the people are divided, we need love more than ever.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.