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Caroline Montpetit July 13 2012
For the co-spokespeople of CLASSE, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Jeanne Reynolds, not getting involved in the next electoral campaign would be a bad choice.
Though it refuses to back any particular political party, CLASSE has set itself the clear goal of booting the Liberals from office the next time Quebecers go to the polls.
This is what Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, co-spokesperson of CLASSE, said at a press conference yesterday in Montreal, while presenting CLASSE’s manifesto and announcing the party’s plan of action for the upcoming weeks. ”We do not support any political party, but, undeniably, we are against one party,” he said. Posters announcing a protest planned for July 22 at Parc Emilie-Gamelin, in Montreal, read: “July 22, out with the neo-liberals.” On the reverse side of a document denouncing policies of neo-liberal governments of the last 20 years, it says, “The Liberal government is the latest in this line.”
The office of the director general of elections in Quebec reiterated yesterday that it is forbidden for a third party to use funds in support of, or against, a group involved in the elections. ”We are up-to-date about electoral law,” said Ludvic Moquin-Beaudry, CLASSE’s media relations officer. ”And we will be doubly careful starting at the moment the electoral campaign begins.” Moquin-Beaudry says that the term ‘neo-liberal’ does not just apply to the current Liberal government, but also to the CAQ and a significant minority within the Parti Quebecois. ”Obviously, we are not touring through Quebec to tell people how to vote,” he said.
Yesterday, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and his colleague Jeanne Reynolds didn’t want to speculate about talks being held this weekend at the CLASSE Congress at the University of Laval.
Yet, Nadeau-Dubois said, “It would be a mistake not to get involved in the next electoral campaign.” Generally speaking, students do not get out in great numbers to vote in provincial elections. The CLASSE manifesto, published in yesterday’s edition of Le Devoir, clearly show that CLASSE’s goals go far beyond opposing the tuition fee increase. Since the start, maintains Jeanne Reynolds, this movement was about a “social project.” The manifesto speaks to equality between the sexes, respect for the environment, social justice, and democracy.
These themes, and the mobilization against the increase to tuition fees, are what CLASSE delegates will speak about while touring different regions of Quebec until mid-August.
As well, representatives of CLASSE committed not to disrupt the general assemblies that will need to be held in schools, CEGEPs and universities for there to be a strike vote when classes resume. But, from the moment a strike vote is taken, CLASSE will support the student associations who support the strike, as well as individuals who will defy law 12* (formerly known as bill 78), that restricts students’ freedom to demonstrate.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.