After the government, Jean Charest Liberal, in power now, passed the Law 78, blocking and preventing any manifestations from students who have been on strike now for 100 days in Quebec to have access to education to universities, there is a massive uprising today, well at this moment in Montreal , of between 300,000 or 500,000 people coming from other Quebec cities in the province and in Montreal. The uprising is also held in cities like New York, Paris and a few others but not on the same scale. The law 78 is like bringing Quebec into a totalitarian state; students wearing the red square, identifying them, are not allowed any manifestation for more than 50 people, unmasked; dramatic sanctions are given to anyone arrested. They have already arrested many, but on this scale, I would believe their resources might be limited.
I believe this is a massive rebellion against the Charest administration and government and since those are ready to bring the army in, so this is breaking news in Quebec.
So,what will happen next ? probably elections, violence, what else ?
After watching the evening mainstream news who estimated the number of manifestants to about 50,000 (I'm not sure if they were talking only about the students or including the ones that supported their cause), anyway I'm getting kind of confused on what news to believe....
Tens of thousands of students marched through the streets of Montreal to mark 100 days since the movement against higher tuition fees began. Tuesday's protest came after Quebec's provincial government passed emergency legislation intended to end Canada's most sustained student demonstrations ever.
The peaceful protest turned more violent in the evening as demonstrators set off fireworks and threw beer bottles at police. Riot police responded with pepper spray. Police spokesman Simon Delorme said at least 100 people were arrested. Two police officers were injured, and four people were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known
Since the emergency law was passed Friday, nightly protests have often turned violent, resulting in some 300 arrests Sunday alone. The new law requires that a detailed agenda be provided for protests of more than 50 people.
The chant is becoming familiar by now: "1, 2, 3, 4, tuition fees are class war!"
But on May 22nd, the New York City streets echoed also with "Solidarité!"
Hundreds of thousands of people--some estimates go as high as 500,000--were in the streets in Quebec, fighting--and in many cases directly disobeying--a new "emergency" law put in place this weekend to try to stamp out student strikes. May 22nd marked the 100th day that students in Quebec have been refusing to go to class, and the biggest "manifencours" (an abbreviation of "manifestation en cours" or demonstration in the street) yet against tuition hikes and the increasing neoliberalization of not just education, but of public services in general in what has been Canada's most social-democratic province.
(image via Translating the printemps érable, a great resource translating francophone media about the strikes into English)
The new Law 78, which explicitly bars gatherings of 50 or more people for political purposes without express permission from the police, carries fines that are designed to punish not just the individuals involved, but unions--student or labor--that call for gatherings.
Aaron Bady at The New Inquiry commented:
In a way, it’s actually a lot worse than explicitly making protest illegal, because that would at least be a law that could be consistently applied. If you want to argue that society must be defended, do so. Because then, at least, the principle of legality would still exist. What this is, and should be seen as, is an expressed commitment on the part of the Québec government to put into place whatever legal mechanisms are necessary to stop a specific set of protest. If you want to argue that a specific law is necessitated by some kind of universal principle, you cannot then change basic principles to match the perceived needs of the moment without admitting, pretty clearly, that principles are irrelevant, window dressing, the lipstick you put on the pig when it’s not being slaughtered.
Occupy Wall Street knows something about targeted crackdowns on protest, and many of New York's student activists have already been working in solidarity with the Quebec students (read Biola Jeje and Isabelle Nastasia for AlterNet on what they learned from a trip to Montreal) and have adopted the red square as a symbol for a transnational movement. (The red square, according to Free Education Montreal, "comes from the French saying 'carrément dans le rouge,' which means 'squarely in the red' or basically, that students were in debt because of tuition increase and cuts in bursaries.")
So a solidarity action was an easy decision to make, and several hundred New Yorkers took part. Starting midday at the 1 Rockefeller Plaza offices of the Quebec government, demonstrators brought their outrage over Law 78 to the streets.
read the rest here.
Beautiful Black And White Montreal Protest Video
A new law in Quebec would severely limit the legality of non-violent protests. Naturally, there's a protest. In Montreal, people meet in the street every night at 8pm with pots and pans, making all the noise they can.posted about 19 hours ago
I love the idea of the pots and pans beating! Before the military dictatorship in Uruguay and Argentina fell in the 80s, the people organized these massive "caceroleadas"; it was FANTASTIC, unstoppable. There was nothing the authorities could do. Go Québec, go!
That law is despicable. Let the people protest peacefully!
I like! =)
The extraordinary new video for “Parler le fracas,” by French hip-hop group Le Peuple de l’Herbe, “channels Orwell’s Animal Farm, updated for the Occupy Wall Street era. Pigs in riot police gear face off with disenfranchised industrial workers — a goose, a chameleon, and hundreds of other small animals who combine forces to create a Godzilla-like monster.”
Prepare to be amazed.
Doone, it's just so great (and realistic in a surreal fashion!!!) I wish all the AU members could understand the lyrics; thanks for posting...