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Valérian Mazataud August 2, 2012
For the first time in five weeks, the streets of Montréal were filled with the sounds of casseroles and slogans, as the start of the election campaign coincided with the hundredth night-time march.
Marching orders were given many hours earlier on social networks. Keywords like #manifencours and #casserolesencours began trending on Twitter. For this hundredth march, and for the first day of the election campaign, people would be armed… with their trusty casseroles, ready to restart the high times of last spring’s protests.
From 7:00 PM on, the most die-hard of casserolers, accompanied by protesters, hit the pavement at the corner of St-Denis and Jarry. At 7:15, the group of a few dozen started to move, quickly joined by students pushing a huge red cube. A few minutes later, in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, a similar group started down Ontario street towards Place Emilie-Gamelin.
Gabrielle Duchaine August 1, 2012
PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, LA PRESSE
(Montreal) Summer vacation hasn’t taken the drive out of the student movement. One hundred days after the first night demonstration against tuition hikes, and 12 hours after the official launch of an electoral campaign, thousands of casseroles and demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal Wednesday night. A warning to disperse was given by the SPVM at 10:30pm.
Even the famous Anarchopanda came to the head of the demonstration. He received a veritable ovation on his arrival, which galvanized the crowd, already feverish under a stormy sky.
Masks, a giant red square, mascots, flags, fireworks, whistles, scarves…there was everything, and there was a lot of it.
Let us be clear: it is a surprise to no one that the streets of Montréal, and the various cities and villages of Québec, have become quieter over these hot summer months. There have been various condescending explanations for this: some believe that the current protest movement is a bandwagon that has fallen out of vogue. Others treat us as a collection of spoiled babies who are easily distracted. Contrary to the bad faith and intellectually lazy cries that we should “just get a job” as an alternative to participating in our democracy, those of us who have been protesting for five months now are also people with jobs, families, and personal obligations. At the beginning of the summer, Jean Charest tried to place us in opposition to what “the people of Québec” wanted, as though we were on the outside looking in. But we are also the people of Québec, and we refuse such an attempt to divide us; over the past few weeks, we have been dancing at summer festivals, we have been taking weekends to go swim in beautiful and clear lakes, we have been drinking beer on terrasses, we have been working hard at our day jobs, and we have been doing this all while remaining profoundly committed to the social movement that has awoken our neighbourhoods, our cities, and our province. Enjoying the summer and committing to personal obligations does not mean abandoning the cause.
It is hard work, sustaining a social movement that engages not just students, but all members of québécois society. It is even harder doing so in light of a government that pours tens of thousands of our tax dollars (when supposedly there is no more money for education) into advertisements meant to marginalize us, and that uses us as a foil in their heavy-handed and paternalistic election campaign. It is also hard when our corporate media outlets, whose objectives are to generate profits for their owners, rather than to be accountable to the people for whom they are meant to provide a service vital to democracy, decide that our moment is over and that we are no longer exciting or “new” enough to sell newspapers or ad space. And finally, it is hard because even we get tired. It has been a long five months, and we are ordinary human beings. Even the most dedicated demonstrator needs to take a break every once in a while, maybe because of previously scheduled holiday plans, family obligations, or maybe just because they have spent five months working 8 or more hours in the day and then taking to the streets every night, which is an exhausting combination both physically and psychologically.
For all of these reasons and for many more, we would like to counter the myth that the movement is over, or that it has died down, or that it is losing momentum. It is a mistake to assess this movement in purely quantifiable terms. We are more than the number on the street on any given night and our tenacity cannot be measured by the size and visibility of our donned red squares.
Johanne Lapierre June 27, 2012
Original French Text: http://blogues.radio-canada.ca/surleweb/2012/06/27/publicite-plq-marois-retire/
The story has been widely circulated in the media and on the web: the Liberal party of Quebec (PLQ) used images taken from an amateur video in which Pauline Marois is seen participating in a casserole protest to make an advertisement, which is currently broadcast on television. After the first broadcast of this advertisement on the web, the author of the images, Guy Séguin, sent a legal demand to the PLQ, arguing that they were using his images without his authorization.
But still the Liberal party refuses to remove its advertisement from its site, it having nevertheless disappeared from several websites, including Facbeook, Youtube and Vimeo. All this because of the intervention of a firm called Police du Net.
Philippe Teisceira-Lessard May 25, 2012
Minister Bachand welcomed the casserole protests Friday as a creative and festive means to make an opinion heard without harming the tourist image of the metropolis. PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Skinner, Archives La Presse
The Finance Minister Raymon Bachand welcomed the casserole protests Friday as a creative and festive means to make an opinion heard without harming the tourist image of the metropolis.
Participating in a business conference, Minister Bachand seemed delighted to see protests that don’t finish “in violence and destruction” like has “always” been the case for the past month.
Denise Eva Ouellette - Verchères June 11, 2012 (Published June 13, 2012)
Sunday, June 10, around 8:20 PM, we were two retired couples, two young couples, and seven children who were playing together in the park of Verchères. It was a peaceful and festive demonstration against Bill 78, as usual, for a half hour.
We were suddenly accosted by four drunk young men in their twenties, in two cars. They were obviously seeking a provocation, with a dozen eggs on the dashboard. One of them came up and aggressively started questioning the young men, who didn’t take the bait. In brief, one of them launched a violent verbal barrage, another one of them video recorded it, and they threw eggs at us, while the young father answered back politely. Two girls were crying, and one of the boys, a bit more aware of what was going on, was worried about his dad.
As seniors, we were more vulnerable, and we watched anxiously, trying to protect the children. We were stunned that this could happen in a quiet town like ours. We called the police, and they came to speak to witnesses, including a visibly shaken person who saw what happened as he was driving by. We filed a complaint. All this to say: there is an urgent need in Quebec to resolve this gangrenous social crisis for which Mr. Charest is principally to blame.
Translated from the original French byTranslating 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.
Radio-Canada with La Presse Canadienne and Marie-Claude Guay June 16, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/arts_et_spectacles/2012/06/15/008-loco-locass-leaders-etudiants-francofolies.shtml [click on link to watch embedded video]
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Jeanne Reynolds, Martine Desjardins, Éliane Laberge and Léo Bureau-Blouin shared the stage with Loco Locass during the group’s Friday night show in Montreal’s FrancoFolies festival.
Student leaders joined the rap trio for the encore. After calling on the crowd to observe a minute of silence “because today Québec is dead… Long live Québec!”, the student leaders and Loco Locass set the Festival stage on fire with their hit Libérez-nous des libéraux! (Liberate us from the Liberals!) The song was kicked off by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois with an impersonation of Premier Jean Charest.
Throughout the show, the trio’s political commitment came through. They showed it right from the opening by ridiculing law 78, enacted to end the student conflict, by singing “On est plus que 50…On est plus que 50” (We are more than 50… We are more than 50).
Near the end of the show, they looped the nightly protest chant “la loi spéciale…on s’en câlisse!” (The special law… We don’t give a damn).
At the end, they called for new elections and encouraged youth to turn out and vote in large numbers.
Lisa-Marie Gervais June 1, 2012
With Mélissa Guillemette et Thierry Haroun
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/351440/l-echo-des-casseroles-s-accentue
The street has taken on the habit of night time protests and the booming symphony of pots and pans as the clock strikes 8 o’clock. But it was with a renewed intensity that the students and their supporters took up their wooden spoons and came out to demonstrate last night.
Earlier, in the late afternoon [on Thursday], the calls on the Internet to gather were even more numerous as a result of the breakdown in negotiations between the student unions and the government.
Stéphane Baillargeon June 2, 2012
What was once a student conflict is now a social crisis. Who exactly is this group, taking to the streets more than any other in Quebec’s history? And why are they doing it?
It’s the elected leader, or the street. The elected leader of elected leaders Jean Charest renewed his call for calm Thursday, and we’ll find out today whether he was heard by the mobilized masses, in the streets once again for a protest organized by students, who have been on strike for more than 100 days and a few dozen nights.
Commenting on the failure of negotiations, the premier once again told the public that elections would be held in eighteen months time and that “that will be the moment for people to express their disagreement democratically”. He added that, by threatening to disrupt the F1 Grand Prix set to take place in Montreal next weekend, the more radical amongst the young negotiators had gone too far.