Quebec student strike claims victory

A new provincial government repeals tuition fee hike, which triggered mass protests

Topics: Education, Quebec student strike, Education Reform, Activism, Montreal, Quebec,

Thousands of Quebec students and their allies are claiming victory Friday as the newly-elected government immediately scrapped the proposed tuition fee hike, which sparked the longest ever student strike in the region.

Within 24-hours of stepping into power, the Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois announced that the fee rise would be cancelled. She also repealed the contentious Loi 78, a draconian anti-protest law passed in mid-May to contain and control the then-nightly mass mobilizations of around 300,000 students and supporters.

Voices from the moderate end of student leadership celebrated Marois’ election and the repeal of the fee hike. The Montreal Gazette reports:

“It’s a total victory!” said Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, which is the largest student association with about 125,000 students. “It’s a new era of collaboration instead of confrontation.”

Representatives from the more radical, influential student union, CLASSE, were less unmitigated with their praise. In a press release, they note that the fee hike repeal “is not the end of the fight and that student and citizen mobilization should continue.” For many individuals and groups involved in the six-month strike, the proposed tuition hike was just a trigger issue to mobilize against neo-liberal education reform and more.



A number of strike participants and pundits have noted that focus given to the recent elections not only broke the student strike effort, but defanged a burgeoning movement. As Zachary Bell noted in an article for Alternet, before the fee-hike repeal was announced, “whatever the wins th[e Quebec] election may eventually deliver for students, they are dimmed in large part because the election broke the back of the strike, paralyzing the movement in the process.”

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Rose Jay via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Labrador Retriever

    These guys are happy because their little brains literally can't grasp the concept of global warming.

    Hysteria via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    German Shepherd

    This momma is happy to bring her little guy into the world, because she doesn't know that one day they'll both be dead.

    Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Golden Retriever

    I bet these guys wouldn't be having so much fun if they knew the sun was going to explode one day.

    WilleeCole Photography via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Bulldog

    This dude thinks he's tough, but only because nobody ever told him about ISIS.

    Soloviova Liudmyla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Beagle

    This little lady is dreaming about her next meal-- not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Labrador Photo Video via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Yorkshire Terrier

    This trusting yorkie has never even heard the name "Bernie Madoff."

    Pavla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Poodle

    She is smiling so widely because she is too stupid to understand what the Holocaust was.

    Aneta Pics via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Boxer

    Sure, frolic now, man. One day you're going to be euthanized and so is everyone you love.

    Dezi via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    French Bulldog

    He's on a casual afternoon stroll because he is unfamiliar with the concept of eternity.

    Jagodka via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Rottweiler

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be this care-free? But we can't because we are basically all indirectly responsible for slavery.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>