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Blandine Parchemal July 7 2012
In the July 6 2012 issue of Le Devoir you can read an op-ed entitled “Student movement: the electoral challenge”. In addition to raising some important points regarding the risk of a PLQ electoral campaign bearing the themes of law and order and realizing itself on the backs of the students, it seems to me nevertheless that the verdict put forward regarding the student movement is profoundly unjust in relation to the totality of the work that it has accomplished among Quebecois society during the last few months.
The author starts his text in effect by speaking about “defeat in public opinion”, “big disappointment” and ends by declaring that this could be “the biggest defeat of the Quebec student movement” if the Liberal party is reelected. Of course, if the PLQ are reelected in the next election, we will have a very bitter taste in our mouths. Nevertheless, even if this situation has to be, I won’t necessarily speak of the defeat of the student movement but rather the defeat of Quebec society as it was, and this, because it’s the student movement has always strived for a popular challenge to the current government.’
As for the question of public opinion, listen to us say that we have never really known what they think and that it’s probably not one more survey that will allow us to know more. Also, above and beyond general public opinion on the movement, what interested me much more, is analyzing the evolution of the population’s participation in the movement. And yet, when I see the beauty of the casseroles movement for example, all these people who came out into the streets with us many nights in a row, these children, these grand parents, I can’t resign myself to speak of defeat and still less of disappointment. When I see the popularity of the large protests on the 22nd of each month, the flowering of neighborhood assemblies or simply the totality of these red squares worn proudly, I can’t speak of defeat either.