Montreal: Not just about tuition fees

By Montreal Simon

It’s reached a point where I almost can’t bear to read or watch any MSM coverage of the Quebec student strike.

Because all I usually see is a bunch of kooky old right-wing pundits flapping their gums, or hissing like kettles. Like the grotesque Con dwarf Rex Murphy.

Who should have been locked in a padded cell, or a broom closet, for writing such fascist tripe.

So I thought I should straighten him and the others out by pointing out some other facts:

(1) The students staged massive peaceful marches for weeks, but the Charest government refused to even talk to them. Even as many of them were being arrested for no good reason.

(2) The government only changed its tune when student anger reached a boiling point, and a handful of the usual suspects broke a few windows. And only so the Quebec Liberals could pose as champions of law and order, to try to make people forget that they are one of the most criminally corrupt governments in modern Canadian history.

(3) The battle to keep university education affordable has been going on for more than forty years, since the days of the Quiet Revolution. And is one of the things that makes Quebec a distinct society.

“[University of Montreal political science professor Pierre] Martin sees the conflict linked to an unrealized promise of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution of the 1960s: free post-secondary tuition.’That’s the norm that people compare themselves to and that’s part of the reason tuition fees remained so low in Quebec for such a long time, because whenever the thought of raising them came to public debate, it was not in the minds of most people.'”

(4) Those who ask why Quebec students should complain, when their tuition fees are the lowest in the Canada, should really be asking themselves: Why are tuition fees so high in the rest of the country? Or why isn’t tuition FREE as it is in Scotland?

Because education is a right. We need educated citizens more than we need tanks and war planes. And the kind of society you live in depends on your PRIORITIES.

(5) If the strike and the massive marches have become more than just about education . . .

“How is it that so many people are so worked up about a relatively minor increase in tuition fees? In spending time talking to protesters, one thing becomes clear. This movement, if it ever was, is no longer just about tuition . . .

“‘The issue is bigger than tuition fees,’ [says one protestor]. ‘It is a question of re-establishing democracy. There is no democracy. We are closer to totalitarianism. Decisions are made without listening to the people.'”

. . . So much the better. For we will NEVER change the world by sitting on our asses. And I only wish that we could get 200-thousand people into the street to protest against the way the Harper regime is raping our democracy and our values.

But getting Canadians off their couches is harder than raising the dead. So I don’t just support the Quebec students, I’m grateful to them for showing us the way to resist.

And for giving younger Canadians role models like the leader of CLASSE, the largest student group, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois . . .

 

“In a speech this month, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois said the students are battling the same ‘elite’ that lays off workers at Aveos aircraft maintenance and Rio Tinto mines, and that prevents Couche-Tard convenience-store workers from unionizing.

“‘Those people are a single elite, a greedy elite, a corrupt elite, a vulgar elite, an elite that only sees education as an investment in human capital, that only sees a tree as a piece of paper and only sees a child as a future employee,’ he said.”

Who is my kind of hero.

Yup. Marching for a better world.

Shining like a light in the grubby darkness of Harperland.

Never giving up. On lâche rien.

Go students GO…

Comments

  1. davey says

    leave it to people who support the strike to ignore what we refer to as reality. Once the students realized that the majority of the population did not agree with the students, the students started to refer to their movement as a much broader social movement to correct all the ills of society.

    This is the worst example of mob rule anarchy i have ever seen. Ignoring the fact that their has been widespread violence and vandalism, which you go so far as to blame the government for, the strikes against the injunctions make me sick. If you want to lose your year thats your problem, you CANNOT prevent other people from receiving a service they paid for. The threats and intimidation I have seen against the students who don’t agree with the students is disgusting

    And please for the love of god stop holding the welfare states of Europe up as an example for everything right in the world. Look at what is happening in these countries right now?

    I would support a system like Austria and Germany where your education is free in exchange for one year national service, Im sure the students wouldn’t agree with this either, because clearly they only want to take from society and have no interest in giving back.

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