Occupy Wall Street: Solidarity with Quebec Student Strike

Occupy Wall Street: Solidarity with Quebec Student Strike

Did you know that students in Quebec have been protesting tuition increases for over 100 days? As usual, the U.S. media for the most part has been silent. Some of the demonstrations have been attended by up to 300,000 protestors. In an effort to stamp out the strike, the government of Quebec passed an emergency law criminalizing massive demonstrations and assemblies. Last Tuesday, to mark the 100 days of protests and denounce the new law, estimated 400,000 people took to the streets. Here in New York, Occupy Wall Street held a solidarity march with Quebec students on the same day. The red square patch has become the symbol of the student protests.

Quebec security minister Robert Dutil told reporters the new law "does not ban demonstrations, but is there to supervise them. In France, a permit must be obtained 20 days in advance, in London six days and in Geneva 30 days". Some reasoning. In Saudi Arabia, dissent is punished by public beheading. Maybe Canada is heading that way; 10 year prison term for wearing masks during protests. Public has responded with nightly cacerolazo.

The pictured scene is one of the calmer moments of the march. As the march progressed through the streets of East Village and Alphabet City, it became louder and sped up. A small number of protestors were arrested.

Education creates opportunity. It engenders innovation. For the last thirty or so years, the United States has been transitioning from manufacturing to an innovation and services based economy. Denying access to education in this economy is social suicide. Quebec students are right to strike. If education in Quebec follows the U.S. trends, they will be driven into poverty and bondage; Between 1985 and 2011, college tuition has increased over 2.5 times the inflation rate. Government policies such as privatizing student loan debt has resulted in the virtual economical slavery of college students. Student loans survive bankruptcy, and even social security. Although many argue that privatization improves efficiency, privatization together with deregulation leads to monopolies, corruption, asset stripping and poverty...

More Occupy photos.

Song of the Day: Bulls On Parade - Rage Against the Machine (1996)
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