by Anne Farrell, World without Wars, Canada
In Quebec there are more than 200,000 students on strike - they are on strike saying that the student fee increase is stopping a lot of them from accessing college and university education. The students have been on strike for four months. The response of the Quebec government has been to bring Law-78 onto its statute books, to break the student union and to break the student’s strike.
There are thousands of students on the streets of Montreal and in Quebec city tonight and also in other cities across the entire province.
According to the students, their teachers, lawyers, and opposition political parties, this law goes against the fundamental right to protest and the fundamental right of association. Very likely, the law is against the Canadian constitution.
The government is saying that they want to protect the right for students to get access to their courses; as if the universities and colleges were shops where students go to buy an education! No money - no education.
Members of parliament in Quebec are debating the law tonight and as the liberals are in the majority, the law will pass.
The law states that any assembly of more than 10 people in the street to protest is illegal; that everyone needs a permit to gather.
Disobedience could mean a fine of $5,000 or more.
A second offence could mean a fine of $125,000
The minister of education will have the right to declare certain student associations illegal.
This is a real mess. Now, small left-wing movements are growing in membership in big jumps, gaining 300 young people in one day last week!
Some Marxist groups are proposing violent protests and those groups are also growing because the students are very frustrated with some being attracted to violence.
Civil Disobedience is going to be illegal!
We invite everyone to wear and display an orange square in support of the universal right to nonviolent dissent and the right to humanise the Earth.