The cartoonist Ted Rall, working as the equivalent of a photojournalist, recently went to Montreal to observe the protest movement there.
I had been vaguely aware of an ongoing student protest there, but, until I read Rall’s report, I hadn’t been aware that the protests drew hundreds of thousands of people, including students, the unemployed, blue-collar workers, advocates of Quebec independence, anti-capitalist radicals and others discontented with the system.
It began with college students protesting increases in tuition rates. The Quebec government responded with a law that outlawed large protests. The students did not back down, and their movement grew larger and more militant.
The Classé Quebec protest movement is harder-edged than the Occupy Wall Street movement, Rall reports. Instead of consensus, they decide by majority vote. Instead of acting spontaneously, they plan strategy, sometimes years ahead. Instead of a do-your-own-thing ethos, they have a hierarchical structure and follow leaders. Instead of nonviolent resistance, they actively confront police, and sometimes intimidate police into backing down.
I’m not sure what to make of the Quebec protest movement, and don’t know where it will lead, but I do see that it is important.
I found the second page of Rall’s report with a Google search. You’ll have to click on the link above to see the rest.