The System

The System

  A judge has sentenced a young protester to 7 months of prison without parole; the individual has been described as part of a group that would have terrorized downtown Toronto during the G20 summit in 2010 (poor downown Toronto and especially poor, poor windows).1 Another judge, his eminent splendor François Rolland,2 (“BirdieFrank for his buddies) has determined that an in-depth debate was necessary before weighing the suspension of law 12 (stemming from Special Law 78).3 Don’t you all feel like “Big Shots” , discussing about indentures and terminology like that? Personally, I am so thrilled to know that my life is well regulated by writings that I have never really had the time to read, but have been ruled as valid by tanned golfers with necromancer robes and magical hammers. I am 200% convinced that the judge, immediately after announcing his verdict, headed straightaway towards another room to quickly examine and debate the legality of this law.

Talking about mages, our two fabulous media groups,4 have considered relevant to inform the people, between two sports analysis, that Raël,5 and his group have given their support to the student movement. Alright, clearly Raël is still a low level wizard, unlike the pope whom Jean-Charest insisted upon meeting so he could cast a spell “blessing level 60 ” on Quebec and his prime minister. 6 (The Vatican has had much more time than the raëlien movement to cumulate experience points, they’ve gathered a whole bunch during the conquest of America while supporting those who slaughtered the natives.) But then again, Charest meeting the pope was in 2011, I wonder if the enchantment is still in effect… such things have a limited duration, and the americans are always using all the magic points every time there is an election campaign.

What would have been honest would have been to write: “Raël supports the student movement; Power Corporation and Quebecor support the Charest government or the CAQ,7 or a mix of the two, anyway it’s the same swindle”.


Commentary:

  During the student strike some students challenged the decisions of their General Assemblies by asking the courts for temporary injunctions forcing their professors to teach them even if they would be alone in the classroom. By opposition to their counterparts who wore the red square as a symbol of the strike (from the saying “squarely in the red” in reference to being heavily indebted), the injunctions students adopted the green square as their emblem and created a group called Socially Responsible Student Movement of Québec, a faction against the strike, for the tuition hike, and closely related to the ruling government of Jean Charest (the group was set up by Young Liberals). Even if not numerous, the “greens” ended up hindering the justice system with all their injuctions demands.

Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec François Rolland, eventually decided that all student injuctions demands would go through him and he approved every single one of them. Hence, the conflict was not merely political anymore but became judicial as well. Confronted with the fact that his injunctions were not respected by the red students (they blocked the doors of their schools or disturbed classes), Chief Judge Rolland added the threat of harsh penalties to his injunctions (prison up to a year, and fine up to 50 000$ for anyone who would prevent green students to attend classes). He also ordered involved colleges to use police forces as needed, as well as called upon the Attorney General of Quebec (Jean-Marc Fournier) to enforce the law and make sure that the rights of the green students would be respected.8 Indeed, there were “muscled interventions”, as mainstream media calls it, where police tried by force to break the red students staking lines, for instance at College de Rosemont on May 14 2012,9 and College Lionel-Groulx on May 15th 2012. In this last case, the red students had an additional opponent, a Conservative senator, Claude Carignan, who personally helped the green students obtain their injuctions (two of his children being green students at this college). On May 15th then, the SQ (Sureté du Québec), our provincial police riot squad, showed up in Sainte-Thérèse, a small city north of Montreal, with the mission of liberating a path for those who have been identified by many, as scabs. To be successful, the SQ would have to confront concerned parents who were present forming a line of their own, a group of professors opposed to the hike and the red students who stood by the doors.10

Besides the fact that it is ridiculous to give volleyball, theatre, or any kind of course that requires debates between students to a unique individual, the granted injuctions raised the question of the legitimacy of Students General Assemblies as well as the right of this portion of the population to vote a strike. Very quickly in the mainstream media there was a campaign to call the strike a boycott instead, proponents claiming that the notion of strike doesn’t apply to students under the law.11 Clearly a tactic to discredit the student movement and rip them from any kind of leverage.

On another note, as referred in the text above, Chief Judge Rolland didn’t seem uneasy to reject an emergency injunction that was requested, this time, by the major student organizations, in collaboration with trade unions and others, against the Special Law 78.12 The judge is following in the footsteps of the Quebec Council of Employers and The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, who have given their support to Bill 78, in tacitly defending the controversial law instead of rallying behind advocates of constitutional and human rights. 0_o

http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/justice-et-faits-divers/201206/26/01-4538514-la-prison-ferme-pour-un-jeune-casseur-du-g20.php); en (http://www.sabotagemedia.anarkhia.org/2012/06/g20-in-saint-jerome-quebec-a-comrade-is-sentenced-to-7%C2%A0months-in-prison/)

2- François Rolland is the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec. (http://www.tribunaux.qc.ca/mjq_en/c-superieure/bienvenue.html)

3- en (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/06/27/bill-78-injuction.html)

4- Quebec is dominated by two major media groups: Power Corporation of Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Corporation_of_Canada) and Quebecor Inc. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebecor)

5- Generally speaking, Raël and his religion are not taken seriously in Quebec. That the media gave themselves the trouble of writing articles about his support to the students strike is but another attempt to discredit the student movement. For example: fr (http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/conflit-etudiant/201206/27/01-4538830-la-classe-obtient-lappui-des-raeliens.php), en (http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2012/06/28/raelians-announce-support-for-the-classe/)

6- fr (http://fr.canoe.ca/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2011/06/20110630-095821.html)

7- Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) is a new political party (right-wing). All CAQ members voted in favour of Special Law 78. As of now, the CAQ members in the national assembly of Quebec have not been elected under the banner of this new party, since it didn’t exist in the last elections, they were elected under different party affiliations.

8- fr (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/montreal/archives/2012/05/20120511-072058.html), fr (http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/dossiers/conflit-etudiant/201205/05/01-4522304-retour-en-classe-des-injonctions-plus-coercitives.php)

9- Rosemont College May 14th 2012: students have been pepper sprayed, hit with batons and one student suffered a head injury.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDONSC0yuKw&feature=autoplay&list=PL8E347BFFC258E1FA&playnext=2); (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FymYwBD8xc&feature=bf_prev&list=PL8E347BFFC258E1FA)

10- SQ at Lionel-Groulx College May 15th 2012 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_BGel1ltZ8)

Also that day, a bus heading towards Cegep Lionel-Groulx (from Montreal) was intercepted by the SQ and the 18 people inside were illegally detained under the Canadian Criminal Code Article 31. For a critique of police use (or misuse) of Article 31 (which was also applied in Victoriaville and at the Formula One event in Montreal), see: en (http://www.quebecprotest.com/post/26562409433/by-order-of-article-31-i-am-placing-you-under-arrest); for the arrest itself, see: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TQy9FKKVaQ); for criticism by retired police officer René Forget of this illegal detention as well as other police behavior, see: (http://www.quebecprotest.com/post/23769940349/open-letter-to-police-officers-sent-from-a-retired)

On May 31st, a collective of professors from Cegep Lionel-Groulx, co-signed an open letter in the newspaper Le Devoir. This letter, exposing their side of the story, retraces the events that led to the violence of May 15th, and compares the role played by the direction of the Cegep to the one of “executive agent manipulated by authority” in the Stanley Milgram experiment. en (http://www.quebecprotest.com/post/24470574512/the-violence-at-lionel-groulx-our-side-of-the-story); original in fr (http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/351265/violence-a-lionel-groulx-voici-notre-version). Following the publication of this letter, the direction of Cegep Lionel-Groulx imposed disciplinary measures on the eleven signatory professors who were accused of displaying a lack of loyalty to their institution. Condemning this attack on free speech, a petition is asking for the withdrawal of the disciplinary measures: (http://www.avaaz.org/fr/petition/Levee_dune_mesure_disciplinaire_contre_11_enseignantes_et_enseignants_du_College_LionelGroulx/?fiUFrab&pv=1)

About Cegep Lionel-Groulx’s administration: the director, Monique Laurin, was a former candidate for the PLQ (in 2008, in the electoral division Groulx). She will retire in January 2013 with “a sense of accomplishment”. en (http://www.electionsquebec.qc.ca/english/provincial/electoral-map/general-information-on-the-provincial-electoral-divisions.php?bsq=478&section=resultats);
fr (http://www.hebdosregionaux.ca/rive-nord/2012/06/26/monique-laurin-quitte-ses-fonctions)

11- For the opposite position, I suggest: The student strike is not a simple boycott: history and perspectives (http://ajpquebec.org/?p=167).

12- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_78)