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Statement of solidarity with the Quebec student strike

June 1st, 2012     by Guest Blogger     Comments

This statement of solidarity with the Quebec student strike was written by the folks at the Public studio, a Toronto-based activist design studio specializing in changing the world. Principal and creative director, Sheila Sampath, is also the editorial and art director at Shameless.

Members of the Shameless team wishing to show our solidarity with this statement will be signing on in the comments below.

We encourage readers wishing to show solidarity to sign on in comments, as well.

Statement of solidarity with the Quebec student strike

As organizers, activists and members of marginalized communities we are well aware of our governments’ austerity agenda, directly attacking the working class and poor, women and children, disabled folk, racialized and Indigenous peoples and students. We know our governments are becoming less interested in the welfare of our society, as we continue to experience the effects of cuts to social services, community programs and, most recently, accessible education.

On May 22nd, 2012 more than 400,000 students took to the streets of Montreal to commemorate the 100-day mark of the movement for change spearheaded by students in Quebec. As a vanguard in the struggle for accessible education, Quebec has demonstrated to the rest of Canada that people power can and will change policies at the state-level. Students have been on strike and out on the streets for more than 100 days and continue to form larger and stronger contingents to demand accessible education for all.

The Public is proud to support the ongoing struggle of the Quebec student movement. The call for accessible education also requires a direct critique of current government spending, on all its levels. The money is there; cuts to education are indicative of the state’s skewed priorities. Our communities have been put on the back-burner for long enough.

What started as a student strike to address student debt has now grown to a nation-wide movement against the criminalization of dissent. We believe in the power of direct action, and the right for students and supporters to protest and demonstrate in public.

We support the efforts of organizers and activists as they present clear demands around accessible education, environmental sustainability, financial transparency, an end to police brutality and the right to free speech. We will demonstrate in solidarity and wear our red squares with pride as we continue to connect our struggles and fuel this movement as it spreads nation-wide.

Here in Toronto, student unions, organizers and outraged communities have called for actions across the city. We invite you to join us at any of the following events, connect with us to learn more about the issues and ways to get involved or drop by the studio at any time to pick up your own red square.

Events of interest in Toronto:

Pots and pans rally/noise demo Wednesday May 30, 8pm at Dufferin Grove Park

Support rally Tuesday June 5th, 8:30pm at Queen’s Park

Student Solidarity Network meeting Thursday June 7th, 6:00pm (Location TBD) *Add yourself to the Student Solidarity Network by emailing

Nous irons jusqu’au bout, The Public

Sheila Sampath

(En francais)

Comme organisateurs, activistes et membres de communautees marginalisees, nous sommes bien conscients de l’ordre du jour d’austerite etabli par nos gouvernements, attaquant directement la classe ouvriere et des pauvres, des femmes et des enfants, les personnes handicape(e)s, gens de couleur; les peuples autochtones et les etudiantes. Nous savons que nos gouvernements sont de moins en moins intereses par le bien-etre de notre societe, alors que nous continuons a ressentir les effets des reductions des services sociaux, les programmes communautaires et, plus recemment, de l’education accessible.

Plus de 400.000 etudiants sont descendues dans les rues de Montreal le 22 mai 2012 pour celebrer les 100 jours de la greve etudiante quebecoise.

Ces etudiants et etudiantes ont demontre au reste du Canada que le pouvoir du peuple peut changer les politiques au niveau de l’Etat. Les etudiants on ete greve et dans les rues pendant de plus de 100 jours et ils continuent a former des manifestations de plus en plus fortes pour exiger une education accessible a tous.

The Public Studio est fier de soutenir la lutte du mouvement etudiant quebecois. L’appel a l’education accessible exige une critique directe des depenses du gouvernement actuel a tous ses niveaux. L’argent est la; les coupures a l’education demontrent de priorites obliques de l’Etat.

La greve etudiante au Quebec a devenu aujourd’hui un mouvement a l’echelle nationale contre la criminalisation de la dissidence. Nous croyons en la puissance de l’action directe, et le droit des etudiants et sympathisants a protester et de demonstrer en public.

Nous soutenons les efforts des organisateurs et des activistes, car ils presentent des demandes claires sur l’education accessible, la protection de l’environnement, la transparence financiere, la fin de la brutalite policiere et le droit a la liberte d’expression. Nous allons demontrer dans la solidarite et porter nos carres rouges avec fierte et nous allons continuer a relier nos luttes et alimenter ce mouvement car il se propage a l’echelle nationale.

Ici, a Toronto, les syndicats d’etudiants, les organisateurs et les communautes outrages ont appele a des actions a travers la ville. Nous vous invitons a nous rejoindre aux evenements a travers la ville, a apprendre plus sur les problemes et comment nous joindre en solidarite , et de nous visiter pour prendre votre propre carre rouge.

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