Quebec student union CLASSE plans week-long actions to disrupt economy, Quebec government
The following is a translation of the lead story in the Ultimatum, the newspaper of the Quebec student union CLASSE, the 80,000 strong and leading student union behind the current student strike in Quebec. In response to a Quebec government that continues to ignore the strike, it calls for a week of direct actions aimed at disrupting economic and government activity.
The original article in French was written by Julien Royal and can be read [url=http://www.bloquonslahausse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Ultimatum-exp...
Translated by Linchpin.ca
[b]March 22, the beginning of a long fight[/b]
March 22nd is often seen as the climax of our strike. With more than 300,000 strikers and a massive demonstration, we can for sure say that March 22 is of crucial importance. Nevertheless this day is not the last chapter in our struggle. On the contrary, March 22 is the catalyst of a long fight against the government.
If the government continues to ignore us after this day in the face of the largest student strike in the history of Quebec, we will not have any other choice but to significantly step up the pressure. This is why CLASSE is calling for a week of actions disrupting the economy and the State from March 26 to March 30. The March 22 protest shows a general and significant support for our struggle. Now we have to show that each day that the government refuses to listen to us will be a day in hell for it. Across the province we will block the State's administrative centres, we will paralyze key points of the economy; we will disrupt, where ever we are, the interests of the political and economic elite. We will force the Charet government to back down by disrupting its ministries, its crown corporations and by disrupting the economic activity of major corporations and the movement of goods in the economy.
Already through our open-ended strike we are exerting incredible economic pressure. Each day of the strike costs the State dearly in administrative costs. The longer the strike lasts, the greater the impact of each day longer on strike. From March 22 onward, we are at a crucial point: the government hopes the strike movement will deflate on its own, but it is also horrified of general assemblies voting to prolong the strike. The strike is starting to become unmanageable for the government and this is exactly what we wish.
In 2005, the government also played hardball as they are today. But when the strike reached its 5th week and when direct actions against the State and the economy became widespread, it had no choice but to give in. Remember that in 2005 even the Chamber of Commerce had started to pressure the government to end the strike. In the end, the bosses and lobbyists could no longer stand having students disrupt their spaces and businesses.
Despite the government's apparent unwillingness to negotiate we have to realize that our capacity to hit back is powerful. The intensity of the police oppression we are facing is proof of this. Our disruptive power across all of Quebec is stronger than any other social movement. The government cannot continue to ignore us and we must sink its strategy of letting the student movement die down on its own. We are at the turning point in the strike. Now is the time to keep going, to follow through and now is the time to daily disrupt the interests of the political and economic elite.