They staged massive peaceful demonstrations for twelve weeks, hundreds of them were arrested for no good reason.
Many of them were beaten and gassed. One of them lost an eye.
Despite the violence and the hatred directed at them they still managed to work out an honourable compromise, and only rejected it after being betrayed by Jean Charest's corrupt government.
Students said during weekend discussions their understanding was that everyone on this council would work to find money to reduce fees. But subsequent to the deal being signed, they said, government and university officials presented it as the onus being uniquely on students to find the money.
But still Andrew Coyne manages to work himself into such a foamy lather.
Even capitulation, Jean Charest found, was not enough. He’d stood by while striking students had blocked and intimidated others from attending classes. He’d done nothing while cars were torched and shop windows were smashed, while Paul Rose, the FLQ terrorist, was feted, while court orders were ignored...
And after the students pursued him there, after billiard balls and chunks of asphalt had been hurled at police, after one cop who’d been separated from the rest was beaten savagely — punched and kicked and whacked with sticks as he lay helpless on the ground — the very next day, while the tear gas hung in the air, he cut a deal.
I found myself wondering whether Quebec was still standing. And whether Coyne had to hire a squeegee kid to wipe all that demagogic foam off his face.
Because he could eh? He's the son of a one-time Bank of Canada Governor, and he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
So he could never understand what it's like to be a poor student, burdened by debt, unable to find a job in an economy where the youth unemployment rate is twice the national average. Or what it's like to face a bleak future in the kind of capitalist jungle Coyne wants us all to believe in.
You know, I'm worried. I fear Coyne is turning into some kind of holy roller preacher for primeval capitalism, and that one of these nights he's going to go on the excruciatingly boring Mansbridge panel, start screaming this kind of crazy bullshit:
Much has been made throughout this business of Quebec’s “progressive” traditions, or the government’s alleged intransigence, as if this could explain the decision of individual demonstrators (a minority, to be sure) to beat people up or attack their property. No. It is learned behaviour. They do it because, experience has taught them, it works. Not only does it invite the admiration of certain radical professors and sections of the media. It confers power. It frightens others into doing what you want.
And be carried off on a stretcher.
Because let's face it eh? Trying to portray the students as violent, or Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois as a wild-eyed, left-wing revolutionary...
Watching Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, “spokesperson” for the most radical of the student groups, give a speech — a CBC crew followed him around — you can almost see the blood rush to his head. “Monsieur Charest!” he shrieks, one hand stabbing the air. “You are SURROUNDED! You have only ONE OPTION! BACK DOWN!” His eyes are ablaze. It is May 1968, and he is in France, leading a general strike.
Is absolutely ABSURD...
Because the student protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, and Nadeau-Dubois is so cool, he makes Coyne look like a wild-eyed right-wing fanatic.
Or just another old geezer who hates the young, like so many others in this increasingly reactionary country.
Which reminds me... at least now I'm sure of one thing eh?
Andrew Coyne and Rex Murphy are practically the same
Isn't that SCARY?
OK. Now go to a window, open it wide, and scream loudly like Howard Beale.
"We're as mad as hell and we're not going to take it ANYMORE !!!!!
Please Monkey God please, we've suffered enough.
Deliver us from the right-wing media !!!!!!"
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