Against a kind of activist-y, spectacular politics, Marianne Garneau argues that US students and workers can learn from the Quebec model how to organize our power as a class. Quebec students have kept their tuition low because they’ve historically had a vibrant, militant student movement, one that is willing to strike and directly disrupt, and not wait for the leadership of the business unions. The organizing model is to create directly democratic bodies—department-by-department assemblies—that know how to leverage our power to fuck up the business of the people who are screwing us over, whether they’re our educators or our employers.
In Quebec, Canada, an impressive student struggle, connected to protests against attacks on civil liberties has ended in a partial, but nevertheless important, victory. There is reason to learn lessons, but also to celebrate and to be inspired. Let's shout it from the rooftops, as a sign of more to come.
I keep meaning to write something about the abrupt halt to my "Dispatches from Maple Spring" posts -- written during the best summer of my life in the rebellious, romantic city of Montreal. In fact, I have two unfinished stories languishing in my Wordpress box and several pieces I've been meaning to write. Hopefully I'll have the energy, focus, and stomach for writing again soon about the Quebec student strike and other related politics, but also, first, about the surreal turn in my own life.