NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY
HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    


  May 23, 2012

250,000+ Defy Anti-Protest Law in Quebec


Jeremie Bedard: Students will insist on their rights to education and their right to protest
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



This is where I am able to find out what is actually developing across the world. Thank you TRNN! - Stan Estus
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


transcript

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux, in for Paul Jay.

Today marked one of the largest protests ever to be recorded in Quebec's history. We are joined with Jérémie Bédard-Wien, who is a student organizer and who was on the ground today in Montreal. Jérémie, would you please describe for us what events have unfolded?

JÉRÉMIE BÉDARD-WIEN, STUDENT ORGANIZER, CLASSE: Right. Well, last week, the government of Quebec enacted a dangerous bill, Bill 78, which represents a crackdown on protests, and specifically on the student strike that has been happening in the past three months in Quebec. And today about 400,000 citizens, old and young, workers and students, marched in Montreal against Bill 78. Ironically, it was also the biggest event of civil disobedience in Quebec, since the protest was technically illegal, according to Bill 78.

DESVARIEUX: You said there were a lot of workers, students. It was just this huge act of solidarity.

BÉDARD-WIEN: People were very happy to march in solidarity with students and against Bill 78.

DESVARIEUX: And today is also the hundredth day—correct me if I'm wrong—that students have been protesting in Montreal over the tuition hikes.

BÉDARD-WIEN: That's right. Today marks the hundredth day of the beginning of the student strike that has been [incompr.] Quebec [incompr.] since the last three months. The strike was first a protest against the tuition hikes that governments announced in this year's budget, but it very quickly became a larger social struggle. And now it's become a struggle even for the right to protest and the right to associate, both of which are guaranteed under Canadian Constitution.

DESVARIEUX: And for those who haven't really been following the day-to-day of what's been happening in Montreal, has there been any progress with the government? Where do you stand?

BÉDARD-WIEN: Oh, it's been moving really quickly. The last time I was on the program, student associations throughout Quebec rejected the latest government offer to students and [incompr.] while the minister of education resigned last week, last Monday, and was replaced by someone who could toe the party line more effectively. And this time the party line was to impose Bill 78 on students on the strike, Bill 78, which makes spontaneous protests illegal, which contravenes the Canadian Constitution. Bill 78 also prohibits picket lines in front of schools, which is why we've been able to enforce the strike, and imposes extremely large fines for people who organize protests, for people who call on other people to participate in these protests, and for student unions to call picket lines. These fines can range from $7,000 to $125,000 for an organization, which would effectively kill both CLASSE and individual local student unions.

DESVARIEUX: And now that you've just had a big day today, where do you go from here? What's your strategy? What's the next step?

BÉDARD-WIEN: Well, I think protests today basically invalidated the special law. The police didn't intervene, because it couldn't intervene and stop a crowd of 400,000 persons, the largest demonstration in Quebec's history. And from now, well, we expect the minister to restart negotiations, which they had broken by enacting this special law. The minister's already sent a press release telling us that they will negotiate, they will indeed negotiate without conditions. So we now have a whole lot of leverage with the entire population on our side and we're hoping to be able to negotiate in the next few days, hopefully finally kill the tuition hike.

DESVARIEUX: Well, we'll definitely be keeping a close watch on this. Thank you very much for joining us, Jérémie.

BÉDARD-WIEN: Thank you.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



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

Bernie Sanders - Medicare for All National Town Hall
Will Trump Really Challenge World Economic Forum's Neoliberal Agenda?
Trial Reveals Widespread Corruption in Baltimore Police Department
Turkish Attack on Kurds Opens New Front, and Alignments, in Syrian War
Inside the Trump Administration's War on UNRWA and Palestinian Refugees
Pence Speech Fuels Conflict Between Israel and Palestine
Congressman Ro Khanna challenges US interventionism and wars in Yemen, Syria, Libya
Activists Push For Water Affordability In Baltimore
TRNN Replay: Will Honduras Get New Presidential Elections?
Community Members Sound Off On Troubled Baltimore School System
Despite School Closings, Chicago Mayor Pushes For New $95 Million Police Academy
Apple: The Biggest Tax Cheaters in History Repatriate Profits Under Trump's Tax Bill
Women March in Defiance of Trump
Cape Town Water Wars: A Literal Shitstorm
Massive Oil Spill in East China Sea Is the Size of Paris
Rather Than Address Crime, Baltimore Officials Try to Relocate It
TRNN Replay: Reality Asserts Itself - Troy LaRaviere
Real Media: Former British Diplomat Turned Anarchist
Laura Flanders Show: Star Power for People Power
Consumer Protection Moves to Throw the Weakest Under the Bus
Baltimore Spends Billions on Corporate Subsidies but Can't Heat Its Schools
Can a New Baltimore Police Commissioner Fix a Corrupt Department?
Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War
Korean Olympic Unity Gives US War Plans a 'Bloody Nose'
Set Up By FBI Informant, NODAPL Activist Pleads Guilty
Prosecutors Push on Against 59 Protesters Despite Defeat
Mayor Announces New Baltimore City Community Grants Program
The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition
After Hawaii Scare, Trump Worsens Nuclear Danger
Baltimore Mayor Fires Police Commissioner Kevin Davis

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

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting