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Canadian Marxists spread Quebec student strike on TV and radio

Fightback activists in English Canada have taken the initiative to spread the inspiring Quebec student strike across the country. In addition to launching an open letter calling on the Canadian Federation of Students to organize strike ballots for free education and to support the Quebec movement, Fightback's Farshad Azadian recently appeared on Sun News Network and Newstalk 1010 (CFRB) to defend the movement.

Will May Day revitalize the Occupy movement?

Last year the Occupy Wall Street movement took Canadian and American society by storm. However, the movement has seen a number of setbacks over the past few months. By marking the official date of “re-occupation” as May 1st, the Occupy movements in Toronto, New York, and other cities around the continent have chosen a symbolically significant date. In deciding to symbolically identify their call for re-occupation with May Day, perhaps the Occupy movement has learned that their struggle against the “1%” is the same struggle that the working class has been fighting against the bourgeoisie for more than a hundred years.

Fightback stands in solidarity with York University academic workers

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3903, which represents teaching assistants, contract faculty, graduate assistants, and research assistants at York University, is once again being cornered into a strike position by the pro-business administration at the university. For years, the administration has been taking York University in a direction which has seen underpaid and overworked contract faculty and teaching assistants handling increased course loads and larger class sizes. These individuals now handle more than 50 percent of courses taught at the university.  Aside from attacking the working and living standards of academic workers, this also depreciates the education of all students at York.  Fightback fully supports the struggle of CUPE 3903 workers to fight for better working conditions, as well as the struggle for improved education for all.

Keys to spreading the Quebec student strike

As of 1st March, there are over 100,000 students across Quebec on an all-out unlimited strike against tuition increases.  Over the course of March, there will be many days where new student associations join, or vote to join, this movement.  So far, however, this demonstration of force and solidarity among students and against the policies of the provincial government has been ignored by the Quebec government; Education minister Line Beauchamp is urging schools to ignore the empty classrooms and picketing students.  It is clear that the student movement must spread and become larger and more resounding.  How it can do this, and be most effective, is an important question.

Academic workers at UofT deserve a fair deal: Decent jobs, free education for all!

The University of Toronto has often prided itself on its prestigious status as a leading academic institution. Unfortunately, this does not mean that it has been willing to give its employees job security, decent pay, or healthy work conditions at the university. Teaching assistants, lab instructors, and a number of other academic staff are challenging these conditions of work, a struggle that we, as Fightback, wholeheartedly support.

Drop Fees campaign: Strategy and tactics to build the student movement

Thousands of students across Canada came out to protest skyrocketing tuition fees on the National Day of Action, organized by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).  The demos wonderfully demonstrated the fighting energy of students, showing that young people are anything but apathetic. With such a magnificent demonstration of youth and student resistance, the pressing question is, where forward from here? How do we build a grassroots, activist, and effective student movement that can actually win free post-secondary education?

The legacy of Occupy Toronto: Fightback debates right-wing radio host

Even following the removal of the Occupy Toronto camp at St. James Park, the bourgeois media continues to attack the #Occupy movement.  In December, Fightback activists Farshad Azadian and Matt Gardner, both of whom actively participated at Occupy Toronto, appeared on CFRB NewsTalk 1010, a popular Toronto talk-radio station.  They debate right-wing host Jerry Agar and discuss why movements like #Occupy have arisen.

A balance sheet of Occupy Toronto: Lessons moving forward

The global Occupy Movement swept across Toronto on the weekend of 15th October. For five weeks, protesters engaged in daily protests, coordinated around the St. James Park encampment, until the police-enforced eviction on 23rd November 2011. Over this period, thousands of youth have, for the first time, entered into political activity. The supposedly apathetic and disinterested young generation erupted into a mass youth movement from almost nowhere. The movement has been able to resonate beyond the youth, and attracted support from working people and trade unionists.

Over 200,000 students strike against Quebec tuition increases

Over 200,000 Quebec students went on strike on Thursday (10th November) against the tuition increases being imposed on them by the Quebec Liberal government. Premier Jean Charest's proposes to increase post-secondary tuition fees by a total of $1,625 over the next five years, the biggest tuition increase in the province’s history.  Combined with a previous $500 increase by the Liberal government, this amounts to a 125% increase in the amount that Quebec students must pay for post-secondary education.  The indignation that has swept throughout society against this is astounding and clearly manifested itself throughout the strike.

Fight back against Quebec tuition increases: For a united student movement against austerity!

The Quebec Liberals' budget presented earlier this year contained many worrisome tidbits for workers and students in the province.  Choosing their battles carefully, the Liberals have aimed their first attacks primarily at Quebec's students.  The government’s proposed plan, which is to come into effect for the 2012 fall semester, is to hike tuition fees by $325/year over five years, which amounts to a total fees increase of $1,625. This is on top of the $500 increase spread over five years, which the government started in 2007.  Quebec students have reacted by promising to strike this coming Thursday, possibly involving as many as 150,000 students.