[Debate] (Fwd) 'Casserole cacophony' during Montreal's night march magic (Roger Rashi)
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sat May 26 05:26:33 BST 2012
Night march magic: Quebec people's movement takes over the streets
By Roger Rashi </category/bios/roger-rashi>
| May 25, 2012
It is well past midnight and I have been marching non-stop for the past
four hours. There are literally tens of thousands of people marching
throughout Montreal tonight!
The march I participated in started in one neighbourhood in Montreal,
the Plateau, with a couple of dozen people at the corner of Mt-Royal and
De Lorimier at 8pm. Within half an hour we were a thousand strong as
people came out streaming from their homes, from restaurant terraces and
coffee shops banging on pots and pans.
As we marched through the neighbourhood, we merged with other groups
coming from the north, south, east and west. By 9pm we were several
thousand. By 10pm were more than 10 housand and marching towards the
neighbourhoods to the north: Rosemont, Villeray and Parc Extension. By
11 pm, this march was over three kilometres long, with an estimated 20
to 30 thousand people, chanting slogans and joyously banging on their
pots and pans.
And this was only /one/ of several spontaneous marches going on
throughout the city. The cops were practically invisible. How could they
cope with thousands of people streaming simultaneously from 6 to 10
different neighbourhoods in the city, with no fixed route and no
discernible organization or leadership?
Throughout the day calls were put out through facebook and over the
Internet with literally dozens of meeting spots given in a ten different
These marches are totally illegal, openly flaunting the repressive bill
78, making a mockery of Premier Charest attempt to crush the student and
It is a direct answer to the incredible number of mass arrests - close
to 700 hundred people were arrested during Wednesday's nightly marches
alone. These arrests have been replete with many acts of police
brutality. Stupidly, the government thought this massive act of
repression would cow the people, barely 24 hours after Tuesday's giant
demo when more than a quarter of a million people marched in the streets
Instead, this last gambit has exploded in the government's face,
galvanizing hundreds of thousands of people and turning this struggle
into a giant people's movement, the likes of which I have not seen in
over 40 years of political activism in Quebec.
The people have taken over the streets and the city in a massive act of
civil disobediance. Furthermore, the movement of civil disobediance has
spread to the rest of the province with demonstrations, marches and pots
being banged in many towns and cities accross Quebec.
This incredible movement sparked by the student strike against increased
tuition fees has morphed into a powerful mass movement against austerity
measures and repressive policies.
Far from petering out, it is gathering strength and has thrown the
provincial government in total disarray. A full-fledged political crisis
Keep your eyes on Quebec, there is more to come!
/Roger Rashi is a long-time social activist in Quebec. /
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Quebec students </taxonomy/term/20924> quebec student strike
Quebec students are teaching us all an important lesson
All across Canada and beyond, we need fair and in-depth coverage of the
Quebec student strike. Not just so we can show solidarity with their
efforts, but so we can learn from their creative and determined movement.
Quebec students say Charest's authoritarian 'special law' will fail
The strike of post-secondary students in Quebec has taken a dramatic
turn with the provincial government pushing through a special law to
suspend the school year at strike-bound institutions and outlawing
protest activity deemed disruptive of institutions not participating in
Escalator to the bottom: Quebec students refuse the ride
With all this attention has also come a flurry of criticism of the
student federations. It's not my intention to survey or summarize these,
but simply to dissect one current within it to illustrate an underlying
issue, and how the critique is attempting to pigeonhole the student
movement and its objectives into a form where it can be dismissed, or at
Submitted by Kaleidophonic on May 25, 2012 - 2:46pm.
Thank you Roger! I live in Verdun, a quiet neighborhood to the
south-west, a good 30 minute metro ride from the plateau. Last night I
was amazed to hear the pots-and-pandemonium marching just a half-block
from my apartment, going down Wellington street, circling around not
once but twice! I havn't been seeing many red squares out here, but it
turns out people are more politically active than I thought. I quickly
grabbed my cowbell and joined the fray, I think we were maybe 200
strong. People were leaning out their windows and banging along with us,
it was incredible. As a side note, I'm a historian of sound and social
movements in Montreal, and this latest development has got me so geeked!!
Viva la casserole cacophony!
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