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Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/justice/359443/pour-une-commission-d-enquete-publique
As teachers and lecturers of various disciplines and several universities in Quebec, we have, accompanied by solidarity, the Quebec student movement in the most important and longest strike in our history. We have therefore been witness to the biggest wave of police repression in the history of contemporary Quebec, marked by 3387 arrests from February 16th to the 3rd of September, 2012. (this assessment is without doubt partial: see the website of the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality)
Several of these arrests were performed during the circling mass practice for which Montreal Police Department (SPVM) have been criticized by the United Nations’ Council of Human Rights in November 2005, which had even asked to hold a commission of inquiry that never happened. Often these arrests were carried out in a brutal manner, the prison conditions were harsh and they were not permitted to talk to a lawyer or relatives.
That’s not counting the numerous injuries, two eyes lost, teeth broken, fractured skull, broken arms and legs. The Media and the broadcasted videos in cyberspace have also revealed that the police forces seemed animated by a profound contempt for students, which is expressed by the insults, including by way of sexist and homophobic.
Christian Nadeau, Philosophy professor at Université de Montréal September 1, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/elections-2012/358264/surmonter-le-4-septembre
Photo caption: Last spring, the strike called into question a social order in which politics belong solely to those elected. It is our duty from today onward to follow up on those commitments, writes Christian Nadeau. (Photo credit: Jacques Nadeau, Le Devoir)
On August 1, Quebec’s lieutenant governor general, Pierre Duchesne, signed the order that would dissolve the National Assembly and trigger Quebec’s 40th general elections. Since that day, it’s been as though the debate of ideas had been completely set aside in favour of partisan streamlining and of the daily trivial circumstances affecting politicians.
The very moment the elections were called, politics were reclaimed by political professionals. Since then, they have been completely monopolizing the news, which has had the effect of further distancing civil society from its representatives. But how can we explain such a public infatuation – for it has been “public” – for Caesars devoid of their Rubicon, whose close guard always comprises one or two Brutus?
What happened? How did we come to that? How could we have so quickly turned our backs to the formidable political momentum kindled by the student strike and the events of this past spring?
Savignac, Blogger August 19. 2012
Original French Text: http://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/savignac/salut-le-jeune_b_1806556.html
It started like that, Hey kid. Do you remember? I wrote you a note back in March. I was asking a lot, not knowing that you would give so much. An RRSP, a mortgage, kids and wearing pleated dress pants, I spoke to you of my powerlessness, and I was asking you to turn them all down, for all of us. I was telling you how much I needed your euphoria, your rage, your strength, your freedom.
Today it’s over. You’re back in school. Studying. You never had any other goal. Your coherence honours your springtime and your little square of fabric. Lost, won, over five years, seven years, loans, bursaries, one coffee a day, the fair share… I know you’ll meet the challenge, no matter what happens.
Martin Jolicoeur August 16, 2012
Against all expectations, the student protests of the spring have not affected Montreal and Quebec City tourism.
The most recent data from the Quebec Ministry of Tourism shows a significant increase in tourist traffic in the rate of hotel occupancy in both cities.
In June, the third month of student protests, hoteliers experienced a growth of 11.6% in the number of rooms occupied, and an increase of 10.7% (or 7.7 percentage points) of their occupation rate compared to the same period in 2011. In June 2012, the occupation rate of Montreal hotels reached 79.5%.
Stéphane Laporte August 19, 2012
Original French Text: http://blogues.lapresse.ca/laporte/2012/08/19/la-crise-etudiante-ce-netait-quun-reve/
The leader’s debate has just ended.
Amazingly, they hardly even mentioned the student strike.
The words “red square” or “street” were not spoken.
I thought that was why the elections were prompted…
It was only a dream.
Françoise David was the debate’s bright star, but her jeweled red square might signify that this cause has now been put away in a drawer.
Martin Vachon August 20, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/357212/la-defaite-des-carres-rouges-vraiment
Votes on the return to class are piling up. By and large, CEGEP students in particular are choosing to resume classes. For them, it’s the end of the strike and the beginning of an intense make-up session to complete courses abandoned last winter. They voted democratically for the strike. They are now voting democratically to end it. I say democratically because, until proven otherwise, it is a democratic process. And the low participation rate is no argument to the contrary. Everyone knows that our premier was elected to power with only 24% of the vote! Enough said.
For some, it is an enormous relief. For others, a bitter disappointment. The two reactions are easy to understand or, at least, they should be. It’s not for me to judge.
But can we really speak of the “defeat of the red squares”? Of course the part of the twittersphere that is hostile to them is drunk with joy at every announcement confirming the end of the strike. Along with kudos and congratulations for the students deemed sensible, it wasn’t long before insults were raining down on those clearly in favour of the strike. “They’re done pissing everyone off!” they gloat. “Beuby, boys and girls!” Spinning round and round.
This tone isn’t new and it won’t be dissipating anytime soon. Still, is this really a “defeat of the red squares”? Far from it! Many indications would suggest that those who think they’ve won the round are sadly mistaken. Here’s why.
Julien Villeneuve, member of Profs contre la hausse, presented at CLASSE event at Cabaret Olympia
August 10 2012
Original French Text: https://www.facebook.com/Anarchopanda/posts/259944277450788
Dear students fighting alongside the CLASSE,
My name is Julien, I teach Philosophy and I am in favor of free education. I am part of the Profs contre la hausse [Teachers Against the Hike], which, despite the title, brings together many teachers who are also in favor of free education. I’ve been asked to tell you what exactly Profs contre la hausse is, and why we support you. Seeing that I only have a few minutes, I will try to do both at the same time.
If I had to explain to you what Profs contre la hausse is in one sentence in the most scientifically precise way possible, I would say, “Profs contre la hausse is like you guys, but less cool and with teachers.” I’ll explain myself.
Profs contre la hausse sprung from the teachers’ need to meet right away, all together, inter-syndically if not para-syndically if not almost extra-syndically (meaning the larger central unions, of course), in order to reflect (not too much) and to act (as much as possible) in support of your struggle. I know that I should say our struggle. I’ll come back to that later.
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, CLASSE co-spokesperson August 9, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/356382/pourquoi-je-demissionne
Photo cation: Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is leaving his role as co-spokesperson of the Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) after six months of social struggle.
To each one of you who mobilized this spring,
To members of the CLASSE,
This letter is meant to inform you that I will be leaving my role as co-spokesperson of the CLASSE. After nearly six months of struggle by your side, I believe that the CLASSE is in need of fresh faces. After having taken part in the Coalition’s national tour through all four corners of Quebec, I know that our struggle is now entering a new stage. A stage that necessitates a renewal: it is time for me to bow out. I have done my share as spokesperson, it is now time for others to take over.
I am leaving with my head held high, with the conviction of having done my duty and of having participated in a historical popular movement. I am a student, I am an activist, and it’s in this capacity that I will henceforth continue to promote my ideals. The CLASSE, with or without me, will continue to accomplish great things: I am not, and have never been, a leader. Through leaving, I will prove this beyond doubt.
I am leaving, but the movement will carry on. What I am leaving is not the mobilization, the struggle, nor the CLASSE: I am leaving my role of spokesperson. I will still be at your side, in the street and in assemblies. I am leaving with the feeling of having fulfilled a commitment, along with the feeling of having participated in the building of this magnificent mobilization as well as my abilities allowed. The CLASSE needs new blood, and my colleagues are formidable people, ready to carry the torch.
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.