Last March 22nd, the advantage was theirs. Students from Québec gathered in a 2km line of fraternity, determination and united militancy, in the streets of Montréal. These young people are from all around Québec but also from Ontario, and from every grade, from college to high school students (the next generation that will pay the increased fees) to young students from the whereabouts schools that wont be affected before some few years from now.
Numerous peoples from broad horizons, students (around 60% of all the annual graduating students), full time students (52% of college's registered students) or part time students ( 48% of the total), parents, elderly people, university teachers, union members supporting the action, where at the lines. There were 200.000 protesters walking down the streets, outraged by this government who attacks their rights regarding higher education. The wast majority of them are working students: 80% of all college students are working. At the very same time, a "light" poll from the agency House Léger (light in french), on behalf of local authority, disclosed their lies into the mainstream medias, disapointed by the streght of the opposition. The victory is already on the students side, 300.000 students on strike, supported by their relatives, the government's employees (600.000 individuals), union members and underpayed - and overexploded - immigrant workers. All those citizens are supporting the strikers who coureagousely confronted the state machinery, policemens and overpayed university's heads.
The 1% cannot be the 50%!
Where does Mrs Beauchamp find her supporters? Where did the opinion poll Léger Marketing find the number of 50% supporting the government? The capitalists and rich are less than 1% of Quebec's society, fairly less than the poor people. A rigged poll full of nonsenses of which we have fairly spoken of. Charest reaffirms his determination to not back down - to not give in, to not negociate; he's the only one to have the strengh to lead the unit, but it doesn't matter. In the mean time, the ancient minister Claude Castonguay, a liberal-oligarch after several years, whispers discretely onto Radio-Canada's microphone that negociations would be recommended, given this rise-up, because it seems obvious that the student's strike it's not going to be weaker, as it extends itself and becomes deeper among the working classes.
Everything would be OK, if it wasn't only for...
The danger is rising from student organisations, from the united and active strikers movement. The Ultra left wing would like to transform this resistance fight from trying to force the government to rethink its plan to raise schooling fees (up by 1625$ in 5 years, bringing them up to 3793$ per year) into a more general fight to change the "bourgeois" university into a place to allow the students to really emancipate themselves. It is of course impossible as it is only in a proper socialist society that such a concept can thrive. Then there is the other leftist faction, which instead of trying to win this war between the sons and daughters of the working men and this reactionary government, would like to shift the aim of the fight (which seem possible to win) into one for the entire gratuity of schooling, for the full autonomy of universities, for a proper popular education. These are all clearly noble but unattainable goals.
On the right wing, the student union leaders, advised by the Parti Québécois and other "bourgeois" associations are tempted by a compromise, by a proper capitulation. They are ready to tolerate a reduce raise or one spread over a larger period of time which is totally absurd as with more effort they could clearly win the fight with its original objective, the freeze of all schooling fees.
A fight that could be won, under certain conditions...
This student's strike is fair - it has brought together almost the entire student body in debt, some of the overtaxed working hand and the people in general, because their objectifs are clear, accurates, obvious, reachables, and because once won, this strike will solve a real problem of the working class sons and daughters, of poor families and of far regions, and will keep an open acces to graduate studies for most people.
The price-freeze on schooling fees will allow all the young people at CEGEPS and high schools, as well as already engaged college students, to pursue their studies under not pleasent conditions, but at least tolerable ones. One victory like this one, will also keep the accesibility to graduate studies at its actual level. In Québec, there is 25% more of lower classes young boys and girls than in other canadian provinces - a consecuence of the weakness regarding student's rights - a concesion that had to be made by the middle class after several student strikes. To narrow the accesibility of the lower classes into higher studies institutions is the goal of the present Charest's governement offensive, in name of the capitalists class that demands more under-payed workers - and more minors and under-instructed workers, therefor less expensive than college graduates.
The militant contingent of student, workers outrageds sons and daughters and shocked people can force Charest's governement into backing-down of its purposes, by basing themselfs in this platform, that has forged the consensus militant for the students this past march 22nd.
Bachand has money for his friends - He'll find it.
Remember, last march 21st, when minister Bachand, in his recent budget, has given a million dollar bills of fresh money to millionaires in the mine industry so they could sack the natural wealth of Northern Québec. Without a doubt, he will know how to find some hundred millions for the students - Québec's students, the society's future.
Students have the right to have acces to higher education. Freeze the schooling fees.
Translate by Marc, Carolina Rosendorn and Stefan