The participants in the Quebec student’s movement against the university tuition hike are not just selfishly concerned with their own pockets but are part of the global sustainability and social justice movement that is sweeping the world. What keeps them motivated is their larger vision for a more humane and equalitarian society. The students themselves acknowledge this fact in speeches and actions.
The first video below is a brilliant, art piece drawing its inspiration from an excerpt from a speech given by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois the spokesperson for the largest student union “Classe”. Below it is the video of Nadeau-Dubois’ full speech (in two parts) translated into English.
Many demonstrations are organized as general demonstrations of protest against the policies of Jean Charest’s liberal government with grandparents, parents and neighbors participating. Welcomed amongst the student’s red squares are: placards against unfettered resource extraction of shale gas and natural resources of all sorts without regard to environmental impact, signs against attempts to privatize health care and support for clean food among others.
The students are not wasting their time. They are getting a real life degree in political science. During the strike most are educating themselves on the important issues of our time. As one young protestor told me. One day it was like everyone in her school suddenly woke up. This strike is creating a generation of individuals schooled in political action capable and willing to work together.
The students are mobilizing in order to create a better world not only for themselves but for us too.