Monday, July 23, 2012
The Quebec Students and the Occupy Movement
It was such an awesome sight. Tens of thousands of people marching through the street on a muggy Montreal afternoon.
To show their support for the student movement, denounce a fascist bill.
And show Jean Charest and his corrupt government that they are still THERE.
Protests against Quebec's Liberal government have eased during the summer months, but students said a strong turnout during the height of the summer holidays was proof the movement hasn't died out.
The crowd, an enthusiastic mix of students, families and seniors, winded its way through the city's downtown on a hot and humid afternoon.
But this time the banner at the head of the march read: OUT WITH THE NEOLIBERALS.
Which is just another sign that what began as a student strike, is evolving into a broader based movement for economic and social change. A Quebec-style re-tooling of the Occupy movement.
And all I can say is it's about time eh? Because the Occupiers were right. The One Percent is taking us to the cleaners.
A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.
Stephen Harper's plan to coax jobs out of Big Business by giving them juicy tax cuts, is as big a failure in Canada as it is in Britain...
For they can never get enough. Even as the gap between the rich and the poor in Canada grows wider and wider.
And it should be clear to everyone by now that unless our corrupt and out-of-control economic system can be reformed, or replaced by a better one, we're heading for economic collapse.
And condemning future generations to live on a burning planet.
One of the most salient—but also, unfortunately, most counterintuitive—aspects of global warming is that it operates on what amounts to a time delay. Behind this summer’s heat are greenhouse gases emitted decades ago. Before many effects of today’s emissions are felt, it will be time for the Summer Olympics of 2048. (Scientists refer to this as the “commitment to warming.”) What’s at stake is where things go from there. It is quite possible that by the end of the century we could, without even really trying, engineer the return of the sort of climate that hasn’t been seen on earth since the Eocene, some fifty million years ago.
But of course don't try to tell any of this to the angry old men who write to the Globe and Mail. Because they hate anything young or Quebec so much they would cut off their noses to spite their faces. Even as the government slashes their pensions.
As for me, I have no idea what's going to happen. Will the movement grow stronger? Will it be absorbed by the political parties? Will it fade gently away like the tent communities of the Occupy movement?
But all I can say is that to my hopeful eyes it sure looked great today.
And this much is obvious:There will have to be a global movement if the planet is to be saved. As Bertholdt Brecht once said, those who fight sometimes lose, but those who don't fight never win.
The Quebec movement is a light in the darkness of Harperland, and a call to resistance.
And of course, as I said in this video last year, the Occupy movement was right.
This land is our land.
And WE ARE THE CHANGE...
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