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Lisa-Marie Gervais August 23, 2012
In the midst of the electoral campaign, the demonstration this “22nd” was about more than education.
Feeling like they hadn’t been a key subject of the electoral campaign, they took to the streets to be heard. Thousands of protesters marched in Montreal’s downtown yesterday, as students and anti-capitalists alike collectively uttered an unequivocal message: “Cha-rest! Get-Out!”
The calm and joyful tone of the demonstration offered a striking contrast to the vehemence of the protesters’ message. Most were sympathetic to the “red square” movement. Alicia, who is not a student but who was quickly won over by the movement, said point-blank “the theme of this demonstration is to get Charest out. I had to be here.” “Quebecers are in the streets, as we speak, and it’s very clear whose side they are on!” she added.
On Wednesday afternon, after a wild ride through the entertainment district, hundreds of demonstrators blocked the main entrance of Hydro-Québec’s headquarters in Montreal.
“This first demonstration announces the return to the strike!” chanted through a megaphone one of the protesters, perched at the foot of the statue of Edward VII on Phillips Square, where several hundred demonstrators had responded to the call for “national action disturbance”, launched by CLASSE.
August 2, 2012
Student demonstration in downtown Montreal, August 1st 2012 (Photo: Olivier Jean, Reuters)
The nightly march, promptly declared illegal by the police, coincided with the start of the much anticipated election campaign called by Québec Premier Jean Charest.
According to witness estimates, some ten thousand people marched in Montreal Wednesday evening, the first day of the election campaign, to protest against the hike in tuition fees and the law limiting public demonstrations.
Antoine Dubé, Lévis July 24, 2012
Because as a baby-boomer, I myself have benefitted from low tuition fees, and because I think it is fair that young people today should be able to get a university education at a price equivalent to what my generation had to pay;
Because I think it is contradictory that we are asking students to take on debt as individuals so as not to increase the collective debt of future generations;
Because if education allows, in principle, better-paying jobs in the future and if such jobs will bring in more taxes for the government, then it seems illogical to me that the government should limit access to education and deprive itself of future revenue;
Public Event by Ensemble, bloquons la hausse
Original French Text: https://www.facebook.com/events/158121600990237/
Date: July 22, 2012
Time: See list of cities in description and on event wall for individual details
Each month has its 22. This time, CLASSE invites all citizens to massively take to the streets to demonstrate not only in Montreal, but in each and every city in Quebec. Publish your region’s rallying spot on the event’s wall!
Manifeste en noir (Facebook)
Original French Text: https://www.facebook.com/events/156286851172470/
Jointly organized by Mères en colère et solidaires [Angry and united mothers], Parents contre la hausse [Parents against the hike], Parents d’enfant blessé dans une manif [Parents of an injured child at a demonstration], Profs contre la hausse [Teachers against the hike], Profs féministes et en colère [Feminist and angry teachers] and Têtes blanches carré rouge [White heads red square].
SLOW AND SILENT FUNERAL MARCH
This is not a student protest…but a march in support of the students. A SLOW AND SILENT MARCH at which we suggest you wear your mourning. Your mourning of democracy following the adoption of law 78, of the right to education for all, of our fundamental rights, of the right to demonstrate “in security” and of all rights you wish to underline.
“A rest from the noise, where only banners and placards carried by the breeze emanating from our river would have their flapping heard. A slow and silent march made up of the elderly, the youth, the handicapped, the depressed, the fragile…And then, all of a sudden, we sit, on a small chair, a cushion, a blanket, our legs crossed, arms crossed. We will have planned for a shawl or a scarf, anything black to put on our head. This will be the sit-in. The street will then be blocked and the silence more eloquent, more devastating to those who will hear it. It will be a living and noiseless barricade. A shield against the king’s horsemen, the rumbling of the police’s Hell’s Angels motors. It will be the mute sign of our disapproval. A deaf and dumb threat. And the whole world will be watching how Quebec treats its children and elderly. If we are taken by our shoulders and our legs to be brought, cuffed, to a bus, we will not be afraid. This silence will cry above and beyond fear.” - An angry and supportive grandmother.
Isabelle Porter June 23, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/353221/pas-de-vacances-pour-la-contestation
Big summer march in Montreal and a record crowd in Quebec
Yesterday Quebec saw its biggest protest since the beginning of the student conflict.
A day of protests yesterday in Montreal and Quebec. The two rallies in continuance with March 22nd brought together 15 000 and 10 000 people respectively, showing that the contestation can still be heard at the beginning of school holidays.
At the foot of the monument for Sir MacDonald, place du Canada in Montreal, children, and their parents, prepare to throw balls of paper mâché at a life-sized effigy of Jean Charest, made up as a clown. “Who wants to try?” asks an organizer, loaded with ammunition, to no one in particular. The tone is excited; the mood of the fourth large 22 protest will be decidedly summery and festive on the first day of summer and of school holidays, to the great happiness of ice cream vendors.
In Montreal, while the temperature joyfully exceeded 30 degrees Celsius, the crowd nearing from 10 000 to 15 0000 peoples, a more modest result that previous 22 protests. Of course the mobilization is less strong, more difficult at the moment. Students work and return to their families, recognized Camille Robert, co-spokesperson for the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE), “but we’re not really worried, the mobilization is transforming. For example, the casseroles gave birth to the community assemblies (assemblées de quartier)”. For her colleague Jeanne Reynolds, also co-spokesperson for CLASSE, “the protests aren’t everything, they are part of a group of diverse complimentary tactics. […] The summer may also be an opportunity to take some distance, to stand back and return with new ideas.”
Nathaëlle Morissette June 14, 2012
The student crisis cannot be held fully responsible for the decrease in performance for Montreal hoteliers in May. Compared to 2011, the city has hosted 7,300 fewer conference-goers. However, the tourist industry had already anticipated this decrease, which cannot be linked to the protests and ‘casseroles’, since reservations for conferences are generally made four or five years in advance.
In May, the Palais de congrès hosted three events, totaling 17, 850 participants. Last year they hosted five events, totaling 25, 150 people. The congresses planned in 2012 were planned in 2008, in the middle of an economic crisis, in a context in which organizations were more tentative about their spending. According to the director of marketing and communications for the Palais de congrès, Chrystine Loriaux, this fact is likely the explanation for the decreased number of events. Furthermore, this decrease in events has certainly had an impact on the number of hotel rooms rented in Montreal, she confirmed. Each participant in this type of conference stays an average of three nights. Recall that hoteliers registered 25,000 fewer overnight stays in May 2012, and their revenues decreased by 10.68% - “When there are fewer conference-goers, it’s clear that there is an impact,” indicated Loriaux.
According to Tourisme Montréal, business tourists stay an average of 3.4 nights in Montréal. A deficit of 7,300 conference-goers in May could thus represent up to 24, 820 fewer overnight stays for the hotels in the city.
Event: March against the student-fee hike
By : CLASSE
Date : June 22nd, 2pm to 5pm
Location : Place du Canada, Montreal
Description : On June 22nd, let’s walk together in protest against the student-fee hike and Bill 78. The Coalition large de l’ASSÉ (CLASSE) invites all Quebeckers to join us and march in the streets of Montreal. We must all stand together against the antisocial policies of the Charest government.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/100800863395179/
Event : Reclaiming the National Assembly!
By : JAPPEL15M
Date : June 22nd, noon to June 25th, 11pm
Location : Quebec National Assembly
Letter to the editor, Cathy Wong, jurist June 9, 2012
Original French text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/352030/la-diversite-dans-la-rue
Since the student mobilisation began, the intergenerational dimension of the movement has come up again and again, but its intercultural aspect has been much less discussed.
“Are you coming to protest tonight?” Rima texts me, a young muslim aged 23 who has been active for weeks in denouncing Bill 78. Later Kim, a young Quebecer of Vietnamese origin, asks me to bring an extra casserole so she can denounce police violence after a friend was victimized. At 24, Kim experiences her first protest at the corner of Saint Denis and Laurier, pot in hand, pride in her eyes.
During the march, I meet Daniel, a young Haitian man who updates his Facebook status once a minute. He excitedly confides in me that he solicits his network of friends to join him on Friday nights at Place Émilie-Gamelin [note: starting point for nightly protests] instead of their habitual bars on St-Laurent. With the carré rouge tattooed on his heart, Daniel fears the nefarious consequences of a tuition hike for him and his family.