Students Pissed, Doing Something About It
On an unseasonably warm day in late March, a quarter of a million postsecondary students and their supporters gathered in the streets of Montreal to protest against the Liberal government’s plan to raise tuition fees by 75% over five years. As the crowd marched in seemingly endless waves from Place du Canada, dotted with the carrés rouges, or red squares, that have become the symbol of the Quebec student movement, it was plainly obvious that this demonstration was the largest in Quebec’s, and perhaps Canadian, history.
The March 22nd Manifestation nationale was not the culmination but the midpoint of a 10-week-long student uprising that has seen, at its height, over 300,000 college and university students join an unlimited and superbly coordinated general strike. As of today, almost 180,000 students remain on picket lines in departments and faculties that have been shuttered since February, not only in university-dense Montreal but also in smaller communities throughout Quebec.
—Marc Bousquet writes about the impressive student protests in Quebec for The Chronicle of Higher Education. There really are a lot of people in the streets. It is impressive and inspiring. He also explores why they aren’t getting more media attention (the answer is that they speak French, and we don’t, which … what a dumb reason, but that’s the reason).