The 1949 Asbestos strike: Prelude to the Quiet Revolution

Workers hangin outSeventy years ago, the small town of Asbestos, in the Eastern Townships, was the scene of one of the most important strikes in the history of the workers’ movement in Quebec. Engulfing the province for a number of months, it was one of the major events leading up to the Quiet Revolution. Pierre Elliott Trudeau described the strike as “the violent announcement that a new era had begun.” Although the strike ended in defeat, the workers showed that it was possible to struggle against the despotic Duplessis regime and the yoke of the bosses.

Fifty Years Later: The Rise and Fall of the Parti Québécois - Part Three

The oppression of the francophones and the francophone working class especially was one of the most egregious elements of the colonial domination of Canada over Quebec. English was the language of business and the language of work and francophone workers received some of the lowest wages in the province. Almost all of the big businesses were owned by anglophone imperialists from English Canada or the United States. This question had an enormous impact on Quebec politics throughout the 1960s and ’70s in particular.

Bill 21 in Quebec: For a mass movement of civil disobedience!

Francois LegaultThe long-awaited bill on secularism was finally tabled in the national assembly in Quebec. It contains, as planned, a ban on the wearing of religious symbols for many state employees, particularly for teachers. The MNA responsible, Simon Jolin-Barrette, says that Bill 21 is the "logical continuation of the Quiet Revolution and the de-confessionalization of the Quebec school system." This statement is false from beginning to end.

Québec solidaire and the ‘problem’ of secularism: No compromises with racism!

KhadirWe publish here an English translation of an article written by La Riposte socialiste activist Hélène Bissonnette on a debate occurring within Quebec solidaire. The CAQ government is attacking religious minorities and the leadership of QS has taken a compromise position. Party activists are mobilizing against the compromise position taken by the party leaders. This debate will be settled at QS’s National Council meeting in late March.

Quebec: Big struggles coming against new CAQ government

Francois Legault (Photo Credit: PAUL CHIASSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)The victory of the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, or Coalition for the Future of Quebec) in the Oct. 1 elections in Quebec marked the end of an epoch in the province. The Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ) who had held power interchangeably for nearly half a century were pummeled at the polls, receiving their worst electoral results in history. The political landscape in Quebec is increasingly polarized on the left with Québec solidaire and on the right with the CAQ, while the establishment parties in the “centre” have been punished.

58,000 students strike against unpaid internships in Québec

On the morning of Monday, Nov. 19, more than 55,000 university and Cégep students in Québec marched out of class in protest against unpaid internships. The central demand of the strike is for internships to be paid like any other job. Many of these internships are mandatory and take up hundreds of hours per semester, for which students receive zero pay. This week marked the breaking point for Québec students, who braved the snow and ice to send a message to the government and university administrations that they would not be slaves any more!

Thousands protest against racism and the CAQ in Montréal

Manif 7 octobre 2018On October 7, thousands of people gathered in downtown Montréal to march against racism and the newly elected CAQ government. The demonstration brought out a large number of immigrant families, grandparents and children included, all of whom were shocked by the election of the anti-immigrant government. La Riposte socialiste organized the socialist contingent of over 60 activists on the march.

Polarization in Quebec as CAQ wins majority and QS advances

François LegaultThe Quebec election this past Monday marked the end of an era. Support for the establishment parties, the PQ and the Liberals, collapsed to its lowest point on record. The main benefactor is the right-wing CAQ which swept dozens of ridings and will now form a majority government. But the vote was also polarized to the left, with Quebec solidaire more than doubling their vote share and going from three seats to 10. This unprecedented situation opens up a new period of class struggle against the CAQ government.

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