August 22 National Demonstration in Montreal

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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

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

Voting slips tossed on a table after the General Assembly.

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

The Montreal Student Strike Ends at Junior Colleges

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

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

Student Unionism, Why Don’t American Students Strike?

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The “Student Unionism to Build Student Power” panel with Montreal CLASSE organizers Rushdia Mehreen and Frank Lévesque-Nicol and Brooklyn Student Union and New York Students Rising organizers Biola Jeje and Isabelle Nastasia was instructive about a possible organizing strategy for a US Student Movement. In one room were several thought leaders student syndicalism across North … Continue reading

National Student Power Convergence, Forming Liquid Concrete

Students at a "Theater and Activism" workshop.

In the first few days of the convergence students exuberantly engaged with one another, recognizing their commonalities and sharing the highs and lows of their activism experiences, building a network of student solidarity. However, at moments, the honeymoon feeling gave way to underlying tensions. So far, students have demonstrated their differences by reacting to speakers. … Continue reading

Interview with Anthropologist David Graeber: U.S. Student Debt Campaign

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While Montreal’s student strike intensifies further around Quebec’s September 4 election, U.S. students are initiating a multitude of campaigns around debt, immigration, and other issues. Students will be learning from Montreal activists and discussing strategies for debt campaigns at the Student Power Convergence in Columbus, OH on August 10—14 2012. At a Sunday StrikeDebt assembly … Continue reading