In Solidarity with Quebec Students protesting against austerity!

ORIGINALThe Pay More Get Less campaign, a coalition of students and workers at Guelph, stands in solidarity with Quebec students fighting against austerity. Quebec students are facing huge budget cuts to their education system, and are correctly protesting austerity.

The Quebec student movement held a massive action in Montreal on April 2nd. 75,000 people in Quebec took to the streets of Montreal in the middle of the day to condemn governmental austerity. Quebec students have organized strikes in their local student unions to unite against budget cuts to public services, and many people in Quebec are showing solidarity. Indeed, public sector workers are also facing the brunt of budget cuts, with the Liberal government budgeting for wage freezes.

Guelph students and workers condemn the Liberal government’s use of police to repress the student movement. The police have attacked students’ right to protest in Quebec by kettling and arresting students. Many students are being charged and arrested under Montreal bylaw P-6, which takes away the right to protest and makes activists send their march routes to police. Injuries have also occurred at the hands of the police, including a 18- year-old woman being shot in the face with a tear gas canister at a protest in Quebec City.

Administrations in Quebec are working with the government to take away the students’ right to strike. At the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), 9 students have been threatened with expulsion for organizing with students to defend their interests against austerity. Police enforcing an injunction at UQAM arrested 22 students on April 9th, and shot tear gas into UQAM as it was being occupied by students. One student activist faces fourteen charges for shooting silly string at a security guard. Even though none of these charges are criminal, he will be held in jail until the end of his trial. This shows that the authorities are trying to make an example of leading student activists in order to crush the movement.

The Pay More Get Less campaign stands in solidarity with students and professors at UQAM who are demanding there be no political expulsions, and that their President resign for repressing dissent. We call on the Quebec government to stop attacking the students’ right to protest and strike with injunctions and police repression.

We encourage the student movement across Canada to show solidarity with Quebec by standing against austerity and police repression. The most important way to be in solidarity with students and workers in Quebec is to organize against austerity. The Pay More Get Less campaign is working on building the anti-austerity struggle here at Guelph by fighting against tuition fees and budget cuts. We are a coalition of the Central Student Association, CUPE 3913, CUPE 1334, OPIRG Guelph, and individual students and workers at Guelph.