Quebec student movement gains international support

The Quebec student movement has not just caught the imagination of youth and workers in Quebec and the rest of Canada — the movement is gaining support all over the world.  Today, we publish a few reports and pictures from supporters of the International Marxist Tendency in different countries who have rallied in solidarity with striking Quebec students.

Two Quebec student unions join in call for student strikes in the rest of Canada

We have received word that two student unions in Quebec have passed resolutions in support of the open letter to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), which calls for the mobilization of a student strike in the rest of Canada. The following is an English translation of the resolution passed by the Political Science and Law Association at UQAM ( l'AFESPED), and by the Philosophy Students Association at l'Université de Montréal ( l'ADEPUM).  The original French resolution follows the English.

Toronto students rally to support Quebec students: Bring the strike to rest of Canada

Some 300 students in Toronto came out in solidarity with the 250,000-strong demonstration in Montreal on Tuesday, 23rd May.  The Toronto rally was spontaneously organized by a loose alliance of Ontario student activists who wished to demonstrate that Quebec students are not alone. This is a direct challenge to the attempts by the corporate-owned press and among pro-business politicians, especially in English Canada, to isolate Quebec students by labelling them as “entitled”. This point has been used to justify state repression. This demonstration served to cut across this isolation, and to show that students across Canada are willing to fight.

How to fight the war on immigration

As part of their agenda of austerity and attacks on working-class people, the Conservative government is attempting to bring in major “reforms” to Canada’s system of immigration. During the last federal election campaign, Stephen Harper and his minister of immigration, Jason Kenney, tried hard to woo ethnic communities’ support to the Conservatives.  But now that the elections are over for a while, the Tories feel safe in attacking these same communities as part of the general war against workers.

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.

Housing crisis at Attawapiskat: The issues of Northern development and exclusion of indigenous communities

In October of last year, the Cree community of Attawapiskat (as well as two other nations) declared a state of emergency. The village had once been relocated and supplied with cheap, overcrowded housing arrangements by the federal Canadian government.  Despite claims by the government that Attawapiskat had received millions of dollars from the government to aid the community, today, these dwellings continue to be overcrowded and are quickly deteriorating.

As 2012 dawns -- Once more on optimism and pessimism

Twelve months ago, we contrasted the attitude of the bourgeoisie and the working class as the effects of the capitalist crisis played out.  The bourgeois have no confidence in their own system, only seeing a dead end.  The working class, on the other hand, are beginning to realize their own strength.  In the past year, the working masses around the world have risen up and begun to challenge the status-quo.  What can revolutionaries look forward to in 2012?

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