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Lessons from the Mass Student strike in Quebec - Ireland tour September 2013

category national | anti-capitalism | press release author Friday September 13, 2013 12:50author by Turing Report this post to the editors

In 2012 the attempt by the government to Quebec to introduce a 75% fee hike was defeated by the organisation of a mass student strike that lasted over 6 months. That fee increase was part of the global process of imposing the privatisation and commodification of education. Since the victory, organisers of the strike have been being doing speaking tours to aid the process whereby "youth and students everywhere are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to organize as a means to defend education as a social right". In September this tour reaches Ireland where we need to hear how a sustained and militant student movement that can win is built.

There are two purposes to the tour. Firstly so that we can learn how the successful strike was organised in Quebec and discuss whether similar methods might work here. But as importantly we want to use the organisation of the tour in order to aid in the building of a network of militant student activists across the island.

Why is Quebec different

"In Quebec, a student strike isn’t just a bunch of rallies, marches and occupations. The strike is a complete shutdown of all courses on campus : no classes, no exams and no evaluations are to take place while the strike is on. Once the strike is voted in a general assembly and comes into effect, picket lines are erected and classrooms are emptied. Everyone, students and faculty alike, is forced to respect the strike mandate. Universities and colleges affected by the strike see their academic calendars disrupted, and since no classes or grading is allowed to happen, degrees can’t be awarded.

During the 2012 strike, most student unions held general assemblies every week to decide whether or not to stay on strike until the next assembly. While doing so, students meeting each other could also discuss the orientation and the actions of the movement. These regular and populous assemblies were fundamental in creating empowerment and a deep investment into the movement among students." ( from http://www.studentstrike.net )

About the tour

Vanessa with be talking to a couple of hundred students who we hope want to see a militant student movementemerge in Ireland. We hope that this will be looked back on as one important moment in the creation of a fighting student movement that won in Ireland.

Our speaker Vanessa participated and organised at many levels of the strike in small horizontal and autonomous groups, but also as a delegate for her local student union in the most combative national student union (CLASSE). She says “as a feminist activist I was involved in the organization of many collectives projects directly linked with the strike, and as a delegate elected by my general assembly I was one of the transmitting tool necessary for the practice of direct democracy on a large scale”. “All my analysis of the experience of the strike is formed by my political ideas of feminism, class struggle and anti-hierarchy."

Tour dates
We have set up a Facebook event for each date so that if you are on Facebook you can RSVP there and help us promote the tour by asking any interested friends you have for that location. Please do ask people in other colleges to the event in their college.

UCC CORK - Monday Sept 23rd co-hosted by Feminist Society West Wing 9, UCC for 7pm, Monday Sept 23rd (Please RSVP to UCC event on Facebook)

NUIG Galway - Tuesday 24 September, time and venue TBA (Please RSVP to NUIG event on Facebook)

UCD Dublin, Wed 25 Sept - co-hosted by Women's Studies Programme within the School of Social Justice Room L532, School of Social Justice, 5th Floor of the Library Building from 1-2pm on (Please RSVP to UCD Dublin event on Facebook)

TCD Dublin - Sept 25th co-hosted by Dept of Sociology - Jonathan Swift theatre in the arts block (2041a), for 7 pm. - (Please RSVP to TCD Dublin event on Facebook)

NUI Maynooth - Thur 26th September, NUI Maynooth John Hume 5,(JH 5) 13.00 - (Please RSVP to Maynooth event on Facebook)

Magee Derry - TBA
Derry - Fri 27 Sept, venue TBA (Please RSVP to Derry event on Facebook)

Queens Belfast -Mon 30 September co-hosted by Feminist Society 6pm to 9pm in clubroom 3&4 in Queens Student Union (Please RSVP to Belfast event on Facebook)

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/tour
author by Dublinerpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 09:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Please RSVP to UCD Dublin event on Facebook'

Yeah I'll be going, but since I'm not big into police collaboration, I don't use facebook so can't RSVP. People should relax on FB dependency, especially anarchists and revolutionaries.

author by fredpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well said dubliner. Why make it easy for the state to get a nice easy list of "troublesome" people who are prepared to exercise their democratic rights to protest, so they can be watched / harassed / monitored.
Corporate facebook is the tool of the state. Activists: Use free open software and sites like indymedia!! :-)


author by Turingpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 20:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I posted the notice as I got it from the WSM. Obviously the WSM don't consider FB to be a police tool but maybe you should raise that issue with them. Its a debate worth having. Even an open article here.

I have to admit that I finally caved in and joined FB 6 months back as many events are only advertised there.

author by fredpublication date Sat Sep 21, 2013 03:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

anarchists using corporate and state spying software to publicise events??

*raises eyebrows*

Anarchists should know better than to become dependent on this stuff!

Anyway, hope event goes well regardless :-)

author by expublication date Sat Sep 21, 2013 22:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm quite unsure why an organisation like the WSM is quite proud to boast of their number of 'likes' on FB. Quote: "In just 7 more people there will be 11,000 followers of the Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) page - the second largest following on Facebook of any political organisation in Ireland, North and/or South of the border. Including every single government party. Now who said anarchism was an idea that could only appeal to a few people?"

(Aside from the fact that 11k likes is pretty meaningless unless it translates into a visible physical presence - and I dont ever recall seeing 10% of that number of anarchists on the streets of any Irish city in recent years) Being supportive of a global capitalist company (by participating in their medium) strikes me as completely at odds with their political views. And also of course its effectively handing over a list of names to any government that wants it of irish anarchists, I'm sure FB arent worried about the privacy of their users.

There generally seems to be an attitude of "ah fuck it, it's what everyone else uses, so we may we well use it too" of left groups towards FB. Depressing. And one of the main reasons for the demise of indymedias around the world.

author by paulryankellypublication date Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

as bob hoskins said on the telly. reach out and touch someone. why would going to a protest with violent pwsive agressive types be any 5hing but a real pain in the neck. facebook is c1ontrolled by cia aset mark zuckenburg. this leaves me the question...who controlls indymedia of course 5here can only be one

author by Celtic Mist - Equalitypublication date Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If Indymedia is not that much fun for you it is a very simple answer. Just opt out. We all make mistakes in life; we all in a democratic society have freedom of speech and I think Indymedia does has done a lot to give ordinary people a way of expressing their views in writing. Let us be honest the moderators might not show their faces but they do work on a voluntary basis and that in itself has to be respected. Indymedia first started in 2002 and is still up and running. Many writers have come and others have left but I believe Indymedia will last as long as it stays transparent.

I have only started to write on Indymedia in the last 12 months and I have to say I enjoy it. I may not have written many postings but I do click in everyday. One topic that comes to mind of some days ago is one about Arthur's Day and reading T's posting and his poem was most enjoyable. He covered a lot of ground from health, to juvenile delinquents and the abuse of alcohol. May I ask the moderators today - there was one topic posted by Searson and I pasted it out and read it over and over again and I sent to three different bodies who deal with alcohol abuse and the replies I received back were positive. Is it possible to ask Wageslave to read it again. I cannot see 'rambling' I see points that may be off Arthur's day and the mainstream topic but T's article makes the same points but in a different way. Again it is all about open mindedness because people who take time out to write, the same way as moderators give their time voluntarily, are entitled to respect at all times.

Mike Scott in his song classed the Irish as a shower of piss artists on Arthur's Day and we all laughed and Christy Moore had his view, as we all have our view and this is what makes Indymedia special. So back to the original point. If you don't enjoy your porridge eat cornflakes.

Celtic Mist

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