I do not get the protesting students disruptive disregard for the rights, freedoms and safety of ordinary hard-working Quebecers, the very same people that could help them in their cause, by supporting the student’s strike . It could not be the shock value of their acts that the students are after, they accomplished that on day two of their protest with that gathering of over one hundred thousand people and no violence and no clashes with the police. The very next day things were not so good however, as if the students figured that they had to top what they had done the previous day. I watched with the sinking feeling that the protesting students had fallen for the trap set out by Premier Jean Charest and his government and decided to take up what sounded to me much like a challenge from the government to the students, when the Charest government said in essence after the march that, ”The Liberal Government of Quebec, would not be bargaining with the students no matter what they did and the hikes in tuition would happen regardless of what the students did or said, the day after the non violent march.” Everything the students have done since that march has made it seem that the day two march was not good planning and common sense, but rather a fluke, an accident and that in my opinion is too bad. Judging from the student’s behaviour post day two they were intent on not letting the Gandhi approach rule the day and have decided to use violence and intimidation of others as their main tactic to win the day.
You want my support as a human being, but you harass me and keep me from getting to my job that I need to feed, cloth and house my family, maybe even to send my child to school and you think that this type of non caring behavior will win that support? I do not get it people. You scream for a return to democracy and to have your rights respected, yet you deny the right and passage of others to freely come and go as they see fit, because you are chosing to make a point, but you are wrong, because people who are about to lose their jobs for being late, because you have them blocked start to hate you and your cause and cease to hear your cries for justice. Students you are defeating your purpose! You are alienating the very people whose support you need if you are to win this thing.
I do not get the significance of blocking bridges, roads, businesses and not allowing those who wish to study or teach to do their thing. An offer was made and the students rejected it and this was their right. They chose to remain out on strike and waste a year of school that they have already paid for to hopefully not have to pay 3 to 4 hundred dollars in increased tuition and the logic of that is escaping me. Surrounding banks, roughing up employees and government officials? Come on guys and gals, this is a democracy try using your vote for more than language issues and try using your brain rather than muscle.
I have stated that I do understand the frustration, but if the students continue to act in the manner they have chosen to with this unprovoked violence against people who do not agree with them, the delaying of people trying to get to work and support their families some who I am sure are students who will need their tuitions paid for they will find their support starting to lessen. If these students continue to attack , delay and endanger the people and the children whose taxes are used to help off set most of the cost of the tuition they could be paying, these students will find the focus of their one time wide support shifting and narrowing. I fail to see how going to jail will do the protesting students any good in this case, but hey who am I? What is the attraction to doing the wrong thing in youth in a violent way? I guess having grown old I forget how it is was when I was this age, but I do remember the consequences for going too far and forgetting why we were there in the first place:
One of them was getting no higher education at all fighting for things that were important to others, but did not allow me to pursue what was important to me in the long run.
The other was getting a police record that blocked me from doing a lot of things and going a lot of places and in this world of heightened security everyone arrested will be on every country in the world’s watch list.
I would ask the students again if education is a way to a better, more open and free existence and life, how can putting chains of containment on yourselves through getting police records be a good thing for you and your dreams?
Is it not equally important to get an education as it is to get and keep a low tuition? Is it not true that without the education that the students are throwing away with every day that they stay out of school their chances of making any real changes in the government or the world they live in is rapidly slipping through their fingers? Some of them are smart enough to strike and pass the year anyway, but what of their comrades that are not, but will not break their vow and remain to the bitter end, what of their unrealized dreams? Will it matter to the students who fail, or drop out in the end whether you win or lose the right not to pay the extra in tuition? Some students will survive and go on to change the world or perhaps make the rules that will infuriate others enough to strike, but does anybody care at all about what will happen to those that do not?
A march, a protest is only as good as the public and official support it can muster. It must grow and the ideas and ideals become accepted by as many people from as diversified group of people as possible to succeed, but succeeding can never be the ultimate short-term goal, because one does not always win, not always on time for themselves. Change always comes slow and sometimes is not realized for generations after many protests, or the protesters emerge out of the struggle as the leaders of a new age and time until their ideals and ideas for a better life are challenged. This has always been the way of change and it always will. There are many methods of persuasion that can be put to use, I am suggesting that day two was the way to go if your protest is still about more than making a public spectacle of yourselves, being a part of public disobedience and having a little fun.
Just brilliant turn your focus to injuring a lot innocent men, women and children and perhaps killing a few of them by putting bricks and sand bags on the tracks of the metro system. Why must innocent men, women and children must die and be injured, because protesting students are mad at the government’s decision to raise their tuition? I do not understand the reasoning now of this protest with the throwing of molotov cocktails and the throwing of tear gas in metro stations, scaring people and endangering innocent people. This Quebecer, this Canadian finds you in contempt of democracy and common decency and finds you are nothing more than a band of roving terrorists, rather than student protesters and should be handled by the authorities in the appropriate manner due terrorists. I could not believe my ears and eyes when it was reported that a political party and their leader had tried to gain political ground by aligning themselves to this terrorism.
This is a quote taken from: Quebec Not Budging Despite Massive Student Protest
“Opposition Leader Pauline Marois, who was once education minister in a government that floated tuition-fee increases before being forced to retreat, has said she would repeal any increases if the PQ takes power.” Although I do not know why I am surprised, when this is the sort of thing that this leader and her party sees nothing wrong with. In fact this sort of action is entrenched in their party’s history since the FLQ terrorists were brought back to Quebec and rewarded and glorified as heroes for their part in the October Crisis that saw kidnapping, violence and murder and destruction of public property and demanding and a taking of ransom money used as a way to win the day.
In closing we all think that our point of view is the right one and I think that your decision to stand up to this oppressive government is a good one, but I feel that the non violent approach that you started is the one that should be followed. I feel, that we often forget about another’s right to have an opinion, or do what they think is right, or even something as simple as to go through the daily routine of their lives without being hampered by our struggle, or inconvenienced by our actions. We often refuse to take a no for an answer, so was there ever really a choice or a request for understanding, or was there really only a demand put forward? When you take away my right to go to school, or work by blocking the doors, roads and bridges for those not involved in our struggle, how are you any different to those who stop you from going to school by raising your tuition? The answer is that you are not in my eyes and in a whole lot of Canadians eyes, in fact you are worst, because you claim to know better, but are allowing your needs of the moment over rule my rights and you are not even in a position of governmental authority or power.
The blocking of hospital entrances and disrupting ambulances trying to enter or exit an emergency entrance is a new low and this Canadian just can not get behind this type of action. In fact every attempt to do so in my opinion is an act of attempted murder and if the person dies you should be charged collectively with murder, or manslaughter at the least. This protest has turned into a disgrace and an exercise in dangerous, childish behaviour. Once a supporter of a just argument, I now see this protest as a joke. These students seem okay with throwing this year’s tuition down the toilette by staying out of school, but fight to stop next year’s tuition from rising. Go back to class you are embarrassing yourselves and hurting innocent people for nothing. There is no longer any talk of what you want, or your cause. There is only talk of the negative things you are doing and the hurt you are causing and you are losing support of the people with the passing of every day. How does this help your cause? How doe this get you what you want, or is the 15 minutes of fame all you were really after?
- Charest ‘not going to accept’ violence at protests (ctv.ca)
- 150 arrested during escalating Quebec student protest (theglobeandmail.com)
- Archemdis Goes To Day Two Of Student Protest In Montreal (archemdis.wordpress.com)
- Coyne: Overhauling how students pay for education (vancouversun.com)
- 14 arrested, 6 injured as students protest in Montreal (theprovince.com)
- Montreal police use teargas on student protesters (rawstory.com)