NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

  $185,370


  April 16, 2012

Over 165,000 Students On Strike in Quebec Over Planned Tuition Hikes


Students lead tens of thousands in protests against tuition hikes and neoliberal reforms of Quebec government
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   

Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



I appreciate immensely The Real News reports. You report news that is covered nowhere else. - Elizabeth Sheppard
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


transcript

Over 165,000 Students On Strike in Quebec Over Planned Tuition HikesVOICEOVER: More than 165,000 students in Quebec, Canada have been on strike for more than 9 weeks in response to a Provincial government plan that would raise university tuition rates, some of the lowest in the country, by 75% over the next 5 years. The student movement has since grown in popularity, with a March 22nd demonstration drawing nearly 300,000 supporters.

STANDUP: We’re here in Montreal, Quebec at the latest of a number of large scale mobilizations where demonstrators are protesting not only the planned student tuition hikes, but a number of other policies of the provincial Liberal government, which they say has been pushing a neoliberal agenda that places corporate interests over the interests of average working people.

VOICEOVER: The April 14th action which drew more than 85,000 participants was timed for the 9 year anniversary of the election of Quebec Première Jean Charest of the Liberal Party.

DEMONSTRATOR (Subtitle translation from French): The government is counting on our collective passivity but we don’t want to be passive, this is the largest and most corrupt government in contemporary Quebec history, and all they’re trying to do is kill the hope that the citizens’ mobilization movement can bring about a social, democratic, and lasting change.

VOICEOVER: Student organizer and spokesperson Gabriel Nadeu-Dubois says that the government has so far failed to engage with the students to negotiate an end to the strike, and that the growing movement has attracted the support of a number of other sectors affected by government initiatives to privatize public services.

GABRIEL NADEAU-DUBOIS, SPOKESPERSON, CLASSE STUDENT ORGANIZATION: There has been no real answer our government the government announced an increasing of the student loans last week which is for us totally unacceptable because we think indebtment [sic] for students is not a way to increase accessibility but is another obstacle, we want the government to go back on its decision to raising fees and on this point there has been no response from the government…Since 4 or 5 years in Quebec there has been an unprecedented wave of tariffication [sic] and privatization of all public services, not only education but health system facing more and more threats of privatization the government decided to put what they called a tax penalty health tax of 200 dollars per year per person and what we’ve seen for one or 2 weeks student strikes gaining more and more popularity in population with other groups community groups joining movement to fight not only student increase but all those measures of privatization o of our public services, families workers in the streets, unions community workers, artists in the streets with us who share our main demand which is to freeze tuition fees but also fight with us to fight against this government in general and all these policies.

VOICEOVER: One of the many groups participating in the mobilizations is the Fédération interprofessionelle de la santé du Québec, an association of Quebec health workers. FIQ executive committee member Robert Bomba explains why himself and other members came out in support of the students.

ROBERT BOMBA, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER, FIQ: It’s a liberal government but with the neoliberalization there is more and more a move to the right also with our conservative government in Canada that move is towards the right and so it’s towards decentralization, less involvement with the government so indirectly people will have to pay more for their services be it healthcare or education.

VOICEOVER: The students have shown no indication that they will call off the strike and return to classes, even as the semester comes to a close. Student organizer Rushdia Mehreen says that the students came to the decision to go on strike through their weekly held general assemblies after all other strategies failed to make any progress with the provincial government.

RUSHDIA MAHREEN, STUDENT ORGANIZER: Since these cuts were announced students took all the usual measures there were demos petitions there were letters we called the ministers and prime minster they did all measures possible but they just didn’t budge so our ultimate strategy ultimate tactic to fight this is strike, because the strike basically causes a lot of disruption to the government the official numbers say that every hour of strike cost over 100k dollars to the government so until now it’s cost them millions, I think 81 million if I remember right, so that’s why strike is an effective means to get the government to listen to our demands.

VOICEOVER: Another mobilization also expected to draw large number of supporters has been planned for April 22nd, one month after the action that drew hundreds of thousands of Quebecois to the streets of Montreal. In addition to asserting their opposition to the planned hikes, a number of students are also calling for free state-funded higher education in what has become North America’s largest student movement.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Matching Grant to Double Monthly Donations for One Year!
US Policy Towards Syria and the Mockery of International Law
Architects and Organizers of BDS Reflect on Global Success, Fate Within Canada
Sanders Launch of 'Our Revolution' a Step Forward and a Step Backwards
Paramilitaries Pose Threat to FARC-Colombia Peace Deal
Time is Running Out - Help Us Expose the Koch Brothers' War on Climate Science
Lack of Accountability Has Made Baltimore an Overpoliced Panopticon
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Awaits Court Ruling On Dakota Access Oil Pipeline
Turkey's Incursion into Syria Will Escalate Conflict with the Kurds
How Disenchanted Democrats and Republicans Together Can Break the Two Party Duopoly
EpiPen Prices Soar Because Our Current System Can't Restrain Profit- Seeking Corporations
Baltimore Police Defend Secret Surveillance Program
Ending Segregation in Baltimore Will Take More Than Electing Black Politicians
The Real Scandal of Clinton's Emails: Conducting Foreign Policy In Secret
More Social Programs For Ex-Prisoners Would Lower Recidivism
How Ukrainian and Russian Elite Benefit From New Flare-ups at the Border
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Fights North Dakota Oil Pipeline
Detroit Reverend: 'Electing a Democrat Doesn't Mean You Are Safe'
Baltimore Police Union Could Thwart Planned Civilian Oversight
Brazil Moving Towards Right-wing Foreign Policy
Only Five Days Left in Our Summer Fundraiser. Let's Make Real News!
Paul Jay on What Makes The Real News Special
Why is Emma Thompson in the Arctic?
Saudi Arabia Bombing Yemen To Quell Demonstrations for Democracy
Feds Say Locking Up the Indigent Because They Can't Pay Bail is Unconstitutional
Green Party of Canada Leader Reaffirms Leadership Following Row Over BDS
Competing While Black: Rio 2016 Olympics and Racism
The False Equivalence of 'White Lives Matter'
The Corporate Arbiters of Opinion
Brazil: A State of Economic and Political Paralysis

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting