Sunday, June 03, 2012

Quebec: When a Society Wakes Up

It was wet and miserable in Montreal today. But that didn't stop thousands of people from attending a  rally to support the Quebec students. 

Thousands of people clad in raincoats and carrying umbrellas gathered in Montreal's Jeanne-Mance park Saturday afternoon for what was billed as a family-friendly protest in support of Quebec's students and in opposition of Bill 78.

And not only were there more kids than usual, but there were also more older people. 

“This is exactly what we’re doing — we’re taking over where the students have left off,” said Marie-Helène Pelland, 49, adding she was proud to do so. “You can see here in the crowd. There is more gray hair, more people from all walks of life.”

Which is great eh? Because it has been a very long march, a lot of people are exhausted. So reinforcements are welcome, and the broader the movement the better.

For now as the sign says...

This is not a student strike. This is a society that is waking up.

And at a time when millions all over the world are groaning under the weight of austerity measures aimed at the poorest and the most vulnerable, the evolving nature of the Quebec movement is inspiring others.

The extraordinary student mobilisation in Quebec has already sustained the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America, and it has already organised the single biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. It is now rapidly growing into one of the most powerful and inventive anti-austerity campaigns anywhere in the world.

It's time that education activists in the UK, in particular, started to pay the Quebecois the highest compliment: when in doubt, imitate.

I hope that these protests will eventually spread to the rest of Canada. Because what Stephen Harper's Con regime is doing to Canada is simply intolerable. And it's about time other Canadians woke up.

I know it won't be easy. We are who we are eh? 

But I know we can do it. Unite to show our solidarity. Unite to defeat the Cons. 

And tonight I gotta say...Vancouver I LOVE you !!!!

This is a great beginning...

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Kirbycairo said...

Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many, they are few.'

Percy Shelley (Masque of Anarchy)

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of thing that makes me cry with joy. Je suis tellement contente!

Simon said...

hi kirbycairo... Very nice, thank you very much. I must admit that I had never heard of that poem, but now I may have to put it in my sidebar. Ye are many, they are few. When will Canadians shake their chains to earth like dew? It can't happen soon enough...

Simon said...

Hi too. Et tellement fier. Solidarité is a beautiful word in any language....