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  1. #31
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    Coyne: A protest devolves into a movement about nothing — except drama





    By Andrew Coyne, Postmedia News May 23, 2012 8:23 PM
















    The student protests in Quebec are now less about a minor correction to tuition fees and more about the students themselves — and the starring role they've cast themselves in the movie of their lives, writes Andrew Coyne.

    Photograph by: Tijana Martin , THE GAZETTE




    The fantasy of the Grand March . . . is the political kitsch joining leftists of all times and tendencies. The Grand March is the splendid march on the road to brotherhood, equality, justice, happiness; it goes on and on, obstacles notwithstanding, for obstacles there must be if the march is to be the Grand March.
    — Milan Kundera
    You have to admit it's all very exciting. It's traditional at this juncture for people like me to say something like: whatever your opinion on the underlying issue, can't we all agree that violence and lawlessness are the wrong way to make your point? But that strikes me as divisive and out of step with the times. What I prefer to focus my thoughts on just now is: whatever your opinion on violence and lawlessness, can't we all agree how exciting, how thrilling it is?
    I'm thinking, particularly, of the students "on strike" in Quebec, and within that group the marchers, and within that group the ones with the masks, the ones who are nervy and determined enough to take a brick and smash it through a shop window, or lob it at the nearest police officer, the ones who blocked and intimidated the scab students from entering the schools, or — where they had already done so — invaded the classrooms, jumped on the desks, daubed the walls with graffiti. I'm not thinking of the shopkeepers or the cops or the scabs just now. I'm just focused on how exhilarating this is.
    To break the law is heady enough to begin with. But to be fighting for a cause worthy of breaking the law, that surely is what counts. Or rather, to be the sort of person so committed to fighting for that cause that you would be willing, no, driven to break the law — not to suffer the consequences, of course, that's what the masks are for — but still, to realize that you are that sort of person, to be conscious, in the moment you are hurling rocks or chanting slogans or beating a cop, of how sublimely sensitive to injustice you must be, that you could be so enraged by it . . .
    So there can be no going back. The particulars of the dispute are irrelevant, if not forgotten: this has become about the students themselves, and the movie of their lives in which they are now starring. The students — the minority, that is, that are en greve, and the smaller minority that are causing all the havoc — cannot actually claim to be the victims of any real injustice in the matter of the tuition fees. They cannot pretend that raising fees to the same level, after inflation, they were at 44 years ago presents some sort of unique hardship. They cannot argue they are fighting on behalf of the poor, since no student with family income of less than $100,000 would be affected.
    They cannot, and so for the most part they no longer even bother. Instead, they change the subject. It's not about that, they will say impatiently: it's about a broader vision of society. Or, in the latest mutation, it is about the right to protest itself — a protest about a protest. But in this they are as ill-supplied with genuine grievance as they were with the fees.
    While Bill 78, the Charest government's belated response to weeks of mayhem, may be overbroad in this or that provision — for example, in making unions liable for damages caused by individual members, or in the discretionary powers it assigns the minister of education — in the main, it imposes just two obligations on the protesters, both perfectly reasonable: one, don't prevent dissenting students from attending class, and two, before you block the streets, give police some notice. Not "get the police's permission"; just tell them where and when it's taking place.
    Yet out of this has been conjured a grievous assault on students' human rights, the worst law since the War Measures Act, and more. The latter provision, in particular, is commonly represented as restricting or even banning public demonstrations. It does nothing of the kind: indeed, it is no more than the norm in democratic jurisdictions around the world. But that is unexciting to believe, and so the students and their supporters prefer to believe something else: that the government is taking away their freedom of assembly — as if the right to protest meant the right to protest wherever you want, whenever you want, at whatever harm to the rights of others.
    Out of such illusions has a few dollars a week in extra tuition been transformed into a crisis of democratic government, the most serious in a generation. For make no mistake: the strike leaders' aim is no longer merely to roll back the tuition fee increases, if it ever was. They, and their backers in the broader union movement, are intent on crippling the Charest government, to prevent it from taking any further steps to trim the size and scope of government in the continent's most heavily taxed, heavily indebted jurisdiction.
    If they succeed, the precedents set will be very clear: that a democratically elected government may be prevented by force and intimidation from enacting laws in the public interest; that the law itself may be broken or defied, openly and at length, without consequence; that the beneficiaries of public spending are entitled to veto legislation that would reduce it. It is not hard to imagine what others might make of this.
    But in the meantime, how exciting!
    © Copyright (c) Postmedia News








    Read more: http://www.canada.com/Coyne+protest+...#ixzz1vkXRKDPR

  2. #32
    Senior Canuck Doda's Avatar
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    Every night it's different. Sometimes they start at 8pm, sometimes later. Yesterday night they were protesting around midnight at Maisonneuve/Amherst. This morning I've read in La presse that Police arrested more than 50 people there.
    Last edited by Doda; Wed, May 23rd, 2012 at 10:22 PM.

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    Gezuz I just read the part where he says the hikes only effect students whose families make more than 100K. I did not know this. This means the rest of them are gets loans and burseries.
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    Member of rep ho-ing club kelly25's Avatar
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    protests in Verdun tonight!!!

  5. #35
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    A couple of weeks ago the local (private) high school had a mini-protest. I had to ask at least 5 passer-bys what they were protesting about.


    Short answer : no Long answer : NOOOOOOOOOOO!

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    I think that now the students won't back down unless their "demands" are met 100%. To do otherwise is to lose face and have to slink back to class with their tails between their legs.

    Considering the hike will only affect those with a family income of more than 100K, it looks like the spoiled rich kids are protesting to get out of exams and going to school. In my opinion, high school students protesting is absolutely ridiculous!

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    Well, they are probably still out at this hour, since the police just zoomed up our street and they only seem to go that speed when there's a protest LOL.

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    I watched it on RDI until 1 last night St. Denis and Sherbrooke

    I am evenmore pissed since reading the article above abot the 100K plus only paying

  9. #39
    one jar at the time 2010ontest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patty Smyth View Post
    I watched it on RDI until 1 last night St. Denis and Sherbrooke

    I am evenmore pissed since reading the article above abot the 100K plus only paying
    This is why we are against since the begining.
    For us it was making no sense at all a protest to have free education when parent have that kind of income...

    Be able to eat every day,
    have a place to stay and
    be in security are the essential right.

    After the essential, we could look at the next enought essential right to met...
    but free college or university didn't go in that category for me. This is a luxury.

    And yes this is normal when you left your parents home to "downgrade" in the luxe and life style. This is the starting point. Parents done already many years of sacrifice and work to reach this point and kids need to do their part also and build their acquisition when they leave. Yup sometime their is choice that need to be made and all wish can't be fulfill in the same time. This is life.

    All this protest for me is really existing because our society is living in too much luxury and didn't see it anymore and claims all the time that right and liberty are offended. God, society need to open their eyes a little more I think and go back to the essential.
    Liberty of one finish where liberty of the other one start

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patty Smyth View Post
    Gezuz I just read the part where he says the hikes only effect students whose families make more than 100K. I did not know this. This means the rest of them are gets loans and burseries.
    I'm sorry, but, if your parents make more than 45k, you only get loans.
    I'm f****** getting married to have the bursaries in order to absorb the rise!

    Sometimes, and don't get me wrong, I get angry at people who only take parts of the information available and think it is all that have been said!

  11. #41
    Junior Canuck saradouce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaK View Post
    I think that now the students won't back down unless their "demands" are met 100%. To do otherwise is to lose face and have to slink back to class with their tails between their legs.

    Considering the hike will only affect those with a family income of more than 100K, it looks like the spoiled rich kids are protesting to get out of exams and going to school. In my opinion, high school students protesting is absolutely ridiculous!

    I'm not a spoiled kid. I'm working hard for my money! Do you only know how the bursaries thing works?? Even if your parents makes less than 100k, you don't get anything in bursaries. Only loan, and barely nothing if you still live at home.

    My BF and I are away from home, soon married and next year, we'll only received 18k for both of us. It is under the poverty line.

    How am I supposed to eat?
    How am I supposed to pay my rent?

    If the governement says to you: We don't care about your opinion, you're nothing to us, How would you react? This is how students are feeling right now.
    Don't imagine the governement had done something about it! The ''Entente'' we were lended was changed minutes after the students representants left the room.

    It is sure that if you only watch TVA or LCN or any Quebecor media, you'll only get one side of the medal. Change channel to RDI. You'll get the other side.

  12. #42
    one jar at the time 2010ontest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saradouce View Post
    I'm sorry, but, if your parents make more than 45k, you only get loans.
    I'm f****** getting married to have the bursaries in order to absorb the rise!

    Sometimes, and don't get me wrong, I get angry at people who only take parts of the information available and think it is all that have been said!
    oh but you have loan, this is so better than absolutly nothing and need to work in same time and take 5 year to do a program instead of 3 years.

    Sorry Sara, we also know what this is. Right now hubby is at university part time, work full time and we have 4 young child at home. And no we didn't use the loan or bursury this time and we choose to pay our stuff, we don't ask to have free tuition we are against.

    And yes we know how the system of loan and bursary work, we have use it in the past... This didn't have change alot.
    Last edited by 2010ontest; Thu, May 24th, 2012 at 08:22 AM.
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  13. #43
    Junior Canuck saradouce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelly25 View Post
    Patty I'm sure you'll like this!

    Attachment 118789
    You're not allowed to have welfare while on studies.
    Glasses are not free for students.
    Medical help is free for anybody.
    If you're thinking that 1000$ more a year is enough to raise a baby, then explain me how.

    We are not hippies.

    We are citizens who have the rights to be listen at.

    And 80% of the students are AGAINST the rise.

    Even if 60% is against the strike, why they didn't show up to vote against?

    And don't say they would have been bullied, this is bull.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by saradouce View Post
    I'm not a spoiled kid. I'm working hard for my money! Do you only know how the bursaries thing works?? Even if your parents makes less than 100k, you don't get anything in bursaries. Only loan, and barely nothing if you still live at home.

    My BF and I are away from home, soon married and next year, we'll only received 18k for both of us. It is under the poverty line.

    How am I supposed to eat?
    How am I supposed to pay my rent?

    If the governement says to you: We don't care about your opinion, you're nothing to us, How would you react? This is how students are feeling right now.
    Don't imagine the governement had done something about it! The ''Entente'' we were lended was changed minutes after the students representants left the room.

    It is sure that if you only watch TVA or LCN or any Quebecor media, you'll only get one side of the medal. Change channel to RDI. You'll get the other side.
    But your loan and bursary are mostly exempt of taxe...
    You will pay taxe on the money you will do by working.
    Do you know how many other people need to do in gross pay before taxe to have this amount?
    Liberty of one finish where liberty of the other one start

  15. #45
    one jar at the time 2010ontest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saradouce View Post
    Even if 60% is against the strike, why they didn't show up to vote against?
    Parce que lorsqu'on ne se sent pas en sécurité de voter parce qu'on est intimidé et que le vote se fait à main levée, ben oui on chercher à se protéger parce que notre famille a besoin de nous et de notre soutient.

    C'est pas démocratique pantoute ces votes là.
    Patty Smyth, AnnieP, Doda and 1 others like this.
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