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Maple Spring Part Deux?

Originally published on WagingNonviolence on March 8: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/maple-spring-part-deux/ Last Tuesday, 10,000 people gathered at Victoria Square in downtown Montreal for the most recent chapter of Quebec’s historic student movement. Their presence was a protest of the long-awaited education summit, which ended with the disappointing, but expected decision to increase tuition 3 percent annually, starting next fall. Premier … Continue reading

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“Forward on Climate” Rally in Washington DC: Large and Uninspiring

On a frigid Sunday, February 17, some 40,000 people rallied in Washington D.C. to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and to push President Obama to be a leader in addressing climate change. I walked through the shockingly quiet crowd, a mumbling sea that occasionally coalesced around a pat protest cheer. Babies perched on parents’ shoulders. … Continue reading

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Is the International Student Movement the future of global organizing?

This article originally appeared on WagingNonviolence on February 6, 2013: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2013/02/is-the-international-student-movement-the-future-of-global-organizing/ On Nov. 10, 2012, tens of thousands of students flooded the streets of Montreal to express opposition to the proposed tuition hikes. Iain Brannigan, one of approximately 30,000 participants, often took part in the city’s frequent, massive student protests — but this day was uniquely exciting for him. As the University of … Continue reading

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How to Steal an Election, Q&A with Investigative Reporter Greg Palast

A modified version of this article was published on November 5 at Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/2012/11/05/how_to_steal_an_election/ If this year’s election is anything like 2008′s, by the time the polls close on Tuesday night more than 120 million Americans will have cast a ballot this cycle. But not all of those votes will count. Between two and three million will … Continue reading

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The Free University of New York: If you won’t teach us, we’ll do it ourselves

An outgrowth of the Occupy Movement, the “Free U” may represent the new initiatives of Occupy 2.0 and belie the changing game of education economics. As student debt soars, adjuncts get bullied, and the value of a diploma plummets, a group of students that have formed the Free University of New York are standing up … Continue reading

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Young at the DNC: Show me off, shut me up

I won’t be combing South Philadelphia to register voters like I did in 2008, because the Democrats still haven’t learned what supporting youth actually looks like: letting us speak, and act, on our own behalf.  Instead, Democrats wrap Millennials in dirty diapers, and shove pacifiers in our mouths when we try to point out the … Continue reading

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Occupy the DNC, A Week in Political Theater

A modified version of this post was published on Toward Freedom at: http://towardfreedom.com/activism/2975-occupy-the-dnc-photo-essay-and-reflections.  “Occupy the Democratic National Convention” was marked by frustration — an understandable feeling from the small and wearied band, protesting under conditions in which dissent was highly susceptible to ridicule. There were less than a hundred Occupiers at the Marshall Park encampment, and … Continue reading

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August 22 National Demonstration in Montreal

August 22 marked the five-month anniversary of the first national demonstration in March, which had held three hundred thousand and brought international attention to the movement. Members of CLASSE (Quebec’s largest student union) led the protest, which filled about 1.25 miles of Montreal’s downtown streets, lasted just over three hours, and held 100,000 marchers according to … Continue reading

Voting slips tossed on a table after the General Assembly.

The UQAM General Assembly for Political Science and Law Votes to End the Strike

It’s one faculty, in one school, but it’s important. L’Université du Québec à Montréal has been a backbone of the student movement, with about 40,000 students and a history of student radicalism. This week, after the CEGEPs (junior colleges) voted to return to class, student activists hoped the trend would be stopped in the universities, particularly … Continue reading

A student with the "carré rouge" pinned to his backpack looks out over the General Assembly at CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal

The Montreal Student Strike Ends at Junior Colleges

After witnessing the full power of Quebec’s student unions at the Grand Prix demonstrations in early June, I returned to Montreal this week for what I expected to be intense manifestations supporting the continuation of strike through the fall semester. However, the confluence of Quebec’s Liberal Party Premier Jean Charest’s call for a September 4 … Continue reading

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