Student associations come together as summit nears

Monday, December 3, 2012


"The student associations have ruled that the summit’s structure does not allow for a real debate on the mission of public universities"

More than sixty different student associations gathered at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) on December 1 and 2 for the Rassemblement National Étudiant (RNÉ)—national student conference—to look back on last spring’s student strike and consider courses of action to take for the summit.

From the outset, the participating student associations emphasized the importance of direct democracy in creating a strong balance of power in the face of the state and the economic elite. The open-ended general strike was necessary to escalate pressure tactics in order to win their case and create an unprecedented popular movement. Furthermore, given the numerous court orders the student associations were confronted with, they reaffirmed the importance of solidarity between local student associations in developing the protest movement and implementing strike mandates. Police repression and the judicialization of the conflict have been condemned by the delegates present. The RNÉ has therefore taken a position in favour of withdrawing all criminal and civil charges filed against those arrested during the strike, as well as institutional charges brought against the professors and students involved.

Message of solidarity sent by CLASSE to the Chicago Teachers Union

Monday, September 10, 2012


Message of solidarity sent by CLASSE:

Solidarity for quality public education from Quebec to Chicago

Over the past months Chicago teachers, students and community members have been organizing to secure a fair contract with the Chicago Board of Education, despite sustained community rallies and ongoing intensive negotiations. A strike date of September 10 now looms.

Moving toward the first teachers’ strike in Chicago in 25 years, the Chicago Teachers Union, representing 26,000 public school teachers, has opened a strike headquarters and states, « for far too long our students have been short-changed, their teachers have been undermined and their schools have been financially starved of the resources they need. »

Coalition large de l’Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (CLASSE) extends our support and solidarity for the Chicago Teachers Union in the struggle to sustain quality, equitable and community based education in Chicago.

Profs Against the Hike, or a New Beginning for Faculty Political Action

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


There was a febrile atmosphere on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at Collège Ahuntsic: more than one hundred college and university professors met for the first time to share their voices and their resistance to tuition fee hikes. A space rich with action and reflection would crystallize the militant energies of a multitude of professors who wanted to join the fight initiated by the college and university students of Quebec.

The idea of creating an activist network of educators opposed to the tuition fee hikes was sparked in late February 2012. Strike votes were then taking place among students, and such movements tend to spread. Many wanted their unions, federations, and locals to take part in this struggle, remembering that during the last major student strike in 2005, the unions had not substantially mobilized their membership, even while students held an unprecedented balance of power against the Charest government's neoliberal project. Realizing that this scenario could be repeated, some Montreal college faculty decided to issue an invitation for a meeting aimed at going beyond simply supporting the students and actually taking part in the struggle they had initiated.

1992 to 2012 - 20 Years of Neoliberalism

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


-1994- (Parti Québécois Elected)

  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) takes effect

    The agreement worries many societal groups, who see it as an increase in the exploitation of the poorest classes to the profit of large companies.
  • Tuition Freeze

    The Government announces the end of the tuition freeze that has been in effect since 1989.


  • 1500 doctors and 4000 nurses are forced by the government to go on early retirement

    Pauline Marois, minister of Education, decides at the same time to limit enrollment in the nursing schools. The combination of these two measures will have a disastrous effect on the healthcare system.
  • Tuition Unfreeze

    Marois announces her intention to unfreeze tuition fees after less than two years of tuition freeze. A wave of student protests forces her to retreat.

The Days are Numbered

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's only a matter of a few days until boycotting students' sessions will be annulled, warns the Fédération des cégeps.

"We have less than a week left. Within the next few days, the session will have to be canceled, with a failing grade," insists the CEO, Jean Beauchesne.

He says he discussed the matter with the Minister of Education and that they are "on the same wavelength".

Police misconduct: CLASSE requests intervention by the Quebec Human Rights Commission

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Montreal, June 10th 2012 — The Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE) strongly denounces the cases of police misconduct observed these last few days. Numerous allegations testify of systematic illegal searches on citizens wearing a red square. Dozens of students were also questioned and held in custody on “preventive” grounds. It took only a couple hours through the social media for the CLASSE to collect close to a hundred testimonies from people who claimed they were victims of political profiling by the Montreal police force (SPVM).

Americans turn a deaf ear to Quebec student conflict

Monday, June 4, 2012


John R. MacArthur, Le Devoir

I'm ashamed when I think of the revolt against tuition fee hikes in Quebec, and I'm ashamed for two reasons: first, because my colleagues in American newspapers and magazines have shown a marked lack of interest in a crisis that is unfolding right under their noses; second, because American students and their parents, themselves exhausted by the obscenely high cost of four years of U.S. college* education, have almost nothing to say on the topic.

I admit that Bill 78 and its repercussions on civil liberties have roused the barons of the English-speaking press from their previous slumber. For example, Time Magazine appears to be a tad annoyed that the festive Montréal of which they are so fond is now under siege by thousands of protestors and police: we are far from the lilting Jazz-Festival atmosphere. And yet this widely read magazine cannot help attempting to conjure up a return to the tourist norm: in its online edition last week, after the second paragraph of a piece on the Quebec uprising, Time's editorial staff inserted a link entitled "Three hours in Montreal," proposing a whirlwind tour of museums, the Plateau, and Saint-Laurent Boulevard, to give visitors a taste of Montreal's joie de vivre.

Monarcho-liberals versus Republicans

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Stéphane Baillargeon, Le Devoir

The student conflict has turned into a social crisis. At the heart of the matter: who is taking to the streets now more than ever in the history of Quebec, and why?

It comes down to elected officials versus the people in the street. Representing the elected officials, Jean Charest renewed his appeal for calm last Thursday. We will find out later today if his appeal was heeded on the street, where students, who have been striking for over one hundred days and some dozens of nights, are mobilizing for yet another demonstration.

Acknowledging the failed negotiations, the premier repeated that there will be an election within eighteen months and that "this will be the moment for people to express their disagreement democratically." He added that the most radical of the young negotiators had gone too far by threatening to disrupt the F1 Grand Prix which will take place in Montreal next weekend.

A philosophy professor and his ski goggles

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Rima Elkouri, La Presse

“It’s really being hit with that baton that changed everything.”

This man with the hoarse voice is Olivier Roy. He’s 31 years old. There are ski goggles on the table in front of him. He is visibly exhausted. Visibly outraged.

By day, Olivier Roy teaches philosophy at Cégep de Terrebonne. By night, for a month now, he has been demonstrating against police brutality. He’s been in around thirty marches. He was out again on Tuesday night.

Explanatory Text on Law 78

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This explanatory text is the result of the study and discussion of An Act to enable students to receive instruction from the
postsecondary institutions they attend (hereafter referred to as the “Act”) by the CLASSE legal committee and its allies. We wish
to take this opportunity to thank all those whom we contacted and who were able to support us in this endeavour.

This document is not to be considered as legal counsel or advice. It is above all a source of information meant to inform and
therefore render more democratic the information on the various sections applicable under this Act.