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Michèle Ouimet 9 June 2012
Jacques Villeneuve, former Formula 1 Champion, thinks the students are loafers who scare tourists and make Quebec look bad in the eyes of others.
They were also poorly raised by parents who never learned to say no.
“They spend all their time complaining”, he explained Thursday at a press conference where the clichés came faster than an F1 race car. “It’s becoming a bit ridiculous […] It’s time to go back to school!”
Boy-kings, spoiled children, incompetent parents. Contempt and paternalism.
Étienne Côté-Paluck June 4, 2012
Original French Text: http://urbania.ca/blog/3125/l-ego-de-gilbert-rozon
There are large protests in the streets. You disagree with their claims, and you are the director of a festival held in the same streets in a few days.
You address the media to say that the people in the streets are spoiled babies and, after that, you in all seriousness argue that you aren’t seeking confrontation? That’s a bit like shooting yourself in the foot and then blaming the gun.
Alain Simard understood it well. It’s not a question of freedom of expression. It is rather a question of the duty of self-restraint that is required of a director of a festival that occurs on a street that must now be shared with protesters.
Rima Elkouri June 5, 2012
In the press yesterday, Gilbert Rozon paternalistically repeated that he wanted to try to appeal to the “reason” of the student leaders. He said that he wanted a clear statement from them that “discourages and denounces all forms of intimidation and violence during festivals.”
One cannot blame the founder of Just for Laughs for being in favor, like everyone else, of dialogue and social peace. We cannot blame him for wanting to speak up in a city without a leader, a city that is desperately seeking a mayor, a real one, not a priest to whom no one listens when he demands that the casseroles remain on balconies and that grandparents scold their grandchildren.
The trouble with Gilbert Rozon’s public statement (he did not respond to my requests for an interview) is that it is based on a false rumor and that it feeds a myth. A myth, well maintained by the government itself, according to which the student movement, if we do not call it to reason, constitutes a threat. This myth discredits the student movement by associating it with violence. It is based on a crude binary logic according to which there would be only two possible positions in this debate: either you’re with the students, “child-kings,” and violence, or you’re with the government, honest taxpayers, and reason. As if one could not be both against violence and for reason. As if the will of the strongest was necessarily the best.
June 3, 2012
CLASSE gets ready for summer mobilization and Gilbert Rozon to meet with students leaders tomorrow.
Photo : Canadian Press (photo) Peter McCabe
Several thousand people parade yesterday in Montreal at a rally in support of CLASSE. The group is holding its annual convention today.
The Canadian Formula 1 Open House event, originally planned for next Thursday in Montreal, has been cancelled.
The event’s organizers decided to cancel the day “given the recent announcements of planned disruptions”. The decision came about a few hours after the president of the Just For Laughs festival announced that he would try to convince the students to put an end to their “extortion” tactics.