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For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Judith Trudeau and Stéphane Chalifour June 27, 2012
Original French text: http://profscontrelahausse.org/billets/rouge-comme-un-printemps/
Reflections on the student movement
What was originally a low-intensity conflict destined to be resolved by the combined
effects of the test of time and fear of failure, has been slowly transformed into a real
crisis whose more acute magnitude poses the recurrent question of a new social contract. Clearly overwhelmed, but bolstered by polls, the Liberal government has underestimated this segment of the student youth whose determination has unfolded over time, with creativity and intelligence. The evasion and refusal to discuss a moratorium (an announcement of which would have sufficed to bypass the radicalization of students), ended up constituting - in essence - the improvised strategy of a government whose apparent firmness attests, ultimately, to its weakness and its decay in public affairs. Although this crisis is neither over nor opening up a radical option in the political scene, it leads to a reflection illuminating the contradictions that it seems to have exacerbated. Far from any claim to completeness, we wish to review here a few elements.
Stéphane Baillargeon June 9, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/352083/mai-68-en-gros
PHOTO CAPTION: Policemen, members of the CRS, use batons on rue Saint-Jaques in Paris as clashes between police and security forces in the Lating Quarter on May 6th, 1968, during the events of May ‘68. The protests, which were illegal, took a violent turn during the afternoon and ended in an atmosphere of riot that evening.
Students are protesting in large number. The streets buzz as playful revolution is marked by intermittent violence. An exhausted government looks for a way out. Constitutional order seems threatened (at least somewhat).
With events like these, it’s tempting to compare what’s happening in Quebec at this moment with what happened in France forty-four years ago.
In a brief on the “maple spring“ published on RTBF’s website this week however, Édouard Delruelle categorically rejected any parallels between the two protest movements.
“They have no positive claims, no utopia“, he wrote, speaking equally of the Occupy movement. “Quebec’s maple spring has nothing to do with May 68: these young people don’t want to change their lives, don’t want to overturn the system. They want to preserve it, to benefit from it.”