The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

thepeoplesrecord:

10,000 Quebec students clash with police after rejecting tuition increase
February 28, 2013

A tuition-fee compromise by Quebec’s premier couldn’t prevent a violent protest that rekindled memories of last year’s Quebec Spring.

The window-smashing rally of 10,000 people took place despite Pauline Marois’s efforts to appease student hardliners with a bilateral meeting.

The hardliners instead boycotted Marois’s summit and organized a massive demonstration after the premier refused to abolish tuition fees.

As the meeting drew to a close south of downtown, Montreal riot police charged crowds of mask-wearing protesters north of the summit site.

Suspects pelted officers and their horses with rocks, eggs and red paint. Windows were smashed and vehicles were damaged along the rally route and police tackled at least one masked man and led him away in handcuffs.

It was the second straight day of vandalism related to the student movement. Suspects splattered red paint at the offices of several provincial politicians hours before the meeting got underway on Monday morning.

The premier concluded her two-day summit by holding firm on a $70 annual tuition increase and $250 million in cuts to university budgets over two years.

Marois marched with the students when she was opposition leader but has since drawn their ire despite cancelling the previous Liberal government’s seven-year, $1,800 tuition hike.

Before the violent outbreak Tuesday, she suggested the summit that brought together unions, university rectors and moderate students was a success.

“We have done a tremendous job,” she told reporters. “We managed to put the fighting behind us and return to dialogue.”

Even moderate student groups opposed to Tuesday’s protest gave Marois the thumbs down.

They said they were “extremely disappointed” Marois didn’t maintain a tuition freeze first implemented in 1993.

University principals and rectors are also upset at the budget cuts, warning that student services will suffer.

Quebec students have been willing to create social unrest to make their point.

The previous Liberal government’s decision to hike tuition led to months of protests last year that taxed police services, disrupted Quebec’s economy and made international headlines.

Source

We desperately need this kind of organization in the US. My alma mater is raising tuition & living costs yet again this year & barely any students even know about it.

(via randomactsofchaos)

The People’s LRAD | Sarah Jaffe

You hear just one at first, a clanging noise echoing down an otherwise quiet residential street. Then another joins it, another wooden or perhaps metal spoon banging against another pot. Maybe it’s across the street, or coming from a balcony or an open kitchen window.

Then as you start walking, marching really, banging on your own pot or pan, you see them coming toward you. Your neighbors, maybe people you’ve never spoken to before, and it’s hard to speak to them now so you simply smile. Or maybe you dance a bit, together. Your neighborhood is ringing.

And then you march—more and more people coming out to join you, until there are hundreds and the streets are yours. Everyone is banging, a few are chanting, but the sound you hear most of all is the cacophony of the pots and pans. They can be bizarrely calming, as all your anger flows into striking your pan and the ringing drowns out the thoughts in your head. Amateur musicians all, people try to keep in time with one another, but one part of the march is on one rhythm and the next one on another. When the police cars pass everyone raises their pots and pans above their heads and hits them extra hard, extra loud. When the march moves down streets that haven’t been totally cleared, drivers of cars stuck in traffic greet the manif with their own pots and pans, kept in the car for just such an opportunity.

It is not uncommon for bits of wooden spoons to splinter off. Pans are dented beyond recognition.

The casseroles have taken over Quebec. Like the red fabric square pinned to one’s clothing (symbolizing the debt the students are being forced to take on for their education), they are inclusive and dramatic, both easy to take part in and risky to join. Quebec has outlawed spontaneous mass protest—groups of more than fifty people are required to submit a marching plan in advance and submit to any revision of it that the cops might want to make—but all that did was bring the protests to the masses. What better symbol of the masses than a pot and pan?

thepeoplesrecord:

­On Monday, over 500 lawyers, notaries and other legal professionals, dressed in their courtroom gowns, walked in silence through the streets of Canada’s second-largest city.
Hundreds of lawyers have marched through Montreal in a subdued challenge to a new bill that harshly limits public protests. Canada’s province of Quebec has gone through 106 days of massive actions, which started as student outrage over tuition hikes.
The black-robed parade protested Bill 78, an emergency law that lays down strict government regulations for demonstrations numbering over 50 people. The lawyers were cheered by crowds; many onlookers shouting “Merci!”
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

­On Monday, over 500 lawyers, notaries and other legal professionals, dressed in their courtroom gowns, walked in silence through the streets of Canada’s second-largest city.

Hundreds of lawyers have marched through Montreal in a subdued challenge to a new bill that harshly limits public protests. Canada’s province of Quebec has gone through 106 days of massive actions, which started as student outrage over tuition hikes.

The black-robed parade protested Bill 78, an emergency law that lays down strict government regulations for demonstrations numbering over 50 people. The lawyers were cheered by crowds; many onlookers shouting “Merci!

Source

[The] general mood of the protesters has not changed; they have become more determined and, with the movement growing larger as a result of Bill 78, further convinced they are closer to winning than ever. Indeed, nearly everyone now agrees that what started out as a refusal to accept an 82 percent tuition fee hike - and the possible lifetime of debt peonage associated thereto - has turned into something much greater. As Sid Ryan from the Ontario Federation of Labor has said: we could be on our way to a Canadian spring. People see what the students are fighting for - while centered on tuition - is all about inequality and accessibility. What is certain about this movement is that the generation that is currently fighting, a generation that has grown up in a post 9/11 and austerity-riddled world, is learning firsthand how the current political system functions and they aren’t happy about it. Québec’s Student Strike Turning Into a Citizen’s Revolt

400 Arrested in Montreal Last Night, and Protests Spread to Other Cities | Greg Mitchell

More than 400 protesters were “kettled” and arrested last night in Montreal and mass arrests were reported in other cities in Canada as the student-led demonstrations gained even more momentum.

This came after at least 300 people were arrested and twenty were injured in Montreal during weekend clashes between police and protesters, according to CTV. The movement began after a proposed tuition hike of $1,625, which would be implemented over several years. Support rallies were held in some cities in the US yesterday with more planned today. Check out this photo gallery of the arrested—or those asking to be arrested—in Montreal posing with messages on signs.

From today’s report in Toronto’s Globe and Mail: ”A peaceful evening march that began with people banging pots and pans in support of protesting students ended in the early morning hours with police kettling demonstrators and arresting 400 of them after officers were pelted with projectiles. Montreal wasn’t the only city to have roundups Wednesday night. There were also mass arrests at student protests in Quebec City and Sherbrooke.

“The nightly march, which starts from an east-end park, was declared illegal by police the minute it was scheduled to start but was allowed to proceed for almost four hours before a line of Montreal riot cops blocked part of Sherbrooke Street as the marchers approached. Riot squad officers had been marching on the sidewalk beside the front of the protest all evening. An order to disperse was given when it arrived at Sherbrooke Street because police had been pelted by projectiles and other criminal acts had been committed, Montreal police spokesman Daniel Lacoursiere said. The group had also apparently resisted going in a direction ordered by police.”

Student protests force Quebec’s Liberal Party convention out of Montreal

sinidentidades:

MONTREAL — The Liberal Party of Quebec Premier Jean Charest, faced with a student protest movement that has turned violent, said Sunday it was relocating its annual convention to a city outside Montreal.

The party, which has been in power for nine years in the French-speaking Canadian province that is home to eight million people, had been scheduled to hold its party meeting at the Centre Mont-Royal in Montreal May 4-6.

Instead, it will hold the convention in Victoriaville, 170 kilometers (105 miles) to the east of Montreal, the party said in a statement.

Since mid-February, the provincial government has faced a stiff challenge from students angry over plans to raise school fees as part of an effort to rein in the budget deficit.

Tuition in Quebec had been frozen since the province’s “Quiet Revolution” of the 1960s in a bid to boost access to post-secondary education, but it began to creep up in the 1990s.

After talks with the government broke down, students took to the streets, resulting in violent clashes with police and smashed storefronts in Montreal.

Charest on Friday offered a compromise — to stretch out the tuition hike over seven years — but the students would not budge, and again took to the streets on Saturday night.

On Sunday, CLASSE, the organization that represents half of the 180,000 students still on strike, rejected the government’s new offer.

Some analysts say Charest could call early elections following the party’s annual convention.