April 26, 2012 - No. 60
Stop the Criminalization of Quebec
Enough Is Enough!
No to Charest's Anarchy and Violence!
Education Is A Right!
Mass action of 15,000
students in Montreal, April 25, 2012. (Montreal Openfile)
• Enough Is
Enough! No to Charest's Anarchy and Violence! Education Is A Right!
- Marxist- Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ)
• Minister of Education Expels Student Union
• Where Is the Minister of Education Headed?
- Federation of College Professionals
• Tuition Fees -- An Agreement Must Be Reached!
- Valleyfield College
Letters to the Editor
• Who Will Stop the Violence Against Our Youth?
- A Montreal Teacher
• At the Heart of the Students' Struggle: The
Need for New Forms of Governance - A Gatineau Teacher
• Gatineau Liberal MNAs' Remarks: Space for
Renewal! - Pierre Soublière
Stop Criminalizing the Youth of Quebec
Enough Is Enough! No to Charest's Anarchy and Violence!
Education Is A Right!
The Marxist-Leninist Party
of Quebec (PMLQ) adds its voice to those of Quebeckers vigorously
denouncing the anarchy and violence the
Charest government continues to create on the issue of education. The
government's arrogance knows no bounds. Education Minister Line
continues to believe she can choose the student representatives with
whom she wants to negotiate and that she can dictate what will be
negotiated. The government believes its police can violently attack a
demonstration of 15,000 youth without consequence and blame "vandals"
for the violence. It
must not pass!
The government's refusal to negotiate in good faith and
the tuition fee increase is unacceptable. That's why the government is
criminalizing the student demonstrators and only wants to talk about
the violence of the "vandals" the "economic disruptions," allegedly
caused by the students
and other fairy tales. Everyone can see that it's a ruse since the
police attack peaceful political expression and the minister refuses to
Regarding the accusation that CLASSE has an aim other
the students' interests -- a "social cause" as the Education
Minister says -- far from isolating CLASSE, it only throws ridicule on
the Minister. Only those who defend the private interests of the
can push ignorance and arrogance so far as to say that the defence of
the right to education is a private cause of a certain extremist
The Charest government and its Minister have nothing to
students except anarchy and violence. Out of desperation, Charest is
pulling out all the stops. These are acts of violence, vengeance and
spite against the students because he cannot succeed in breaking
their unity or that
of their leaders and organizations. The students are honourably and
firmly defending their unity, their demands, their rights and their
principles with utmost determination.
The PMLQ firmly denounces the monopoly media and the
Quebec police who spent the night reducing the debate to a question of
"vandals," probably their own, to justify the intervention, brutality
and the massive number of arrests. The demonstration of 15,000 people
Wednesday night in Montreal was not an evening of vandalism. Thousands
of people assembled to protest Education Minister Beauchamp's
unilateral decision to exclude the Broad Coalition for Student Union
Solidarity (CLASSE) from the negotiations. The police launched an
attack against the
demonstrators and then declared the demonstration illegal. It was a
virtual siege in the streets of the downtown. Hundreds of police
squads were brought in to charge at the demonstrators, attacking them
with pepper spray and
stun grenades, while a helicopter flew over head for hours to add to
chaos as part of the police arsenal that Quebeckers despise so much.
Nothing can justify
these all-out attacks on our youth and students, Mr. self-proclaimed
Minister for Youth!
Condemn the Government -- It is Not Fit to Govern
Minister Beauchamp's unilateral decision to exclude CLASSE, the
government is completely exposed for its refusal to break the impasse
in which it has put the students and the population. The students and
have done everything they could to defend the right to education
since the start of the conflict. Respect them!
What kind of money has the government spent on police,
riot squads, arrests,
injunctions, delays and cancellations of the academic session, as well
as the hiring of agents
provocateurs, security guards and private security agencies? If
not for all the disruption that the government has caused in the CEGEPs
universities and the total insecurity created in
Quebec, the government could have resolved this conflict long ago. So
what is it waiting for? Who is it defending? Certainly not the students
Quebec people. It is acting to defend its anti-social
and anti-national agenda to serve the monopolies and private
against the interests of the vast
majority of the population.
The youth are Quebec's most precious resource. The
government must take full responsibility for the attacks against the
youth and the violence in the streets of Montreal. Everyone can see the
crisis is the result of the Premier's stubborn refusal to
negotiate with those who defend
the right to education. No one is fooled about the pretexts he uses
for using teargas and batons against the youth. The Education
Minister's facade of sincerity, spending only one hour
with the student union delegates before expelling CLASSE -- the
organization with the most
members -- was the straw that broke the camel's back with regards to
The government has created an intolerable situation for
who are sacrificing their school terms to defend the future of
education. The fact that it uses police and riot squad violence to
attain its goals demonstrates its total failure.
The PMLQ calls on the Quebec people to vigorously
support the students.
No to the Tuition Fee
Charest and Minister Beauchamp Should Resign!
Montreal, April 25, 2012
Minister of Education Expels
Student Union from "Negotiations"
Students from Limoulou
CEGEP demonstrate in Quebec City for their right to education and to
exclusion of the student
union CLASSE from negotiations with the
Charest government, April 25, 2012.
On April 25 at the end of the day, Minister of Education
Beauchamp announced at a press conference that the Broad Coalition of
Student Union Solidarity (CLASSE), one of the three student union
centrals representing Quebec students, had been expelled from
negotiations with the government. She said CLASSE had "excluded
the negotiation table" because the CLASSE website had announced a
demonstration on the evening of April
24 that was later declared illegal and which she claimed was punctuated
by "serious acts of vandalism and violence." She added that other
demonstrations announced on the site had a "provocative
tone." She also claimed to be upset
about use of language she deemed "blasphemous" that she could not
repeat as an MNA, i.e., that the students had called for "a God-damned
big demo tonight to mark the end of the truce."
The students and their allies immediately denounced the
latest provocation which hasn't fooled anyone. One of the spokespersons
for CLASSE underscored that the Minister had found the excuse she had
been looking for to exclude CLASSE from the negotiations in which
the Minister did not participate for even one hour. Likewise, student
representatives who wished to address the tuition fee hike were told by
negotiators that they did not have any mandate to broach the issue. The
only two offers put on the table after 40 hours of negotiations
were an enhancement to student aid and
the establishment of a temporary commission which could make
recommendations to the Minister regarding the management of
Yesterday afternoon, more than 300 people responded to
the call of
CLASSE to demonstrate at Place Émilie-Gamelin in Montreal to
commemorate the end of the academic session. They were devastated to
learn of the exclusion of CLASSE.
By the evening, the numbers grew to 1,000 students then
to 15,000 in
the streets of downtown Montreal to denounce the Minister's latest
provocation. Once again, police used the pretext that there were
"vandals" amongst the students to justify the use of violence. Hundreds
of police attacked the students, who
had not been given due notification that the demonstration was
"illegal." Amidst the chaos, the monopoly media, which has endorsed all
this brutality against the youth, claimed such a warning had
been given at 8:30 pm, 9:00 pm and 10:15 pm.
Spokesman for the Montreal Police Ian Lafrenière
stated that the
police were focused on only a minority of the demonstrators. This did
not prevent the police from making mass arrests of nearly 100 people.
Montreal, April 25,
2012: "[Minister of Education Line Beauchamp], You're the one who
should be shown the door"
Where Is the Minister of Education Headed?
The Federation of College Professionals (FPPC-CSQ),
affiliated with the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ),
strongly rejects the Education Minister's decision to exclude
the Broad Coalition for Student Union Solidarity (CLASSE) from the
negotiating table and seriously questions Line Beauchamp's
capacity to resolve the impasse on this issue.
The president of the FPPC-CSQ, Bernard
Bérubé is in disbelief at today's turn of events,
after more than eleven weeks of strikes.
"Our members are literally appalled by CLASSE's
exclusion from the negotiations. Their impression is that the
reason given by the Minister simply doesn't hold up but only serves as
pretext to terminate the negotiations which she
has never believed in. The exclusion of CLASSE is nothing more than
Line Beauchamp's last resort to escape her
responsibilities," Bérubé said.
Government Revives Old Practices of
The union president also notes that the minister still
refuses to refer to negotiations with the students, preferring to
use the term "discussions."
"In light of what has happened, we can only doubt the
minister's good faith. Especially since she is part of a government
which the Labour Relations Board has found guilty of
negotiating in bad faith on at least two prior occasions. This was the
case during negotiations with the home daycare workers,
as well as with the public sector workers in 2005. We are therefore
under the impression that the government is trying to revive its old
practices, its old tactics of confrontation and bad faith that haunted
its first mandate," Bérubé added.
Chaos Sets In
The President of the FPPC-CSQ believes that the latest
are even more serious than the chaos that taking place inside the walls
of our colleges.
"What is happening makes no sense. We're witnessing a
string of injunctions one after another that go in every which way.
It's gotten to the point where we have colleges asking for injunctions
to cancel other injunctions. The situation is turning into a
virtual legal Tower of Babel because our political leaders
refuse to take up their responsibilities. It's sad but everything is
happening as if the Charest government, after having lost all political
credibility in this matter, has decided to eliminate the credibility of
the courts as well," said Bérubé.
Professional Staff in Turmoil
Bérubé deplores that the
climate in the colleges further deteriorates while the administrators,
overwhelmed by the situation, don't know how to react.
"The professional staff also feel torn and don't
understand how [the government] could have let the situation
to this point," concludes the FPPC-CSQ President.
The FPPC-CSQ represents nearly 1,200 professionals in 34
colleges. It consists exclusively of CEGEP professionals. The CSQ
represents more than 190,000 members, of which close to 130,000 are
education workers. It is the major education
union in Quebec. The CSQ is also present in the health care and social
services sectors, daycare, the municipal
sector, the culture and recreation sector, and the community and
Tuition Fees -- An Agreement Must Be Reached!
The general administration
and the three unions and
Valleyfield College invite Minister Beauchamp to reach an agreement
with the student associations, in order to quickly resolve the current
Although we learned yesterday that the minister has
opened the door to a dialogue, we hope that she does everything in her
power to remain with all the student federations until a satisfactory
solution is found and the students choose to return to class.
Noting that time is of the essence and that a solution
must quickly be found to the current crisis in our college and
university systems, the general administration and the three unions at
Valleyfield College have agreed to adopt the following proposal:
Whereas the Valleyfield College's mission is to promote
access to quality education for the people of
Whereas Valleyfield College aims to make students
autonomous by helping them master the education process, develop their
critical thinking and their responsibilities to their studies and their
roles as citizens;
Whereas the university tuition fee increase is a measure
that could have a direct impact on access to post-secondary education,
and could affect attendance in pre-university programs and technical
programs as well as on the professional life choices of thousands of
Whereas the university tuition fee increase promotes the
indebtedness of Quebec students and their families;
Whereas post-secondary education should be made
accessible to the largest number of people while maintaining a student
financial aid program suitable for middle class families;
Whereas the students at Valleyfield College have been on
strike since February 20, 2012 and that each additional day of
suspension of classes complicates the planning of the resumption of the
Whereas we are witnessing disturbing excesses;
Whereas we must ensure that the climate is conducive to
learning when classes resume;
Whereas the students at Valleyfield College are
affiliated with CLASSE, the movement that represents more than half the
college students currently on strike, which is waiting to be invited to
the roundtable by the Minister and we think this invitation could
permit a resolution to the current impasse in which Valleyfield
College currently finds itself;
It is therefore with a unanimous voice that the
Valleyfield College administration, the teachers' union, the
non-teaching professionals' union and the support staff's union, invite
the Quebec government to quickly and unconditionally open the dialogue
with all the representatives of the student associations in order
to find a solution to the current crisis and permit students to return
to class as quickly as possible.
Who Will Stop the Violence Against Our Youth?
University of Sherbrooke
students denounce state-organized violence and
repression against the
youth, April 25, 2012. (C. Beauvais)
The failure of the Charest government's politics are
exposed day after day, minute after minute, through the violence
committed against the youth and against those who express their
opposition to its anti-people measures.
The rage in the hearts of the Quebec people, who are
and the victims of beatings, teargas and Charest's arrogance, is
legitimate. Our wounds are collective. How do we go beyond the anger
and feelings of powerlessness created by these images of our youth
being attacked by the repressive state forces? How
do a people recover from this?
I don't have the answers, but right now the coherence
can be found in the student movement and their allies who, despite the
sickening violence of Charest, are confronting the anti-social agenda
and fighting for a better future for Quebec's youth.
Our security lies in the collective fight for our
rights, for the elaboration of a nation-building project that responds
to Quebeckers' aspirations.
Charest must stop and ban all forms of violence against
demonstrators and create the conditions for a national discussion on
the future of education. He is the Head of State, he has the power. If
not, he has no place as leader of Quebec. The Workers' Opposition and
that of the Quebec people must consolidate
to force him to render accounts and must put themselves in a position
to provide an alternative to the government's destruction.
At the Heart
of the Students' Struggle
The Need for New Forms of Governance
The violence unleashed against students this week is the
Charest government's response to the preoccupations of students and
large sections of the population as to how to resolve conflicting views
on today's matters of social concern, in this case,
that of education. The issue has not changed:
the democratic process students have followed is being rejected, to
such an extent that the official student representatives, as the
official voice of all students, are not even acknowledged by the
government as legitimate spokespersons chosen through accepted norms by
the collective to represent them.
Montreal, April 25,
2012: "Charest won't
withdraw? Challenge accepted!!"
This modus operandi of the Charest government
is in line with a generalized approach to "labour relations" today,
whereby private interests, in their efforts to subjugate all that
pertains to the public interest to their own, impose a modus operandi which
is, in fact, a breach in the arrangements we have
known to this day. These arrangements constituted a sort of
accommodation of the workers and people whereby governments recognized,
at least in principle, those representing the collective at hand,
"sitting" at the same table in a "negotiation" process with its
established norms and processes. When talks broke down,
pressure tactics were foreseen, such as withdrawing one's labour power,
in order to force the employer to back down, etc. A new politicization
private interests is blocking the popular will from finding its legal
expression and from playing a role in finding solutions to today's
social problems. Meanwhile, measures
taken by governments or put in place through government action allow,
among other things, private interests to directly pillage the public
treasury, without restraint.
One argument put forward by the Liberal
government from day one to justify increased tuition fees is that they
are necessary in order to improve the universities'
performance. But what can this performance be if the human factor --
upcoming generation -- is its first victim?
Furthermore, will the increased sums be invested in research in the
service of private interests? The question arises in light of the
recent "health tax" which has been imposed upon the Quebec population
$100 taken through personal income tax and $200 next year. Everyone is
aware that this "health tax" will change
absolutely nothing with regard to the inhuman conditions which prevail
in health care system. In other words, we are paying the rich
directly in the name of "health." Will we be doing the same in the name
of university "performance"?
The resistance which the students are devoted to, heart
and soul -- the human factor/social consciousness in action -- as well
other resistance struggles taking place in Quebec at this time, are
pushing the issue of public debate and collective representation to the
forefront. Worker and student representatives must
be acknowledged as such, as the legitimate representatives of their
respective collectives. Moreover, the representatives of these
collectives must be part and parcel of the decision-making process
their various fields of concern as well as on matters
which affect their lives as well as society in general. How
to resolve this problem is central to the issue of defending public
right and removing the block to society's path to progress, as well
as fighting the anarchy which private interests, by means of the
governments in place, are imposing at this time on society as a whole.
Liberal MNAs' Remarks
Space for Renewal!
On April 22, the day after a demonstration booed Charest
visit to Gatineau to speak to his party about his Northern Plan, five
Gatineau area Liberal MNAs made remarks revealing that they lack one
iota of the stature required of men and women of state. The MNA for
Hull-Aylmer Marcel Proulx said that the student demonstrations were
pure and simple," and others accused the unions and "marginal groups"
of feeding a "destructive climate" and sowing "a feeling of terror
amongst the student community."
25, 2012: "Democracy thrown in the garbage?!"
This outdated speech of the five MNAs took place at the
very moment that 250,000 people were marching in the streets of
Montreal for Earth Day. The demonstrators put forward their
preoccupations for the collective good that is our environment, but
also for the human collectives that refuse to accept that decisions
that affect their lives are taken without their voice and without
consideration for the adverse consequences of these decisions on their
lives. Today, there is a consciousness that the old arrangements that
marginalize the political debate don't respond to society's needs.
These old arrangements permit the international
monopolies to dictate the working conditions and lives of the workers
and people. The people also find it socially irresponsible that these
same companies damage ecosystems and endanger the health and security
of the people as if they were nothing. Just as the students
are currently doing, they oppose this government
that takes one anti-social measure after another under the pretext that
in the long run, everyone will benefit, while everyone knows this is
false. The youth in particular are discussing the future of education
and by extension, society's future in general.
Faced with this social consciousness in all its human
splendour, the "elected representatives," on their side resort to
condemning this consciousness and offers in its place a
discourse that goes even deeper into anti-consciousness. If booing is
terrorism, then what about the endless booing sessions in
the Quebec National Assembly and Parliament? The Liberal MNAs have been
bypassed by current events to the extent that they speak of those they
oppose as "marginal groups" -- in some
cases political parties in good standing -- and see "instigators"
everywhere as a pretext to discredit the student movement and the
movement in general and take new measures
to criminalize them.
We must condemn these defamatory statements which have
never seemed so anachronistic, as they only serve to condemn all those
who don't accept Charest's anti-social plans and who want to end their
marginalization to take up their social responsibilities. The Liberal
Party has all the appearance of a "clan"
defending "its own," while today a growing consciousness is crying out
and clear that the whole society is our extended family and the
world's fate is in our hands. These archaic forces not only block
renewal, but they want to completely destroy the social fabric and
any notion of society. It must not pass!
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