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August 27, 2012
Original French text: http://www.bloquonslahausse.com/2012/08/la-classe-denonce-la-repression-sur-le-campus-de-ludem/
This Monday, August 27, 2012, CLASSE denounces the rampant violence and police on the University of Montreal campus. Tens of thousands of students, notably at UQAM and UdeM (University of Montreal), refrained from going to their classes today in accordance with decisions made by their democratic assemblies. The application of these mandates was difficult at the University of Montreal, where the school administration applied Law 12, which restricts people’s freedoms of assembly, expression and association.
CLASSE takes this opportunity to remind people that the atmosphere on campuses was calm before the administration forced students back to class. Since the start of this conflict, the government has been pushing responsibility onto the police forces and university administrators. In the end, the students have withstood the blows, the fines and the cheap shots, while few elected officials have lent an ear to students to make their demands heard. “Thus, thousands of students have a good reason to want to continue this strike and repression has never been and will never be an acceptable solution,” says Jeanne Reynolds, co-spokesperson of CLASSE.
Today, police forces entered some pavilions at UdeM, at the request of the university administration, to act against striking students. “It was an action undertaken in the face of decisions made democratically by students,” adds Reynolds. “Administrators must recognize student associations’ right to continue the strike, just as they have recognized the legitimacy of other students’ votes to return to class.”
Everyone loses when police forces intervene or when student democracy is not respected. “Teaching under pressure, as security agents and police officers stand guard outside classrooms, does not create a climate conducive to learning,” says Michel Seymour, a philosophy professor at the University of Montreal. CLASSE acknowledges the support of professors, particularly those at UQAM.
CLASSE asks administrators to be open to listening to students and professors: after all, administrators should not be standing up for interests that diverge from those of the academic community. “Law 12 was known to be inapplicable from the start,” says Camille Robert, spokesperson of CLASSE. “Instead of staying with the Liberal party as they drift into repression and authoritarianism, administrators should engage the people around them who are being affected. Instead of using force, they should be using discussion.”
Ludvic Moquin-Beaudry, press attaché for CLASSE: 514-835-2444
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.