Quebec’s Liberal government has responded to the launching of an anti-austerity strike by tens of thousands of students with police repression and threats of even harsher anti-democratic measures. In this, it is being cheered on by big business in Quebec and across Canada, which is determined to stamp out any challenge to the dismantling of public and social services and the slashing of pensions and other worker rights.
Even though there is immense working-class opposition to the Liberals’ austerity program, including from the half-million Quebec public sector workers whose contracts expires March 31, the trade unions have made clear that they oppose any and all job action against the government. They are isolating the striking students and promoting the big business Parti Quebecois—the same policy they pursued in politically suppressing the militant 2012 Quebec student strike.
As for the leaders of the Association for Student-Union Solidarity, they are providing a “left” cover for the pro-capitalist unions and are promoting a form of nationalist protest politics aimed at pressuring the Quebec ruling elite. They claim that neo-liberal austerity is simply “an ideological choice,” not the product of a systemic crisis of world capitalism.
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is organizing a public meeting in Montreal this Wednesday to discuss these crucial questions and fight for the student strike to become the catalyst for the independent political mobilization of the working class in Quebec and across Canada.
Wednesday, April 1, at 4:30 PM
Université de Montréal
Room B-4325, Jean-Brillant Pavilion
3200 Rue Jean-Brillant (near the Côte-des-Neiges Metro station)