Sunday, May 27, 2012

AFP — Law meant to stifle demonstrations buoys Quebec’s student protesters

A poll published Saturday by La Presse showed a divided Quebec, with 51 percent expressing support for the law but with big differences in attitudes between young and old, and between French- and English-speaking residents.
The law sought to clamp down on the student protests by requiring organizers to give police at least eight hours advance warning of times and locations of demonstrations, with big fines for failure to do so.
Authorities have used the emergency law to declare protests illegal, clearing the way for police to disperse protesters.

But opposition to the law has been fierce, drawing nearly 100,000 people into the streets of Montreal on Tuesday.
Amnesty International called the measure an “affront to basic freedoms that goes far beyond what is permissible under provincial, national or international human rights law,” and said it should be rescinded.
The students began the protests in February, boycotting classes, in response to the Charest government’s plan to raise annual fees at Quebec universities by 82 percent, or $1,700, with the increase gradually introduced over five years.
The row has already caused the province’s education minister to quit and is causing a headache for the government.
Read it at Raw Story
Law meant to stifle demonstrations buoys Quebec’s student protesters
by Agence Presse-France

Part of asymmetrical strategy and tactics is to get TPTB to overreact, thereby increasing both popular support and determination of participants to resist what is perceived as patently unjust, undemocratic, and excessively authoritarian.

And again, generational change is on the side of the protestors. A government with only 51% support, largely elderly, for an unpopular policy is at the margin, with the core shifting. That's not where astute party leaders want to be.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Well put, Tom.

Aside from all the economic issues that started the protests, when the government overreacts and when the police are violent, it makes the authorities appear immoral.

If the protesters can stick to non-violence and have some sort of constructive agenda, they'll have the moral high ground.

Ryan Harris said...

Students complied with the law and sent their march route to police. =) I don't know if it is a moral high ground, but humor never hurts.