Articles

Red Square, Everywhere: With Quebec Student Strikers, Against Repression

By Xavier Lafrance and Alan Sears

The Charest government has turned to repression to try to break the largest and longest student strike in Quebec history. Students had already endured heavy-handed policing, including hundreds of arrests and brutal attacks by riot cops on campuses and in the streets. The new strikebreaking legislation, Bill 78, is a brutal clampdown on the right to organize collectively and on freedom of expression. The protest plans for any demonstrations of more than 50 people must be cleared with the police in advance of any gathering, or the action will be considered illegal.  Individual students, staff or faculty members who advocate the ongoing strike action risk harsh penalties, and student unions or university employees unions who organize or support ongoing strike activity will face heavy fines.

Articles

The Quebec Student Strike: the Meaning of a Crisis

By Pierre Mouterde

There is no doubt that with the 2012 student strike, Quebec is going through a decisive moment in its history. But we must now try to measure its exact reach, if only to understand in which direction we should look for a solution to what is increasingly looking like a major educational, but also social and political crisis.

Articles

Massive Student Upsurge Fuels Major Debates in Quebec Society

By Richard Fidler

A crowd estimated at 250,000 people or more wound its way through Montréal April 22 in Quebec’s largest ever Earth Day march. They raised many demands: an end to tar sands and shale gas development, opposition to the Quebec government’s Plan Nord mining expansion, support for radical measures to protect ecosystems, and other causes. And many wore the red felt square symbolizing support to the province’s students fighting the Liberal government’s 75 per cent increase in post-secondary education fees over the next five years. The Earth Day march was the largest mobilization to date in a mounting wave of citizen protest throughout the province.

Articles

What Strategy for the Big Union Centrals?

By Pierre Mouterde

In the name of “deficit reduction,” governments and other public sector employers across the Canadian state are attempting to extract concessions from public sector workers and weaken the services they deliver. The Common Front of Quebec’s public sector unions is currently in negotiations for contracts covering 475 000 workers. The employers are still showing no sign of moving to meet union demands, but the union leaderships have not been preparing for a strike and continue to negotiate despite the lack of progress at the bargaining table. This article takes a look at the situation. We will be running more articles about public sector unions in future. — NS.

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